Response to ” Gender and Religion”

Although we hear that there were matriarchal societies in the prehistoric time, now there is no existence of matriarchal societies, and most of the time women are totally dominated by men. When I read “Religion and Gender” written by Moojan Momen, I realized that as in every religion men are showed as superior to women, they do not hesitate to undermine or neglect the women. They might know but neglect the fact that all men and women are equal and science has already proved it. Men always want to dominate the women, and argue that if the women do not agree with what religion says, these women are directly going to ignore the God. It is true that sometimes what religion says about the prestige and honor of men and women, we cannot agree with these. The real thing is that the religions do not always discriminate between men and women. These are the society people who want to dominate women, and that’s why they sometimes even skip or recreate the lines of the Holy Scripture for their own advantage. For example, in the religion Islam, it is said that every woman should respect their husband, and they can go to the heaven by doing this, but Islam does not ever say that if her husband do wrong deeds with them (for example, if he beats her or demand dowry), the wife should tolerate it and not say a single word against him. No, Islam does not ever say anything like this. The husbands have created a line “A woman’s heaven lies in the feet of her husband,” which is never told Islam. The meaning of the line is if you do not make your husband pleased or happy, you will not go to the heaven which means that a woman always has to do whatever her husband wants from them, whether she want to do it or not. They formed this line like the line which our prophet Mohammad said “A child’s heaven lies on the feet of her or his mother.” Therefore, in this patriarchal society, men only use the religion for their own advantage and skip the lines to take away the rights of getting honor of the women.

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Symbolism of Hairstyles

When I read the article “Symbolism of Hairstyles in Korea and Japan” by Na-Young Choi, I have come to know about the ancient hairstyles of Korea and Japan which were originated from China. Na-Young Choi wrote in the article about the hairstyles which symbolize one’s marital status, wealth, religious view and social status. Though many years passed away, the perception of people about the hairstyles is still not changed. People still consider hairstyles as the symbol of marital status, wealth, social status, and religious view, but sometimes the way of judgment is little bit different.
We see in the article that long hair symbolizes the wealthy status of the women as they do not have work, and that’s why they can easily keep their hair long. Nowadays, we see different picture in term of hairstyle. In Bangladesh, there are many beauty parlors which provide different kinds of haircut like bangs, layer, razor and bob cut etc, and if anyone wants to have the haircut, they must need money. We see that most of the poor women in Bangladesh have long hair as they do not have money to go to the beauty parlor and have a nice haircut. That’s why, as the people of affluent family get modern hair cut every month, they have shorter hair than that of the poor women and girls who usually cannot provide money to go to a beauty parlor to get a good haircut. Moreover, hair rebonding or hair straightening and doing hair color are the symbols of wealth. It is because these need lots of money if anyone wants to make her curly hair straight or highlight her hair with various colors as the products are very expensive. Now it is very popular in Bangladesh very much.
Men were usually supposed to get short haircut, and women long hair before, but now it is changed. Before only rock stars used to have long hair, but now men are free to have long hair like women, and also can get short hair like men. Now no one will think the women weird who get short haircut. SO, the haircut also symbolizes the independence of a person

” Never Tell a Lie”

Since our childhood, we are being learnt from our parents and other elder people that we should not tell a lie at any circumstances, but most of us used to lie when our mothers asked, “Who broke this expensive flower vase?” or “Who had eaten all the sweets from the refrigerator?” If our parents and other elder members of our family had always tried to make us tell the truth all the time, from where we learnt how to tell a lie? Actually it is a bitter true that all the children learn how to tell a lie from the people who are around them. They can learn telling lies from the family where they are bringing up, from the classmates with whom they spend their school hours, and also even from the society. At first, in the family, for example, a child is playing near the phone place and a grown-up member of the family is sitting beside him lazily and watching TV. Suddenly a call comes, the child receives the call and someone has called the grown up. When the grown up understand that who has called him is the one who is very irritating, he tells the child to tell the caller, “The person you have called is not at home right now, and he did not tell exactly when he will return.” Surprisingly, before a while, this grown-up was teaching the child “Never tell a lie.” The child may not understand what is happening around him, but he can easily understand that it is the lies which can save one from uncomfortable and irritating situation. This is the way how a person learns how to tell a lie, and when to tell a lie in his childhood. It is a matter of sorrow that the child then starts to tell a lie when he feels that he will be in danger or in an uncomfortable situation if he tells the truth. He starts to tell lie to his teacher when he forgets to bring his homework to save himself. If it becomes the situation of our young generation, then how can we expect them as good citizens? It is the time to stop telling lie to make our young generation truthful.

