Rituals Have Similarities and Differences Independent of Time and Place

      The article “Rituals of First Menstruation in Sri Lanka” written by Deborah Winslow explains the rituals in Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam when girls go through their first menstruation in the 1970s in Sri Lanka. There are some similarities as well as differences in the rituals followed by all three religions of the same country. The ritual which I went through also has similarities and differences with respect to rituals explained in the article.

The ritual I went through was according to Buddhism in Nepal. A girl must go through a ritual before her menstruation starts which is called gufa. It has the same value as the value obtained after a girl passes through a ritual in her first menstruation. She turns into a mature women being liable to getting married and handling household chores. She will have to follow all the rules and regulations of society and do the activities expected by society. I went through the ritual when I was 13 years old. It was winter and my hair was shaved bald. While my hair was being cut, the priest was chanting prayers for my safety and healthy life. After that I wore clothes that were like the clothes worn by monks called cheewar. There were many nuns like me following the same ritual and we all lived together in a house inside a Buddhist monastery. I was isolated only from my family members; however, I was allowed to meet my friends, roam around the monastery, and talk with monks and nuns. Nonetheless, in Sri Lanka the ritual is quite different. When a girl is following the ritual then she is isolated from all her family members; only her younger sister or brother could stay with her. Moreover, she did not have to cut her hair. However, she was not allowed to meet any males and go outside her house.

Special care was taken in her food with the belief that heating foods would attract devils and harm the girl. Foods like plain curries without oil or coconut used to be fed. The system was the same in my religion: I was given plain foods with no oil or variety of ingredients which was done to protect me from devils. Though the countries are different and the time period is different, there are some similarities between the rituals as well as some differences.

Can you share your experience of such kind of ritual?

Lying and Its Usage……..

Written by Judith Viorst  “The Truth about Lying” is a classification essay which discusses the types of lies with its explanation. Lies sometimes result in minute changes whereas sometimes it may create a disaster. There are four types of lies and I found that I fit among all four of them. I believe that everyone fits in at least one of them.

The first is a social lie that means lying to avoid hurting other’s feelings. I remember lying to my boss to protect his feelings. In my last birthday, my boss gave me a birthday present. I received a decorating piece made of shells. The piece was a weird structure which I still don’t know is a sheep or some other animal. However, the next day, I thanked my boss for the wonderful gift.

The second type is peace-keeping lies or lying to prevent conflicts or fights between people. When my friends phoned me on Saturdays, I never received their call knowing that it was an invitation to a dance party. I never liked attending dance parties and if I would have tried to reject them, then we would have ended up quarrelling with each other. The next time, when I met them, made an excuse and escaped from there.

The third type is protective lies or lying for the sake of other’s better life or to hide the truth which others can’t accept. When I talk to my mother, I never let her know that I am sick. I don’t want her to feel pain more than what I am feeling and worry about me. I want to make her happy and comfortable although we are living far away from each other. I didn’t know that hiding the truth also means lying. Yes, here I take the help of protective lies to keep my mother out of worries.

The final type is trust keeping or lying to protect the trust of someone for some other person. Once my aunt found a cigarette in my cousin’s bag and my cousin came to me for help. He promised to quit smoking if I lied about his smoking, so I lied to my aunt and then my brother quit smoking.

In conclusion, lies can sometimes improve people’s lives and sometimes destroy them as well. Therefore, one must be very careful before taking the help of lies.

 

Lying and Its Usage…

“The Truth about Lying” is a classification essay written by Judith Viorst which discusses about the types of lies with its explanation. Lies sometimes result in minute changes whereas sometimes it may create a disaster. There are four types of lies and I found that I fit among all four of them. I believe that everyone fit in at least one of them.
First is social lies, lying to avoid hurting others feelings. I remember lying to my boss to keep his heart. In my last birthday, my boss gave me a birthday present. I received a decorating piece made of shells. The piece was a weird structure that I still don’t know if it’s a sheep or some other animal. However, the next day I thanked my boss for the wonderful gift.
Second type is peace-keeping lies, lying to prevent conflicts or fight between people. When my friends phone me on Saturdays, I never receive their call knowing that it is an invitation to a dance party. I never liked attending dance parties and if I would have tried to reject them then we would have ended up quarrelling with each other. Next time when I meet them I used to make an excuse and escape from there.
The third type is protective lies, lying for the sake of others better life or to hide the truth which can never be accepted by the people. When I talk to my mother, I never let her know that I am sick. I don’t want her to feel pain than I am feeling and worry about me. I want to make her happy and comfortable although we are living far away from each other. I didn’t know that hiding the truth also means lying. Yes, here I take the help of protective lies to keep my mother out of worries.
The final type is trust keeping, lying to protect the trust of someone to some other person. Once my aunt found a cigarette in my cousin’s bag and my cousin came to me to help him. He promised to quit smoking if I lied about his truth of smoking, so I lied to my aunt and from then my brother quit smoking.
In conclusion lies can sometimes improve people’s lives and sometimes destroy it as well. Therefore, one must be very careful before taking help of lies.

