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Deshi Dosh- promoting the local fabrics and products September 9, 2010

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, Culture.

Deshi Dosh the very name attracts me much. I could understood from the name that it’s a combined effort of 10 local companies to promote the local culture in cloths and fashion. This Deshi Dosh are Deshal, Nipun, Angans, Prortana, Bibiana, Sadakalo, Nagardola, Rang, Banglar Mela and Kay Craft.

When I made a visit to their stalls at Ctg I was pleased with design and decorations of the stalls. Modern materials and technologies are used to build the physical structures. Each stall is unique in its decoration , still maintains a harmony with others.

Each stall is displayed with their own products- unique in their design and supplementing each other.
I was most impressed by Sada Kalo- by their ideas and beautiful play of only of two colours.

In addition to the dresses, one stall has the display of beautiful toys for children and Prabartana has a rack full of books on local issues.

Deshi Dosh is a collective endevour of ten local design houses to promote local fabrics and design.The move will protect from Indian invasion of our market.

Our weavers will also be benefited from the connection with these local design houses.

Deshi Dosh has started from Dhaka, the first site being at the Bashundhara City Mall, then it opens it second site at Hoten Sheraton, now it is at Chittagong.

Hope that it will gradually spread to other cities and outside the country and would be a brand name to represent Bangladeshi fabrics and dresses.

An ordinary citizen

Eve Teasing -down gradation of our cultural attitude August 23, 2010

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, Culture, GOVERNANCE, POLITICS.
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Got an sms from Ministry of Children and Women Affairs to be vocal against the eve teasing (Eve teasing er biruddey shochar hoan). Probably many others will get the message.

In the last few months, eve teasing and stalking are increased disproportionately and many a girls took their life in their own hands getting no way out, some reported in the media , some not, leaving the parents in deep grief, society bewildered and government pondering how to stop this nuisance.

As a whole, there is down gradation of our cultural outlook towards female. If you consider culture as an expression of our moral values, religious practice, education and politico-social exercises, then it is to be accepted that in all these spheres we are scoring low, which is reflected in the attitudes of the young.

Our education has no moral stint, our religious exercises become ritualistic, society is becoming more materialistic and our politics is not bound by ethics.
Our culture is fast loosing its identity and our media is more to please the teens than to depict the reality and truth of life.

Love is depicted in our contemporary dramas, cinemas and songs as a precious objective in premarital and extramarital life. Teens are being influenced by this.

Our law and order situation is not protective enough to safeguard the honour of the females. Law enforcing agencies behave as if in most cases nothing is wrong with the attitudes of the young. Their casual attempts to arrest the offenders make the situation more clumsy.

A holistic approach is needed to correct the situation but a difficult task.

An ordinary citizen

BBC reports Eve Teasing in Bangladesh
Anisul Hoque i Prothom Alo
Daily Star published an insight report on e-stalking on 2/9/10 –E-stalkers on the prowl

Talent hunt in the media and Consumerism May 19, 2010

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, Culture.
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Our TV channels are deeply engaged in hunting talents among our young generation in arts and culture. They have more concentrated their effort on singing. They do not spare the young children to show up their talents in the singing. As a part of the process, the registration and rehearsal keep continued throughout the country. Thousands of children and aspirants participate in the competition. The final phase of the competition are telecast in the TV channels. Judges give their numbers. Public are asked to send sms as many as possible for their artist of choice. Then one day final episode is shown with grandeur, prizes are declared, huge sum of money is distributed. The finalists came into contact with the music companies and the production house. Their cassettes and CDs are come out in the market and they tour the country and also abroad to entertain the whole world.

Sometimes I think what would happen to the education of these children. Probably education, passing exams and attaining degrees is less important to the exercise they are undergoing and the talent they are showing. The pomp of the festival is such that it looks singing is the only talent to nourish, it will bring money and success early. The underlying fact is that the talent of these children is sacrificed in the alter of consumerism and in the name of promotion of art, their basic education is sacrificed.

An ordinary citizen

Opinion: Using children for adult entertainment: Faroque Wasif in Prothom Alo

Measuring the success of a man November 27, 2009

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, Culture, Life, Society.
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The subject is always confusing to me.

