Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 4, Issue 9 , Tuesday March 6, 2007



Shop Special
Kaktarua: Trying to bring a change

If clothing could speak, you would be sure to find it at Kaktarua, a store that was recently inaugurated at Aziz Super Market. Situated on the ground floor, this store is an endeavour of a group of students- some who attend Charukola and others who study at Shanto Mariam.

The store focuses mainly on graphic tees, paintings and sculptures. When asked what is so different about this particular boutique, the designers say that their tees have hand-painted and screen-printed graphics that convey messages which are likely to make buyers more aware of their culture and heritage. Some of the tees even boast reprints of famous paintings by artists such as Picasso and Shofiuddin. The main aim of their products is to educate wearers and rid the market of clichéd products. No wonder the store is called Kaktarua.

The half-sleeved tees cost Taka 140 and the full-sleeved ones are Taka 220. The paintings and sculptures have readers might misunderstand this. The tees come mostly in black and earthy tones- an intentional choice of the designers because these colours are always in vogue and suit everyone. Although the store only has menswear, soon they will be expanding to sell fatuas for both sexes. The entire production process takes place in Narayanganj- the home base for all the designers.

Artistically decorated, well priced and well located to suit the needs of its target customers- students and artists- Kaktarua is on a mission to make its customers socially aware and we wish it good luck on its endeavour.

By Tahiat-e-Mahboob
Photo: Amirul Rajiv

News Flash

Tribal craftsmanship revisited…

In a patriarchal society such as the one we are living in, women's contribution to the economy passes un-applauded in most circumstances. And if the women are from borderline tribes, the shadow cast on them is darker still. Tribal women engage themselves in creating curious-looking handicrafts and weaving clothes of flamboyant hues. These items have lately come into the mainstream, with many heralding them as in-vogue and trendy.

From February 27 to March 3, Prabartana, the fashion house, in collaboration with Narigrantha Prabartana celebrated this creativity by hosting “Adivasi Bayanshilpa and Hastashilpa Prodorshon 2007”.

The exhibition primarily accommodated work from seven tribes of Bangladesh. From Bandarban, there were Murma, Chakma, Mru, Khumi and Tanchanga while from Netrokona and Moulavibazar there were Garo and Monipuri tribes, respectively.

Handicraft items on sale included the following: Throom (bamboo baskets), bamboo spoons and the Mru flutes among various others. There was a greater variety in the clothing section, with fabrics from different regions. You can avail tapwo, which is a piece of clothing that tribal women wrap around themselves to carry their infants to work. The clothes are woven with manually prepared threads made from cotton (which again, are cultivated by the tribes themselves). From the Tanchanga tribe, there was 'khadi' fabric that the women exclusively use for 'orna'. Other items included: pinon (a cloth that is wound about the waist), aadhi kapor (mini shawls) from the Chakma tribe, ganna (knee-length skirts) from the Garo tribe, saris, table cloths, bed spreads, handkerchiefs, mini bags and wallets.

Prabartana's “Adivasi Bayanshilpa and Hastashilpa Prodorshon 2007” premiered on the 27th of February at 3 pm, with prominent figures in the field. A Garo cultural program followed the speeches. The exhibition drew to an end on the 3rd of March. From 3 pm to 7 pm, there was baul music.

By Shahmuddin Ahmed Siddiky
Photo: Amirul Rajiv

'Aachar' fest

February 26 saw the 7th year run of the Pran-Prothom Alo 'Jatiyo Aachar Protijogita'. The Bangladesh China Convention Centre in Agargoan, where the event was to be hosted, was thronged with participants and their families, the press and assorted media luminaries. Despite the unfortunate incident of fire in the BSEC building in Karwan Bazar and the consequent traffic turmoil, there was a certain enthusiasm. As the saying goes, “the show must go on”.

