Page 1

vol 3 Issue 43 | FRIDAY, February 19, 2016

Dhaka Tribune


Focus Linguistics


Sticks and stones


The Bong Momma



Volume 3 | Issue 43 | February 19, 2016 News

2 News 3 Meanwhile

Editor Zafar Sobhan Features Editor Sabrina Fatma Ahmad


Asst Magazine Editor Farina Noireet

Men’s Fashion

4 Tailored 5 Tempt Beauty

Weekend Tribune Team Saudia Afrin Moumita Ahmed N Anita Amreen Sakib Mridha Saqib Sarker Syeda Samira Sadeque Mahmood Sadi Shuprova Tasneem

9 Photo Story

A tale of untold stories

Advertisement Shahin Ahsan Production Masum Billah Circulation Masud Kabir Pavel Website Email your letters to:

12 Sticks and stones Speaking freely

13 Sign language Talking hands Gastronomy

17 Language Music


14 Legalese 15 Drama Mama 18 Stay In 19 Go Out 20 The Bong Momma

Cartoons Syed Rashad Imam Tanmoy Priyo

Colour Specialist Shekhar Mondal


16 Language

Contributors Minu Ahmed Khaled Hasan Dina Sobhan Iresh Zaker

Graphics Md Mahbub Alam Alamgir Hossain Tahsin Momin

8 Focus




About the cover

Editor’s note More than words February brings with it a bundle of stories. Stories of spring, stories of love, of revolutions and resolutions. And what are stories without words? In our Ekushay special, looking ahead to February 21, we celebrate words and languages in all their forms and incarnations. From the language of style, to the words to describe food; from sign language to the struggle to preserve a language or script, from photos worth a thousand words each to music that doesn’t require words, we’re spinning tales with words this week. Get a fresh start with our beauty

piece. Meet some foreigners who love our language at least as much as we do. We’ve spoken to experts in the culinary scene about how to talk about food. We had an animated chat with a sign language interpreter. Iresh Zaker talks about the freedom of dissent. Dina Sobhan talks about parenting and control. The Bong Momma talks about her roving Jellybean. So come, join the story circle and maybe share your own. Write to us at weekend@ Have a great week - Sabrina Fatma Ahmad

Wardrobe: Shadakalo Photo: Zia Uddin Model: Rizwana Alam Art direction: N Anita Amreen Baizid Haque Joarder

WE E K E N D TR I BU N E | FR I DAY, FE B R UARY 1 9, 20 1 6

2 News | This week Obama: No excuse for GOP not to vote on a court nominee

South Korea’s leader warns of North Korea collapse

named nominee, an indication his

Korea will take

party may be sensitive to Democrats’


escalating charges of unchecked

‘stronger and


more effective’

“I intend to do my job between

measures to make

now and January 20 of 2017,” Obama

North Korea

told reporters at a news conference.

realise its nuclear

He said to the nation’s senators, “I

ambitions will

expect them to do their job as well.”

result only in

Obama was in California for a

speeding up of its

President Barack Obama declared

meeting of Southeast Asian leaders

last week that Republicans have no

gathered for two days of diplomacy.

South Korea’s president warned

Park shut the park in response to

constitutional grounds to refuse to

But his attention was divided at that

last week that rival North Korea

the North’s recent long-range rocket

vote on a Supreme Court nominee,


faces collapse if it doesn’t abandon

test, which Seoul and Washington

its nuclear bomb program, an

see as a test of banned ballistic

and he challenged his political foes in

Since Scalia’s unexpected death

‘regime collapse.’

the Senate to rise above the ‘venom

at a Texas ranch on Saturday, White

unusually strong broadside that will

missile technology. North Korea last

and rancor’ that has paralysed

House lawyers and advisers have

likely infuriate Pyongyang.

month also conducted a nuclear test.

judicial nominations.

been scrambling to refine and vet a

President Park Geun-hye, in a

list of potential replacements, while

nationally televised parliamentary

further along it its quest for a nuclear

filling the seat of the late Justice

also devising a strategy to push

address defending her decision

armed missile that could reach the

Antonin Scalia as a test of whether

a candidate through the

the Senate could function, there

Republican-led Senate.

were early signs that Republican

Photo: AFP

As Obama cast the dispute over

Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley suggested he might be open to considering Obama’s yet-to-be

Russia and Turkey run risk of escalation over Syria

Without elaborating, Park said the

Korea, said South

North has diverted much of the Seoul

Weekend Tribune Desk

Turkey and Russia are already

up of its firepower

waging a proxy war in Syria as

in Syria, notably

Istanbul backs rebels against Syrian

deploying its latest S-400 air

government troops supported by

defense systems.


US mainland.

factory park in North

The world at a glance

resistance could be eroding. Senate

But the recent escalation in

to shut down a jointly run

Both developments put the country

payments to North Korean workers at the factory park to the Pyongyang leadership, which is in charge of nuclear and missile development. She also said the South has sent more than $3 billion in government and civilian aid to the North since mid-1990s. Photo: AP

the Information and Communication

An escalation is possible if Turkey launches the ground operation,

Police file case against Badwip publisher

Technology Act. Later, police sent the three to court seeking a seven-day remand in the incident, the DC also said.

rhetoric has sharpened fears of

said independent military analyst

a direct confrontation, warn the

Alexander Golts: “Russia will

analysts concerned.

face the alternative to evacuate

Police last week have filed a case

about ‘the religious provocative book’

immediately and lose face or launch

against detained Badwip Prakashan

from different social media site and

a ground operation.”

publisher, Shamsuzzoha Manik and

the intelligence unit’s report. We have

two others on charge of selling a

kept eyes on social networking media

The climate of confrontation has intensified since late November when Turkish F-16 fighters downed a

This showdown has sparked

In reply to a query, the DMP official said - “We have received information

Russian bomber plane which Ankara

concern in Washington and Brussels

book with content that could hurt

to spot such messages.”

said strayed into its air space.

as Turkey is a NATO member and can

religious sentiments.

The book’s online version went

rely on support of other members if

The other accused are Shamsul

viral and that was why they filed

‘stab in the back’ with economic

there is an attack on its soil, making

Alam, the stall’s manager, and Fakir

the lawsuit under the ICT act, Abdul

sanctions followed by a beefing-

the current situation potentially

Taslim Uddin Kajol, owner of the

Baten continued.

book’s printing press.

Source: Dhaka Tribune

Russia was swift to react to this

explosive. “Even while

WEEKEN D TR I BU N E | F R I DAY, F E B R UARY 19, 201 6

Dhaka Metropolitan


DC (Ramna zone)

official support

Abdul Baten

for Turkey, NATO

disclosed it in a

will do all it can

press briefing held

to restrain the

in Shahbag police

Turks from any

station on Tuesday

abrupt moves in


Syria,” Golts said.

He said that they

Photo: AP

filed the case under

. . . Meanwhile


Photo of the week

A photographer, at Drik Gallery, captured in the act of capturing a photo. Photo: Sakib Mridha

say what?

Chinese farmer builds clay castle for dead brothers


Chinese farmer spent a decade

unusual structure has become a local

in single-handedly building a

tourist attraction, with people stopped

towering, seven-story home

by to take photos or just marvel at it.

out of clay, wood and bricks for his two brothers.

The People’s Daily reported that social media users in China are calling

Hu Guangzhou, 55, began work on

it ‘a real-life version of Howl’s Moving

the unusual home in 2006, when his

Castle’ after the magical transforming

siblings died.

building in the Hayao Miyazaki film of

Hu is described as mentally ill and lives on government subsidies as well

the same name. Despite the fact that the structure

as free steamed buns from a local shop.

looks like a ramshackle tower that

He refuses to believe his brothers are

can collapse at any time, Hu lived

dead and built the tower for them to

inside it, China News reported. He was

live in when they return to Shandong

eventually persuaded to move into a

province in the country’s east, the

properly built house.

Epoch Times reported.