I dearly knew a man who was a successful industrialist, a pioneer entrepreneur with a brilliant academic accomplishment who maintained a nice family so far, the wife herself a professional and children completed or on the way of completion successful academic career, suddenly this man separated from his family and prefered to maintain a separate personal life. I had an impression that this man was a successful man. But I couldn’t continue the notion as his family life is suddenly shattered.

How do you measure the success of a man? By his academic accomplishment? In Bangladesh, you will get many academicans are in frustration as the academic persuit in most of the cases kept them away from economic fulfilment. By financial achievment? People will envy you but wouldn’t like you. If you have poor academic background, that weakness will haunt you always. By your professional identity? Profession alone will not satisfy your inner urge of fulfilment. That’s why a doctor adopts unehical means to earn money; an engineer corrupts himelf to be rich.

What is in the end of life if your family is shattered for lapses in your character after you gain success in your profession? A peaceful family is also equally important for the feeling of success in life.

How do you relate your success in respect to the achievement of your children? What would be your feeling if they can’t fulfil your minimum expections? If they derailed in the midst of the abundance of money, how will you then measure your success? In our culture and society, children are part of our self. Their success contributes to a part of our success. If they fails, that’s a failure on our part also.

A man would be considered a complete success if he only could achieve success in all avenues of life. But in our experience we see virtually no man who is a complete success. Those whom we consider successful are outwardly successful, but in their inner life, you will find many of them, specially if you know them from close, are unhapppy man.

Probably this incompleteness is the mystery of life
to make man understand the smallness of his being in this world.

An ordinary citizen

25th Baishakh: Exploring the Versatility of Rabindra Genius May 8, 2009

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, Culture, Literature.
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tagoreToday is 25th Baishakh. It’s the 148th birth anniversary of the greatest poet of Bengal Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941). The day is coloured with different events including musical soiree, discussion meeting, drama, art competition etc.
Different TV channels also telecasted programs of various types.

But the whole day I was thinking the versatility of Rabindra genius. I doubt one would not get a comparable genius in other literature who has traded all the departments of literature with same mastery. We have seen genius like Shakespaere, Shaw, Ebsen who shine in Drama, seen Shelly, Byron, TS Eliots or Yeats in poetry, Chekob, Tolstoy in novel but Rabindranath is the exception who wrote with equal energy and depth in poetry, songs, story, novel, and essays.

The songs he has wriitten are 2230 in number, they are also of various type ranging from romantic to spiritual, he himself gave tune to the lyrics and in giving the tune he explored the music of both the western and local songs. He had great affection for folk composer Lalon and Hasan Raja’s spiritual songs. The songs of RT are of very meningful, expressive,relevant, thoughtful and intellectual. His songs are more message-oriented and the music is set with the words so the it doesn’t suppress the meaning. The limitation of RT songs is that it is not enjoyed and understood by the general mass.The songs are mainly for the literates.

RT got the Nobel Prize in Poetry in 1913 for his work Gitanjali which he translated to English by himself. The excellence of Rabindra poetry has not yet exceeded by any poet in the language.

Regarding short story it is said that RT would live ages through the short stories he has written and the character he has potrayed in those stories.

His stories are always an important source of script for the Bangali films. He himself play roles in the film in 1930’s.

His dance drama gave a new dimention to this creative art. His songs remain always a strong supporting component to the dance practiced in this part.

His casual artwork, many of which are done on his pieces of poetry created a new line of artistry again depicts his creativity.

He has own his philishopy of life which is scattered in his differents essays and writings. In one word he may be termed as a humanist- he longs for all the good in life and on earth.

His feeling for patrotism was also of high. He rejected knigthood in protest against the killing by the British in Jalinwalabag. He had close relation with Mahatha Gandhi who also visited the BishaBarati. He was also sympathetic to the then nationalist movement.

He has his own thoughts on education out of which he developed his own centre of education of BishaBharati and Santi Niketan. He prefered more natural way of teaching and many comtemporary academics of different countries taught in his institution and the instution is continuing to remain one of the most influencial academy in the subcontinent.

I am impressed by his interest in agriculture and in his attempt to mechanise the agriculture in our country. He also introduced Agricultural Bank in the country to give financial support to the farmers.

