Still to be Proud
Afew months ago, I was walking to my aunt's house when the sound of a crying baby summoned my attention. A girl of five or six was carrying her little brother of 10 months or so. Probably it was hunger troubling the boy. I was about to take my eyes away and move on, when I saw the girl grabbing a handful of roadside sand and putting it in her brother's mouth! The poor infant only cried louder; but after some time, he stopped crying and started devouring the free "food".
I've heard many Bangladeshis saying - "We are proud to be Bangladeshi", congratulating Dr. Yunus on his achievement. But what are we really proud of? Is it the political turmoil, the crippled socio-economic status or is it the free "roadside food" that we offer to hungry infants?
Diary from Melbourne
After 34-35 years of our independence, it really shocks me that people from other countries still don't know that we speak Bangla and not Urdu and that we are a nation who has fought for our language. United Nations has given us the honour of International Mother Language Day but nobody knows about it. I have studied in Malaysia for my first year, and there as well, people used to ask if I spoke and wrote Urdu or not.
Now, here in Melbourne, Australia too, the Pakistanis and Indians believe that we speak Hindi or Urdu like them. What is even more surprising is that even the Bangladeshi students who are studying here don't try to rectify this myth. Usually Bangladeshi students speak to Indians and Pakistanis in Urdu or Hindi. Whenever I come across people stating something absolutely wrong about our language and history, I try my best to correct them. All we need is a bit more pride in our language and history, which is the basis of our existence as Bangladeshis.
Mohammed Ulfat Toaha
Diary from Chittagong
On the 28th of Ramadan, some of us old friends gathered in front of Amin Centre in Chittagong and moved from market to market ignoring the woe of traffic jams around. We were enjoying the joys of Eid shopping. When we reached the GEC Square, however, to my utter surprise I found dozens of nude female mannequins displayed openly at a popular boutique store. Though it looked awkward, the authority was not concerned at all. Probably the clothes on those mannequins were sold, but I did not find any reason for not taking those sculptures away instead of displaying a provoking strip show. While everyone was shocked seeing these models, the shopkeepers were laughing, watching everybody's reaction. Some of the bystanders were laughing loudly and teasing away. It's ironic that although we observed the many rituals in the month of Ramadan, we still need to work on building a society where such crude behaviour will not exist.
(R) thedailystar.net 2006