The village is currently building Hu a

Local officials didn’t have the heart to take down his creation and now the

new home. n Source: Huffington Post

WE E K E N D TR I BU N E | FR I DAY, FE B R UARY 1 9, 20 1 6

4 Tailored | Men’s Fashion

The allure of style Updating your wardrobe season by season is an important duty Mahmood Hossain


matter the look, this stage is where

Style Tip: Try out as many combinations

looks and images in specific

Style Tip: Don’t go overboard with the

compromising on fit only leaves room

as possible. You have the freedom to

areas of society can be a

accessories. Casual means casual, you

for a nudge or two. Swapping out

create an entire signature look if you

little misleading. Too often

want to look relaxed. Two or three pieces

trousers for some dressy jeans, a blazer

have the patience and know-how.

are we purchasing items in fashion for

will do but nothing to distract the eyes

instead of a suit jacket and no tie, or

Shoes of choice: Loafers (suede)

the wrong reasons. An attractive style

from your outfit.

just a dress shirt and trousers without

brings a significant amount of respect

Shoes of choice: Sneakers (not athletic or

the jacket are all the characteristics of


and acceptance. It doesn’t necessarily

gym shoes)

the semi-formal look.

There’s so much swagger in a formal

ommercialising certain

mean you have to blow out an entire

This look isn’t just for the day-to-day

outfit that you won’t even have to

pay cheque for fancy clothing. What it

The bridge

work hours, it’s also the preferred outfit

worry about compromising. And

actually means is that you’ve taken the

Semi-formal is the bridge that

for date night or certain get-togethers

with this look, there should be no

correct steps in investing for a better

connects casual and formal. While

that might let you loosen things up a bit

compromising when it comes to fit.

image, for a better future.

there shouldn’t be any real confusion

by the end of the evening. What’s most

This also goes for the job you might

about this term, it can get a tad tricky

important at this level is how much

have that requires you to wear a suit

judgemental, your first impression and

when coming up with an outfit or

freedom you’ll have when mixing and

everyday. Tuxedos in special occasions

how you look makes a huge difference.

coordinating what you have in front

matching. In better terms, you’ll look

are one thing, but it can get a little

When you’ve invested on the right

of you. In most places, the semi-

forward to complimenting one item in

difficult coming up with new looks over

clothes and accessories, others will

formal look is what you would usually

the outfit and work your way around

and over again, especially if it’s work

only receive you in careful approach. In

wear to work or to the office. Even

it. It’s like the MVP and his supporting

related. Getting yourself tailor-made

their minds, you’ve done a great deal to

though fitting is always important no

team mates. Go for the win, gentlemen.

suits in the basic black, grey and navy

While not all individuals are

look as good as you are. They see and

colours will last for quite some time.

acknowledge you’ve gone out of your

Keep your look simple and stay away

way to put enough effort into looking

from loud prints on shirts and ties. Keeping your look classic

presentable. And in doing so, people will feel more receptive towards an

throughout will make people think you

individual who actually cares about the

have an entire closet of perfectly fitted

little details.

suits. Once you’ve found yourself in a more stable and comfortable financial

Responsibly casual

situation, the ball out like an NBA star.

We’re assuming that you gentlemen

Get yourself to the tailors often and let

know the difference between casual

the workmanship shine.

wear and going completely bum mode. The truth is you don’t need to

Style Tip: Stick to three tones. You

wear those expensive and in-trend

should never wear more than a

sweatpants to fit in or look the part.

maximum of three different colours

Heading out casual really hasn’t

at once. Keep things simple and

changed much. Subtle changes in your


outfit do exactly that. The untucking of

Shoes of choice: Lace-ups (patent-leather

the shirt, wearing short sleeves instead

or brogues)

of long or slipping on quality leather sandals are all alterations to an outfit


that can make you look completely

Keeping the habit of grooming yourself


properly and taking care of every

This style of clothing should always

purchase as an important investment

be reserved for your off-days or for

will only make life easier. What you

a casual hangout. What you wear at

might end up noticing is that dressing

home is your business, but out in public

well also improves the quality of your

requires a little more effort. At this

lifestyle. No, we’re not talking about

stage of the week, you aren’t trying to

globetrotting or yacht hopping. We’re

impress anyone but at the same time be

highlighting the fact that your joy

welcoming; you actually want people

quotient turns up a notch, in turn,

to hangout with you. Also, this goes

leaning towards a slightly healthier

without saying, groom yourself well

lifestyle. Once you look good, you’ll feel good and let the rest follow. n

and take showers every single day. Illustration: Priyo/Dhaka Tribune

WEEKEN D TR I BU N E | F R I DAY, F E B R UARY 19, 201 6

Beauty | Tempt


Beneath your beautiful Barefaced and judgement-free Sabrina Fatma Ahmad


omen have had it

Scrub, exfoliate, and deep clean with a

Bag to basics: Whether or not you

face clean, hydrated, and protected,

pretty hard just dealing

formulation that suits your particular

wear make-up, be sure to pack three

and look fresh always.

with constant scrutiny

skin type. Follow through with a

things in your purse: facial wipes (baby

and policing of their

pore-reducing toner, and moisturise

wipes work wonders too!), sunscreen


bodies, their choices, their words and

generously, and you’ll get a beautiful,

lotion, and a moisturiser that suits

Exfoliation isn’t just for your face.

actions, without social media weighing

natural glow that no amount of

your skin. Through discreet touch-ups

While brushing your teeth in the

in and magnifying the problems. If

shimmer can fake.

throughout the day, you can keep your

morning, gently run your toothbrush

there’s one thing that never fails to

over your lips to get the blood flowing,

spark off debates, it’s the amount of

and to remove any flaky dead skin.

make-up women wear/don’t wear.

Follow through with a lip sugar scrub to

When it comes to women who don’t

add some volume to the lips. To finish,

wear make-up, and react negatively

layer on the lip balm, or even just

to the pressure to do so, or women

Vaseline to lock in the moisture, and

who complain that on days they skip

you’ve got a natural, healthy pout.

the make-up they have to put up with questions about illness or fatigue, it

Bag to basics: Definitely pack lip balm.

quickly becomes a rant about media

It can be tinted if you want a little

messages and their busy, busy life.

colour, but that’s totally optional.

Here’s the thing. It’s okay to sport a full face of make-up every day, if


that’s your thing. Make-up is a form

Since eye contact is such a big part of

of self expression, and people wear

communication, you can bet that your

it for different reasons. It’s also okay

peepers get a lot of attention every day.

to opt out of said artistry. But going

Keep those brows tamed with tweezing

bare-faced, and just letting yourself go

to keep some semblance of order even

are two very different things. If you’re

if, and particularly if you like natural

planning to be taken seriously, you

brows. Make massaging the under eye

need to take yourself seriously, and

area with a soothing eye cream part of

good grooming is an absolute must.

your daily regimen, to keep those dark

So if you’re resentful about all those

circles and bags at bay. Use an eyelash

comments about being tired, or sick, or

curler to give those lashes a little lift,

made to feel less beautiful without the

and you’re ready to go.

warpaint, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your skincare routine. Here’s how to do

Bag to basics: You really don’t need

the no-makeup look right.

any tools, but if you must, carry a small

The face

mirror to make sure the inner corners of your eyes are clean. Do remember to

Pimples, wrinkles and scars are

take frequent breaks from the screen in

testament that you’re fighting the

order to prevent redness.

battle called life, and believe it or not,

In conclusion, just taking about

people don’t notice them as much as

5-6 minutes in the morning every day

you do. Greasy, ashy, dirty skin, and

to clean and groom can help you feel

“computer face” however, does raise

much better, with or without make up.

eyebrows. So, in addition to cultivating

Square those shoulders, raise that chin,

a healthy lifestyle involving plenty of

and face the day with confidence, and

hydration, sleep and a balanced diet,

you’ll be feeling your best. n

begin your mornings with a good clean.

WE E K E N D TR I BU N E | FR I DAY, FE B R UARY 1 9, 20 1 6

6 Focus | Bhabnagar

Bangla without borders Views from foreign academics who love our language Shuprova Tasneem


habnagar, which was first released by Vabnagar Foundation on August 2014, is an international journal of Bengal studies edited by Saymon Zakaria, folklore specialist and Assistant Director at Bangla Academy. “We want to protest against neglect of the Bangla language and our culture, and Bhabnagar is our way of doing that. Our aim is to ensure that we in Bangladesh have access to the amazing work done in Bengali studies by foreign academics, and to put these academics on one platform where they can unite and collaborate on writing about our language, culture and history.

