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Tabooed tattoos

All these come to your mind when you hear the word 'body-art'. For today, we will only let you know about Tattoos, minus the religious aspect. The history of tattoos is very ancient and seems to be of thousands of years old and even before the birth of Christ. Maybe it was started by an accident! Someone had a small wound, and rubbed it with a hand that was dirty with soot and ashes from the fire. Once the wound had healed, they saw that a mark stayed permanent.

In time they learned to use it consciously and artistically. The recorded indication of tattoos comes from the ancient Egyptian wall paintings as old as 2000 BC have been suggesting the use of tattoos in the ancient Egyptian society.

Okay, no more numerical history.
So where does the word 'tattoo' come from? It may be thought that the word comes from the Polynesian word 'tatao'. 'Tatao' in Polynesian, means 'to tap' as suggested by the piercing methods of tattoo. Though researchers suggest that Tahitian word 'tatu' which means 'to mark something', to be the distant ancestor of the modern word 'tattoo'.

So why did people mutilate their body parts, injecting permanent inks in their skin?

A few tribal groups in parts of Middle East do tattoo using blue ink (thought to be the actual color for tattoo), symbolizing their tribe. Some religions even signified tattoo, as an integral part of their religion and each person following the religion is required to have that tattoo mark on their body symbolizing the person authority as a group member. Even modern day gangs are seen to have a particular mark on their shoulders signifying their group name. Most people now, however, just have their arms tattooed for coolness sakes. The 'Ripley's Believe it or Not' even showed a man doing miniature masterpieces of famous artwork like 'Mona Lisa'.

So now, you have decided to get one. But do not make the mistakes of abruptly doing tattoos. If you are doing the permanent ones, just remember that they are going to be stuck to under your skin for good, unless you burn that area. Keep in mind the religious aspect, since most of the religions do not permit tattooing. After all these considerations, if you want to get a Chinese or Mandarian tattoo, just do not go for a random Chinese word you picked up from a Chinese magazine that you cannot read. Once, there was a guy who got a Chinese tattoo that he thought meant something evil, but apparently the word ended up meaning 'poo'. That would be LOVB (Loss of Valuable Blood)!

All right, to be honest, check your tattoo artist before you try for a permanent one. If you feel you must tattoo Chinese words, then for goodness sake make sure that the words are not by someone who does not know Chinese himself, and whose handiwork is no better than the English handwriting of a 6-year old! Also make sure that everything is well sterilized because unclean needles can give you Hepatitis B or Tuberculosis.

So now the question remains…do we have it in Bangladesh? Fortunately, Bangladesh has everything from open dustbins, to expensive BMWs and even tattoo shops. You can have your own designs and own artwork drawn on your body. One particular place is Facewash men's saloon. Females can enter as well, but only if you want to do tattoos.

Their portfolios contain every possible design imaginable, including dragons and otherwise. They even have Chinese calligraphy designs and the best part is, they even have temporary tattoos for those who like one. The only drawback is that the tattoos are only black in color. The cost is probably worth the designs and expertise. Prices range from Tk. 300 onwards for temporary tattoos. These tattoos last for about a month.

I haven't heard of any other tattoo shops in Bangladesh; although I have heard there is one in Banani, so if you find one please do let us know. The permanent tattoo's pricing starts from a whooping Tk. 6000 for the basic designs only and it increases if your designs are more critical and detailed. Facewash is situated in Dhanmondi 4A, besides Suruchi Food Court.

Next week, we discuss about other body mutilations.

By Shamma M. Raghib

Starting this week, we'll be printing a series of diary entries that reflect on the lives of four very different teenaged girls and their adventures. The entries are based on true stories, but all the names and characters mentioned in the story are fictional. Any resemblance to anyone living, dead, or imaginary is purely plagiarism and we'll demand compensation. Heck, we'll demand compensation anyway!

Teen diaries 1
Enter the queen bee
February 5, 2006

Dear Diary,
Today was the first day of school. We have such a pathetic uniform, it's not even funny!! I mean, honestly, the fashion police should really arrest the school authorities. Thank God for the cute cardigan Dad got from Bangkok last month, and I totally dig my new platform sneakers and bag.

The first thing that horrid Faria Miss did was to pass a comment about my new highlights and me outgrowing my shalwar kameez...I mean, seriously, if she doesn't know that short 'n tight is THE way to attract the guys, I'm not surprised she's still an old maid.

My new class isn't entirely unfortunate. There's plenty of eye candy, and our new class teacher, Rahib Sir looks like he's going to be a total pushover. Lamia's in my section, so I've got someone to discuss guys with. The rest of the girls are not too bad...no competition.