He is the only person in the history whose songs are at the same time the national anthem of two different countries – Bangladesh and India.

Though the new generation is trying to develop thier own style of songs and music, the thoughts of RT will always influence them.

An ordinary citizen

Pahela Baishakh: Richness of our culture April 15, 2009

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, Culture.
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courtesy:prothom alo

courtesy:prothom alo

Ist day of Bangla new year of 1416 is observed. To celebrate the occassion, many programes of different nature and at different places were observed. Chayanat organised the day long musical events at Ramna which was telecasted live by Channel-Eye.Fine Arts students of DU parraded the city roads with colourful fastoons and placards. Other channels also telecasted programs from different sites of the country. M A Muhith, Minister for Finance in a reply to a question says that the days programs depicted the richness of our culture, sometimes we deviate, but this is the true self of us.

We have a culture which has a precise sense of limit and beauty. A greater part of our songs is of Tagore’s have a soft musical tune and spiritual flavour. Most of our folk songs are spiritual in nature where the pain and sorrow are enterwined with the longing for the almighty.

The band songs of our newer generation though initially were light in words and mood, later many of them become thoughtful and some even try for fusion of our folksongs and bandsongs.

The festival was participated by young and old alike. Many foriengners also enjoyed the Ist day celebration and appreciated the total mood of the day.

Someone was alleging that we are only enthusiatic in observing the Pahela Baishak. This is actually not true, you can’t observe festival everyday of the year, but traits of culture would be expressed in your everyday living. It is not true that we are Bangali for a day in the year, we are Bangali throughout the year in our works and deeds, in our cloths and behaviour.

Sometimes people become confused relating religion to culture. Religion is also an important contributing factor to culture. Many of our trends have been changed due to influence of the religion. The religion have been changed in the line of history in this belt of Ganges. The greater culture of this locality accomodated the religion and molded the livelihood of the people accordingly.

When one says, he is a Bangali, one tries to portray himself/herself as secular. It is not necessarily so. To be Bengali, you needn’t to be secular. In our personal life, religion has its own influence and one can’t deny it. Most people will not, as these people will observe with full enthusiasm the Eid or Durga Puja when it comes.

I personally enjoyed the Baishak with my family and a child and went to Mela, enjoyed the cultural function ( thrilled by seeing a snake dance) and attended a family dinner with baishakhi dishes.

An ordinary citizen

Defining fashion from Bangladesh perspective March 26, 2009

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, Culture.
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The rich are always fashion concsious, as a way to express their affuence, the tendency is now spilled over to middle class with the flow of more money to this group and projection and popularisation of the trend by the media.

We are not against the present rise of trend in the fashion. But what we worry is the tendency to drift way from our own culture among some of our fashion designers. The values and attitudes to life is actually arise out of long tradition, culture and philosophy.

Modesty in dress and behaviour was and is always a basic component of our culture. We shouldn’t cross it in comtemporary fashion also. Expression of sensuality is not taken as expected by the larger population. So they don’t like to see the news caster, a preserter or like to be sensual. Sexism is the last thing one would like to see in the day to day fashion in Bangladesh.

There is some tendency to change our fashion in the line of western culture. But they have to understand that the main essence of our fashion is to be more artisitic than to be sensual and sexy. I was listening to a talk show where Mostafa Monwar, one of our most creative artist, as telling how wonderful it is to look at sharee folding on itself and bleding a women artististically.

It is nice to see that many new designers could feel the essence of Bangladesh culture and are concentrating on more artistic presentation of their product than sensuality and sexism.

An ordianry citizen

21 February: emotions vs reality February 21, 2009

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, Culture, EDUCATION.
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21st February is observed with all its grandeur. President and Prime Minister of the country placed the floral wreath on the first minute of the day in the middle of the night. Then the ministers, opposition leaders, MPs of parliaments, teachers of universities, journalists and people from all walks of life endlessly streamed through the Shahid Minar throughout the day. BTV telecast the event live till 12 noon,though people continued to come to the Minar even after that. The same scenario one would get in every towns and villages of the country.

