Religion is Patriarchy

      After reading the article “Religion and Gender,” I didn’t find any difference between religion and patriarchy. The main perception of a patriarchal belief is to make women submissive to men; similarly, all of the world’s major religions including Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism are based on patriarchal beliefs where women are considered to be inferior to men, and where women are symbolized by a body with no spirit.

     This article makes me think, is god really biased? Sometimes, I also think, is god a male? Why do god’s rules always try to suppress women? In Islam, a perfect woman has to obey her husband and perform household chores; in Hinduism, women can never be the owner of their father’s property; in Buddhism, women are considered as impure than men, and in Christianity, women’s have no voice even in the church. How ridiculous it is! All these religious doctrines are designed to dominant women. I become very frustrated thinking all of these things. Religious is a sensitive part of a culture. Personally, I have a strong faith in my religion, but reading and thinking of all these things, my mind fills with confusion. I am afraid thinking that women are not even considered as human beings; it seems that humanness is only associated with men.

       However, I’ve got my answer from the feminist study of religion. How can it be possible that every religion undermines women’s positions? Yes, it’s possible because years after years only the men have interpreted the religious doctrines. No woman has ever tried to analyze about religions, but they have only been practicing religious rituals without even thinking what they are doing. Therefore, the men misinterpreted the religious principles to establish their patriarchal beliefs. Thus, women are being dominant by men in the society. Today, we see in every step of life, patriarchy tries to constrict women development giving references from religions. Therefore, god is not biased nor a male, but the men interpreters are biased who make women gullible. It’s the time to come forward to analyze our own religions, thereby establishing them as the epitomes of equality in the world. All educated women should study their own religious doctrines to delete the lies and establish the truths in the society.

 

 

 

 

 

Comparison and Contrast Among Bangladeshi, Japanese, and Korean Hairstyles

      Reading the article “Symbolism of Hairstyles in Korea and Japan” by Na- Young Choi, I came to know that hairstyle bears magical meanings, and it can play a significant role in presenting beauty, marital status or social status and wealth. In Bangladesh, hairstyle also bears significant role in symbolizing a person’s position.

     I became surprised to know about the significance of long hair bearing a traditional image as well as social position, because in our country Bangladesh, this concept is totally ridiculous. In our country, it is prevalent that most of the poor village girls have long hair as they do not have money to go in the parlor to have a haircut. On the other hand, the rich urban women often keep short hair. They prefer short hair style. In Bangladesh, you will never see poor married women with short hair, but it is accepted when a rich woman keeps short hair. Short hair symbolizes affluence here. Another important thing I notice is that in Japan and Korea, expensive and gorgeous hair pin symbolizes social status; conversely, in Bangladesh, the women from rich families do not use any kind of hair pin at all. They prefer to keep loose hair.

     In Bangladesh, straight hair is considered as beautiful hairstyle. Rich women also like to straighten and dye their hair in order to be beautiful. Curly hairstyle is not accepted to any woman. Keeping hair untied on the back is considered as more beautiful and fashionable style rather than binding hair with ribbons or pins. Keeping short hair is the only acceptable hairstyle for the boys in our society although some boys keep long hair.

     Although hair style doesn’t necessarily symbolize marital status in Bangladesh, the married women are seldom seen with a very short hairstyle. Also, you will never see a married woman with two flats.  Usually, school or college students wear two flats or two braids. Married women often wear one long braid laying on their back or only one ban. However, these styles are also prevalent in unmarried women.

     In Japan and Korea, people believe that hair contains a magical meaning. Similarly, in the rural area of Bangladesh, people make hair maduli (chain made of hair), and put it on their domestic animal’s neck in order to save them from evil eyesight.

     Finally, although we don’t think about hairstyle deeply, it plays an important role to display our Bangladeshi culture.

Bangladeshi Manners

         The article “The Anthropology of Manners” by Edward T. Hall has given me an immense knowledge of different kinds of manners of different cultures. While I was reading the article, the observation of time and space according to people of different cultures and countries encouraged me to write something about the perception of time and space of the Bangladeshi people as I think this writing will help my foreigner friends to live in Bangladesh without any trouble.

          First, I want to tell you about the perception of time of the Bangladeshi people. It is a usual matter in our day to day life to be late for a couple of minutes in any kind of encounter. If you have a scheduled meeting with a Bangladeshi, and if she does late, never think that she will not come. Wait for a while; she will come after a couple of minutes. You can mind for this kind of carelessness, but it is an accepted manner in our country. However, if that person is not able to meet with you, she will of course make a phone call to you. Therefore, you need not lose your temper experiencing such kind of situation.