We also want to inspire further research on Bengali studies, and create the possibilities of setting up Bengali Studies departments in universities, both home and abroad.” What makes Bhabnagar truly unique are its contributors, people of all nationalities and even from different academic disciplines, united by their love of the Bengali language and culture. So much so that every single word in this journal, written by Bangladeshis or not, is written in Bangla. To celebrate International Mother Language Day, we asked a few of its regular contributors of how they got drawn to the Bangla language, and why they love it so much.


ow does a bideshi woman like

was aroused and there was no stopping

me come to spend most of


her time working on Bengali grammar?

When we moved back to England

I am a linguist and have always had a

in 1995, I wrote Essential Everyday

passion for learning languages. It all

Bengali, my dictionary, specifically

started when we moved to Dhaka in

meant for foreigners who want to

199 – my husband is a development

learn Bangla in order to communicate.

worker, and I was hoping to do some

I have spent the last four years doing

literacy work in Bangladesh. And that’s

a doctoral thesis on Bangla grammar.

when it happened: I fell instantly and

Getting my doctorate is an accreditation

irrevocably in love with this language

of my work but it is also a validation of

– and my life changed in an unforeseen

my love for Bangla and a confirmation

direction. I spent the first few months

that this love has a right to exist.

literally immersing myself in Bangla,

For someone as spellbound by a

constantly asking people to repeat

language as I am by Bangla, it is often

themselves, just to drink in these

advisable to couch that state of affairs

sounds, learning dozens of new words

in terms of a well-defined academic

every day, endlessly practising their

interest in order to be taken seriously.


Being in love with a language would,

I recall the instant delight on first

to many Europeans, appear eccentric

hearing words like shadharonto,

or absurd. In my experience, Bengalis

brihoshpotibar, durbhaggoboshotoh

are different. They understand how

and, on the very first day, —projapoti.

someone can feel passionately about

Do Bengalis recognise the sheer beauty

Bangla because they feel the same.

of these words? Do Bengalis notice

Bengalis understand that language can

the wilful and breath-taking force of

affect us on a level which goes deeper

shatchollish, aatchollish, unoponchash,

than mere intellectual interest and they

ponchash, and then, listen ekanno,

recognise that the Bangla language

bahanno? There is music here, a sudden

almost inevitably evokes a passionate

space and release after the tension of all


these sibilants – what beauty! My first letter in clumsy, crooked

WEEKEN D TR I BU N E | F R I DAY, F E B R UARY 19, 201 6

Dr. Hanne-Ruth Thompson, Research

Bangla writing, was nothing less than a


sensual experience. My formal learning

Department of the Languages and

of Bangla was limited, but my interest

Cultures of South Asia, SOAS

7 “M

y interest in South Asian

Muslim literature of Bengal.

culture and history dates


For me, writing in Bengali is a way

back from my childhood. My mother

to interact more productively with my

was herself fascinated by the ancient

Indian and Bangladeshi colleagues

history, art and philosophy of this

and to contribute to the scholarly

region, and took classes on Asiatic art

discussion in both countries, but

at the Ecole du Louvre. While she did

it is also a matter of intellectual

that, I would participate in children’s

content. Writing in Bengali allows

activities around the various religious

me to address different issues and

traditions and mythologies of Asia.

use a terminology that is richer and

When I finished high school,

more adapted to the subject when

French translations of Rabindranath

it comes to discuss literary matters.

Tagore’s works that I had read and

I also enjoy the flexibility of the

discussions with my Bengali friends in

academic language and the possibility

India convinced me that I should join

one has to create new terms and

the Bengali programme at the Institut

shift registers – when compared to

des Langues et Civilisations Orientales

English and French, Bengali has a

in Paris. There, my interest for history

remarkable potential for expressivity.

n 2009 I was in Kolkata to better

mastered the language. After

was redirected towards language

I would certainly not pretend that I

understand the problem of

returning to Seattle I took Bengali

and literature and I soon resolved to

am a prolific author of Bengali texts,

human trafficking along border routes

language classes at the University

specialise in these domains. In order

and each talk or essay that I prepare

with Nepal, and realised I knew next

of Washington which also helped

to practice the language and buy

requires a tremendous effort, but it is

to nothing about what was going on

improve my skills.

books, every summer, I would go to

always an enlightening and enjoyable

India and Bangladesh. I also studied


beyond the borders. Out of curiosity, I

As for what makes me love the

applied for a year-long Fulbright grant

language so much, there are two main

Persian, which combined with my

to teach /research in Bangladesh,

things. First I have to say that it’s so

trips to Bangladesh and a long stay

Thibaut d’Hubert, Assistant

and was accepted. Over this whole

nice to be treated as a part of a big

in Murshidabad – the place where


period, I started to really become

Bengali family whenever speaking

I actually learned how to speak in

South Asian Languages and

interested in the tantric traditions of

the language — most people are so

Bangla – led me to specialise in the

Civilizations, The University of Chicago

the dosh mohabidya and the goddess

welcoming and light up whenever

Kali more generally, which made me

you start speaking, and express such

extremely interested in Bengali and

warmth, hospitality and love that

Sanskrit culture.

sometimes it’s enough to bring one to

My first real motivation in

tears. The second thing I love is the

learning Bengali was to learn Bengali

structure of the language itself, which

traditions in their original context. In

in poetry can express some of the

Bangladesh I quickly also came into

most difficult concepts in such few

contact with artists and sadhus who

words and with such unbelievable

sing the songs of Lalon, and started

simplicity. The rhymes are great too!”

to appreciate Bengali Sufi traditions as well. After spending much time

Keith Cantú, Doctoral Student,

traveling all over the countryside with

Religious Studies, University of

these communities, spending many

California at Santa Barbara

nights at melas and akhras, I gradually


am still learning the

in Japan is the late Professor Nara of

language and culture

Tokyo University of Foreign Studies,

of Bengal, and so I can say

who was President of International

I am a lover of Bangladeshi

Society of Bengal Study. Prof. Nara

culture, but still I have a

organised a strong campaign of

lot of things to learn. My

grassroots support in Japan for the

first interest in the Bengali

liberation war of Bangladesh, just after

culture is Rabindranath

war broke out in 1971. So I have also

Tagore and Baul songs, which

learned the history of the liberation

I started to read in Japanese

struggle and the Language Movement

translation during my high

of Bangladeshi people during my

To read issues of the journal,

school days, but soon I came

course work. It is my dream to stay

visit http://vabnagarfoundation/

to understand that without

in Bangladesh, and get closer to the

journal/Bhabnagar. Bhabnagar

reading the original texts in

simplicity of rural life with Baul singers.”

is also available at Aziz Super

Bangla, I cannot appreciate

Market and Concord Emporium

and enjoy the real meanings

Togawa Masahiko, Ph. D. Associate

in Dhaka, Boimela in Kushtia,

of the literature. So, I decided


Boipotro in Sylhet and

to start to learn Bangla after

Graduate School for International

Prachyoshonghe in Jessore.

entering graduate school.

Development and Cooperation,

My first teacher of Bengali

Hiroshima University

WE E K E N D TR I BU N E | FR I DAY, FE B R UARY 1 9, 20 1 6

8 Focus | linguistics

To each their own accent In rural Khagrachori, tales of a language being rediscovered and re-explored by the current generation

found in the education of certain indigenous communities – such as certain kind of mathematical problems. The children, who go from preprimary till the 5th grade, go through an intensive course. They begin their education in 100% Chakma, and over the next five years, slowly transition

Syeda Samira Sadeque

into a 100% Bengali-medium education system.


Shonapoti Chakma, who dropped

t’s a dusty, sunny afternoon in

before starting secondary school, now

Deeghinala, a village in rural

has two sons who study under BRAC’s

Khagrachori. The lands are

MLE programme. Although she herself

quiet except the occasional

doesn’t know how to read Chakma, her

conversations between shopkeepers

sons sometime read out to her – making

and autorickshaw-drivers. Amid this

her beam with pride.

silence, a handbook in white paper,

The assimilation is helping a current

boasting fonts in a script that is not

generator of Chakma students learn

Bengali, stands out at one of the shops.

their own language in a formal setting.