How Does the Feeling of Discrimination Emerge?

    Arthur Miller’s play the “Death of a Salesman” presents a family of the 1930s where the members struggle to increase the income of their family so as to live a comfortable life. Willy and his wife, Linda, have two sons: Happy and Biff. Willy appreciates Biff for his popularity as he is well known football player. Willy always encourages Biff and bear positive thoughts about his son’s future. His attention towards Biff made Happy keep doing things in order to grab his father’s attention. This known or unknown negligence of Willy compels Happy to remain indifferent about his father’s condition and life. I have seen such behaviors or differences created between siblings and their parents in many families.

 For an instance, my aunt has two sons — one is older than me and the other is younger. My elder brother is an extrovert; on the other hand, my younger brother is an introvert. As my elder brother has been sociable since his childhood, my aunt shares all family matters with him. However, my younger brother never responded to what was said when he was young. My aunt’s greater focus on my elder brother has made my younger brother feel that he is being avoided by his mother. I wonder, is it my aunt who is discriminating between her sons or is it my brother who is feeling discriminated against? My aunt feels that her younger son doesn’t enjoy talking or listening about family matters for he is very reserved by nature. However, my younger brother feels that he should be informed about everything which is informed to his older brother being a part of the family. The only difference is he will speak only if some important idea or feeling needs to be expressed. Now, my younger brother is 20 years old and he is completely unconcerned about what is going on in his family the same as Happy turned out at the end of the play. I feel that parents tend to get inclined to the one who is followings their principles. In the play, Biff, was more prioritized than Happy was. Willy always believed that being well known is a part of success.  Likewise, my aunt prefers to elicit responses to what she says, so she shares with her elder son. I don’t think this is discrimination; however, parents should always be concerned about their children’s feelings though they are not moving along the path they prefer.

An Experience Being In a Locality Of Untouchables

        Vasant Moon’s autobiography Growing Up Untouchable in India is about the lives of untouchables in the 1940s where they were not tortured and humiliated as they are in today’s world. Vasant Moon has clearly expressed his experience enabling a reader to know a life of an untouchable.  I enjoyed reading about the warmth during summer, the rain and the places he has described explicitly. He described a neighborhood which was inhabited by untouchables only. I have experienced walking in the lanes of an untouchable locality. I went there as a health facilitator in order to share some of my knowledge regarding personal hygiene and diseases.

Those lanes of untouchable’s locality which I walked through were different from as well as similar to the neighborhood explained by Moon. Moon described the trees from which he used to eat fruits and enjoy spending time with his friends under its shade. Conversely, there weren’t any trees in that locality and every inch of land was occupied by small huts made of plastics. In addition, Moon’s neighborhood was close to other neighborhoods, whereas the untouchable locality was far away from people’s settlement near the bank of the Bagmati River. Furthermore, in Moon’s neighborhood, his grandfather Sadashiv was highly respected by all the people. Likewise, there was a man, Manoj Musahar, in the locality who was treated as an important person among untouchables. He was a learned young man working as a teacher in a local school of untouchables. In order to make our health campaign successful, he played an important role. The untouchables of that locality do not let people of other castes enter the locality, and even if they did, they would be chased away. It would have been impossible to make them aware about health issues if Manoj Musahar hadn’t co-operated with us, due to the fact that his words were prioritized in the locality. On the other hand, people of any caste were allowed to enter the neighborhood of Moon. When Moon was sick all his friends including Brahmans came to visit him despite the fact that the place was occupied by untouchables. The untouchables of Moon’s neighborhood ate snakes, and the untouchables of the locality I visited ate rats. This is some information I gathered about untouchables. It is interesting to compare an untouchable neighborhood of the 1960s of India and an untouchable locality of the present time of Nepal.

