Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 13, Tuesday March 25, 2008




A youth's thoughts on patriotism

Trivia- who was the first Prime Minister of Bangladesh? If you are about my age- a young adult- it's very likely you don't know the answer to this question; in fact you are basically not quite knowledgeable about our country's history, and heritage either.

But how much can we blame ourselves? I can recall that when in school we had to study books that were mainly about American history, the Byzantine Empire, the Mughals, Napoleon…the list goes on and on. But something important was missing- our own history!

Just look at our neighbouring India. Bollywood has produced some great Hindi movies, based on their history and their leaders, which really help in engineering patriotism among youngsters. When can we expect some similar, creative output on a large scale in Bangladesh to boost us?

Is the picture of today's youth really so bad? Just because the teens and twenties subscribe to Djuice and use 'banglish' in our conversations doesn't mean we are not patriotic. Western clothes, metrosexual men, the Yo! generation- these issues do not necessarily reflect that the young generation is not patriotic. As youths of the 21st century, we are bombarded with information, ideas and beliefs from all over the world and we prefer to accept and exchange what we like. Of course, we love listening to Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park, but we are crazy for Bangla songs as well! So where's the problem?

My point is: patriotism is something very internal and personal. It goes beyond things like your dress up or your music preferences. As I was registering myself as a voter just the other day, I had this strange yet wonderful feeling inside me, that Bangladesh is a part of me and I am a part of it. It gave me a sense of responsibility and accountability. This is my identity. This is who I am. And this feeling, compounded with a sense of cold pride of being a Bangladeshi- that's patriotism for me. Having that simple civic sense of avoiding spitting on the road - even this is a tiny part of patriotism.

We have a long way to go; and joint team effort is indeed necessary. And in order to give that effort, you need to have that spirit. I call that spirit… patriotism.

By the way, our first Prime Minister was Tajuddin Ahmed.

By M.H.Haider

Shop Talk

Independence Day Buys
As we celebrate yet another 26 March with immense patriotic zeal, the colour of independence seems to surround us in every sphere of life more than ever. From tiny accessories to everyday clothing, the touch of independence has made them all more than just mere commodities. That is why all the major deshi boutiques have come up with their own line of clothes keeping in with the theme of the Independence Day. Hence, this week's shoptalk brings forth some such small buys that not only do their designated job but also uphold our proud identity as Bangladeshis.

T-shirts and fatuas
Over the last few years, T-shirts and fatuas have served as the trusted canvas to paint the spirit of our nationality with all its colour and vibrancy. And the trend hasn't dried out so far. With green and red as the essential hues, these comfy wears are no less fashionable and are still highly popular with the young generation.

A den for varied T-shirts and fatuas, Aziz Market in Shahbag has some well-known shops like Megh, Nitto Upahar, and Bangal where you can pick up a quality product at a reasonable price. Although almost all of these shops have similar price tags of around Tk 200 to Tk 300, their range of T-shirts is quite fascinating. You can also check out Liberation War Museum for T-shirts affordably priced at Tk 160.

Along with T-shirts, fatuas have also adopted the trend. Prominent brands like Kay Kraft, Rang, Anjans, and Banglar Mela have a good collection of fatuas which are priced between Tk 350 to Tk 500.

Saris and panjabis
While the sari makes a woman look graceful, stylish and elegant, it also manifests our culture and tradition within its width and length. As it has been seen, the look and designs of saris merge with each occasion to make it even more festive and special. Since the theme is independence, the boutique houses have brought out printed handloom saris mostly in green, white and red colours. They are priced around Tk 850 and can be found at Rang, Kay Kraft and such places.

Panjabi for men is also not lacking behind. In fact, a lot of attention is put to make them even more apt and appropriate to wear on the month of independence. Fashionable short panjabi at the shops of Aziz Market would cost around Tk 400 to Tk 500, while ones from popular brand names start from Tk 700.