“It’s Tk10,” the shopkeeper tells us.

As Ranagdon aptly says: “The current

The book, written in a combination of

age is the age of education. The little

Bengali and Chakma, is a guidebook

we can contribute to the eradication of

for those interested in learning Bengali

illiteracy is our responsibility.”

through Chakma, or vice versa. It has a few pages on the phonetics, some

A call for home

passages, and a newsletter at the end.

Our own language, its scripts, its

The availability of these books in the

accents define our roots, our identity.

local market is new – and growing, says

Language, at the end of the day,

Sametri Chakma, Branch Manager at

is a matter of home. No matter

BRAC Preprimary and Primary School,

preserve their indigenous identity.

culture of immersing children from

how prevalent elsewhere, if it one

in Deeghinala of Khagrachori. “Earlier,

In the last decade, BRAC, through its

indigenous communities into an

doesn’t feel that they belong to it, it

they didn’t used to be this easily

education programmes since 2008, has

education system which is entirely

is impossible to acquire it. To settle

available – but now you can find them

worked to include indigenous

designed in Bengali, without any

with it. So, to assume that children

at stores and in museums.”

languages in order for children to

preparation or transition, says Swapan

from the indigenous communities can

transition into a Bengali-

Chakma, Sector Specialist at the

jump from their mother-tongue to a

Education for Ethnic Children at BRAC.

completely foreign language, no matter

Inclusion in the age of education Sametri isn’t the only one noticing


education system,

This would discourage many

how mainstream, is rather naïve – and

this change. These days, Rangadon

Changing a pattern

students from continuing their

problematic. It not only homogenises

Chakma, a farmer in Deeghinala, has

BRAC’s Multi Lingual Education

schooling, as the leap from a spoken

the society, but further discourages

noticed the change in his household

(MLE) programme, which was first

language at home to a foreign language

those from a different linguistic

after having sent three of his eight sons

implemented in 2008, was initiated

in school, that too in academics, was

background from pursuing education

to BRAC schools which taught them

with the attempt to help indigenous

too difficult for them.

and other attainments in the society.

both Chakma and Bengali.

children have a proper transition from

“Our sons now understand and can

Today, BRAC’s MLE project is

“When communities lose their

their mother tongue to Bengali, the

changing that scenario, with their

culture, nothing is more unfortunate

learn Chakma language – and it’s very

mainstream language used in all public

current reach across 40 schools. In

than that,” says Muktasree, “because

convenient,” says Rangadon.


2013, first batch of students, who had

they lose the ground where they can

been taught Bengali through a proper

stand up.”

Although the largest indigenous

Indigenous children have in the past

community in Bangladesh, the Chakma

dropped out of school for struggling to

transition from their own mother

community has mostly passed on its

assimilate with an educational system

tongue of Chakma language, graduated.

language through an oral – and often

entirely set in Bengali. A 2012 New Age

informal – tradition.

report states that a “significant number”

address many indigenous communities

he doesn’t have anymore. The fear

of indigenous children drop out of

– both in the hilly and plain lands, and


still maintain close ties with Chakma

schools due to a lack of a multilingual

we provide education for them,” says

culture and tend to pass their culture to

system that would allow them to

Limia Dewan, Programme Manager

true at a time when there are rising

their kids,” Muktasree Chakma Sathi, a

understand through their own language.

for Educating Ethnic Children, and

concerns of the disappearance of the

Children with Special Needs at BRAC.

indigenous cultures from our country.

“There are many families who

researcher and activist in Bangladesh.

“About 80% dropout of primary

“There are many temples in CHT

education mainly because of linguistic

“We started this programme to

Dewan says in order to allow

At the shop in Deeghinala, when we asked for more copies of the Chakma guidebook, the shopkeeper told us

Muktasree’s statement holds

The indigenous languages, especially,

who used to teach kids (in some cases

problems and discriminatory

full engagement in the educational

are at a threat of disappearing – and

even adults) indigenous languages,”

behaviours,” read the report, further

system, especially for a proper

being unlearned – in small steps,

says Muktasree.

adding that the cited survey recorded

bridging between the languages, they

one-less-book at a time. But with

Although these practices are now

70% teachers saying they faced

follow the 10-30-60 curriculum which

programmes such as BRAC’s MLE and

slowly eroding, there are some regional

difficulty in explaining the text

involves 10% of instruction, 30% of

other inclusive education curriculum,

political parties who have also taken

materials to the children as they did not

demonstration, 60% of participation.

there’s hope for the indigenous

similar initiatives to teach activists

understand Bangla.

They also incorporate many issues in

communities to start coming home to

the curriculum that are specifically

their own languages. n

indigenous languages as a strategy to

This problem stemmed from the

WEEKEN D TR I BU N E | F R I DAY, F E B R UARY 19, 201 6

A tale of untold stories | Photo Story

Untold Stories Photos: Khaled Hasan


Khaled Hasan is a documentary photographer and filmmaker, who began work in 2001 as a freelancer for several daily newspapers in Bangladesh and for international magazines. His documentary project ‘Living Stone’ by CIWEM won him numerous international awards some of which include – the 2008 All Roads Photography Contest of National Geographic Society; the 2009 Grand Prix “Europe and Asia – Dialogue of Cultures” International Photography Contest organized by Museum of Photography, Russia; 2009 Mark Grosset Documentary Prize, France; and UNESCO’s Humanity Photo Documentary Award, China. His works have been exhibited in many countries including Britain, Mexico, France, Syria, Russia, China, Canada, Uzbekistan and USA. As an indigenous photographer, he tells narratives of the land that shaped him. Documenting stories about its people and their interaction with nature, healing and surviving from times of distress, fighting for rights, toiling for food, women’s rights and standing against injustice are the primary issues he features in his works. Hasan says he finds it “easier to get information from a person about their life through photography rather than speaking with them.” This week’s photo story features some of the extraordinary work by this talented photographer, of everyday survivors, who’s stories otherwise remain untold.

WE E K E N D TR I BU N E | FR I DAY, FE B R UARY 1 9, 20 1 6

10 Photo Story | A tale of untold stories

WEEKEN D TR I BU N E | F R I DAY, F E B R UARY 19, 201 6


WE E K E N D TR I BU N E | FR I DAY, FE B R UARY 1 9, 20 1 6

12 sticks and stones| speaking freely

The Speech Bubble Why’s it so hard to listen to a different opinion? Iresh Zaker was okay with them saying whatever nonsense they wanted to spout. Most readers know a Facebook page called Basherkella. It was particularly active during the Shahbag times, and let’s just say wasn’t wholeheartedly supportive of the trial of war criminals. In fact their cover picture as I write calls for the immediate release of all remaining war criminals. Ostensibly the standard bearers of Islamic nationalism, this page had a long and charming tradition of lying and being quite abusive while doing it. An interpretation of the religion that I fail to understand to this day. I believe its members once called my mother a prostitute for telling a woman in her Prothom Alo Dear Abbey column that she should stop thinking about committing suicide for having engaged in physical relations with her husband to be before they got married. Like I


Photo: Bigstock

said, a wonderful bunch of people. Among other things, the overthrow

ebruary is significant for

is important. It allows people to

(okay fine I went ahead and assumed

of the present government being one,

many reasons. It is the only

communicate, sing songs about

that someone would read this). Aside

Basherkella has routinely called for

month that actually has a

Liverpool Football Club, and do all

from love and friendship, there is little

the forced cessation of all secularist

variable number of days.

sorts of other weird and groovy things.

that one can say these days that will

literature. And on February 15th, it

Of course, there is Valentine’s day,

I guess the fundamental reason why

not invite social opprobrium or legal

achieved a massive victory. A bookstall

which in a way makes it the month

language is important is because

hassle. Aside from infringing upon

in this years Boi Mela that featured

of love. February is when Facebook

it allows us to express. Express

the basic rights of individuals in any

books on debates about Islam and

was ostensibly born, and given that

love, hate, happiness, sadness, joy,

meaningful society, this has the added

religion in general was closed down

no friendship exists outside of social

and hopelessness. Sometimes that

charm of making us dumber as a nation.

by the police, and its publishers were

media, there is a compelling case to

expression can be unpleasant, if not

Facing disagreement is the surest way

arrested. The charge was hurting the

be made for calling this month the

downright disgusting, but it remains

of honing our own intellect. No one can

religious sentiment of the people.