In Bangladesh, no other event is observed with so much grief and festivity. It is at the same time an event of loss and achievement. We have lost some of our greatest sons of the soil. But in exchange, we have achieved the dignity of our mother tongue. The world has given the recognition of the sacrifice by recognizing 21st February as the International Mother Language Day. There is no way to deny that language movement reap the seed of liberation in our heart.

But there is many things left yet to achieve. Though Bangla is our state language, it is still not practiced in all works of state craft.

Though Bangla is the medium of education in our mainstream schools and colleges, but higher and technical education are still beyond it’s reach.

More disturbing is the growing spread of the English medium schools in our cities which rather nourish alien cultures. It is no harm to know a foreign language rather the Bangla medium schools should be more equipped with the teaching of English as a language but when an institution affects your culture one should be cautious about that.

State supported little the basic research on language. Bangla Academy become more a social organization than a research one. It become more involved in organizing events than carrying out research. Most of the books that Bangla Academy so far published are less significant in its substance. Government should then have a separate research organization on language or should have continued the Bangla Unnayan Academy with the same purpose.

Bangla cultural activities also didn’t get good state support. Bangladesh Council which was destined to develop Bangla culture didn’t continue for long after liberation.

We should concentrate our efforts to preserve our language and literature, to support more research works, to nourish more intellectual works, to translate more world literature and to produce more academic works.

We also couldn’t show adequate respect to our language martyrs. Enough time has passed and we shouldn’t neglect our own spirit.

An ordinary citizen

Valentine’s day, culture and commercialisation February 14, 2008

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, Culture.
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Valentine’s day is observed in the memory of Valentine, a priest who lost his life during the reign of Roman Emperor, 2rd Claudisius in promoting love in contrast to the contemporary trend. The Day is symbolized to express the love in more expressive way.

It is in contrast to the culture in Bangladesh where the expression of love is more subdued and in no way eventful. We also stress more value on the persistence of love throughout life than on the expression of love on a single day.

Bangladesh acquainted with the valentine culture not long ago. It was virtually promoted by Shafique Rahman, editor of Zai Zai Din in 90’s. He had long exposure to western culture during his career in the media in UK. He started to publish special issues of his journal on Valentine’s Day with full of stories.

Bashanta utshav (Spring festival) which falls on 13th February is more akin to the culture of Bangladesh. The day is cerebrated on the first day of Spring in a colorful way with songs and dances to express happiness on the coming of spring. .

In Bangladesh, the Valentine’s Day has got more universal form of love- love for all, encompassing affection to children to respect for the elders. Most of the people ,young and old, when asked , will give you that impression of universal love.

Valentine’s day is also promoted more for commercial purposes than for culture.

Valentine’s day is focused more in the media and different entertainment programs are shown for the nostalgic viewers of the drawing rooms of the upper and middle class people.

It has little association with the common people –who have no luxury to make the day especial.

An ordinary citizen



Paris Exhibition and theft of archaeological works at Zia airport December 24, 2007

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, Culture.
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[Updated on 28 Dec 2007 ]
Photo: Daily Star

Two 1500 years old terracotta Vishnu statues have been stolen from the Zia airport when it was about to shift to Paris by an Air France cargo plane. The statues are highly valuable and important proof of our rich cultural history.

In reaction, French Ambassador said that the disappearance of the statues is highly suspicious and could be result of a conspiracy to embarrass France and Bangladesh(Daily Star).

A group of art lovers was against the transfer of the artifacts[see earlier post].

The art connoisseurs has expressed anger on the theft and demanded the arrest of all people who were responsible for sending the artifacts. They term the whole process as the biggest cultural disasters and blame the government for not hearing them for not sending the artifact to Paris for display.

The French Ambassador has said to the journalists that the issue was given unnecessary publicity by a section of people which created such a situation(ATN).

The Adviser for Cultural Affairs Ayub Quadri said that the responsibility of this mishap lies with him and he personally is of the opinion to suspend the transfer of the artworks until the theft materials are found out. But he continued the ultimate decision will depend on the Government as it is related with many other issues such as contract between France and Bangladesh, international relations between the two countries etc(ATN).

In the mean time, government has formed a committee a committee to find out the stolen statues. The police have taken all out efforts, 10 men were arrested, and many have been questioned. Interpol has also been contacted. The authority has said that once the statues are found all who are connected to the theft will bring to the court of justice.


