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     Volume 4 Issue 25 | December 17, 2004 |

   Cover Story
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   A Roman Column
   Face to Face
   Slice of Life
   Time Out
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   Eating Out
   Book Review
   Dhaka Diary
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   Write to Mita

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Write to Mita

Dear Mita,
My friend and I are international students, attending university in Canada. He is Bangali, I am Romanian. We have been good friends for a long time now and we enjoy each other's company. Lately though, I realised that he means so much more than a friend to me. I hoped to be able to tell him somehow that my feelings for him have changed, until one day we had a casual discussion about relationships in Bangladesh. He mentioned then how important for him and his family it is that one day he finds a good Muslim, Bangali young woman. That left me with very little hope. I am an Eastern Orthodox Christian and truly believe in it, but I have always had a lot of respect for this young man and his beliefs, and never felt that we were drawing religious or cultural barriers between us. Now, I have such a hard time not knowing if this amazing young man, who makes me so happy, would ever give me, a non-Muslim and non-Bangali, a chance. What do you think I should do? Should I tell him anything about how I feel towards him or not?
Non-Muslim, non-Bangali, truly in love

Dear Truly in Love,
Young people marrying outside of their religion and culture is a growing phenomenon in Bangladesh. The acceptance of this is growing as many families realise the reality of cross-border friendships, relationships, etc. This particular gentleman is probably from a family in which marriages across cultures and religions is highly discouraged. The important thing is to get a sense of how he feels about you. Perhaps he is struggling between his loyalty towards his family and his feelings for you. You might want to tell him and take your chances. However, you must be prepared for the consequences, which might be painful. It might jeopardise your friendship with him. However, I think it is important for you to know where you stand in this relationship.

Dear Mita,
I am in love with a person of the same sex. We have been together for the past four years. We want to settle in Bangladesh but our relationship there will not be legal. What can we do?

Dear X,
I afraid I am not competent enough to answer you. This is a very difficult issue and you should consult a lawyer.

Dear Mita,
I am a working woman. My problem is with my boss. She is a very critical kind of person. She is always looking for faults in me. I don't know why she is always after me, even though she knows that there is certain work which only I can do. She never criticises my colleagues, only me. If she continues like this, my promotion will be nothing but a dream. I don't believe in changing jobs just because of problems with the boss. I try to be quiet and finish my work on time. She wants me to be done far before the deadline but this is not always possible. Please help me.

Dear Angst-ridden,
You are in an unfortunate situation with little chance of improving. This is just one of those things -- if you are lucky you will get a good boss otherwise you won't. If it is at all possible I would recommend that you start looking for another job. However, be very realistic about the possibility and absolutely do not resign till you find a suitable job. The other thing is to put your heart and soul into doing something so special that she will be forced to appreciate you. I must caution you that if she is an insecure person nothing you do will help.

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