Appearence

When I was reading Death of a Salesman, written by Arthur Millar, I was thinking about some kind of values of a person. I think that whatever Millar trying to say by the characters of the play was obviously true for most of the people.
In the play, Willy believes that appearance is very important if one wants to be successful in his life. He thinks that if one is charming and well-liked, everyone will know him, he will be famous, and there will be no hinder to be successful in life. At first, I thought that Willy was wrong, and there is no value of appearance in society. Later, the thing came to my mind if appearance really had no value in society.
I saw many people who shout that they only value the qualities and hard work of a person. If people really do so, how can the fairness cream companies and other cosmetics companies make a big profit every year? If people don’t value appearance, why are they buying the fairness creams every month? Moreover, whenever we turn on the TV, we can watch many advertisements of the fairness creams which show that one is being neglected in the interview board and not getting a job as his skin color is dark, on the other side the other person easily gets job as his skin is fair as he uses the cream. Here, what do we see? We see that the advertisers want to prompt people to buy the cream for convincing the employers and getting the job. Surprisingly, they are successful, and most people value appearance consciously or unconsciously.
Another interesting thing I notice when the World Cup game was being held, most of the people were great fans of Kaka, Villa, Messy, and Cristiano Ronaldu and the fact was that four of them were the most charming football players. People like them not only for their good performance, but also for their charming appearance. There were many players who played very well, but why weren’t they as famous as the four players? The answer is clear.
Here I understand Willy’s perceptive and agree that people values good appearance consciously or unconsciously.

In response to “Heat and Rain”

“Oh! It is too hot at outside, maa. Please give me a glass of green coconut water or lemon juice.” When we were in our village, we used to say it to our mother after coming back from the playground. My village was one of the villages which were surrounded by many kinds of fruit trees like mango trees, jackfruit trees, blackberry trees, and litchi trees. Although lots of trees were there, summer was terrible there.
When I read the chapter “Heat and Rain” of the autobiography Untouchables in India written by Basant Moon, I started to think about what were happened in our village when it was summer. In “Heat and Rain,” Moon describes about people’s thirst for having their bodies wet by drops if rains in the summer. It is also described that children of the village used to steal the fruit as they didn’t have enough food to eat in their home.
After reading the chapter, I reminisced that in our village also children used to steal the fruit from others trees at noon, when the owners were sleeping. Some children used to do it just for fun, but most of the children used to steal only because of poverty. Their parents only could provide them with rice for two times a day, and they ate the rice with the spinaches collected from the doba (a very small pond, and the water of it was very dirty). Children of these families could not even think of telling their parents to buy some fruits for them, and that’s why they used to steal the fruit.
Another thing also used to happen in summer. When it was too hot, but there was no possibility of raining, people of our village, especially the farmers, whose crops were dying due to lack of rain, used to perform some rituals to call the rain to come. Muslim people used to arrange milaad (one kind of prayer) to beg to the God for rain, and Hindu people also do some puja for it. Surprisingly, after two or three days, rain came and wet the hot earth with its cold water.