        Second, the idea of Bangladeshi people about keeping personal and architectural spaces may seem peculiar to you. Although Bangladesh is not a conservative country, people do not like the idea that girls and boys will walk very close to each other if they are not married couples. Don’t try to handshake with a boy because people don’t like it. In these cases, the sense of keeping personal space is very sensitive. However, sometimes your Bangladeshi friend may keep her arms on your shoulders to show affection, and you may feel confused, but it’s also a usual behavior here. Again, if you go to visit any Bangladeshi friend, her mom or grandma may hug you before leaving their house. Don’t be hesitated. It’s a manner to say farewell to the guests. Keep in mind that in these cases the sense of keeping personal space is very close. Now, if you see a vast open space in front of a Bangladeshi house, never be surprised. All the Bangladeshi people prefer to keep a vast architectural space in their houses.

          Finally, although our sense of time or space is different from yours, Bangladeshi people will never want to make trouble with a foreigner, so don’t be confused.

 

 

Charismatic Nature

     In the chapter “Heat and rain” of the autobiography Growing Up Untouchables in India, the author Vasant Moon describes how summer and rain demonstrate the lives of the people in his neighborhood. He describes how heat of summer brings sufferings for them and how rain brings comfort and joy for them. He also describes rain as a blessing and as blame in their lives. However, in this chapter he shows a relationship between human life and nature. Nature causes sufferings, and again, it has the ingredients to comfort these sufferings. Reading this chapter, I have discovered my homeland Bangladesh through Vasant Moon’s description of his own neighborhood.

     Vasant moon describes summer as a season of fruits. Summer appears in his neighborhood with lots of fruits such as Shembdi, chinchas,chikkus, khirni, kavathes etc. During the summer, the poor village people have abundance of fruits to savor. They are always eating and eating. Similarly, in Bangladesh, summer is called “Honey month” for the sweetness of summer fruits. Most of the Bangladeshi fruits grow in summer such as mango, berry, pine apple, litchi, water melon, jack fruit etc. These fruits are so abundant during summer that most of the poor people remove their hunger eating fruits only. Vasant Moon mentions their throwing stones to other’s fruit trees. Similarly, in my country, it is a common picture in summer that naughty boys are throwing stones to fruit trees. Again, Moon describes how intolerable heat becomes, and how this extreme heat brings unique happiness. He says life becomes peaceful after drinking water taken in a metal cup from an earthen pot to quench their relentless thirst. Similarly, our rural people also quench their thirst eating water melon, and drinking water from earthen pots. They suffer from extreme heat all day long, but life seems to be heaven when they sleep on cool earth surface at night. Those houses seem more comfortable than air conditioned rooms.

      Summer becomes more and more extreme; people wait for the cool rain to soothe the mother earth. Like the way Vasant Moon’s village people repair their rooftops, our village people also take rain preparation repairing their roofs. Every men, women, and children join in repairing the roofs with a great interest. Suddenly, one day the whole sky becomes overcast with black cloud, and it starts raining. As Vasant Moon describes the troubles during rain, rain also causes lots of sufferings in our country submerging the roads and houses of the poor people. Again, it is the same rain that gives the poor people an opportunity to eat fish. During the rainy season, all the village people start to catch fish. Moreover, during the rainy season, people make extra money plying their boats.

     In conclusion, the life of the poor people is more close to nature everywhere in the world. Although nature causes sufferings to these people, nature plays the responsibility to comfort her poor children’s lives.

Where Do I Find My Happiness?

When I was reading the time magazine article “The New Science of Happiness” by Claudia Wallis, I was thinking about my own happiness. What makes me happy?

My happiness is when I get a good grade and my teachers highly praise me.

My happiness is when I dress up nicely and people tell me “Beautiful”.

My happiness is when I miss my family, and my parents come to visit me without telling me before coming.

My happiness is when my friends surprise me waking me up at midnight on my birthday.

My happiness is when my mother cooks my favorite dishes for me, and feeds me by her own hand. You know, she is very busy, and she seldom cooks for us.

My happiness is when my father buys me a new dress, which I chose last week, but he didn’t buy me saying that that’s not good quality. (Actually, at that time he didn’t have enough money as it was the last week of the month, and now after getting his salary, he has bought it for me).

My happiness is when I teach my younger sister, and she gets a good grade on that particular subject. At that time, her happiness makes me happy.

My happiness is when my grand-ma attempts to wool a sweater for me although she can’t see clearly at all.

My happiness is when my paintings are acclaimed by someone saying I would be a good painter in future.

My happiness is when I give my food to a beggar during school break and eating that food he satisfies his hunger and smiles to me.

My happiness is when I enjoy watching horror movies with my friends sitting together very closely eating popcorn.

My happiness is when my sister quarrels with me without any reason and later she comes to me giving a warm hug saying sorry.

My happiness is when I hear my parents’ voice in the phone asking everything with great care.