An ordinary citizen

Post Script: 26 Dec 07 0-30 am BDT

The Advisers’ Committee met yesterday and decided not to send the relics to Paris for displaying in the GUIMET Museum. The Government decided to inform the backgroud of the decision in a letter to the French authorities.


Stolen statue 1 : Vishnu

After government decision , remaining 143 artifacts were taken back to the National Museum. The government also took the decision to bring back the 43 artifact earlier sent to the GUIMET museum.


Stolen statue 2 : Bust of Vishnu

People of different sections are criticizing the government for their earlier decision.

But the decision could be a different one – to continue ahead with the program and to find out the stolen statues and related persons.

The government will only feel relieved if the stolen statues are found out and the French Ambassador will feel comfort if his accusation is proved true (that the people who opposed the shipment has created the situation).

In the meantime, Ms. Matiya Chy, Presidium member of AL criticized the comment and expression of the French Ambassador and urged the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to take up the matter.

15 persons who were on duty in the cargo village on the day have been arrested and remanded for interrogation.

But so far there is no progress in the recovery of the theft statues.

( Source: Daily Star, Channel Eye)


26.12.07 11-30 pm BDT (GMT+6)


It is reported on the TV channels as breaking news that Adviser, Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs Ayub Quadri tendered his resignation on the background of the theft of two statues at Zia International airport.


27 Dec 12-30 pm BDT (GMT+6)

News link : Ayub Quadri resigns amid uproar of artifact theft

27 Dec 11-30 pm BDT

President of the Bangladesh accepted the resignation of Ayub Quadri. Most of the advisers’ told the incident as sad and unfortunate. But the Law Adviser Barrister Moinul Hussain said that it was to some extent induced by the media who raise demand for his resignation over a petty matter like a theft in the airport and the decision to send the artifact to French was of the Care Taker Government, not of him alone. But to resign was his own decision.

The ordinary citizen also feel that the incident as itself was not significant enough to resign. Then was he hurt for some other reasons? Did he use the incident to dissociate himself from a gradually unpopularized government or did he want to avoid himself to confront a complex political situation in future in Bangladesh? The answers of all these speculations are beyond the ordinary citizen reach.

Meanwhile, it is reported that the broken pieces of the statues are recovered from a dustbin. Experts are examining the pieces but they are yet sure about the finding.

7 more people has been arrested including 1 ex MP and 1 deputy secretary of Bangladesh government in relation to theft of the statues.( TV news)


28 dec 00-45 am BDT

News link : Stolen artifacts destroyed


29 Dec 2007

Broken pieces of stolen statues are recovered

Paris Exhibition, controversies and final judgment by the Supreme Court December 21, 2007

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, Culture.
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paris-exibition.jpgControversy developed when a contract was signed between the Ambassador of France and the Secretary, Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Bangladesh to send 188 archaeological items to Paris for exhibition in GUIMET Museum, Paris.

Though such exhibition is not a new one and artworks from many other countries have been displayed before in the museum but some art lovers from Bangladesh stood against the display, expressed their fear of lost, theft, replication, even accident on the way, in the press conference and filed a case in the high Court to ban the movement.

Though Ministry of Cultural Affairs tried their best to convince the people who were against the movement and the French Ambassador himself gave the assurance from his government, many critics remain unconvinced. Ultimately full bench of Supreme Court had to give judgment to permit the government to send the items for exhibition in Paris.

The lawyer in favour of plaintiff said that they are not against the exhibition but what they want is the transparency of the process and security of the items.

But even after the Supreme Court given the permission, some people tried to obstruct the final passage of the items to Paris from the National Museum.

All this controversies make the exhibition delayed to 9th January which will continue upto 31 st March 2008, the Museum had to say, was beyond their will.

They acknowledged Bangladesh has rich archaeological heritage of great civilizations of centuries in contrast to common perception of a country of natural catastrophe. 4 great religions of the history Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism and Islam are represented in the archaeological works of Bangladesh.


You may visit the site of the GUIMET Museum and have a look into the activities of the museum.

An ordinary citizen

28 Dec 2007 00-15am

related post: Paris exhibition and theft of archaeological works at Zia airport