Untouchability in India and Nepal

          Growing Up Untouchable in India is an autobiography of Vasant Moon where he shares his experience of being an untouchable, and clearly portrays the situation and place in the 1940 of India. Moon was a Mahar, an untouchable. The concept of untouchability is to level the social status of people according to their caste. Castes were divided long ago; some castes were high castes, people from which more received respect and power in the society than people known as Dalits. The narrator has written about the untouchability in India. This concept exists in Nepal as well. I would like to share my experience about untouchables and prejudices related to them in Nepal.

      Untouchability is much less believed in urban areas, whereas it is seriously followed in rural areas of Nepal. Moon said that lower caste people were not able to eat together with so called “high caste” people. I learnt from my friend, who lived in a village, that low caste people are not even allowed to enter houses, and when they drink tea or eat lunch in any shop, and then they have to wash their utensils themselves; otherwise, they will be beaten up gruesomely. Dalits can’t raise their voice against such type of amorality, and even if they do, they end up without any result. In addition, Moon explains the education system of India in the 1940s where there were fewer numbers of girls than boys. However, the children were treated equally. As he grew older, discrimination increased and children were treated according to their caste. The situation is almost the same in Nepal as well. During my village tour, I saw some children sitting outside of the classroom. I learnt that low caste students were not allowed to enter their classroom. They even took their exams in a separate room. A child growing up experiencing these kinds of discrimination can never have a positive feeling towards his society. Once my friend touched a low caste girl and then, consequently, she had to take a bath every morning in the winter with cold water followed by puja, for purification, for a few days. Thus, Moon’s experience is worth studying as he is a representative of a society where people are suppressed just because of their caste.

Can you share a story related to untouchability?

 

 

The Poem Resembling My Past

Written by Robert Frost “The Road Not Taken” is a poem about a situation where a person has to choose the path to move forward in the life. In this poem, the speaker encounters two woods during his journey and he foresees the future of both of them. Consequently, he chooses the second one. On his way, he dreams that one day he will let others know about his way of accepting challenges and making decisions after deep analysis. The situation described by the poem exactly matches my present time.

The speaker goes through great confusion to choose the way which leads to success and satisfaction. I, too, had two choices before getting admitted at AUW. I had choices of either getting admitted to an engineering college or applying for AUW. Furthermore, the speaker analyzes both the paths carefully and chooses the second one. I did the same; I analyzed both the choices to move forward. Firstly, I analyzed my life in the field of engineering. The high cost of academic fees would surely stop me from completing my course. In addition, I really didn’t have much interest to get involved in science field. I just want to study because I don’t know a reputed sector to study other than science and technology. I would not be satisfied in this sector because I don’t enjoy being a part of this sector and my family’s economic condition would not favor me as well. On the other hand, AUW would allow me to receive international education at a low price. In addition, I want to work in the social sector helping others and AUW has courses to nourish my knowledge. Therefore, I decided to apply for the admission. According to the poem, the speaker doubts if the way he had chosen would lead to a better future or not. Nonetheless, he was satisfied during his journey and with his decision. I, too, was doubtful at the beginning of my journey. However, today, after being accustomed to life at AUW, I am confident that I will have a successful future and have made a right decision. Furthermore, the speaker looks forward to letting others know about his intellectuality. I also would be proud to tell about the challenge I accepted and the process I implemented to deal with it.

The Novel and the Movie, The Joy Luck Club

     The novel The Joy Luck Club was written by Amy Tan and the movie The Joy Luck Club was, too, directed by Amy Tan. It was a very exciting moment to watch a movie of the novel that you have read. It was the time when all the fiction characters would be seen in the movie. The movie made the stories more clear. One can compare the story with the story of the novel.

