Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 41, Tuesday, October 19, 2010



News flash

Hunger relief

Bangladesh's premier international fast food brands, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) and Pizza Hut, have worked jointly with United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to raise wider awareness on hunger and to support WFP to provide meals to children in schools, helping to ensure they achieve an education. This is one of the most critical steps necessary to overcome poverty and hunger.

This year's campaign - the fourth in succession was inaugurated today at KFC in Dhaka by WFP representatives in Bangladesh and Executive Director of Transcom Foods Ltd. Akku Chowdhury. It will run for a month, building on the success of the 2009 campaign in which both celebrities and customers participated actively.

“In collaboration with the Government, WFP has shown that school feeding helps bring children into primary school and keep them there. It also significantly reduces their malnutrition, setting them up for a far more healthy and productive life. This is a critical intervention under which we need to target the 4.4 million children who do not attend primary school. We call upon all KFC and Pizza Hut customers to contribute and help us to build the next generation,” said Akku Chowdhury.

“We at Pizza Hut and KFC have campaigned to raise awareness and funds for WFP since 2007,” he added. “This year we are requesting our customers to add Tk.20 with their bill as a donation to WFP and we will match the same amount from Transcom Foods Limited. It is hoped that this spirit will continue to ensure that hunger remains on top of everyone's agenda."

The Hunger Relief Programme will be celebrated internationally from October 14-November 13, 2010 by all the restaurants under the Yum! International brand. The campaign led by Yum! (A & W, KFC, Long John Silvers, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell)- a network of over 35,000 restaurants in 112 countries and the UN World Food Programme worked to raise awareness about hunger, with all proceeds going to the WFP.

Food insecurity affects over 1 billion people worldwide. It is the largest global health threat, ahead of AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. Each day 25,000 people die of hunger related causes.

All funds raised during Yum! Brand's World Hunger Relief Campaign will directly support the greatest needs of WFP's food relief fund in the least developed nations around the world. The Yum! Foundation will make a matching contribution of all consumer funds raised during the World Hunger Relief Campaign to cover a minimum of US$500,000 and maximum US$2m in WFP's needs. For more information, please visit www.wfp.org.

News flash

Banthai's bridal offer

In anticipation of the wedding season, Banthai Barber and Beauty Saloon introduces five bridal packages. All five packages are applicable for both grooms and brides. This package will run till March 2011.

Address: Road 55, House NWF, 12/B, Gulshan 2 Dhaka. #8839584

My Beloved Motherland

Cartoons have the power to shake the soul of society. With apt caricatures and succinct words, they portray social issues through humour and sarcasm. Alliance Française de Dhaka is hosting a cartoon exhibition titled “My Beloved Motherland” in its Galerie Zoom that began on 16 October and will continue till 30 October 2010.

Shamsuzzaman Khan, Director General, Bangla Academy and Professor Muzaffar Ahmed were present as honourable guests to inaugurate the exhibition.

My Beloved Motherland is a cartoon exhibition that has been drawn by Abu Salim over a few years. For his tenth cartoon exhibition, the artist has selected twenty drawings that denounce corruption, tyranny and upholds causes such as the environment.

Baton Rouge

Baton Rouge is pleased to inform that it now presents a buffet lunch and buffet dinner showcasing Italian, Chinese and Indian cuisines. There is also a kebab corner, in addition to the pastry and baked items that serve as desserts. The buffet lunch @ Tk 495 comprises of 51 different dishes and the buffet dinner @ Tk 695 comprises of 101 different items.

Reservations can also be made for special occasions like birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, workshops, day-long seminars etc.

Entice your taste buds and enjoy the Baton Rouge experience.

-LS Desk

Check it out

AMETHYST ' Exclusive jewellery exhibition’

There was a time when the word jewellery automatically meant gold or silver in Bangladesh, but now times have changed and social elite groups are looking for exclusiveness, leading to the popularity of white gold and gold plated jewellery.

