Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 2, Issue 30, Tuesday February 1, 2005






Shop Special

Karu dhara- handicraft home

In this age of computers, machines and robots, 'handicraft items' is a phrase that is almost on its way to extinction. Almost. Fortunately, the presence of a few things stop this from happening. 'Karu Dhara'- an exclusive handicrafts shop in Chittagong. Karu Dhara is situated in GEC More, just below 'Captain's Bell' restaurant. Everything in this shop is handmade, beginning from its showpieces to its jewellery, cards and clothes. They have bamboo and wooden wall clocks, and ceramic lamps, with prices ranging from Tl190 to Tk2050; showpieces of monkeys and elephants carved in coconut are priced at Tk90 to Tk250 each. Candle lovers and collectors can pick up, colourful candle of your choice within Tk220 only. Even the greeting cards available here are handmade, ranging from Tk25 to Tk60. I simply adored their collection of hanging lamps. Pick one up for a mere Tk180 to Tk550. If you're looking for casual jewellery to wear in spring or summer, definitely browse through their collection. Earrings and bangles are positively cheap, ranging from Tk20 to Tk60. A more extravagant set complete with necklace and earrings will cost you around Tk100 to Tk350. These unique pieces will definitely add character to any outfit you wear them with. Speaking of outfits, Karu Dhara also features a collection of Katan Sarees and Panjabis, which range from Tk350 to Tk1250. Karu Dhara also makes handicrafts that are 'made to order'. If you want something specific, just go and give them the design, and they will have it ready within a week.

By Jennifer Ashraf


Marma cultural show held at Savar

I entered the backstage when the show was over. As I walked in, the performers of Marma Shangskritik Shangstha, were chattering in their native language. It took me a while to grab their attention. One of the organisers Subodh Baske introduced me to enthusiastic smiling faces of the team, and our little conversation began.

All the performers of the team hailed from Rangamati. They were exited about their visit to the capital city of Bangladesh. Waimraching Marma Runu, one of the cheerful performers expressed joy, as this is her first visit to anywhere beyond the Chittagong Hill Tracts. "We will stay a very little time in the city. Before leaving, all my pals wish to see Nandan Park, the Jahangirnagar University campus and if possible some other places inside Dhaka," she says.

This team of performers was taking part in a three-day cultural show at the Gono Shastho Kendro, Savar organised by Society for Environment and Human Development. "Being able to perform in front of a different audience was a very pleasant experience," Runa added. She also relates, "Our culture is being invaded by outside elements. This programme is an opportunity for us to represent what we still have to the Bangali community".

During the three-day programme on 16 to 18 January, the team attended short discussion sessions sharing their insights, visited the Jatiyo Sritishoudho at Savar and presented the fascinating cultural programme.

In the cultural show they showcased the Shangrai dances. Shangrai is the Marma New Year festival. One of the celebrations of Shangrai is "Jalkeli"(Water Festival). During Jalkeli young boys and girls choose the person they like and throw water at them as a symbol of their admiration. Kolshi nrittyo was another attractive dance piece in which the girls who chose their admirer go to fetch water in the Kornofuli river known as "Kaisa Khyang" in Marma language. One of the motives is to flirt with the boys they love. Pradip nrittyo and probarona purnima dances were also performed.

When someone visits their home, Marma people welcome the guest with "Kodur Anka" or umbrella dance. The umbrella dance was the final piece, saying goodbye to the audience.

Around 142, 334 Marma people live the Chittagong region. Buddhist in religion, this community is ignored by the government, complained the performers. A little media attention would give them the limelight they deserve, they expressed.

By Shahnaz Parveen

Shop talk

Nakshi Katha
Are you unsure about what gift you should buy for a wedding that you've got to attend? If so, then you can consider purchasing a Nakshi Katha, as they are excellent gifts. The person that you will be gifting it to will definitely appreciate its embroidery. Besides giving a Nakshi Katha as a gift, you can also buy one for yourself. Nakshi Katha's are not only aesthetically appealing, but they can also come in handy when the weather gets cold, as they can be used as blankets. At the branches of Aarong, some splendid Nakshi Katha's are being sold. Their prices range from Tk 2,500 to Tk 10,000.

