|Farhan Al Rafi
|Bijon B. Sarma, Muna Rashid, Riju Sarker, Ayasha Siddiqua, Nujaba Binte Kabir , Advisor : Ahmed Sinthia
|Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology
BETTER THE DANCE BETTER THE CROP – a saying of Khasias one of the most ethnic group in Bangladesh. Most of them live in border region, they are fond of hills, mounds, bushes and forest. the villages are the cluster of houses within the cultural boundary of their own community . According to census of 1991 total number of Khasia in Bangladesh is 12300. But Bangladeshi Khasia society claims the number is around 30000. In fact the birth rate is very high among Khasia. They are very much hard working and loving healthy living , holding their culture ,traditions ,rituals they love to be closer to nature. The economic condition is not up to the mark . They usually work under a king in tea gardens. Betel & Areca-catechu cultivation and selling is their main source of income .
At present 95 % of this communities are Christians and almost every Punji has its own church, they maintain their age-old customs and tradition. The church is the core of Khasias activities, culture, tradition & rituals. So connecting Khasia community of Jaflong at the same platform through religious ideology and creating a space for traditional festival was the prime objective of the project.
CONCEPT & CONSIDERATION
This is a place where bird sings, wind blows, river flows and life goes on a parallel flow. Among the community I’ve found a peaceful soul, mindful spaces. This place offers a complete feeling of being “INTO THE REALM OF SPIRITUALITY”; I felt so empty while I was walking under the dense trees. The mild sunlight, shadows of leaves has created an abstruse texture on land. Silence, breeze over the trees and that falling leaves created an powerful impression on my mind. So I was determined from the beginning the path I have walked through I won’t change during design process rather I assumed people will feel the same way I have felt here during my journey ! I call it as a preparation space, before standing in front of God or in other words this journey is a SILENT DIALOGUE BETWEEN GOD , MEN & SPACE !
There is an another kind of path way I’ve designed to reach into the main church door which is completely different from the previous one. This is a long suffocated tunnel and 13 doors on the wall , which opens the spaces for meditation. Among these there are 7 shells and 6 open to sky platforms. I call these “A SPACE FOR INDIVIDUAL”. The tunnel terminated by the chapel having a cross upon a long glass facade. So there are 14 doors, which is a historical translation of 14 stations of crucifixion! The story of every station will be scripted on the walls.
The church is placed at the peak of the mountain. As a simple metaphor of keeping God above all . So at end of the long path when the folks arrive to the terminal plaza, two directional walls at the peak of the mountain will be revealed; which create tension, but will be relieved eventually by the opening the church doors. A long transparent glass facade in front of the seating having a never ending green background. A cross has been placed at the termination of the axis, which can be seen from the narthex and nave. I call this window as “A LOOPHOLE INTO THE REALM OF INFINITY” and that cross there creates the impression on the mind of the folk sitting at nave “JESUS IS ALWAYS WATCHING”.
Apart from the two crosses placed at the termination of meditative space tunnel and church respectively, there is another cross located at the top of the bell tower which can be seen from long distant. So in-total there are 3 cross used in this project which is the representation of “HOLY TRINITY” means the God is three Consubstantiality persons, i) THE FATHER ii) THE SON ( JESUS CHRIST) iii) THE HOLY SPIRIT as “one God in three divine persons”
Religion or GOD is not confined into a form or structure. “GOD is IN EVERY WHERE” from my personal observation its nature which makes people feel “THE TRUE EXISTENCE of GOD” so it was the priority helping the folk to achieve integrity, to enhance the feeling for GOD through a natural pilgrimage. The hard work they will have to do to reach at the peak of the mountain for every pilgrimage, will give them a little thought about the sacrifice of CHRIST which he had made for their (peoples’) sins !
You exist in time, but you belong to eternity-You are a penetration of eternity into the world of time –You are deathless, living in a body of death – Your consciousness knows no death, no birth- It is only your body that is born and dies – But you are not aware of your consciousness – You are not conscious of your consciousness and that is the whole art of meditation- Becoming conscious of consciousness itself !
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