Due to increasing local demand, more and more international jewellery designers are becoming interested in the Bangladeshi market. As such, Kashfy Saber presents the signature collection by Rahul Popli, one of India's leading designers.

Rahul has taken traditional Indian craftsmanship and given it a contemporary home at Amethyst. He concentrates on polki designs, the ancient Indian art that uses diamond chips and gives them a modern twist with elements such as lapis and onyx.

Rahul's pieces range from simple but seductive designs to complex designs of art. At Amethyst, you can find jewellery at very affordable prices, with options that range from light and subtle pieces to inticate designs in raw diamonds and onyx.

A Jewelry Exhibition
Presented by Kashfi Saber
10AM - 9PM, 22nd & 23rd October
The Nest (Rooftop @ The 8)
House 24, Road 2, Gulshan 1
Dhaka, Bangladesh
By Tanziral Dilshad Dita

The Cheq

With globalisation and the advent of satellite television, it is no surprise that there has been a steady shift towards western wear recently in Bangladesh. Keeping the aspect of comfort in mind, such attire has gained significantly in popularity, as a result of which numerous western wear outlets have sprung up all across the country, especially in the capital.

In response to this surging demand, The Cheq has been in operation since 1999. Popularly known as Dj Price, The Cheq has become a well-known name throughout its eleven years. They mostly carry designer wear from Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur in their Navana Tower outlet. Since its inception, the store has proved to be a popular choice for numerous local stars and celebrities.

Their product range consists of casual wear for both sexes, including shoes, bags and belts. They also have provisions for having outfits custom-made with materials selected by the clients.

With winter around the corner, a vast new collection is due so be sure to 'cheq' them out at Shop # 15/16, 1st Floor, Navana Tower, Gulshan 1!

By Tanziral Dilshad Ditan

Interpreter of maladise

Interpreter of maladies

Dr. Nighat Ara, Psychiatrist, Counsellor and Therapist

Dear Dr Ara,
As part of growing cultural influences from around the world, the youth of the nation, particularly in their teens and early twenties, are drawn to a lifestyle that we did not encounter before.

The growing "Goth" culture -- the drive for the colour black and all things "dark" be it literature, music or films -- is having a strong impact on Bangladeshi society. One also encounters young boys who prefer to put eyeliner and light lipstick.

Can you please state why we observe such a trend, especially in our country and in this time? What is the social implication of this new trend?

- LS Editor

During adolescence and sometimes up to early twenties, people go through identity crises as a part of their psycho-social developmental process. This is the time when the brain is in a highly impressionable stage. Teenagers are easily influenced by peers, media and anything that stands out for them. This is the time when they tend to clash with current traditions, authority figures, social norms or ideologies before they settle down with a particular set of beliefs or lifestyle. Children have a natural tendency to test the established values and push the boundaries of their parents.

As a developmental task, they strive to separate themselves from parents (or primary caregivers) and be more independent in as many ways as they can. Before they step in to the real adult world of freedom and responsibility, they go through this transitional phase where things are not yet very clear but are not totally obscured either. Adolescents' new cognitive skills enable them to explore all “possible” solutions to a problem, as opposed to just the “real” or “tested and established” ones. This difference in approach makes them separate from children and adults. So in order “to belong” or “to fit in”, they become members of a group and hang out with people who are in a similar state. Engaging in activities that reflect the internal state of mind is also sometimes therapeutic.

Adolescents have difficulty seeing themselves objectively. They perceive the whole world in the role of an audience and experience themselves as the centre of attention. Choosing to do something shocking or stunning can gratify their need to be different while being under the spotlight. This disturbance in self-image persists throughout adolescence and young adulthood, though it seems to peak at early adolescence (12-14years).