     Here is the comparison between the novel and the movie. The movie contained the stories in the novel, most of the parts were exactly the same; however, the movie covered fewer stories than it was included in the novel. The incident which I found new and interesting was when Jing-mei’s father hands in the album to Jing-mei to give to her half sisters. The album contained the photographs of Suyuan when she was in China. Her father wanted her to give the album so that her half sisters would get to know how their mother looked like in past because their sisters could not see their mother since the time when they were abandoned in Kweilin. I really liked this part because the dialogues delivered between Jing-mei and her father gave nice meaning to that particular scene and we get to know that her father, too, was somewhat being responsible to them. This novel is much more intricate and comprehensive than the movie. Watching movie created more sense to the story. The scene which was very heart touching and I feel which gave more meaning to the story is the story of the chapter “A Pair of Tickets,” where the suspense is revealed about how and why Suyuan abandoned her twin daughters and what happened to them. This chapter is the most interesting chapter in the novel and interesting scene in the movie as well. The visualization of this incident adds up to the meaning of the story. I enjoyed watching as well reading the book. However, the movie would have been more interesting if all the stories were included in the movie though it would be a very long one. I wanted to watch all the stories. It is really exciting that we can see the fiction characters in reality.

Would you like to share your opinion after watching the movie?

How effective can the course “Relationship 101” be?

    In “Relationship 101,” an article published in Time magazine in 2003, has discussed the various forms of education about relationships and their differences in content. The formal education related to human relationship started in the 1950’s as “Marriage education.”  This subject became so hollow that students started making fun of this concept. Then, another form of education was introduced known as “Polarized sex education” in the 1980’s. Finally, another meaning of relationship known as “Relationship 101” was developed. It was based on communication skills and understanding between partners rather than dumping all the information about physical education and religious points of view related to relationships over and over again. Relationship 101 is a comprehensive education which provides knowledge on basic and subtle ways to communicate which helps to avoid misunderstanding.

The issue that “love is a learned phenomenon” can be important to be discussed in order to analyze the effectiveness of Relationship 101. Each individual has a point of view about this. According to my point of view, I believe that education helps people to know how to make a relationship stable. However, the implementation of knowledge will not be possible because in order to implement the knowledge, it will have to change our behavior or thoughts which cannot be possible for most of the people. It’s very rare where we are able to change ourselves intentionally forever. If a person has a discussion with his or her partner, they may try to be good and reciprocate their partner in a calm manner even if they are being yelled at. It is an application of theoretical knowledge that one should not burst at the time their partner is angry. Our application of the knowledge on maintaining proper understanding works until we can control our emotions which do not last for a long time. The day will come when suppressed feelings overflow and one is compelled to say, “Ok, I can’t hold this anymore.” Your exposure of true feeling will make you feel light. Though the situation can be handled temporarily according to what is learnt, one won’t be able to suppress true emotions forever. To conclude, the contents of Relationship 101 are comprehensive to maintain relationships, but its effectiveness and practice depends on individuals.

Mother’s Love is as vast as the Sky……

      In “Magpies,” one of the chapters of The Joy Luck Club written by Amy Tan has presented the infinite love of mothers as An-Mei’s mother sacrifices her life to make An-Mei’s life more comfortable and safe. She poisons herself by eating poisoned dumplings and dies two days before the Lunar New Year. It is believed in Chinese culture that on the third day of someone’s death the spirit would come back to fulfill incomplete tasks and in the New Year one should be free from all debts. In the case of her mother, her third day of death would be the Lunar New Year. This would compel Wu-Tsing to take good care of An-Mei and give her a better life. An-Mei’s mother is a representative of the mothers in the world, all of whom bear equal altruism and love for their children.

“A mother is a mother,” is the only way to express how intense and indefinable mother’s love for their children is. The sacrifice of An-Mei’s mother for the sake of An-Mei’s better life reminded me of an incident of my childhood. I was very young when this incident occurred. It was my best friend’s mother whom I saw lying in a bed. I was there to accompany my best friend. Her mother was in her pregnancy when suddenly she fell down from the stairs and had to decide between her life and her baby’s. My best friend’s aunt approached and told my friend to visit her mother as we were outside the room. She told my friend to say whatever she wanted as she may not be able to see her again. We didn’t know what her aunt was alluding to. We went inside and I stood behind my friend where she was embracing her mother and talking to her in a low voice. Her mother was then taken to another room and we were sent back to my home. The next morning, we learnt that her mother had died giving birth to her daughter. It was one of the saddest moments of my life where I saw a baby girl’s new life beside her mother’s dead body. She was a mother who sacrificed her life for her daughter.

To conclude, the word mother is vast as no one can measure the love within them, the same love made to sacrifice An-Mei’s mother and my best friend’s mother’s lives.