Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 1, Issue 47, Tuesday April 27, 2004






Changing lifestyle

The lifestyle of Bangladeshis has indeed changed dramatically over the past few years. So many items that we once never thought of using, eating and buying have become essential elements of our lives. Can you now think of leaving your home without having rolled a stick of deo under your arms? No, you cannot. Deodorants are a new addition to our shopping cart. How many Bangladeshis bothered to pay attention to their body odour even 5 years back? Who cared if someone smelled like trash? Today, however, after watching western and Indian ads of deodorants featuring sensual people whose love life changes overnight with a simple can of deodorant, our attitude towards body odour and perspiration has also taken a new turn. One of the multinational companies had been smart enough to come up with economy packs of anti-perspiring products so that the middle class Bangladeshi families could buy and use these deos too. If you visit the local stores today, you will see that their shelves are displaying Lever Brothers Bangladesh Ltd's Rexona deodorant in plastic tubes and containers, costing you a reasonable Tk.30. So now a moderate wage earner from a middle class household can also dream of fighting his/her body odour.

Never before had Bangladeshi women have wonderful days of preparing ready-to-eat meals for their families. With the culture of frozen foods becoming more and more popular among families, today many households keep stocks of frozen nuggets, cutlets, samosa, fried chicken, shingara and so much more to serve with the afternoon tea. Maggi has already become a household name with their instant noodles and soups. Long gone are the days of browsing the culinary books to locate a suitable recipe of Thai soup.

With more and more urban women joining the workforce, mothers now have less time in hand to prepare snacks and meals for their families. Stone and dirt-free packaged rice is now available at stores to save your time. You don't even have to prepare roti/parathas these days; our local companies are collaborating with foreign concerns to make our life more hassle-free.

The spending pattern of middle class families of Bangladesh is certainly changing. Today we visit the Fantasy Kingdom during weekends to fight the elements of boredom that pile up in our monotonous lives. Spending some tk.500 on the rides of a theme park seems ok for many of us. The middle class families are now the targets of most companies, manufacturing consumer goods, building shopping malls, entertainment parks and setting up exquisite food stores. Where rice and spicy curry was once considered the ideal lunch for a Bangalee, today the younger generation visits the fast food outlets for lunch with pizza and fried chicken.

Every day, we are learning new things from the satellite channels and yearning to use them in our daily life. How many of us used a soap-free face wash some 5 years back? Only the consumers from the well-to-do families bought them from posh stores of Dhanmondi and Gulshan. Today, a member of a middle class family can easily afford to use the locally produced Pond's face wash, which bears an impressive quality. Lever Brothers Bangladesh Ltd. has also introduced Lux body wash for the native consumers; the reputable companies are introducing and popularising those consumer products that most Bangladeshis never dreamt of using before. Widening of the reach of print and broadcast media has enabled most local companies to sell their products all over the country

Just think about the number of supermarkets that sprouted in different locations of Dhaka over the last 2 years. The products that these supermarkets sell are also available in the small local stores and open bazaar, but still the families visit these superstores with elegant dé
cor for their congenial and air-conditioned atmosphere. The self-service facility of these grand stores has also eliminated the need to quarrel with the salesmen over price and quality. The supermarkets of Dhaka have definitely brought the largest change in consumers' shopping style in recent times.

So many changes are yet to take over our life. So long the changes are positive and beneficial; we are ready to welcome them with open arms.

By Wara Karim

Reader's Chit

The woman in you…

For almost every woman out there, life has somehow become a routine. For many, careers have become their main focus in life, while for others looking after their families become number one priority.

Undoubtedly, after a normal day of hard, tedious work, few of us have enough energy left in us to do anything but sleep. In spite of doing all your work, I can bet that there are times when you're feeling that your life is somehow being wasted. If you've been feeling like this for quite some time, don't you think it's finally time you actually did something about it?

Step one: give yourself a treat. Remember that in life there are times when you have to be selfish. Spend some time actually doing things you like. On weekends, if you're bounding with energy don't confine yourself within your home, being stuck with work. Do something that's guaranteed to be fun. Picnics and parties seem like a good idea, if you're the outdoorsy type. Just make sure someone else is taking the responsibility of arranging the entire thing, so that you can be totally worry-free. If you're the solitary type, taking a leisure shower and then settling down with a novel with soothing background music, should provide the break you're looking for. Just make sure you don't have any young kids nearby. After all, kids are disasters waiting to happen.

Step two: flatter and indulge yourself. If you're feeling too guilty, remind yourself again of how important you are…to yourself, and to those surrounding you. You're happy, everyone's happy. You being in a bad mood results in everyone tiptoeing around you. If you really want something, go for it. Don't stop to consider the pros and cons of it. Another thing we often forget to consider, amidst our busy life routines, is how to enhance our femininity. When was the last time you felt like a complete girl, refreshed and tension-free? Take a break, and do something new to yourself. A new makeover, or a hairstyle can do wonders for your appearance, and your moods.

Step three: live for the moment. While few forget how to spend time, and make an effort for themselves, few actually forget how to 'live'. Each moment is a conscious effort for them to actually try and act 'their age'. Be wild, and impulsive at times. It actually helps to let off steam. Acting silly often, actively participating in childish games, dancing wildly in the rain, etc. might all be frowned upon by certain people, but who cares…
everyone just has one life to live!

There are many more things you can do to actually feel better and liven up your life, but starting with these three simple steps is a good start anyway. Pretty soon, you'll be feeling on top of the world, ready to handle anything instead of wondering why you are stuck in life feeling exasperated and aggravated.

By Jennifer Ashraf



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