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     Volume 2 Issue 11 | May 26, 2007 |


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Editor's Note

Bedtime Stories

Most of the girls of Buraburi Union, Kurigram, get married very young and then get divorced very young. All kinds of urban legends circulate the villages as to why this sort of thing happens. For example, as one story goes, if a girl dies a virgin, her dissatisfied soul will haunt the village for years to come. These stories, of course, are there to cover up something; to give a lighthearted twist on a social phenomenon that is much more complicated. Relatively harmless sounding folk tales are often used to mask and sustain a brutal, oppressive, structure of power. Most of these women understand that they are at the mercy of decisions being made by other men because they are fundamentally economically powerless. But they are trying to get out of it; they are now trying to support themselves and put their own food on the table.

There's a Vietnamese folk tale in the “Story” page and it's possible to feel that you've heard it before, but from another time and place. These are stories that have been written across the centuries and across the globe, but the motif stays the same. They try to drive home the same moral, over and over again.

Abak Hussain
From the Insight Desk

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