This time around, the competition was taken to a wider scale. There was more of everything- more entries, more media coverage, more well-wishers and as many of the judges noted, more fun. There were 600 candidates and over 3000 'aachar' entries. There were entries in four categories- sweet, sour, spicy and miscellaneous. Not only was there a greater volume of entries, it was mentioned that the overall quality of the entries was praiseworthy. The 3000-plus initial entries were carefully tested (literally, in laboratories and of course, sampled) by a group of teachers and students of Home Economics. Professor Shahin Ahmed, one of the judges and a professor of Home Economics, stated: “It was Ramadan time, and we had to sit with hundreds of 'aachars' each evening for hours,” she further added with a dash of humour, “It turned out, that after all the sampling, we were all too full to have dinner.”

After what appears to be a painstaking process of trial and error, most of the entries were discarded leaving only 48 to move on to the final round. The final verdict was on the hands of the star-studded panel of adjudicators. The panel accommodated the singers Fatema-tuz-Zohra, Fahmida Nabi, Meherin, actress Fima, culinary specialist Nasreen Alam Fortune and Professor Shahin Ahmed. The 48 short-listed women were invited along with their families to attend the program.

The primary objective of the program was made clear at the outset. Shumona Sharmin, the host and the editor of Noksha, said: “'Aachar' making is an art. Many of us tend to overlook all the hard work and dedication that goes into making a jar of decent 'aachar'. We take it for granted that our mothers and our aunts are there for such services. This is for those ladies whose labour goes unappreciated.” The idea was to promote and encourage the retention of the 'aachar'-making culture.

The program commenced on a high-note. To start of, Riya and Sohel Rahman performed a dance with their group. Then the judges were called up on stage to share their experiences and amusing anecdotes in the process of judging. The singers had to go through an additional trial- they had to sing a few lines to a song of their acapella.

This was followed by songs from the Closeup1 stars Beauty and Salma, who as usual delivered goosebumps-inducing renditions of Lalon and folk songs like “Milon Hobe Koto Dine” and “Baniya Bondhu Re”. Then came in Agun and Rumana Islam, the children of Khan Ataur Rahman, for a duet.

Finally the names of the winners were announced, and everyone went home content. The winners were provided with 2 tickets to Malaysia. Alongside, there were many prizes including television sets, DVD players, dinner sets and microwaves.

By Shahmuddin Ahmed Siddiky

On The Cover

March 8 is International Women's Day, and here's one fabulous example of how you can embrace your inner diva and carry your Eve's legacy with pride. Age should not be a reason to let the colours bleach out of your life.

Photo: Zahedul I Khan
Make-up and styling: Sadia Moyeen, La belle
Model: Mrs Tanima Kalim


Knowledge is power
Ladies beware! Knowledge is power. Whether it's family history or sheer bad luck, our body is sculpted in such a way that without routine check ups and extra caution, we are more than likely to become victims of a multitude of diseases- some which are benignly permanent and others which are terminally malignant. So why cause yourself the pain, heartache and misery?

Dig into your history
Some of the deadliest diseases such as breast cancer and ovarian cancer more often than not run in the family. And while haemophilia only rarely affects women, if you bear sons then chances are that they might inherit it from you. So do your research and dig into the family history to see if you have a history of any such disease on either side of your family.

Check up or pack up
If you want to save yourself future pains, make it a habit to have routine check ups done as soon as you cross the big three-o. Make it a point to get an overall check-up as well as those that might pertain to your particular physiology to keep track of how your body is maturing. Try to make it an annual habit so that nothing takes you by surprise.

Doctor knows best
Whenever your doctor instructs you to follow a particular routine or do a routine self-exam, do yourself the trouble of following it. The same goes for taking medicine. There is no space for waylaying when it comes to swallowing those little buggers. We are superwomen in many ways, but when it comes to our bodies, we are mere mortals. So don't forget to follow those prescriptions.

At the end of day, it's your life, your health and your body. So please do yourself the honour of taking care of it.

By Tahiat-e-Mahboob



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