My happiness is when someone gifts me during any festival especially in Durga Puja at the day of Dashami collecting money from everyone touching their feet named namasker.

My happiness is when I see my favorite actor or actress getting awards for their contributions.

My happiness is when I visit my village, and receive greetings from my relatives and neighbors.

My happiness is when I travel my favorite places with my family and friends having fun and adventures.

My happiness is when I listen to music and enter into a world of fantasy.

Above all, my happiness is when I give something to anyone, or when I am given something by anyone.

Clarification

                 Reading Vesant Moon’s autibiography “Growing Up Untouchable in India”, my classmates became confused and most of them asked about my religion “Hinduism”. Most of them asked me why I support this religion which creates inequality among people. They are surprised, how gods can teach people not to touch someone who are poor and work in lower professions? All these questions made me upset, and I think, it is high time to make clear all the confusions. Personally, I also never thought before about this bad practice of my religion, but one of my friends has made the fact clear to me. I want to discuss this briefly here.               

                You know that the Hinduism is the most ancient religion among all the religions. The Hindus worship many gods and goddesses of various powers, and this practice has been going on from the very beginning of the creation. In fact, it is true that the Hinduism follows only one god Lord “Krishna” of all powers jointly. There are many mythologies of Hinduism named “Ramayana” and “Mahayvarat” which are written by some people from different religious beliefs actually, these are not our main religious messages from gods. The mention of caste system is found only in those mythologies. The four casts of my religion are Brahmans, Khatrio, Baisha, and Shudro. The Brahmans are highly respected, and provided all facilities. The lowest cast is “Shudro” who are considered untouchables. They have to live in extreme poverty and their professions are fishing, carrying dead bodies, scavanture, stitching shoes, cleaning the garbage. Most of the Hindus start discriminating from this mythological belief which are not actually true, and are not based on the principle of the god.

                The only holy book of the Hindus is “Srimadvagabad Gita” which is received directly from the god, and written by Lord “Krishna”. In that holy book, there is no mention of untouchability, and inequality is totally absent there. The massage of our god is to keep away people from conflicts, and everyone should have to be considered equal to make the world peaceful. Our god never supports inequality.

                Our god is not biased, but people are biased. A group of people creates this discrimination for their self –advantages; they dominate and use these lower caste people for their own purposes, and want to persuade other people not to touch them which create inequality in the society.

                It is a matter of sorrow that this discrimination is supported by educated people, and still now, these superstitions are alive in our Hinduism. I am surprised why any Hindu never researched about this truth that the principles of Hinduism never support caste system.  

                To sum up, it is obvious that people are responsible for this kind of discrimination, not the god.

Response to “The Road Not Taken”

              Why the success of life does mostly depend on making decisions? Why sometimes people cannot be able to reach his or her final destination? Why often people do blame on his fate? Really speaking, life offers many options to an individual. The options seem to be the branches of a tree. A great hardship has to be faced by the people to choose the proper path to reach their goals. As a result, individuals do not understand what type of paths they should choose to be successful. They flourish their dreams; select their goals, but being familiar to more choices they have to digress most of the time. So, it is obvious that making decisions in life is the essence part of leading a successful life.

            The poem “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost takes me to a certain belief that every persons need to be cautious about making decisions, and this poem inspires me to make proper decisions. In every part of the poem, the author conveys a rigor faced by most of the people to make decisions. There are two roads going through in the poem, and the speaker shows his confusion in which path he should opt to travel. Although he is confused, he tries to make his decisions by his observation, by being cautious, thoughtful and optimist.

            The common belief of the people in the world is that the route of man’s life is settled on the fate, but it cannot be true. Generally, if someone fails in his life, he would blame on his fate. Actually, a man’s expectation depends on making his own decisions. If he does not seed his dream, does not determine his goals, and does not make proper decisions, he will fail in life. Moreover, killing time in idleness, relying on others or losing heart in the face of difficulties result in failure in one’s life. For making proper decisions, one should be careful and think about his or her passions and interests. 

            In this regard, I also had to face a great difficulty to make decisions when I was in 8th level whether I should select science, commerce, or arts. I became confused and I could not understand what to do. As my dream was to terminate gender discrimination in my community, to do something for maternal health, and to protect the environment from global warming, I chose science. Before getting admitted in AUW, I got the chance in Genetic Engineering in Chittagong University, and again I felt confusion which university I should choose for graduation. Finally, I decided that I would study in AUW, and my belief is AUW can fulfill my dream.   

             To sum up, although nobody can escape from the dilemma of many choices, we should be aware about making decisions to choose a better path that will take us to success.

Love must be taught.

Before reading this article “Relationship 101,” published in Time Magazine in 2003, I have an indistinct concept that love cannot be taught oneself, and now I realize that love education is essential for all. Although love is natural, the expressions of love can be taught.