Eroding attitudes and perceptions about the harm of certain traditionally unacceptable behaviours like drug use, irresponsible sexuality and other different forms of self-harm is probably taking its toll on the society as a whole. Messages children get from various sources (friends, teachers, media etc.) are sometimes quite conflicting and a lack of clarification or free communication with a reliable person makes them even more confused. In this era of information technology and globalisation, children are getting exposed to diverse cultures very easily. If the right messages from external sources are not reinforced and supported by family or vice versa, this diversified, less standardised and less centralised culture puts them in the middle of a tornado. They are thus denied a coherent view of the world. It is difficult to formulate an identity in a world that doesn't transmit a sense of wholeness, stability and consistency.

Family systems have also been disintegrating slowly but surely over last few decades. Breakdown of joint families to nuclear families is affecting the upbringing of children. Relationships in the isolated nuclear family are usually intense and can become problematic when there is change in some form. Women liberation and empowerment is shifting the power balance within the family. In the quest for equality, women are choosing to work outside home, which asks for support from their families and community as a whole. Otherwise children are at risk of lack of proper guidance and nurturing. This changing environment is challenging the parents to adjust to new parental roles as they emerge. Rapid social change produces a high level of anxiety and stress in youth and adults alike. The basic family structure is undergoing fundamental transformation resulting in deviant behaviour among some growing children as a survival tool.

I believe, today's youth are showing fascination towards Gothic culture as a result of this changing psycho-social perspective. However, this applies only to a small fraction of our youth culture and doesn't apply to the vast majority who are struggling with basic needs and rights of human life like food, shelter, safety and education. The Gothic culture also tends to attract youth who are somewhat alienated from the mainstream and are having a hard time in school or are confused about what they would like to do in life (a sense of lack of direction), children of broken or stormy families and so on. This then sets them up to look for ways to express themselves in a way that mirrors these underlying feelings which is usually sadness and depression. The colour black and everything dark is probably an expression of that state of mind and they try to communicate it to others in a non-verbal, creative way. Goth culture which includes literature, music, fashion and lifestyle as a whole also captures the restless, thrill seeking, adventurous minds of youth indirectly looking for acknowledgement (“leave me alone but notice me!”).

In my opinion, this subculture doesn't represent the mainstream of Bangladeshi youth culture and is not likely to produce an enormous social implication. These trends are obvious in all changing societies. It only caters to the needs of a segment of young souls in a rapidly changing social era. Open-mindedness, fashion consciousness and inclusiveness are helping to bring focus on it and create interest which is part of modernisation. I guess a sociologist can answer it better than me in respect to its long-term social implication.

Photo: Ashraful Awal Mishuk

Health wise

The miracle is in the egg!

The miracle
Omega-3 fatty acids are vital fatty acids that play an important role in our body functioning healthily. Omega-3 is 'good fat', consisting of essential fatty acids like EPA and DHA. And the benefits of Omega-3 cannot be overstated. The substance provides a stream of health benefits. So much so, that it has been called “the miracle of the 21st century”!

Health benefits
Studies reveal that Omega-3's EPA and DHA (types of Omega-3 acids) improve cardiac health, lower triglycerides, maintain optimal blood pressure and cholesterol levels and are also likely to provide almost immediate relief from joint pains, migraines, depression, autoimmune diseases and many other conditions. The fatty acids help keep good health in general.

But one of the most popular and widely accepted benefits is that it fights against cardiovascular diseases. A body of research suggests there are many heart health related benefits of regularly consuming Omega-3’s EPA and DHA, which are found in oil-rich fish. Some of them include prevention of blood fat levels, prevention of fatal blood clots, and maintaining good artery health.
Your body cannot produce these fatty acids. Although it can convert a type of Omega-3 acid into other more important Omega-3 acids, the conversion is deemed to be very inefficient. Thus, make sure you add a plenty of Omega-3 in your diet to avoid this problem. So, where do you get Omega-3? Salmon, flax seeds, walnuts, scallops, cauliflower, cabbage, cloves and mustard are some of the best sources. Other good sources include halibut, shrimp, cod, tuna, soybeans, tofu, kale, collard greens and Brussels sprouts.