Children's Books
There's a famous saying: "You can't teach an old dog new tricks." Therefore, if you want your children to have a habit of reading, then you should make them develop the habit from a young age. By buying your young children a few children's books, you'll find that they will gradually develop a fascination for reading. This will definitely bode well for the future, as they'll develop a strong command over English through their reading. If you go to Words 'n Pages (125 Gulshan Avenue), you'll find that they've got an excellent collection of children's books. Their prices start from Tk 100 onwards.

Computer Table
If you've got plans to buy a computer, then you should also have plans to buy a computer table. After all, it doesn't make sense to save a bit of money by not purchasing one, when you've bought a machine spending oodles of money. A computer table will enable you to use your computer with greater ease, something that a conventional table will not enable you to do. At the branches of Otobi, computer tables of various sizes are being sold in the range of Tk 2,850 to Tk 7,500.

If you go on a morning walk or play a game of cricket, you must wear good footwear. By failing to do so, you'll end up getting blisters all over your feet. Keds are an excellent form of footwear, as they'll ensure that your feet are taken good care of. At the branches of Bata, you'll find that Power keds are being sold from Tk 750 onwards. Compared with other brands of keds, Power compares very favourably both in terms of price and quality.

Exterior Paint
Does the exterior of your house look drab? If it does, we suggest that you paint it and then it will be refreshing to look at. As it is winter now, this is the perfect time to paint the exterior of your house, since it usually doesn't rain at this time of the year. There are various brands of exterior paint available at hardware stores, and Berger is one of them. You can buy a 40kg drum of Berger's Durocem for about Tk 1,950. If you truly want to protect your house against the vagaries of the weather, then you should purchase Berger's Weather Coat. Each can of this paint will cost about Tk 720.

The wedding season is going on in full swing, and it is for this reason that pagri's come into the equation. It might not be the most fashionable form of headgear a man has ever worn, but when it comes to wedding day, this is exactly what the groom has to wear! Pagri's are available at all shops that sell items related to a wedding. If you go to Palki (234/2 New Elephant Road), you'll be able to purchase a pagri between Tk 500 to Tk 3,000.

By Sayeed Mahmud Nizam



Fearsome reruns

There is no denying that the entire nation is shocked at the death of former Finance Minister Shah AMS Kibria, just like we were shocked when Ivy Rahman gave her life in an eerily similar manner in last year's August 21 bomb attack.

In fact we were shocked so many times on account of such ruthless killings, of such grisly attacks that we have lost count of the number of times. Of late being in a state of shock has become the normal state of mind for us Bengalis.

This is all we do -- express outrage, become anguished, feel insecure, believe in lies, and forget everything as soon as the voices of dissent die down or hartal breaks and normalcy resumes. This has become the way of life for us.

Our concerns tend to fade soon after the TV channels air the breaking stories. Every time we think that this is the last such incident, it comes back again and again to remind us that the people we have voted to power to ensure justice and punishment of these criminals are actually doing nothing. Instead they take on a defensive attitude and politicize the issue. They do not hesitate to blame the opposition for every act of terror even if the victims are opposition members. And when press reports say militants like Bangla bhai are killing people with the blessing of some ruling party parliamentarians, the ruling party resort to accusing the media of "tarnishing the image of the nation". This denial is tantamount to sponsoring the heinous acts. Its like the Ostrich poking its head in the bush when attackedso that it thinks that everything is all right. But the fact is that nothing is all right. The militants are rising just like they rose in other countries.

We have accepted all this and learnt to live the way the lawmakers want us to live. We are their puppets devoid of any self-respect, any will of our own. We are powerless and have lost our ability to protest.

We will soon become intellectually crippled, we will sit by and see our nation turn into one of those war ridden Muslim states, where militants rule and disorder prevails.

We desperately need to go through a reality check. The vigour, the passion, the patriotism of 1971 seems to have been lost forever. We don't love Bangladesh like those valiant freedom fighters and the ordinary people of that time, Bangladesh means nothing to us anymore. We are ignorant fools who can only be shocked and can only express our dismay and horror over the deaths of scholars and leaders like Dr Azad, Shah AMS Kibria, Ivy Rahman and Dr. Yunus of Rajshahi University.

By Raffat Binte Rashid

On the cover

As spring approaches, it's time for a wardrobe makeover. Leading the way this week is a design from Mayasir. As the weather turns warmer, LS recommends a palette of fresh blues and greens, like aqua, turquoise and lime, as well as frosty pinks and icy lilacs instead of the same old yellow every year.
Photo credit: Mayasir, Rd 127, Plot 76, Gulshan
Avenue, Gulshan..



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