Bangladesh has a very long history of traditional circus. Once it was very popular for entertaining people from all walks of society.
According to the Bangladesh Circus Owners Association, there are 25 enlisted circus teams in the country. In addition, there are more than 100 parties in the country.
At least 80 to 100 people work in a big troupe including main performers, assistants, helping hands and so on.
Most of the troupe members either came to this profession hereditarily or are working since their childhood. The performers entertain people showing different games including slacklining, cycling, acrobatics, knife games and many more.
My interest in circus grew in 2012 when I began to visit circus shows around the country. It is evident that the circus industry is passing a hard time now.
The crew does not earn like they did before. Moreover, only a few of them have proper costumes and safety measures.
This declining tradition, a rich part of our culture, needs assistance and initiatives from the government for its survival.
Probal Rashid is a Bangladeshi documentary photographer and photojournalist based in Washington DC. He has a Post Graduate Diploma in Photojournalism from Konrad Adenauer Asian Centre for Journalism (ACFJ) at Ateneo De Manila University, Philippines.