THE month-long Amar Ekushey Book Fair 2014 opened on Saturday in the Bangla Academy premises which extended to nearby Suhrawardy Uddyan in the city highlighting the love for mother language Bengali and the enthusiasm of book lovers who had waited round the year to see new books on the publishers’ shelf and meet their admired writers. Amar Ekushey has meanwhile become the International Mother Language Day with the recognition of the United Nations to dedicate the event as an honour to each and every mother language across the world. We are proud the Bangalee people showed the way.This year’s Ekushey Book Fair has been dedicated to language veteran, writer, researcher and Bangla Academy Fellow Justice Habibur Rahman, who passed away only recently. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the event in presence of writers, researchers, academics and cultural activists. But as news reports said most of the stalls were still unfinished or being decorated and thus unable to open doors to visitors showing the partly poor arrangements so far. But visitors, mainly the younger generation, have already rushed to the fair as they were waiting for the occasion and they would throng through the book stalls, pavilions and other facilities which make it a month long event of Bengali culture and festivity. The biggest attraction of the book fair is the arrival of new books and short stories. As we see, people will celebrate the occasion amidst rendering of songs by noted vocalists, playwrights will perform their master pieces on the socio-political life of the nation on the stage and academics will hold seminars and symposiums on the Bengali language; its multi-faceted development in poetry, short stories, novels, children literature and basic research on the language. The Amar Ekushey Book Fair however draws its soul and strength from the Language Movement of 1952. It is evident in every corner of the book fair embodying some morals or abstract memoirs of the language veterans who lost their lives for the mother tongue and of those who have enriched the Bengali literature. Therefore, some of the fair grounds have been named as Rabindra, Nazrul, Abdul Karim Shahittya Bisharad, Dr Muhammad Shahidullah, Shomen Chanda, Rokeya, Sufia Kamal, Dhirendranath and Rafiqul Islam Squares. Writer Humayun Ahmed was the biggest attraction of the Ekushey Book Fair while he was alive, but at least five of his new books may hit the stand in his absence. Most of his admirers are waiting for the day. Out of 534 stalls in the fair, 432 have been allotted to 232 mainstream publishers, 33 to 24 children’s book corner and 69 to 43 institutions including media centres and 55 to open stalls of little magazines. In fact the entire ground around the Bangla Academy, Suhrawardy Uddyan and TSC has turned into a cultural zone centering around the book fair. Vendors are also selling products to visitors, small businesses are displaying home-made artifacts and handicrafts in the sidelines. Amar Ekushey is an event when the nation rediscovers its hidden strength. The occasion rekindles our spirit and rejuvenates the nation; we wish it will bring new hope and happiness to us all.