Friday, October 1, 2010

Flirting With the Past: The Pope on a Rickshaw in Dhaka


Pope John Paul II taking a ride on a rickshaw in the compound of the
Apostolic Nunciature (Vatican Embassy) in Baridhara, Dhaka,
on November 19, 1986
. Vatican nuncio (ambassador) Archbishop Luigi
Accogli (3rd from the left) and Archbishop Michael Rozario of Dhaka
(1st from the right) are looking on

Photographer unknown, photo @ the courtesy of 
Father Alexius Jyoti Gomes, Editor of the Pratibeshi weekly (Dhaka: 1986)

Do a majestic pope and a humble rickshaw go together? Of course, not!

Although one chance in a million or more, the twain can also meet. Bangladesh has the unique record of having a reigning pope take a cycle rickshaw ride in Dhaka. The authority of The Guiness Book of World Records should take a note of it and have it recorded in their world-renowned book.

This unpredictable incident happened in Dhaka when His Holiness Pope John Paul II was on a two-day official visit to Bangladesh on November 19-20, 1986. Pope John Paul II was fascinated by the presence of thousands of tri-cycle rickshaws in Dhaka and he showed interest in riding onto one. Archbishop Luigi Accogli, the then Vatican Nuncio (ambassador) to Bangladesh, helped fulfill the pope's wish by having a rickshaw in his compound. After taking his lunch at the embassy, the pope took the ride there.

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