It is very difficult to define love in words. I think love is such a strong feeling that can be defined as deeply gentle, adoring affection for another person. It teaches everyone how to respect, how to keep promise, and belief, and how to communicate better each other.

I think love should be taught from our childhood in family, society, schools, and colleges. Students are not concerned about how to communicate better each other, how to set up love connections effectively and successfully, how to create good judgment of each other’s manners and individuality and how to succeed in love. In our day today life, we frequently notice that most of the people cannot save the marriage because of various conflicts in their marriage life. Most of them are particularly forced by the desire to keep away from the shocking divorce they observe their parents continue. That’s why I think love education can decrease the internal conflict among people.

As most of the students tend to begin dating in high school, it is the most proper time to start teaching the students about relationships at that time. By this time, what they plant in their mind, it will last longer in their future when they enter adulthood. They will be able to understand the better way of communication to each other. Adolescence is such a period which is very confusing and that time they are ignorant of the practical life and cannot easily identify themselves. Besides, they are naïve enough to understand what is right or wrong. Learning love relationship skills can lessen the possibility of embarrassment that the students face in their life. This lesson will enhance their self-reliance and changes the vagueness of connection to controllable skills. Not only schools but also parents should pay attention to improve love education from their childhood.

Mother’s love

Love is one of the most exceptional powers that a mother possesses. Mother is forgiving as nature, and unselfish like a tree. Sometimes the children do not realize that this unselfish love of their mother is only for them not for her or anything else. The example of mother’s love is greatly expressed in Jing-Mei woo‘s “Best Quality.”

Jing-Mei Woo’s mother gives her a jade pendant on a gold chain after a crab dinner celebrating Chinese New Year because her mother recognizes Jing-Mei’s selfless nature. She tells her it is her “Life’s importance.” The absence of her mother makes her understand about life’s importance, to help her understand her grief. She realizes that even though the pendant is a very light colour, but when anyone wore it everyday it would become greener.

This evidence is the complete reflection of Jing-Mei Woo’s mother’s perception and understanding that helps Jing-Mei Woo to understand and feel her mother’s feelings and love what she needs in her future.

Waverly every time wants to insult Jing-Mei Woo. On that crab dinner, her mother disgraces her saying she is not sophisticated like Waverly and must be born in this way. She felt embarrassed thinking she has been overcome by Waverly once again and misled by her mother. At last, her mother highly encouraged not to listen to Waverly and compared her to that crab which is with the missing leg. She suggested to stop listening to others’ words, her surroundings which will hamper to gain her aim and advised to use other ways using her own strategy.

From this evidence, it is obvious that Jing-Mei’s mother has the quality to perceive the various growths phase of Jing-Mei and change accordingly.

On that crab dinner, Jing Mei’s mother does not take that crab with the missing leg for her dinner, and also when Jing Mei wants that crab she prohibited her from taking that one, because she knows very well that a missing leg is a bad sign on a Chinese new year. She tries to make her understand that what something is good it is wise to save it and what something is bad it is wise to leave it. She strongly recommends her to try to choose the best quality.

All above things prove that Jing Mei’s mother is a person of flexibility where she will form herself to the needs and wants of her daughter, but at the same time remains strict and strong to guide her daughter as to what is the best for her and her future.

When we consider all these, we understand the greatness and the incredibly superlative qualities of a mother.

Response to “The Iliad”

Agamemnon insulted and dishonored Chryses, Apollo’s priest; and Apollo became furious hearing this. He started throwing thousands of arrows causing death to many people in. It is a great example of the wrath of the god in Greek mythology. Reading the Iliad the mythology of my religion reflected in my mind. I also found same connection in the Hindu mythology.

Once upon a time, there was a king having five sons ruling over the heaven. The king wanted to give his kingdom to his first son because he became old. Eventually, conflicts started among brothers. Everybody wanted to get the kingdom. The first brother, Ram was got out from the kingdom because of their brothers’ conspiracy. Ram, and his wife; Shita were compelled to go in the forest ordered to live there for 14 years. As his brother; Laxman loved his brother very much, he wanted to go with his brother. They started living in the forest and one day the king of the hell, Raven kidnapped his wife. Actually, he also wanted to get the highest position in the kingdom and destroy the heaven, because he knew that after 14 years Ram would get the whole kingdom and would be the king of heaven. Ram got enraged on Raven and wanted to kill him for getting back his wife. He collected a huge amount of armies and they had to cross the whole sea to go to Raven’s kingdom. The war took place in Lanka. Ram completely destroyed the Lanka causing death to many people.  After a bloody war they got back Shita. Although Ram was the god of truth and morality, he had anger and had to kill a lot of people. It expresses the wrath of god.