Omega-3 is in the egg now!
A typical Bangladeshi diet does not consist of enough of these fatty acids. You might say that you get all the fatty acids you need from fish. But there's a twist in the tale. Many sweet water fish that you eat contain fatty acids, true; but those fish tend to have more Omega-6 rather than Omega-3.

But there's a perfect solution! Purnava Limited (a subsidiary of Renata), a provider of non-medicated/non-pharmaceutical healthcare products in Bangladesh, offers you O3, Omega-3 enriched eggs. Purnava, in line with its commitment to improve healthcare in Bangladesh through natural means, provides O3 eggs that have all the three types of Omega-3 fatty acids. The eggs are enriched by adding flaxseed, linseed and fish oils to the hens' diets that result in the production of eggs rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.

Although specialty eggs are common in developed countries, for Bangladesh, O3 is a premier in this line of specialisation. After spending a lot of time and resources in research, the company built farms for producing Omega-3 that are ran by Renata Agro Industries Limited under strict conditions of bio-security. Therefore, the eggs are free from harmful organisms. The company does not use animal proteins, hormones or antibiotics in the feed.

Eggs have many health benefits in their own right. O3 is a superb addition to it. And eggs are a common part of the diet anyway. But ordinary farm eggs contain almost no Omega-3. Therefore, if you do eat eggs, it's logical to choose O3- the Omega-3 enriched eggs.

Purnava's eggs are available in Agora, Lavender, Meena Bazaar, Didar and other selected stores.

By M H Haider

Money wise

Teaching children about money

Like all other family values, you would also like to educate your children well about money. Early experiences, learning and observations are important and are likely to have an effect on your child's future income. Thus, teaching the value of money is crucial. Here are some pointers that will give you a nudge in the right direction.

When's the right time?
Worrying whether it's too soon to start discussing money at such a tender age? Then you should probably stop worrying, because the concept of money could be introduced pretty early, as soon as your children learn to count.

Show your kid the differences between wants, needs and wishes.

This will help your child make appropriate spending decisions when s/he grows up. S/he will be able to manage money better, spend wisely and avoid irrational or impulsive buying behaviour.

Learning by observing
Children are an observant lot and they pick up a lot of habits and attitudes from you. Thus, put yourself on the radar and ask whether you are being a good example to follow. Also, seek out opportunities to use to your child's advantage. Take him shopping, run errands with him. Take him to a bank one day.

Teach your children that money is not the end, rather a means to achieve an end. Allow him to save money to meet specific needs and wants. Buy him/her a cute piggy bank. Let your child save up for, say, an expensive box of chocolates, a story book, etc.

You of course want your child to have a big heart. Talk to him/her about doing good for people, and make sure a portion of his pocket money goes to charity.

Multiplying money
Invest a part of your child's money into a saving deposit scheme, or add the amount to the one you're investing in shares. Make it an interactive thing, so that your child understands the need (and fun) of seeing his/her money grow.

Make him/her maintain a simple book-keeping system showing consumption, saving, income and investment. This will work as a self-awareness program that will allow him/her to be more mindful about using money.

By M H Haider

Household tips

5 spices that can help you lose weight

Although we're inclined to scour the web in search of the best diets and meal plans, the truth is, some of the tools to weight-loss success are already on your spice rack!

Here are five ingredients that not only add flavour to your favourite dishes, but can also help in your battle against the bulge.

As little as one teaspoon of cinnamon per day can boost the body's weight-loss ability by reducing blood sugar and promoting healthier processing of carbohydrates. It also lowers LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) by 7 to 27 percent and total cholesterol by 12 to 26 percent. Plus, cinnamon has been shown to prevent the metabolic syndrome commonly seen in pre-diabetics. But before you go on piling the spice by the spoonful, note that cinnamon contains a chemical called coumarin, which can lead to liver damage if consumed in very large amounts.

