Islam and Women Rights

The reading “Religion and Gender” points some important discrimination regarding religion and gender.  However, I would like to point out some right that Islam has given to women.  I am not going to mention about the other religions because I don’t know much about them regarding this issue.

Firstly, the religion Islam was given to the human kind in situation where people in the Arab countries were burying their new born baby girls alive or dead.  Islam strongly opposed this habit, and it encouraged the parents who give  birth to baby girls and nurture then by saying who ever parents give birth to three or more girls and nurture then properly will deserver heaven.

Secondly, Islam has given the right to a girl to choose her own husband.  She does not have to obey with the wedding proposal that her parents brought if she does not like that.  She has the right to say frankly whom she likes to marry and whom not to.

Thirdly, although divorce is the thing that Allah hates the most among the ones he accepted to do, he has given equal right for women similar to men.  Therefore, if a woman does not like her husband, then she is free to divorce him.  She neither deserves any bad treatments from her husband nor does she deserver dishonors from her society. 

Finally, I would like to mention the priority that Islam has given to education and no matter whether that’s a girl or a boy.  Both of them deserve education.  Islam says that education is a lost property of a Muslim and hence, we have to search for that.  It does not show any discrimination in any of these regards.

To sum up, these are some important issues that I thought of mentioning in the blog.  However, there are some superstitions like girl should not study and they should not go to mosque are not in the religious rules.  I don’t say we must go to mosque, but I can say that we can go to mosque, I go.  I think the rights that are given in my religion, Islam, is more than enough for me and perhaps to anybody else to lead a peaceful and trouble less life.

Symbolism of Food In Sri Lankan Muslim Culture

Food plays a major role in all cultures.  Likewise, it plays a special role in my culture as well.  Especially, the role in food is well seen whith the arrival of guests.  Usually they are invited for lunch or dinner.  However, if the guest stayed overnight, then they are more likely to have the breakfast and leave the place. 

We, Sri Lankan Muslims, prepare pittu, rotty or hoppers for breakfast, usually.  We can make them with different types of flour; for example, coconut rotty with wheat flour, kurakkan rotty with kurakkan flour, parata rotty and many other types of rotties, and hoppers like string hoppers, milk hoppers, plain hoppers and egg hoppers with corn flour, rice flour and wheat flour.  Each variety is a different type of food.  We often serve banana and pudding for dessert.

Next, for lunch, we cook special vegetable rice and spicy curry including a complete diet with green leave salad and fruit. We serve faluda or some other items of soft drinks with fruit as desserts.  After an hour later, we usually have coffee or tea with short eats.

Then dinner is slight as always. Breakfast and dinner have almost always have been the same because that is the food that is not heavy.   We sometimes cook potato curry with gravy for diner, and all others are similar to breakfast.

However, during the especial festival days, things will be quite different as in all other cultures.   Though there are visitors or not, there will always be a cup of vattilappam, which so delicious – made of egg and some other ingredients.  This is so special during the festival days.  Though we go to some others’ places, we take that cup of food.  One cup of vattilappam will reciprocate the whole lunch or dinner whatever we had as a guest.

Finally, our day to day food is somewhat similar to the guest’s food. We don’t have desserts as like we the visitors have. We enjoy our food always.

The Lie about “The Truth about Lying”

Telling lies is one of the contradictory arguments that people have among them. When someone lies, that does not sound good to others’ ears, or rather even the liar will feel guilty about the lie that he or she had told. Lies can be classified in to four different groups according to the lies that we tell based on the article “The Truth about The Lies” by Judith Viorst. I think all the lies that we tell will remain valid and useful until they remain as lies – truth should never be found. If not, if someone finds out the truth someday, then that will be embarrassing and more than that, it will bring some other serious problems as well especially when we dare to lie for serious matters and or family matters.
I don’t really dare to tell lies especially to my parents or elders. However, I sometimes hide the truth or just make evasive answers when answering their questions. But for sure, I have never been caught by others as a liar. In some cases, when I give my words to someone, true that I lie, but I do unwillingly. However, we know that the requirement to tell lies is in order to hide the things that someone did bad or illegal or considered to be wrong. Often times if this is the case, I don’t support or promote people to lie. This is because one lie that we tell to in order to hide the mistakes that we have made will lead us to tell thousands of other lies in order to hide the previous lies. Therefore, this lying process will continue as a chain and finally when too many lies come in to our plans, we often forget whom we told what! This will ultimately put us in to trouble though it does not seem that way at the first sight itself.
Therefore, according to my interpretations, I think that avoiding telling leis is the best thing to avoid all the other problems. First, we have to be truthful to ourselves and then we can be truthful to others; hence, it is better to avoid lying.

Willy should not have committed suicide.

                 According to my interpretation, I suppose Willy could have made some other decisions other than deciding to commit suicide because committing suicide resembles a cowardly act. Moro over, it also suggests that Willy is not satisfied with what he had: his wife, boys and other properties that he owned. He could have done something else other than making this drastic decision and putting his family in to trouble. He could have chosen another path out of the thousands of options that a person can chose in order to live successfully.