month of friendship. Though I have a

important for our survival and

grow if they are not challenged. Not

feeling August might have something

perpetuation as a species. Which is why

being questioned is the most effective

Basherkella has reasons to celebrate the

to say about that. Personally speaking,

it is probably important that we allow

way of ensuring the atrophy of our

actions of a government that ostensibly

February is significant because this

as much latitude as we can possibly


regards secularism as one of its core

is the month that Bangladesh, and

afford to what kinds of expression is

Dhaka in particular, commences on a

permissible. Allowing someone else

2013 probably witnessed some of the

by while our words get taken away from

rapid descent to nine months of sweaty

to speak ensures that we too have

most violent war of words in social and

us one by one, I suspect that times will

misery, bad body odor, and prolonged

the same right. It also keeps things

public media. Being a vocal supporter

continue to get much stranger.

load sheddings. I don’t do well with

interesting. What fun is there in every

of the movement I had faced my share

heat, and that is why when the mercury

one saying the same thing? Boring I say.

of incredibly rude invective from

language, for that matter is not in

hits 30 sometime in the second or

But that is not the direction that we

The Shahbag movement of February

Times are indeed strange when

mandates. And so long as we idly stand

The glory of our language, or any

various members of the other side.

monotony but variety. It is not in

third week of the short month, I can

as a society are going in. It seems to me

Some of it I ignored, and some I fought.

silence but in volume. Let us remember

think of very little else. But my warmth

more and more, we are becoming less

But I can honestly say that the attacks

that. Let us make sure we are allowed

induced grouchiness aside, this week

and less tolerant about expressions that

ultimately helped me crystallise and

to say as many words as possible, and

is probably better spent talking about

do not adhere to arbitrary standards of

solidify my own stance. As hard as

not as few. That is the only meaningful

that other thing that makes February

propriety. So strict have these standards

some of those attacks were to bear,

way we can honor the martyrs who

special. Namely language.

become that I am not sure I can write

they made my convictions stronger and

died so that we can speak. When we

about what I cannot write about without

sounder. I hated my attackers but while

want to, how we want to, and where we

me or the paper getting into trouble

they stayed on their side of the aisle I

want to. n

I am not an expert but I have heard big people say that language

WEEKEN D TR I BU N E | F R I DAY, F E B R UARY 19, 201 6



The language of signs A look at the life and times of a sign language interpreter in Bangladesh N Anita Amreen


quick swipe through

or our own version of sign language.

national news channels

For me, sign language was a natural

is the more formalised Bangla sign

a deaf member. “I really think anyone

usually reveal the same

language,” Lata says. Both of Lata’s

language that you can learn via sign

with a minimum level of education

scene – a colourful

parents are deaf, but Lata grew up

language courses,” she continues. Born

can take these courses. However,

backdrop, a sari clad news presenter

without any hearing impairments,

to parents who studied “formal” sign

for children who don’t really know

and rare breaking news slugs that glare

pursuing both a standardised education

language from an early age, Lata picked

how to identify basic objects around

at you from the bottom of screens.

system as well as a formal study of

up both, feeling that sign language was

them – it’s harder to teach them the

This is usually followed by multiple

Bangla Sign Language. With the aid of

as close to being her mother tongue as

sign equivalent of those words,” Lata

scene changes and swift cuts as viewers

relatives and her parents, she was able



are taken back and forth between

to master the art of sign language as

narrations and video footage. While

well as develop a sound understanding

Limited chances

Impairment, authors Mohammad

all of this is generic broadcasting

and appreciation of the ability to delve

Although Lata has chosen to study sign

Alauddin( FRCS; FCPS; DLO) and Abul

footage, a quick look at BTV’s 2pm

into both kinds of language – the silent

language as her main form of higher

Hasnat Joarder (MBBS, FCPS) stated

news reveals quite an unusual sight – a

and the spoken.

education, there are very few like her

that the Bangladesh government runs

since the scope for work for those

seven deaf schools where education

with such degrees is minimal, if not

is free, while there are around thirty


non-government schools for the

small pop up window in the right hand

From the 2004 book Hearing

corner showing live video footage of

A mother tongue of its own

a woman simultaneously combining

Lata says that in many ways her life has

hand, arm and body gestures with

been a normal one, and in some ways it

facial expressions in a fluid trance.

hasn’t. “I wouldn’t really say that I had

study sign languages, the scope for

college for deaf education. While the

Arafat Sultana Lata is one of the few

to struggle. I learnt how to speak in sign

jobs is minimal. The highest level of

government has taken initiatives to

sign language interpreters hired by the

from a young age and also continued

education a deaf person can pursue is

integrate the deaf and their language

national TV channel to provide sign

my formal education. My childhood felt

probably HSC or SSC level,” Lata adds.

into the Bangladeshi system, such

language interpretations for daily news

like any other child’s except for when

A People and Language profile on the

as through the National Foundation

that is broadcast at 2pm, 5pm and 6pm.

it came to report card day or other

Deaf of Bangladesh by the Joshua

for Development of the Disabled

functions where my parents couldn’t

Project revealed that most deaf schools

which supports the fund for overall

three million hearing impaired,

attend.” With her father working as an

are located in cities; thus, the majority

development of all disabled including

sign language is the second largest

engineer, he never really struggled with

of the Bangladesh deaf in rural areas

the deaf, progress is slow.

language in the country based on

his hearing impairments, but made the

(72%) have no access to education,

number of language users. In 2009, the

best of the situation by working on his

making it difficult for them to pursue a

The way forward

government directed all TV channels

career and setting an example for his

degree or even learn sign language.

Alauddin and Hasnat recommend

to broadcast their news in Bangla sign

children. “I have never viewed sign

Society of the Deaf and Sign

establishment of special pre-schools,

language, but so far only Desh TV and

language as a disability or as a curse,

Language Users (SDSL) is the main

and schools for hearing impaired with

BTV have followed suit. When it comes

it has been a normal part of life,” she

organisation that works towards

free special education for those below

to organisations that promote and help


providing formal study of sign

the age of 18. Believing a student to

language courses that range from

teacher ratio of 1:7 would be ideal,

With Bangladesh home to almost

you learn the language of signs, the

Interestingly in Bangladesh, just as

“For deaf people or even those who

deaf. However, there is no special

numbers of this niche language are

in any other country, the language of

anything between seven days to three

they also suggest the inclusion of

both dismal and inadequate, with the

signs is not universal but is developed

months. It also promotes the rights of

rehabilitation, occupational and special

deaf community struggling to break

and created in the country by the deaf

the deaf community through advocacy

loan facilies in both the government

the seclusion between the hearing

community. “Essentially there are two

and use of the Right to Information Act.

and the private sector.

impaired and the hearing community.

kinds of sign language, one is ‘home

“We began our journey in 2008 as a

Despite the meagre progress made

signs’ developed naturally in groups

Disabled Person’s Orgasination (DPO)

in the rehabiliation of deaf people and

household where our main form of

of people interacting with each other

with a view to working for those who

the lack of awareness in the scope and

communication was via home signs,

in the same household. The other

are hearing impaired,” Abu Hamid Md

use of sign language, Lata still believes

Farhad, co-ordinator of SDSL, stated.

this is the ideal line of study she would

With approximately 50-70 similar such

like to pursue. “I have local certificates

organisations around the country,

on sign language from the country,

only 30-35 are registered with the

but this is not the end for me. If given

government, making it difficult to

the opportunity, I would like to study

gouge the number of disabled people

this further, regardless of whether or

there actually are in Bangladesh.

not I find jobs. It’s something close to

“I’ve been brought up in a

my heart and it is something I want to

Students usually range from NGO

Photos: Courtesy

workers who deal with the deaf, or

pursue to keep my passion for Bengali

people who hail from families that have

sign language alive.” n

WE E K E N D TR I BU N E | FR I DAY, FE B R UARY 1 9, 20 1 6

14 LEGALESE | Jennifer Ashraf

Settling disputes Q

I entered into an agreement with a supplier around a year back and have also returned to

him for repeat business since the first couple of business transactions were pleasant and easy to complete. We do not have a contract in the traditional sense that is on pen or paper, especially because I was reluctant to be tied down to one supplier. Therefore, most of our communication was done via email. Almost six months ago, I placed a huge order with my supplier and always deposited an advance payment of roughly $10,000 to him. However, since he received the money, he has been very reluctant about delivery and his sample quality has been worsening. I have been advised that without a contract, my best bet would be an outof-court settlement. I want the supplier to either return my deposit or deliver my order as soon as possible. What do you suggest?