The main ingredient in spicy cayenne capsaicin, which is also found in other hot peppers, has long been studied for its fat-burning abilities and thermogenic properties (the stimulating of the central nervous system to produce heat in the body, leading to an increase in calorie burning). Many think that cayenne pepper promotes weight loss because it's simply difficult to overindulge in spicy food. However, it was later found that the spice increases fat oxidation, “ramps up energy expenditure, and stimulates activity by the sympathetic nervous system” all of which help the body to shed excess weight.

Not a fan of fiery cuisine? Not to worry! Research has found that cayenne's ability to reduce appetite is equally effective whether ingested as food or in capsule form.

Black pepper
Among the dozens of health benefits of this common household ingredient is its ability to improve digestion and promote the absorption of nutrients in tissues all over the body. Plus, its main component piperine (which gives pepper its pungent taste) boosts fat metabolism by as much as 8 percent for several hours after ingesting it. If you want your pepper to pack the most punch, use freshly ground pepper, which has the most concentrated amounts of piperine.

Mustard seed
Like the other hot ingredients on this list, spicy mustard helps boost metabolism and allows you to burn fat more quickly, thanks in part to its thermogenic properties. Eating just one teaspoon of hot mustard can boost metabolism 20 to 25 percent for several hours after eating, resulting in an additional burn of about 45 calories if a 700-calorie meal is consumed.

Long used for its medicinal properties, ginger is also an effective diuretic (a substance that increases the elimination of urine). It improves gastric mobility (i.e. it pushes food and waste through the digestive system) and hinders the absorption of cholesterol. Evidences also suggest that this versatile spice helps to increase metabolism.

-LS Desk


Early morning runs

You're probably frowning upon this piece of writing and moving on to another. You're saying, “Getting up early… and then going for a run! That's impossible and pathetic. Who would to that?” True, rising early and going for a run is not the easiest thing ever, but with a little effort, you'll do wonders for yourself.

Running is a good way to stay fit, and if you want to shed off the extra calories, running is a great option, especially if you do it early morning. If you run on an empty stomach early in the morning, it cuts down more calories. When you run early in the morning (and thus start your day early), your body's metabolism is kicking off early too, and hence remaining active for longer, therefore burning off more calories. Furthermore, if your stomach is empty, the body uses the energy that is most available at the time, which, when you are on an empty stomach, is stored fat.

Going for a run does more to you than just helping you physically. It is a great way to start off the day. You can make a things-to-do list in your mind. Also, running gives you motivation; it ignites a person's enthusiasm, ambition and the thrill of pushing boundaries. Moreover, a lot of creative thoughts hit when you are fast on the track.

Therefore, no matter how lazy you are, going for an early morning run surely deserves a shot. Try getting to bed early, and make sure you have your running clothes prepared the night before.

After you wake up, don't snuggle under your warm blanket, and no pressing the snooze button on your alarm clock! Get to the street, as soon as possible! But if you must have a cup of tea or coffee as soon as you wake up, don't hesitate to do so. It's good, actually. Moderate levels of caffeine provide an additional boost. But try to keep it to half a cup.

And talking of boost, take your iPod with you. Fill in some upbeat and motivating songs and music to set the mood. If you still feel lazy, see if you can get any of your friends to do this with you, so that you have an additional incentive. But don't get too excited and start running at once. Walk for about five minutes and then gradually increase the speed; first let your body wake up fully.

So where should you run? Park or lake-side is fine. With trees and flowers and a lake around you, running can be very peaceful. An alternative could be to run on the empty roads. Running can be very spiritual. With no people around - and no traffic, you can finally be completely with yourself, just you and your thoughts. You have all the space in the world, with a painfully beautiful morning sky over your head and the full city asleep… you run.

By M H Haider






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