                The first option that I can suggest is that he and his boys could have opened a new business and run that together.  They could have initiated with a small scale business and eventually expand that in to an extreme one and thereby they could have owned a family business.  This will allow them to have more interconnected family bonds and closeness. Moreover, this will automatically solve Biff’s problem as well, the fact that he did not have a proper job.  

                 The second option is that Willy could have agreed with Charley’s appointment and worked with him though he did not like.  If he had managed to work with Charley, some how he could have changed his positions in the future during his work days.  He and Charley could have spoken that in a smooth manner and decided for the better future.

                  If not, my third suggestion is that he could have at least mad his mind satisfy with what he had; he could have thought that enough is enough and not to bother too much about money and other material success. 

                  However, he did not have any sort of shortages in his life other than his over imaginations in unending hopes.  Willy could have survived for some more days and live with his family. I think he has chosen the worst path a man could do to find a permanent solution to all his problems rather than trying to cope with the existing situation.

Material Success

The play, “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller, shows how some people are well concerned about money, wealth and material success. Willy, one of the main characters of this play, is always concerned about having money and material success, and hence, he has in the verge of becoming mentally depressed about his life and his boys’ future. He always thinks how to earn a lot of money and how to have a luxurious life.

Similarly one of my neighbors also had the same idea of having material success; they wanted to be rich and live show fully. Since my next door uncle and aunt were not well educated, they just focused only on money, wealth and perches of land. They were interested to get these things in any way. They were like, you pay me as much as u can, and I’ll work. Since they were poor in educational side, they did not even want their daughter to be educated. As a result, they gave their daughter in marriage in her young age itself to a wealthy rich guy, who was several years older than her, came from a posh family. They did not want to think about this deeply and take appropriate decision. They were that stingy to agree with that proposal as soon as they got to know about the guy. Though this girl did not want to marry, her parents persuaded her to marry that guy by telling her that she won’t have such a good man if she disagreed with that wedding proposal as if there were no any other men to her to marry.

Finally, after two or three years this girl could not live with that guy due to various other problems and that ended up in divorce. On the one hand, her family had nothing left, both their respect and the reputation of that family was lost. On the other hand, the girl lost her life.

Though I don’t know the end of this play, this is what I feel about material success according the reality that I have seen.

Who Is Happy and When?

            Happiness can be defined in many ways.  Generally, it is the feeling that we get when we are satisfied and when our minds are in peace.  We can also be happy when we are not disappointed, worried, irritated or when we do not have any other negative feelings like that. 

            Being happy depends on the individual and the situation.  Therefore, it varies according to person to person.  For example, when I planned to come to AUW, one of my friends asked me if I could manage being in the hostel – out of parents – for a long time, a year or two, continuously.  Of course, this is difficult to me, yet her question is reasonable because I went to see my parents once in a fort night in spite of the fact that my boarding house was located just a small distance from my house.   Of course I enjoy being in hostel and with friends and I enjoy that well.  However I am not happy when I don’t get to see my parents and siblings.  So I sometimes went home when I felt like going home.  Moreover, I used to talk to my parents all most daily when I was in the hostel.  All these reasons made my friend ask me that question.  I replied that I would maximum try to be happy, enjoy well and learn more about the other cultures and etc.  On the other hand, there was a girl in my hostel, who was not even willing to go home even for long vacations!  Why was that? Every one wondered.  Some days later we got to know that she was not happy with her parents and her parents were not happy keeping her stay at home, and that is the reason behind why she had came to the hostel.

            Therefore being happy or not depends on us, the way we look and things.  For example, some optimistic people will really be happy when they see others being happy. However, some pessimistic peoples will surely not feel happy, and perhaps will be annoyed, when they see others being happy, when they see others improving in business and when they see others being healthy and wealthy.

            Therefore, being happy is totally depended on how we think of other things and try to cope even with bad situations.  Therefore, let us all try to make our lives happy and enjoy the life.

The Path Not Taken

There are so many paths that are not taken by me in my life.  For example, I would like to specify one incident here.  Before I came here, I was enrolled in an Advance Technological Institute and following a Higher National Diploma course in Information Technology (HND IT).  Meanwhile I was following a pharmaceutical course as well, hoping to establish a pharmacy in the future.  By the time I came here, I had completed one semester in HND IT and 25% of the pharmaceutical syllabus.  Since I was selected to AUW, I could not decide what to do, whether to continue with what I was doing or to enroll in AUW.  If I had continued those both courses simultaneously, then by next year I would have been able to settle with a job in IT field or perhaps to graduate by doing the degree externally.  However, since I came here, I will have to wait five or six years in order to complete my graduation and post graduation.

However, I did not say fail to acknowledge the positive consequences of coming to AUW.  Even though I regret for what I did not select to do, meaning, that I dropped the courses that I had been already following, I am happy about where I am now because I have got to know so many new things and learned more.