Dear Reader, Thank you for writing in

Illustration: Priyo/Dhaka Tribune

to me. I am extremely sorry you are currently having this bad

experience. Business ethics is crucial, especially in this modern commercial environment. Sadly, many people fail to appreciate that. I noticed you

thereby avoiding any confusion in

be explored quite independently. ADR

Mediation has become very common


results in efficient problem disposal

in trying to resolve domestic relations

and also helps in preserving the

disputes (divorce, child custody,

business relationship between parties

visitation), and is often ordered by the

involved. In your case, I would highly

judge in such cases. Mediation also

recommend mediation.

has become more frequent in contract

There is a clear breakdown of rights and liabilities of the parties involved Dispute resolution is usually dealt

mentioned your reluctance to be tied

with and suggested appropriately

down to one supplier, hence the lack

within the contract.

of a traditional contract between you

Contracts do not necessarily have

Mediation is a process whereby a

and civil damage cases. There are

settlement of a dispute or controversy

professional mediators, or lawyers

both. We always tend to advise our

to bind for a long period of time – they

by setting up an independent

who do some mediation for substantial

client to enter into official contracts

can concern even a single shipment.

person between two contending

fees, but the financial cost is less than

during business endeavours. The

In this instance, I am presuming that

parties in order to aid them in the

fighting the matter out in court and

reason for this is threefold:

the principle communication between

settlement of their disagreement. In

may achieve early settlement and an

you and your supplier was via email.

International Law, mediation is the

end to anxiety. However, mediation

A commercial contract can be made

friendly interference of one state

does not always result in a settlement.

through email provided the terms of

in the controversies of nations. It

the contract is clear and lawful.

is recognised as a proper action to

your mediator will prepare a Mediation

There is a clear outline of terms and conditions of the proposed transaction,

Jennifer Ashraf Kashmi is a barrister and solicitor of England and Wales. She is currently Senior Partner at Legacy Legal Corporate

If your mediation is successful,

With relation to the out of

promote peace among nations. The

Agreement, which will then be signed

court settlement, you have been

individual who intervenes in order

by both parties. This will have the same

advised well. One of my frequent

to help the other parties settle their

legal value as that of a contract, with

recommendations to clients is to

dispute is called a mediator.

rights and liabilities and will also solve

explore alternative dispute resolution

Mediation differs from arbitration in

the problem of you not being protected

(ADR) – namely negotiation, mediation

which the third party (arbitrator) acts

by a contract in this instance. Hope I

or arbitration. Arbitration is usually

much like a judge but in an out-of-

have been able to help. Please do not

specified within contracts themselves,

court less formal setting but does not

hesitate to contact me if you have any

whilst mediation and negotiation can

actively participate in the discussion.

further queries. n

WEEKEN D TR I BU N E | F R I DAY, F E B R UARY 19, 201 6

Mama Drama | TELL


To be or not to be the tiger mom


Dear Dina, I was raised by the quintessential “Tiger Mom”, who probably graduated with honors from the School

of Hard Knocks. As grateful as I am to her for pushing me to be successful, and teaching me how to balance school and my social life, it didn’t make for a very pleasant childhood. I’ve got a three year old of my own now, and she’s doted on by all her family, and starting to push her boundaries. I want to introduce a little discipline into her life now, so that all the cosseting doesn’t go to her head, but I always worry I’ll turn into a bully like my mom. How do I strike a balance?


Raising a child is incredibly difficult and finding a balance between being strict but

Photos: Bigstock

fair and a pushover can be a challenge, “Tiger Mom”

of that entails pushing limits to see

to handle disappointment and negative

a sense of security, so being grounded

or not. While it sometimes pains us

what she can get away with. While

emotions, how to delay gratification and

and firm in your words and actions

to instill discipline in our children,

it is okay for her to be indulged by

develop patience, and other such things

while still providing love and nurturing

especially when the instinct is to give

her grandparents and other family

that are picked up in these formative

provides that stability. It’s a process of

in and allow them to have whatever

members, it is up to you to ensure that

years. You don’t need to rule with an

learning for parents too, but trust your

they want, the fact is they need the

she learns what she needs to in order to

iron fist, but state your expectations

instinct and seek the counsel of those

boundaries. Your daughter is trying

successfully navigate through life. And

clearly and follow through on your

you admire and your child will be just

to form her personality now, and part

part of that is learning to hear ‘no’, how

words. Your child depends on your for

fine. n

The dark side of the internet


Dear Dina,

particularly if he is not in a relationship

My 19-year-old son has been

and/or sexually active, to relieve his

spending a lot of time on the

frustrations and desires in this manner.

computer lately. Initially I

Unless you’re willing to have what

thought it was because of

would frankly be an embarrassing

the new computer games he claims to

conversation for both mother and

play, but I’m starting to suspect that

son, with little chance of a desirable

this isn’t true. He’s up until 2 or 3am

outcome or resolution, I would take

in the morning and he keeps his room

satisfaction from the fact that you

locked until he wakes up. After coaching

know where he is and what he is doing.

classes, he and his friends come over and

He is an adult and should be allowed

watch videos behind locked doors. Once

the privacy to do what he wants in his

I walked in on my son watching porn. I

bedroom at night. If it starts to affect

pretended not to see, but I’m afraid this

his life adversely in any way, you

is what he does all night. How do I know

should start to worry. Otherwise, let it

that he’s keeping this habit in check and

be. n

developing an addiction to pornography?


I’m afraid there is no way to reassure you that your son isn’t overindulging in this habit, because how does one gauge what is normal

in a young man? My understanding is that it is common for men his age,

Dina Sobhan is a freelance writer, a part-time counsellor and a fulltime mom

WE E K E N D TR I BU N E | FR I DAY, FE B R UARY 1 9, 20 1 6

16 Language | Gastronomy people to leaf through their menus. As dining gets fancier, menu language advances from reassuring to showing off, and is often accompanied by extravagant pictures. “The menu should be designed around your raw materials, and concise. It should be simple and act as a guide, so that a customer can glance through the menu and know what

How to express your culinary love in words Moumita Ahmed

they are ordering. The style of a menu should add to the whole experience, something that complements the restaurant and food,” said Ali Arsalan, owner of famous, fine dine restaurants such as Izumi, Holey Artisan, and O’ Kitchen. In his hugely entertaining book called The Language of Food, Stanford University linguist professor Dan


Jurafsky and his colleagues delved into the world of menu-writing. By looking

ood is so much more than

which act like anecdotes that kind of

food looked, the consistency, the value

at the prices of 650,000 dishes on 6,500

just a necessity of life. At

walk you through the meal,” said Saad

of money,” mentioned Taskin Rahman,

menus and using statistical tools to

every special occasion, at

Z Hossain, Bangladeshi science-fiction

the owner of Foodtalk, when asked

learn which words were associated

every celebration, big or

writer and one of the co-owners of the

about how to write proper reviews.

with higher and lower prices, they

small – food is an essential part of our moments and memories. Whether you

short-lived Pan Asian restaurant The 8. If you want to seriously start writing

Garnishing the menu

figured out that when a restaurant used longer words to describe a dish, it

are choosing a restaurant for a date,

restaurant reviews, it’s best to focus on

However, it is not only reviews and

hanging out with friends at the latest

saying something positive about the

recipes where we engage in food talk –

joint or just sitting down to a family

meals. If you are constantly critical, you

menus are one of the most important

sure you are concise and positive,

meal at your regular place, eating is

may come across as too judgemental

pieces of literature in the world of

whether it is menus, reviews or even

a crucial part of our daily lives when

to your readers, and it is less likely that

food. It is usually every restaurant’s

books that you’re writing. In this, food

it comes to creating social bonds and

the restaurants will actually take your

first hook into reeling in the customers,

can give us a valuable lesson in life as

interacting with people. Recipes can

advice. If you can’t say anything nice,

and different kinds of restaurants use

well – quality over quantity! n

often be passed down from generation

it’s better to not say anything at all.

different strategies when convincing

to generation, since food is also used

However, food writing isn’t

to express the creativity of those who

just about food. When you write a

prepare it, and admired by the people

restaurant review, the words you

who consume it.

use say as much about your own

It is now much easier to indulge in

to order. Everyone holds an opinion

– there are now several restaurants

about food and you can rarely miss

providing different cuisines from

people’s reviews, whether it is Chaiwala

around the world in Dhaka. Each

in Dhanmondi 7 or the exquisite buffet

cuisine tells us diverse stories about

at Le Meridian. When people give negative feedback

Who would have known we’d be able

on their meals, their misery is quite

to experience Mexican, Turkish, and

evident in the language they use.