Posters, mugs, caps…
Besides the casual wears, different kinds of stuff like mugs, posters, cards and souvenirs are also found with the spirit of Independence Day embedded on them. A good place to buy these items is the Liberation War Museum at Segun Bagicha. Posters of famous magazines or artists reflecting the turmoil and glory of 1971 instantly grab one's attention and can be bought for only Tk 10 to Tk 25. Mugs painted with our national flag or inspiring slogans cost Tk 150, and small cards of different designs are also available for only Tk 5.

The fashion house Rang seems to have put a lot of emphasis on the Independence Day this year. Beside its collection of clothes, Rang is also selling caps for Tk 135, mugs for Tk 160 to Tk 190 and flags for 45 Tk.

With the Independence Day just around the corner, let your shopping spree flow with patriotism and celebrate the day in style.

By Shakhawat Imam Rajeeb
Photo Coutesy: Deshal


In Conversation

We've said a lot about a woman's place in the world this month, and we were pretty curious about how others see this issue. Thus it was that we found ourselves joining an adda at the Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB) titled “Image of a Woman”.

Organized by Help Our People Empathize (HOPE), a community-service network, the adda featured students, faculty, and alumni of IUB, as well as the Lifestyle team.

The first session of the discussion focused on more serious issues, such as domestic violence, the perception about hijab in the West, and what Hillary Clinton has called the 'talking dog syndrome' where people react to the image, and not a person. The ruling sentiment of this session was that women need to respect themselves and stand up for themselves.

After a brief refreshment break, courtesy of BD Foods and Yame Foods, the second session was presided over by sociologist Farida Shaikh Enayet, and delved into relationship dynamics. It was a light-hearted battle of the sexes as the students became more vocal about the balance of power in a relationship. It was refreshing to see the very progressive attitudes of the young people.

The program ended on a musical note, with the students and teachers participating in a sing-along session, and everyone left the venue with a smile on their faces.

LS Desk

On The Cover

March 26 is once again upon us, reminding us of all we've been through and to reach where we have today, and of the journey still ahead us before we achieve what those that laid their lives for us dreamt for us. Star Lifestyle takes a moment to count our blessings as an independent nation.

Artwork: Sharier Khan


Fighting allergies
While the end of winter can seem like a relief, the transition to warmer months can bring painful symptoms of seasonal fever and cold. Since dust and pollen count seem to increase in this season, people allergic to them tend to have bloodshot eyes, a runny nose, an itchy throat and constant facial irritation. But a few precautions at the beginning of the season can save all the trouble and money spent after the treatment.

Time the outdoor activities
As it's not really possible to avoid allergens by staying inside all the time, the best thing to do would be to schedule your outdoor activities when the allergens are low in the air; preferably during the early hours of the day if you are to avoid dust. You can also use air conditioning when indoors and keep windows closed; the same is true for driving. Some people are also seen to use masks to filter whatever they breathe in. Whatever you do, the focus should be to minimize the exposure to allergens.

Do the cleaning
Try maintaining a minimal level of dust in your home through regular vacuuming and dusting with a damp cloth. It's also important to vacuum vents and keep window ledges clear of the mould that tends to grow during the damp, winter months. Another important tip is to stop people from smoking in your home. Smoking and breathing in other people's smoke irritates the lining of your nose, eyes, throat and airways only to worsen the symptoms.

Build a proper diet
Taking a balanced diet that includes fresh fruit and vegetables, grains and cereals can help protect against seasonal allergies and asthma. It is recommended that you eat five portions of fruit or vegetables every day and drink plenty of water. Vitamin C and E are believed to help reduce the severity of the inflammatory response and a high level of nutrients can also boost the immune system and help ward off colds and flu.

By Shakhawat Imam Rajeeb

Pop Up

Feng Shui for your home

Feng Shui is neither folklore nor magic. It is a scientific study, a way of harnessing the Qi (pronounced Chi- unseen energy) existing in the environment to benefit oneself. Enhancers of Qi include Laughing Buddhas, crystals, wind chimes and mirrors. Place doormats and wind chimes, if you like, at your doorstep to attract positive energy into your home. Qi moves along with the wind, so don't keep your shoe cabinet outside; the flowing Qi will bring sickness into your house.

Should you want to place mirrors in the house, the dining area is the best place since it reflects abundance and well-being.



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