US Secretary of State John Kerry has offered greetings to Bengalis living across the globe on the occasion of their new year.
"On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I am delighted to wish a happy and prosperous New Year to Bengalis everywhere," Kerry said.
"We rejoice along with all those from Bangladesh, India, and around the world who gather today to celebrate the arrival of the new year," he said in a statement yesterday.
Kerry, 72, said that "Pohela Boishakh", also known as Bengali New Year, was a time of renewal and reconciliation.
"It is time for families and friends to celebrate their heritage and culture, to reflect on the past year, and to look forward to the year ahead," he said.
Kerry said for Americans the day was an opportunity to recognise the contributions of hundreds of thousands of Bengali Americans who have made their mark in so many ways, including in science, business, public service, law, medicine.
"May we begin this new year with a sense of hope and optimism. 'Shubho Noboborsho'!" he added.
Pohela Boishakh is the first day of the Bengali calendar, celebrated on 14 April in Bangladesh and on 15 April in West Bengal by the Bengalis.