Japanese food within a few yards of

For instance, such ‘ victims’ use the

each other in Gulshan one day?

pronouns “we” or “us” to stress on a

We all want to treat ourselves to a

collective sense of grief. These words

delicious meal, but sometimes we need

and other linguistic indications of

a little help, so we check the reviews to

tragedy are always in negative reviews.

see what we should try. Sometimes we

On the other hand, writers tend to

want to hone our culinary skills and try

use comparisons of sex and sensual

out some new recipes in the kitchen, or

pleasure, using terms like ‘orgasmic

sometimes we just want to gush about

pastry,’ when giving positive reviews.

how much we loved what we just ate.

We also talk about food as an addiction

But how does one begin to write about

when we are feeling guilty – ‘guilty


pleasures,’ or ‘the cupcake made me

The art of writing

So for our aspiring writers, make

psychology as they do about which dish

these culinary expressions of creativity

the culture and nation they belong to.

charged more for the meal.

do it!’ “The most effective way to give

“When one begins to write about food,

feedback about your meal would be if

he/she should provide the best reviews

you’re being more objective – how the

WEEKEN D TR I BU N E | F R I DAY, F E B R UARY 19, 201 6

Photos: Bigstock


Music | Language

Mathematics, emotions and revolutions The language of music Saqib Sarker


hy is language so

notes; the musical distance between

in a major scale. In other words,

Kazi Nazrul Islam, our national

weird? It really is, if

a white piano key and the adjacent

our exuberant verbal expressions

poet, famously wrote karar oi louho

you think about it.

black key is one half step. All major

translate into the major scale based

kopat when he was arrested by the

Say something to

scales follow this pattern precisely.

music, whereas our darker spoken

British government in Colonial India.

expressions have more in common

This exists in all cultures around

with the dissonant characters in

the world. Bob Dylan is probably

minor music.

the most internationally famous

someone from a particular language demography, they will love you; say

Musical emotions

the same thing to someone else you

Going back to our question of why

might be in danger. In fact there is

some tunes sound happy and some

a Bengali proverb testifying to that

sound sad, there is no universally

fact: “speech in one country, curse in

agreed upon answer. There is a

Music as a language of resistance

another” – roughly translated.

common perception that music

Music can also transcend the

across borders. Why has the language

based on major scales is happy and

boundaries of entertainment and

of resistance been expressed most

nothing but a series of presentations

minor music makes you feel somber,

become a strong vehicle for protest

forcefully through music?

in air wave frequencies. We literally

unhappy, and even fearful. Is there

against oppression. In our own

move air through our vocal cords

anything intrinsically sinister about

culture, many such pieces of music

question, we leave you with these

and enunciate that with a variety of

minor music? Some say it’s simply

have become emblematic of protest

lingering lines from a Dylan song:

vowels and consonants. How would

our cultural associations, but recent

and resistance. The most well known

language have evolved if we were a

studies have found indications that

is perhaps the Language Movement

“We live in a political world

life form that survived on a planet

there might be inherent properties

song amar bhai er rokte rangano, or

Where courage is a thing of the past

without air? If we could communicate

in minor music that convey a sense

simply known as the 21st February

Houses are haunted, children are

directly between minds, what would

of foreboding. One explanation is

song. There are also a number of


be different?

that joyful speeches have frequency

Shadhin Bangla Betar Kendra tunes

The next day could be your last” n

spectra that resemble the intervals

that are still used as protest songs.

At the most basic level, language is

The mysteries of language engage

musician who caused a great stir by his political lyrics and whose words still resonate with a wide audience

While you ponder upon that hefty

whoever gives mind to them. It gets even more complicated when you think of ‘music’ as a language, although that doesn’t mean it’s not fun. Jesting aside, what really does make music sad or happy (or after the advent of MTV, annoying)? No one knows, and there are plenty of differing opinions. But we certainly can look at some of the interesting and even intriguing, elements and characters in music.

Mathematics in music If you are getting anxious thinking that we will now veer into the ‘a’ plus ‘b’ whole squared formula, you can relax. The mathematics in music doesn’t involve arithmetic, but it can help us understand the patterns that exist in how music is formed. Take for example, major scales. Major scales (a scale is just a series of musical notes) are always formed in 2 whole steps, 1 half step, 3 whole steps, 1 half step. Steps are simply distance between

Photo: Bigstock

WE E K E N D TR I BU N E | FR I DAY, FE B R UARY 1 9, 20 1 6

18 stay in Mini cryptics

Chinese horoscopes

Aries (Mar 21-Apr 19) – While your priorities have been strictly focused on

Scorpio (Oct 23-Nov 21) – You’re on

Aquarius (Jan 20-Feb 18) – Looks like

work this week. It is advisable to allow

everybody’s radar, you’re the one stop

every time you come close to tying

yourself a little wiggle room for a little

shop for everything that’s hot off the

up loose ends they some how remain

bit of fun and frolic around the city

press. Who’s on your radar?


with friends from forever ago.

Clues ACROSS 1 4 6 7

Bird place in disarray (7) Abbreviation a friend made initially (7) Assorted Danes aboard SS Blue Mood (7) Containers for sketch artists (7)

DOWN 1 Messy diapers enthusiastically received (7) 2 Bright and free after lunch starters (5) 3 Enemy seems in confusion (7) 5 French resort holds first of events for relative (5)

Taurus (Apr 20-May 20) – This week be ready to unleash your inner ‘Oprah’ as you will meet people walks of life and discover new things. Be the change you want to be in the world. Gemini (May 21-June 20) – A cheery and delightful week ahead for you as the stars envisage a great load has been lifted off your shoulders. Cancer (June 21-Jul 22) – You’ll

Solved it? Email answers to weekend@dhakatribune. com and win one free month of the Dhaka Tribune.

be surrounded by a radiant aura

Last week’s solutions

of beauty, charm and grace this week. The people you meet this week will stick to you like glue. Leo (Jul 23-Aug 22) – Selfpreservation and evaluation is an integral part of life. It is important to know someone who helps you understand yourself. Virgo (Aug 23-Sep 22) – You are the healer of souls, but you have to remember to look after yourself as well. Eating right, getting some exercise and a good amount of

Sagittarius (Nov22-Dec 21) – Spring is

Pisces (Feb 19-Mar 20) – Laugh, live

sleep should be on your to-do-list.

here and winter is officially over, isn’t

feel! It’s your birthday! Celebrate! For

it about time you stopped hibernating

just about a week you’ll be in a haze,

and stepped out to get some fresh air?

but do remember to snap out of it in

Libra (Sep 23-Oct 22) – It’ll be a busy

time. n

and hectic week for you with barely enough time for you to breathe. If

Capricorn (Dec 22-Jan 19) – A good

not already done, perhaps a more

time in your life to build partnerships

nutritional approach to this week’s diet

either financially or romantically, but

may help ease the journey, with fruit,

the matter of finding a good partner

vegetables and a lot of water.

can prove to be difficult.