So then, a weird thing happened during form period. Saquib, the guy from our basketball team, was like totally hitting on the new girl Sadia.

She's like, such a non-entity, with her mousy little ponytail and stupid goodie-two-shoes uniform, but you can imagine how the idea that the school jock was paying her attention would get into her head. The poor little idiot had no idea that he probably just saw her as fresh meat, and she was blushing and making sheep's eyes at him. I couldn't stand it...I mean, hello...a little self-respect wouldn't hurt! So I decided to spare her the misery by telling her that Saquib wouldn't dream of being interested in her.

Lamia started laughing as always, and tried to add a cute comment of her own..but then that weirdo goth-chick, Afrida made some nerdy comment about conformity and sheep...which was supposed to imply that Lamia's a wannabe. I know that Lami does tend to try a little hard, but there wasn't any need to make a production of it! Honestly, if she was someone I was more bothered about, I'd probably get even, but she is so not worth it!

So after a fairly alright kinda day, I get back home to find my parents are leaving for ANOTHER trip abroad....they just got back last week, and now they're off again for another two weeks. Oh well, I suppose it'll be cool to have the house to myself again.

You know what, diary? I think I'll go watch a movie or something.

By The Girl Next Door

Campus news
Play Pen becomes scientific!

Walking in the Play Pen field certainly brought back a horde of memories for this alum. Many of the faces are still the same. Nonetheless, Play Pen has expanded from the kindergarten school that it was, to establishments a lot more ambitious, and this Friday, April 28, 2006, observed its second integrated Science Fair with over 70 projects being displayed by the students at both the junior and senior buildings.

Although with the O' Levels coming up, the Class X students couldn't participate, the others put up a great presentation, within just a month's notice. The Junior Building covered classes I to V and the little minds presented marvellous projects denoting their colorful imaginative worlds, ranging from tame and wild animals (where apparently some new creatures were discovered), land forms, city and village life, sense organs, shadows, human body, food chain, rain cycle, to complicated ones like human digestive system, uses of plants and even scientific ones such as 'air has weight'! They presented in 'clusters' ending each of their presentations in a very Oriental big bow and a very elongated ‘Thaaaaaaaank You’.

The bigger minds had more bigger (literally) and ambitious projects set up in their Senior building. The Senior building comprised of Class VI to X and covered projects ranging from earthquake protection (via magnets installed in oscillating buildings), evolution of the Earth, an Aquarium (which covered an entire wall with good lighting effects), self-sustainable village, hydrodynamic power stations, biotechnology, sewage control system, periscopes, a Sunderban replica, to ‘solutions’ for load shedding (using a water tank and dynamo) much required at Kansat! There was even a cosmetics project where the production of nail polish, nail polish removers and talcum powders were being shown and sold at Tk.50 - Tk.150, the money being donated to charity.

The major attraction of the Senior Building was a village corner which comprised of a huge hut, pitha display along with other local delicacies… I literally had saliva rolling down my mouth. Other traditional customs and items such as nokshi katha and different types of sarees were also displayed. The girls presenting battled sweat as they had to wear sarees in keeping with a rural Bengali theme. Alongside the village corner, models of famous monuments of Bangladesh were also displayed.

The programme ended with a vote of thanks by Mrs. Shahriar Qader, Vice Principal of the Academic Arena, and Mrs. Sabera Harun Principal of Play Pen.

By Adnan M. S. Fakir
A riveting function by Lereeto young ones

Pahela Baishakh is an opportune time to celebrate our rich heritage and usher in the new year. To mark this occasion, the students and teachers of Loreto School held a dazzling cultural function recently.
The show got underway with an eloquent rendition of Tagore's eternal classic 'Esho He Baishakh' by classes seven, eight and nine. Then was a dance by the little ones of class one and two to the tune of Aye Chelera, Aye Meyera. The dances included the graceful 'Rangamatir Pathey' by class five girls. The popular class nine duet of Bihur E Lan was unique as it focussed on the beauty of nature instead of oft repeated themes. The wee ones of class three presented two cheerful recitations, Golpo Bola and Pecha aar Pechani. Contemporary Bangla music was a big crowd puller.
A wide round of applause was reserved for the remix of the popular Krishna Ayla Radhar Kunje by the class seven boys. However it was the guitar-singing 'bad boys' of class nine -- complete with gelled hair and rap-star moves -- who stole the show with 'Melay jayre' with class eight girls pitching in as Lalonas. In keeping with the popularity of fusion of Bangla and western culture, the boys threw in break dancing to a song widely featured in Baishakhi fairs. The credit goes to the teachers and Principal Nasreen Rahman for the patience and effort. The show was conducted by our Bangla teacher Jahanara Arju.

By Alaka Dhara Halder


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