Set in a marketplace, the series began airing in April 2005. The local Muppet characters include Halum the Bengal Tiger; Ikri Mikri, a small blue monster; Shiku, a jackal; and Tuktuki, a young girl. The show has no full-body character. Additionally, the series features traditional Bangladeshi puppets, crafted by designer Mustafa Manwar and not by the Muppet Workshop, who appear in separate segments within Ikri's imagination, a realm known as "Ikri's World."
The first season of the series featured 26 episodes, and a second season of 36 episodes was in production as of 9 February 2006. A third season went into production April 2007. The series airs four times a week on Bangladesh TV (BTV), the country's national broadcaster.
The development of this show and the production of its first season were profiled in the documentary The World According to Sesame Street.
The program airs on BTV at 9:05 am on Friday, with repeats on Saturday at 2:15 pm, Wednesday and Thursday at 5:05 pm.
Sesame Workshop description
Sisimpur is the Bangladeshi adaptation of Sesame Street, designed to meet the learning needs of 3- to 6-year-olds across social classes and different regions of the country. With a curriculum defined by Bangladeshi educators, the series emphasizes not only literacy, math and science, but also helps foster values such as self-respect, empathy and cooperation. Other key objectives include improving educational opportunities for young girls; promoting good nutrition, hygiene and safety; and encouraging appreciation of the shared cultural heritage of diverse segments of Bangladeshi society. The series features unique Bangla-speaking Muppets such as Ikri Mikri, an imaginative 3-year-old who encourages young girls to have a limitless sense of possibility. Original music and locally produced live-action and animated segments reflect the rich artistic heritage of Bangladeshi culture."
Info on USAID
Sisimpur storybooks and other supplemental material are distributed among preschool aged children. Teachers and parents will also be trained to use these materials effectively to support the children’s learning.
In an effort to reach children in remote areas, USAID-Bangladesh has partnered with Save the Children USA to produce and deploy a small fleet of flatbed cycle rickshaws that carry a TV, a DVD player, and a generator to villages that are not serviced by power lines or are otherwise limited in their ability to access Sisimpur. The rickshaw goes to each location once a week and draws a remarkable amount of viewers, sometimes with as many as 200 people gathering to watch the show.
The season overview will focus on disability and vulnerability. "Through the show, Sisimpur will teach children that disabled and vulnerable children are a part of our society and they are just like every other child. Sisimpur will show these children in their normal lives as normal children – singing, dancing, and dreaming – just like any other child." A new cast member name Mukul Moira is added to the Sisimpur neighborhood. A new segment called "Tuktuki’s Opera" has Tuktuki dressed up as a classy TV host and presenting funny parodies of Bengali films, TV shows, and stage dramas. Famous celebrities appearing this season include the great cricketer Ashraful, actor Abul Hayet, comedian Amal Saha, and dancer Nipa.
The cast members, Mukul and Shumona, marry each other and have a traditional Bangladesh wedding. The theme for this season is being 'Respect', 'Community Culture', importance of 'Society', and 'Gender Equity'.
- Episode 44: "Ikri was alone in a room when the electricity goes off due to load shedding. Overcome by darkness, she was finally calmed down by the encouragement from a friend, and wandered away into the lands of her imagination. Meanwhile, Mukul tries to pacify Tuktuki who was extremely angry due to some reason. Elmo was sad having lost one of his most prized possessions, best friend Grover tried to cheer him up."
Abby Cadabby joins this season in interactive segments 3, 2, 1 Let's Go, where she asks the viewers to help her practice magic. This season also welcomes a new cast member name Polash, who is the nephew of Guni and Asha Moira. The introduction of a new character will demonstrate the joy of working together as a community with new episodes focusing on family relations, respect, and social values and morals.
Season 6 debut in summer 2010. The season feature the themes of nature and environmental education. Live segments feature the Shreemongol and Durgapur peoples. Parodies of reality show Dhoom ta na, the Bengali version of So You Think You Can Dance, and the game show Ebar Jombe Khela.
- Halum: A Bengal tiger. Halum was designed by Ed Christie and built by Rollie Krewson. He is performed by Ashraful Ashish.
- Ikri Mikri: A small blue monster. Ikri Mikri was designed by Ed Christie and built by Ann Marie Holdgruen. She is performed by Quazi Nawshaba Ahmed with Tanzila Afrin often assisting.
- Shiku: A small jackal. Shiku was designed by Ed Christie and built by Victoria Ellis. He is performed by Shuvangkar Das Shuvo.
- Tuktuki: A young female Muppet. Tuktuki was designed by Ed Christie and built by Ann Marie Holdgruen. She is performed by Sayma Karim with Parvin Paru often assisting.
- Khepu: A Grouch. Recycled from a stock Grouch puppet used on the American Sesame Street. Made his debut in season 9.
- Lal Mia: A postman; the actor died after the first season, and the character died within the show, à la Mr. Hooper.
- Mukul Moira: A university graduate and entrepreneur. He is played by Chanchal Chowdhury.
- Sumona Moira: A local school teacher
- Guni Moira: Asha's husband and the local sweet shop owner
- Asha Moira: Guni's wife and the local librarian
- Polash Moira: Guni and Asha's son
- Shemai Ali: A clown, who is the Bangladeshi counterpart of Mr. Noodle on Sesame Street.
- Executive Producer: Ratan Paul
- Producer: Nadine Zylstra
- Head of Wrangling Department: Patric Prince
- Puppet captain: Khalid Hasan
- Puppeteers: Nurul Absar Palash, Tanzila Afrin, Ashraful Ashish, Shuvangkar Das Shuvo, Sayma Karim, Quazi Nawshaba Ahmed, Parvin Paru, Pothik Sudip, Iresh Zaker.
- USAID Bangladesh in Focus: USAID Introduces Sesame Street Television Program in Bangladesh
- "[TV Watch :Sisimpur on BTV]", The New Nation (Bangladesh), June 14, 2008.
- Season 2 of Sisimpur Begins in Bangladesh.
- The World of Mesmerising Muppets Volume 7 Issue 30, July 25, 2007
- Bangladeshi Sesame Street Producing 5th Season