ACROSS 1 Alarm, ran about in part of big house (7) 4 The heartless pain of exams (7) 6 Month to be in Orange County river first (7) 7 Stamped on and made new rod dent (7) DOWN 1 Lacking humour, the old you inside (7) 2 Took exam again, a rest refreshed (5) 3 Spaceman joke before rain change (7) 5 Somewhere to sleep after I missed first lodge (5)


Use the numbers 1-9 to complete each of the 3x3 square grids such that each horizontal and vertical line also contains all of the digits from 1-9

Last week’s sudoku solutions

WEEKEN D TR I BU N E | F R I DAY, F E B R UARY 19, 201 6

Go out

Weekly Planner


Feb 22-25

Photography | Shutter Stories Feb 19-20

Music | A Musical Evening of Nazrul, Folk and Modern Bangla songs by Rowshan Ara Shoma and Rahat Ara Geeti When 6-8pm Where Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre, Gulshan, House 35, Road 24, Gulshan-1 What Indira Gandhi Culture Centre is organising a Musical Evening of Nazrul, folk and modern bangla songs by Rowshan Ara Shoma and Rahat Ara Geeti. Rowshan Ara Shoma and Rahat Ara Geeti are the two daughters of eminent Bangladeshi singer Sohrab Hossain. The two sisters first learnt music from their father. Thereafter, they completed a course in music from Chayanaut Sangeet Biddyaton. They also trained in classical music from Ustad Ful Mohammed, Akter Sadmani and Narayan Chandra Basak. Shoma also trained at Nazrul Academy and Nazrul Institute. Both sisters have released solo albums on Nazrul Geeti and Islami songs and they have also released a duet CD of modern bangla songs with music by their illustrious father. Both sisters have received many awards. Geeti has received Asraf’s Remembrance Golden Award in 1978 and Nazrul Parishad’s Golden Award in 1982. Indira Gandhi Culture Centre cordially invites everyone to participate in the Musical Evening. Entry is open (There is no need to collect Invitation Pass). No bag allowed within the IGCC premise during the program.

Feb 19-20

Photography | Workshop on basic and wildlife photography When 3-9pm Where Bishwo Shahitto Kendro, 14 Kazi Nazrul Islam Avenue, Dhaka, Bangladesh What Frame arts and photography world presents

photography workshop based on basic and wildlife photography. Famous Photographer Kudrat-eKhoda will mentor this two days long workshop. The course will teach one the following 1st day: Introduction to photography, review on basics of photography, primary discussion on using photographic equipment’s, understanding light and use of light sources, different modes of shooting (av / a, tv / s, m and p), exposure control in field under difficult light conditions. 2nd day: Review the first day’s work, mastering metering techniques (spot, partial, center weighted, evaluative), mastering auto focus, focusing points, AF-locking and focus tracking for moving subjects, how to get sharp images of moving subjects, framing and composition in the field, ethics in wildlife photography. Food and certificate will be provided to all participants. Course fee is only Tk2000. For more information: 01680566754

When 3-8pm Where Drik, House 58, Road 15A (New), Dhanmondi R/A What United International University Photography Club (UIUPC) is proudly organising Shutter Stories, Chapter – 01, an Inter - University Photography Exhibition. The solo purpose of this exhibition is to bring out the creative and talented ideas under one platform. From hundreds of

colour and monochromic photographs, the final photograph are chosen to exhibit by the judges: Mohammad Rakibul Hasan (M R Hasan), Hasan Chandan and Syed Latif Hossain. This wonderful exhibition will continue for three days and UIUPC welcomes everyone to this beautiful occasion. For any query: 01620841168, 01671120562, 01688329252

Feb 20

Culture | Monthly Live Bangla Stand-Up Comedy Show at Naveed’s Comedy Club

Feb 23

Education | Two-Day IELTS Workshop When 3-8pm Where The American Center, Plot No -1, Progati Sharani, J-Block, Baridhara, (Opposite from the U S Embassy Dhaka) What International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is an international standardised test of English language proficiency that is an admissions requirement in many universities in the United States and many other countries. If you are planning to take the IELTS test, this three-day free workshop at American Center covers tips and strategies for the test. Registration is required to attend. Register your name by calling the American Center at 02-5566-2836 or 5566-2820 during office hours (8:00am4:30pm, Sunday-Thursday)

When 6:30pm Where Alliance Francaise de Dhaka, Dhanmondi What Naveed’s Comedy Club will perform stand-up comedy at Alliance Francaise de Dhaka this Saturday. Naveed Mahbub and Max Mystel, both leading standup comedians in Bangladesh, are all set to rock the stage in

Dhanmondi. The show will be in Bangla and is suitable for all ages. Tickets are priced at Tk300 (available at Alliance Francaise de Dhaka, on first come first serve basis). For Info : 01685560800 or visit: www. or NaveedsComedyClub

WE E K E N D TR I BU N E | FR I DAY, FE B R UARY 1 9, 20 1 6

20 The Bong Momma | Tales from a first-time mom

Crawling in the deep Minu Ahmed wouldn’t see me and the only other person she went to was my mom-inlaw, mostly because she was the second person that Jellybean spent the most time with. Jellybean wouldn’t even go to my parents when I would go over to their house. She would start crying and it was difficult for me to even do something as mundane as taking a shower. I read up on this and figured that she would grow out of it, and it was just a matter of time. This is also the age that babies will start to grasp things, more specifically, using their thumb and forefinger to grab like a pincer. I would give Jellybean finger food like homemade biscuits, rusks and fruit that she would pick up and try to chew or suck on. She would also grab toys and bring them to her mouth, so I had to always keep an eye on her, and keep her toys clean. In all honesty, toys aren’t the only thing babies will try to put into their mouths, items also include hands, feet, shoes, Photo: Bigstock

books and all sorts of germ-infested dirty things. So always keep things like


and phone chargers out of reach. You

s long as Jellybean was in a

under a chair and our little Jellybean

‘blob’ state, I pretty much

would need rescuing.

had little to worry about regarding her movement.

It was around this time that I went

never know what might happen! What I didn’t know then, was that since I was home alone with her most

looking for a playpen for Jellybean,

of the time, Jellybean never really got

Her rolling over was still controllable

the foldable ones that, when unfolded,

used to ‘socialising’ with other babies

with pillows and people watching over

created a ‘safe house’ for newly

and people. I was always too tense to

her. But as soon as she started sitting

crawling babies. I didn’t find the exact

keep her with anyone else other than

up, she slowly but surely transitioned

one I was looking for until Jellybean

my mom-in-law, and since she was

into crawling. That’s how her eighth

was a year old. By that time she had

already clingy, it was too late to try

month began!

started walking and could push open

practicing with new people.

At first, it was the slow lurch forward

Minu Ahmed is your not-so-average homemaker, normshirker and abomination of awesomeness, juggling a career in communication, motherhood and a fatter half. Questions? Send to thebongmomma@gmail. com

coins, batteries, hard candy, medicine,

the playpen. So we used it to protect

There was little scope back then, but

from sitting position to crawling

the TV and electronics from Jellybean

I should have more actively sought out

position, and then the tremendous task

instead. Trust me, when push comes to

other mums with similar aged children

of dragging forward her little pudgy

shove, one can get very creative.

and gone on play dates. But back

body. Then she figured out how to

It was also around this time, that

then many of my friends were either

use her knees to slowly edge forward.

Jellybean’s separation anxiety went on

unmarried or not a mum yet, so it just

Pretty soon, the thop-thop of little

overdrive. There were times when I had

didn’t happen. But now I see young

hands and knees could be heard at

to leave her for a few hours and run an

mum making use of social networks

regular intervals.

errand, but would come back to see a

and the internet to connect with other

wailing and desolate child. She would

mums, arrange play dates, and answer

important thing was to baby-proof and

constantly be stuck at my hip, and I

questions. It’s a very useful option

germ-proof the entire house. Usually

had to do everything while carrying her

for crowd-sourced information, and I

we kept her within an assigned “area”

around. There have even been times

myself have many mommy friends that

but she would crawl under the dining

when I had to go to the loo with her in

I have met through these groups. Here’s

table and get trapped under the chairs.

my arms, because she refused to let go.

a shout out to all of you! n

Then a low wail would emerge from

She got extremely irritable when she

With the start of crawling, the most

WEEKEN D TR I BU N E | F R I DAY, F E B R UARY 19, 201 6

08.00 % 08.50 %

03 Months 06 Months

09.00 %

01 Year

10.00 %

02 Years

12.00 % Double

05 Years 07 Years



Weekend Tribune Vol 3 Issue 43  
Weekend Tribune Vol 3 Issue 43