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Bengal Foundation Inaugurates Golpoghar....

In an era dominated by the bits and the bytes, the little kids are way too preoccupied with their homework demons and the violence-induced video games. Gone are the days when a tender eight-year-old would spend his rainy afternoons resting his head on grandma's lap, listening to the tantalizing tales of the Dalim Kumars and the Konkaboti Rajkumaris. With the concept of 'nuclear' families devouring the majority, such privilege is only attained by a few. Unfortunately, most children aren't even aware of what they are missing.

In an attempt to enkindle the upcoming generation with the radiance of our own heritage, Bengal Foundation has come up with Golpoghar - a congregation of little children and young adoloscents, who would be told stories by the prominent personalities of our country. Golpoghar has been inaugurated this Saturday, 21st August, amongst the exquisite hustle-bustle of little angels, who came from all over the town. Prominent personality and artist Mostofa Monwar was the guest of the day, and as he sat down to share his childhood stories, little kids sometimes laughed in mirth and sometimes just gasped in wonder. Later he told the tale of a Rajkumar (prince), a Rajkumari (princess) and a Rakkhosh (ogre), by drawing pictures on the board. He encouraged the children to come up to the main stage and try drawing the pictures themselves. The entire audotorium burst out giggling when the Rajkumar himself (a puppet) popped-up behind the drawing-board and declared that he could draw much better than that!

Once the stories were over, everyone moved to the main premise where a puppet show had been arranged. The show was hosted by Gittu - a corny puppet who keeps losing his school books everytime he's given too much homework! Throughout the show Gittu and his friends kept cracking jokes, setting the kids into a laughing spree. Once the show was over, the audience were treated with deshi delicacies -Narkel Pithhas and jhalmuris!

As a whole, it was a memorable event filled with lots of gasps and giggles. Kids loved the stories and adored Gittu. More importantly, they got the chance to succumb themselves into the colourful esplanade of our culture. Kudos to Bengal Foundation for coming up with something as innovative as this.

By Tawsif Saleheen

From RS Editor's Desk

Those who were in Dhaka last Saturday won't easily forget the nightmare that began with the grenade explosions at Bangabandhu Avenue, leaving thirteen people dead and hundreds injured. This snowballed into a situation of total anarchy, as angry mobs took to the streets, and began torching vehicles as a means of expressing their outrage at what happened. The mayhem continued the following day, with rioting in some parts of the city, clashes between the police and the protestors, and even the burning of a train, and a 48-hour hartal was called to protest the attack.

No one condones such a violent act of terrorism. Indeed, the pitiful sight of the victims crammed into the overworked hospitals, the faces of many still frozen in shock at what happened, would move the sternest heart. However, the question remains, how will the violence on the streets, the rioting and the vandalism, help the situation? The burning of a bus and the destruction of the property of someone who had nothing to do with the event will not heal the wounds of the ones who were hurt.

We are living in troubled times, to say the least. Let's not add to it by spreading the mayhem? It is time for us to look for a peaceful solution to this dreadful situation. Let us hope for, and work towards a future for ourselves, and the next generation, that is free from hate and fear. Let us also not forget the people who lost their lives or their relatives in this attack, and show them support.

-RS Editor

Step up

Black-belt Academy a place for learning karate

In an age, where playing fields and places are giving way to housing developments and building of malls, exercise has become vitally important in our lives. Everyone is confined to their apartments and houses, loaded and frenzied with work, school, family etc. No one has the time to go out and play or take part in a physical activity. Moreover very few people have access to parks and other open spaces. However, such physical activities have not completely disappeared. There are many such activities that people can turn to, and many such places where they are practiced. Karate is one such popular activity, which has been discovered to be just what overworked people need.

Although we all know karate to be an oriental style of self-defense, this art form helps to get those knuckles cracking, the body stretched and the mind revitalised. It is not restricted to a certain age group, but is open to all. It helps to give you confidence, peace of mind and better agility of the body.

The Black Belt Academy in Gulshan, is one such institute where karate is taught and practiced. It was opened in 1990 and is run by Sensei Kazi M. Qais.