What I mean here to tell is whatever the choices that we select will obviously have both positive and negative sides as well. Therefore, we have to plan well about what we want, what our ambition is and how we to achieve that goal are.  We have to be firm with our decision and work hard for that.  We should not allow the external influences to intervene and interrupt our activities. Finally I would like to point out that we should not fail to plan. If we fail, that means, we plan to fail.  However, we have to keep in mind that fate decides the destiny and no one can change the fate.  So, whatever the plan we make are liable to have both positive and negative results.  Let’s be happy with whatever good happen thinking that everything happens for the sake of goodness.

The Joy Luck Club movie

The only movie that I’ve ever watched for the first time in my life is The Joy Luck Club.  This movie left a great impression on me, especially in the situation when Suyuan Woo carried her twin daughter while she left from Kweilin and reached Chungking.  Her hands were bleeding that she hardly managed to carry them so far.  Finally when she was not energetic, she left her daughter behind and went away.  I really felt sad and sympathy for that mother.  Tears rolled from my eyes.  When that scenery was displayed the second time, my feeling rose double times that the first time.

I wonder if this was the way how my mom carried me when they were moving out of Mannar, my native village, during the war in Sri Lanka.  My mom has told me the manner how they moved and what happened on their way.  I know that they travelled by boat from Mannar because the area that we lived was a little island.  However, I din dare to ask my mom how she felt when they were internally migrating.  All what I know about the war, the way they managed to overcome this ordeal and etc is the fact that I got to know from my mother.  I have not seen my own area directly until now: neither had I seen it before the war nor after the war.  So I can imagine how the area might be by looking at the movie scenery.

I still wonder if my mom was in Suyuan Woo’s position, would she have left me behind like this mother did because of the difficulty in carrying me.  Sometimes when I become naughty, my mom tells me that she should have put me out of the boat!  But I don’t mean to find fault on Suyuan Woo’s action.

Since this scenery was displayed once at the beginning and again at the end, and since this is somehow related to my life, that made a great impression on my mind.

response to the joy luck club

            Could you imagine of being treated as a foreigner by your own family? The novel The Joy Luck Club leaves many ideas behind to the readers. It talks several aspects relating to America and china, among which the American and the Chinese culture are mainly focused. The cultural and the linguistic changes within a single family can bring dramatic changes among the relationship of own family members. First of all, we know that language is the main source of communication. Therefore, we can see that the language plays a marvelous role in relating both the mothers and the daughters in this novel. Since they talk different languages that cannot be understood by the other; they had great conflicts and misunderstandings among each other – the mothers with daughters and vice versa. If there languages had been the same, then most probably they would have behaved better than how they did. They would have had better interaction among them. The daughters could have understood their mothers well and the mothers could have well explained what they wanted to their daughters. They could have solved their problems without that much disagreement, I suppose. We could imagine how it would be for us if our mothers and we talk different languages without one understand the other. We can feel that we would lose our own cultural values and get adapted to another culture where we would be brought up. On the one hand, we can feel that we will be gradually losing our national and cultural identity. On the other hand, we will be treated as a foreigner by our own people. Sometimes we might feel uncomfortable to accept our own cultural values. So we can imagine the consequences of having different language from our mothers. In the novel, neither mothers wanted to admit their daughters’ American culture nor the daughters wanted to admit their mothers’ traditional Chinese culture. Basically, I suppose this is due to not understanding each other. And that is because of their difference in languages.

The Turning Point for Jing-Mei Woo

According to Amy Tan, the few stories of the Joy Luck Club are the incidents where the daughters and the mothers had a gap in communication and thereby in understanding. However, when the book is reaching the last part, the latest few stories talks about how they succeeded in having effective communication and thereby got closer and understandable. Do you think this change on them is a random process? No, definitely not, every change is a result of one or many interventions – perhaps a main event, so these main events can be called as turning points.

Similarly, in the story “Best Quality” by Jing-Mei Woo, also has a turning point where it made a great change in her and her mother’s relationship and understanding. That is when Jing-Mei gave the best crab between the two remaining crab to her mother, Suyuan Woo. During this incident her mother realizes Jing-Mei’s altruistic nature and good side that was possessed by her that was very obvious during this party.

Before this incident, her mother always thought her daughter as a negative character. She did always try to compare Jing-Mei with Waverly and insult her daughter, but after this incident, she stopped comparing Jing-Mei with others due to the fact that she discovered her daughter as a unique character.

When Suyuan Woo gave the life’s importance to her Jing-Mei, she asked if she had given this because of that previous night’s incident. Then her mother, herself, said why she should compare with others. She insulted Waverly at that time comparing her to a crab that was in the waste bucket! This clearly reveals that they both have come to a good understanding and will have intimacy in the future. Perhaps this would have given Jing-Mei the freedom of not being compared with others by her mother.

My mom also always used to compare me with one of my best friends. I am good at academic, while she was comparatively good at doing house hold activities and other stuff. I feel angry when my mom continuously annoys me telling that my friend is doing well and I am not. Once I was harsh on her asking her not to compare me with others. If she was satisfied with my friend, I told her to exchange my friend and me with her parents’ permission! Since my father was in favor me, he also told my mom not to compare me with others hereafter. After that she never did. So I can feel how it would have annoyed Jing-Mei when her mom compared her with Waverly continuously. Finally, this turning point gave her a good solution for their better existence.