The Definations of Happiness

Happiness is something when you are not wealthy, but you are satisfied with what you have. Happiness is something when you make a cake for your mother on Mother’s Day, and she smiles towards you. Happiness is something when you have a high fever, and your parents and all of your friends are beside you. Happiness is something when you fed a little poor child, who is starving for two days, rice or bread from your pocket money. Happiness is something when you can marry the person whom you love. Happiness is something when your friend misses the class, and you take notes for her; when she sees that, she smiles to you. Happiness is something when birds chirp on your veranda and you wake up. Happiness is something when it’s your birthday and nobody wishes you, but when you sleep with a sorrowful mind, a group of your friends wake you with a birthday cake. Happiness is something when you buy a fountain pen for your father and gift him; the next morning you see that your father is carrying the pen in his pocket. Happiness is something when you enjoy the rain in your veranda, and a cup of coffee is in your hand. Happiness is something when the SIDOR has occurred, and you have collected a lot of money and clothes from your community. Happiness is something when you donate your blood to the person who has met an accident, and only your blood group matches with him. Happiness is something when you pray to your God with devotion. Happiness is something when your roommate falls asleep while she is reading the book, and you take the book for your hand and turn off the light. Happiness is something when your younger sister, who is in 2nd grade, calls you and says, “When are you coming home, apu?” while you have just come from home two days ago. Happiness is something when your teacher is proud of you as you are very honest and don’t do any plagiarism.
Who says “I am not happy, and no one is happy”? One can easily find out her happiness from her surroundings. You must have satisfaction to be a happy person.

” Lord Krishna, Do You Hear Me?”

Dear Lord Krishna,

Today I went to your temple to worship you; I could not even enter in the temple. The priest and the other present Brahmins did not let me enter. They were saying that as I was from the untouchable community, I had no right to step on the temple and worship here. What was my fault here, Krishna? I was not born in an untouchable family, but my devotion to you was not lesser than anyone. So, why I could not even enter to your temple?

Since my childhood, when I started to realize what was happening around me, I felt that something was wrong with my family. After some years, I realized that not only with my family, but also the other families of our community were going through this. It is because we are known as untouchable. It is because we are the people of low caste in our religion.  I do not think the people of high caste consider us human or not. Do you know, Krishna, they take bath if we touch them? Moreover, when I was in the school, I felt very bad when I saw that the first 5/6 benches were reserved only for the Brahmin students. All the time we had to seat on the last benches. We could not sit on the first benches even if they did not come.

You know, Krishna, it was a very hot day of summer. I went to take bath in the Chowdhury pond with some of my friends, but we couldn’t take bath. Some Brahmin women of our village were present there, and they scolded us too much. They were telling that as we were untouchable, if we bathed in the pond, the water of the pond would be impure. The Brahmin could not bathe in the pond anymore then. I was just astonished hearing this. They were human, we were also. Their blood was red, ours wasn’t white.  So what was the difference between us? Why did this kind of inequity exist in our society? I didn’t know. Do you know?

 I am in love with a handsome boy of our village, and he also loves me. I also know that we can never be together as he is a son of a Brahmin family and I am from an untouchable family. His family and also the society will never accept our love. You tell me, Krishna, what will I do now? Will we sacrifice our love for the sake of this irrational rule of the society? You loved all the people of the world, no matter what their caste were. Why do your followers do so? Why don’t they agree to give equal rights to everybody?

” Mamma, where are you?”

It was the time when the World War II was destroying everything in China. We, the twin daughters of Lee family were watching our mamma Suyuan then. She was afraid as an officer of the Kuomintang secretly warned her that the Japanese were coming to kill our family. We were not afraid as our mamma would never let anyone to harm us. We, two were laughing towards her because we knew that it would relief mama at least for a while. In the middle of the night, she picked up us and fled on foot. We were not crying so much though we were hungry. It was because we could understand that our mamma was suffering from dysentery and she was becoming sick. Her hands were bleeding from blisters because she had been carrying us in the cart for a long time. At last our mama gave up. She felt that she was about to die. We were apples of her eyes, and she could not even think of living without us, but she abandoned us only for our sake. She was telling us “It’s better not to die next to you. Nobody saves babies with such bad luck. Who wants two babies with ghost mother following them?” Saying this she was crying and left us. It was the result of our mamma’s good intention which led one farmer family to take us and look after us for many years.