What makes practicing karate in Black Belt Academy ideal for people, is that the class timings are extremely convenient. Students are open to come every day except for Friday, though the minimum number of classes per week in two. They have tome slots such as 4:20 to 5:20, which is good for the young students and 5:30 to 6:30 and 6:40 to 7:40, which are easier for the older students. These timings are perfect because they are right after school or work and just before any social activity.

Moreover, the environment at this institute is very friendly. Sensei has a very wicked sense of humour and always entertains his students during classes. The Sempas are all helpful and are also very considerate towards learning students and their problems.

The classes begin with a little stretching and meditation. Then the students start with the basics, such as: kicks, jabs, punches etc. After this the students are either taught a new 'kata' of made to practice the ones they had learnt before. The classes end with another meditation practice. There are regular tournaments held in the Black Belt Academy, to test the students' skills in the basics, sparring and 'katas'.

The Black Belt Academy also hosts frequent dojo parties and concerts. There are also separate after-tournament parties, where the winners of the tournament are awarded medals.

The Black Belt family grows every year and if you are interested in becoming a part of it, you can contact The Black Belt Academy at the following contact address and numbers.

Address: House # 8, Road # 2, Gulshan 1, Dhaka
[Acknowledgment: The writer wishes to thank Sensei Kazi M. Qais, for his helpful information.]

By Sumbal Momen

RS Study Buddies

College action plan

By the time you read this, the GCE results for both O and A levels should be out, so let's start by congratulating the candidates. You've just crossed the first, and hence the toughest milestone of your academic careers. Hopefully, the results have been satisfactory, and even if they weren't, and you have to reappear for exams, at least now you know what to expect in terms of exam experience.

So what's the next step? Time to think about getting into college…not an easy thing to plan. Don't worry. RS Study Buddies are here to help you plan every step of the process, from what tests to take, to what books to buy, to how to fill an application form. So just relax and enjoy a well-earned break from books for a while. You earned it!

To get into a good college or university requires a lot of paperwork, certain formalities, and plenty of strategizing. What you need is a solid game plan. The game plan we've devised for you has four basic steps:

Choosing your field of interest
Taking the tests
Choosing colleges

Now, by the time you're done with your A levels, you should have a fair idea about the field of study you want to pursue. You know whether you want to study here or abroad, and that should help you narrow down your choices.

Once you've chosen your field of interest, and decided whether you want to study here or abroad, you have to know what tests you need to appear for. Local universities require applicants to appear for an entrance examination, while universities abroad look for certain tests like the SAT, TOEFL, ACT, IELT's, etc. So the first thing you should do is collect information about the tests you need to give.

US colleges require you to appear for the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test). The basic SAT is a Reasoning test, which examines your logical and analytical skills, as well as your vocabulary. It consists of a Verbal test, where you answer questions on Critical Reading, Analogy, Sentence Completion, etc. There's also a Math section, which tests your logical skills and your concept of basic high-school math. There are also SAT II Subject Tests, but we'll deal with that in another issue. These tests are taken on specific dates, around twice or thrice a year.

There are three ways to register for the SAT. If you have access to an international credit card, like Visa or MasterCard, then you should definitely register online, as it's easy, convenient, and allows you to pick your exam venue. You also have the option of registering by phone, or by mail, the latter option being the slowest.

The fee for the SAT I Reasoning test is $29. If you're registering through mail, you have the option of using your credit card, or making a pay order. Registration by phone or online requires you to have MasterCard.

For more information on the SAT, visit http://www.collegeboard.com, or visit the United States Information Services (USIS) centre at Banani (next to the graveyard).
Next week: Preparing for SAT: Tips and tricks

By Sabrina F Ahmad

Do it yourself


Done with O-Levels/A-Levels and planning to make an advanced and fresh start with the next chapter in your educational life? The optimal way to get organised is to keep a calendar, making a timetable that suits you the most. So how about making a calendar on your own? It will be a bit of fun and there's nothing wrong if you are able to add in a pinch of personal decoration to highlight your monthly schedule.

Log onto http://familycrafts.about.com/cs/calendars/a/122900a.htm where you can design your own calendar every month. Click on printable Calendar or free colouring book pages and the rest in up to you. You choose the theme, background colour, the special days to celebrate (or not!), and finally all you have to do is print it out and make sure that you can actually utilise it for its real purpose!

By Shayera Moula




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