Many years have passed by. Now, finally we have found our mamma. She wrote in her letter that she will come to meet with us today, and our younger sister Jing-mei also will come with her. We can’t wait anymore. At last, the moment comes. The plain has arrived, and we are so excited to seeing our mamma whom we lost when we are not even one year old. But, where is our mamma? Only a girl is coming towards us, and she is may be Jing-mei. We understand that our mamma will never come to see us as she has already gone to the place from where no one can return. Jing-mei comes and hugs us. We feels that our mamma hugs us. Dear mamma, can you hear us? Are you watching us? You must be happy seeing we three sisters   become united forever. We have fulfilled your long cherished desire, Mamma, by being together. We know Mamma; you are here, beside us forever.

Response to “Double Face”

     When I read the chapter “Double Face” of Joy Luck Club, written by Amy Tan, one thing came into my mind. Did Waverly really resemble her mother Lindo? In what way she did so? Physically or psychologically? I think after reading this chapter that Waverly resembled her mother physically than psychologically. People around them also found similarity between their faces. Lindo once suddenly noticed that there was a slight difference between their faces that Waverly owned a crooked nose by born, whereas Lindo had the crooked nose only after her accident. The crooked nose of her daughter made her upset as she believed that a crooked nose brought bad luck. The other thing is that there was an obvious mental difference between the Americanized daughter Waverly and the traditional Chinese mother Lindo. Lindo was upset that her daughter Waverly didn’t learn how to behave with parents and understand her own mother. It hurt Lindo when her daughter Waverly was talking with Mr. Rory as if she was not there, but Waverly did not understand it. On the other side, Lindo understood her mother very well. That’s why, when her mother treated her coldly, she didn’t mind. She understood that her mother was helpless in the society as she was a woman. Lindo could understand that her mother loved her very much, whereas Waverly did not understand her mother love. Moreover, she misunderstood that her mother just wanted to show her off, but in real her mother was just proud of her. We see in this chapter that though Lindo was always proud of her daughter, her daughter Waverly felt shame for her mother’s appearance which hurt Lindo so much. In addition, Waverly thought that one thing matched in their faces and that was their “devious face.” She also thought that it helped them to get what they wanted, but Lindo thought that she could not keep her double face in front of her own country people which meant Chinese People.

     I think that Lindo’s thought was right. When people has been lived in a foreign country for many years, their accent, behavior, gesture all becomes changed. That’s why, it is easy for the country people, which country they are from, to recognize whether those people are their people or not. In this case, the double face of a person doesn’t work.

Why Do We Feel Bad When Our Mothers Scold Us?

A mother is the most valuable person in one’s life. It is because she is the one who is always a well-wisher and can do anything for her children. It is the mother who worries about her children selflessly. She may be hurt emotionally by her children, but never curses them, never wants something bad to happen in their life. Sometimes she behaves rudely with her children if they don’t do their work properly which does not mean that she does not love them. Her way of speaking may be harsh, but her great love for her children is hidden behind it. It is not visible to some children that their mother cares for them so much, and that’s why she rebukes them if she notices something wrong they are doing.

This also happens with Waverly Jong in the chapter “Four Directions” of the novel Joy Luck Club written by Amy Tan. Here Waverly always misunderstood her mother Lindo, and her love. When Waverly was a very good chess player in her youth, Lindo was very proud of her. Her way of showing her affection and her love for her children like showing her daughter off might be wrong, but  her love was pure. Lindo was always a great support to her daughter for example, she always used to polish Waverly’s trophies and cut out the small newspaper that had mentioned her name. Waverly did not understand it until she lost in every game when her mother showed no support to her. Though Lindo showed that she would not support Waverly any more, she always stood beside Waverly. She always expected a good husband for Waverly, so when she eloped with a nineteen years old boy when she was only eighteen years old, she got hurt and misbehaved with Waverly. Actually, love was hidden behind this misbehavior. Though she acted that she didn’t like Waverly anymore after Waverly insulted her on the street, she loved her very much. She was worried about her daughter and went to her daughter’s apartment to see her how she was. Waverly misunderstood her mother when she commented on the mink jacket. When she told her mother not to criticize a gift and it was given from Rich’s heart, she retorted “That’s why I worry” (186). By saying this, her mother expressed her love and concern for her.

In short, a mother is precious; a mother is an epitome of altruism. I think we should keep it mind that whatever she says is for our well being, and also listen to her. We should never hurt her emotionally.