Patriarchy

Patriarchy is a society ruled by men and they have the sole power in making decisions. So far, I have experienced the control of patriarchy neither in my family nor in my school. My blog is mainly focused on the comparison of patriarchal experience between my friend Tasnia Symoon and myself. When I interviewed her last time, she said that she experienced patriarchy in several aspects of her life. In her family, her father is the one who made the decisions. Moreover, in her schools, most of her teachers were males especially the headmasters. Conversely, in my family, both my mother and father have equal right to make the right decision. Both provide suggestions and take whichever is more beneficial to our family. Also, from my elementary schools to high schools, I had studied under both male and female teachers. We have equal proportion of male and female teachers as well.
In Bhutan, no such thing called patriarchy and matriarchy exists. As long as we have the ability, a woman can become a leader, and if she doesn’t have the ability, she can land up somewhere else. Also, the same goes with men. Our entire accomplishment depends upon our qualifications, academic marks, and other necessary attributes. In the schools, I didn’t face any inequality as a girl. None of the boys dominated the environment. We had free access to every corners of the territory. However, Tasnia said that she can go outside her home, but it is not always secure.
Tasnia asserted that although she lives in a patriarchal society, she doesn’t feel any sense of inferiority. Also, she believes that it is good to have her father as the head of her family. Her father treats the children and her mother lovingly and affectionately, so she doesn’t have any negative notion about it. However, she is not happy with the fact that most schools were controlled by male principals. She raised the question why can’t a woman be the headmistress of the school? She said that woman can also do like men.
Tasnia concluded my interview by saying that both men and women are human beings, we share the same community, and we all are special in our own ways. So let us all broaden our minds leaving behind those stereotypical views about the distinctions between men and women. She ended saying all women are capable to participate in the society.

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What does a Hairstyle tell about a Person.

Everyone of us has our own way of keeping our hair. Some have their hair tightly pulled back, whereas some have their hair untangled. No matter in which style people keep their hair, we always presume certain notion about that person.

Firstly, if a person has highlighted or colored hair, we have the blatant thought that the person belonged to a rich family. This is because hair cosmetics are usually expensive in all the places I know so far. Also, we tend to assume that the person is very stylish. This is because most people dye their hair with different colors in order to make themselves look punk or look attractive. Secondly, if a person keeps her hair tightly tangled, we believe that she is a very well- organized person. This is because most girls are being distracted by our hair while working. Sometimes while doing any kind of work, our hair falls over our face and distracts our concentration. In order to prevent from being diverted from their work because of their hair, they tie it. Also, having their hair tightly pulled back symbolises cleanliness. They look very neat and hygenic when their hair is tied. For this reason, girls student in Bhutan are made compulsory to tie their hair while going to school. Thirdly, if a peron changes her hairstyle daily, then we speculate that she is a inconsistent person. Just like her changing hairstyle, her character and behavior also chages. I don’t know how far it is true, but I heard from my friends that when a person changes her hairstyle, her behavior ,way of thinking, and personality also changes.

In Bhutan, people in the past had certain culture of keeping their hair. Men kept short hair no matter whether he is a farmer or an officer. However, for women, some office goers kept long hair, whereas farm workers kept their hair short. Nontheless, with changing time, people leave behind the culture and tend to cross the boundaries. Presently, both men and women, in order to live updated with fashion, keep their hairstyles in different designs. For example, some boys keep their hair long, which was not practiced in the past. Conversly, some women keep their hair short no matter wether she is a farmer, a student,or office goers. Some curl their hair while some straighten their hair. Therefore, I would say that no matter in which style or design we keep our hair, it always symbolizes something like the hairstyles that symbolised wealth, gender, sex, and marital status in the article “Symbolism of Hairslyle in Korea and Japan” by Na-Young Choi.

Trust-Keeping Lies

It is quite amazing to discover that there are truths behind lies. Often times, we wonder why people tell lies. Also, we have the intrinsic feeling that lying is not good for ourselves as well for the others. However, we tend to tell lies either intentionally or unintentionally in our day to day lives. The article “The Truth about Lying” by Judith Viorst gives us four specific distinctions of lies. They are social lies, protective lies, peace-keeping lies, and trust-keeping lies (Viorst, 181-4). In a way, we think that lies are not rationale and it is troublesome. In the other way, we often tell lies in order to hide the truth or it could hurt the other person. Sometimes, we are forced to tell lies depending upon circumstances. Truths are not always pleasant to share no matter with our friends or families. Trust keeping lies is telling lies to the third person in order to prevent ourselves from betraying our friend’s trust (Viorst, 184). I have an experience with trust keeping lies. It was during my High School days when I had to make up a lie in order to keep her trust in me. I was in the hostel and I was appointed as the assistant cottage coordinator since the main captain was having exams. I had to take charge of the cottage and check the presence of my cottage mates. During that time, some border girls used to escape outside the hostel boundary to meet their boyfriends. So as being a cottage coordinator, I had to keep strict and alert eyes on my cottage girls. However, it happened one night that one of my close friends begged me to allow her to meet her boyfriend. I was in a position where I could not take any action. At first I profoundly refused, and she was deeply saddened by my refusal. Finally, she decided to go with the trust that I will cover her absence by any means. I thought matron won’t come for hostel check up. Unfortunately, that evening our matron came to take attendance. In order to prevent my friend from getting caught and to keep her trust, I told the matron that my friend was in the toilet since she was suffering from shooting diarrhea. Thank god that she didn’t check the toilet. If she did, then both I and my friend will be severely punished. So in that way, I was able protect my friend whose trust I had promised to keep.

Mr. Willy Loman

In the play “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller, I really
love the character Willy Loman. He plays the role of a father to his two sons
Biff and Happy. At first, I had the thought that he was very dominating and exploiting
his masculine superiority over his passionate wife Linda. Moreover, he appeared
to be a person always complaining about everything. He complained about his
sons not having a proper vocation. He also seemed to be crazy and a very short
tempered man. He also had extra-marital affair besides his wife Linda. He
provided stockings to his mistress, whereas his wife used the old mended stockings.
Conversely, after having read the play, I came to realize that Willy was a very
concerned and dedicated father. Well, I can say that he was wrong for having
affair with another woman, but he felt guilty for what he had done.  Additionally, he got angry with his elder son
Biff because being a father; he was concerned about his child and his future. When
Biff wasn’t settled even at the age of thirty four worried Willy so much. As a
result, his affection and concerns turned into anger. One of the biggest things
he did was sacrificing his life for his family. Some says that committing
suicide was an act of being a coward, but I believe that he was not a coward. Death
is something that cannot be played with and everyone fear death. However, Willy
was very determined and strong enough to die for the benefit of his family. His
main intention was to get insurance for his death and let Biff become a
salesman.  We might think it was foolish
of him to commit suicide. He could have worked for Charley who offered him a job,
but his pride didn’t let him to accept the job. Most often, pride can lead us
to different way. Moreover, it was during the time of the Great Depression, so committing
suicide and getting insurance was the only way to fulfill his dream of making
Biff a salesman. After knowing the rationale behind his death, I really
appreciated him. His action showed how much he cared for his family. Now, my
image of Willy has completely changed from a proudly and wild man to a
dedicated and an ambitious man willing to face death in order to fulfill his
dreams and hopes.

On “Death of a Salesman”

The play “Death of the Salesman” by Arthur Miller portrays certain conflicts that usually occur within a family. In Act One, there is conflict between Willy and his sons. Happy and Biff are two sons of Willy and Linda. Neither Biff nor Happy have a consistent job. His elder son Biff believes that his father is annoying because Willy always complains about his being lazy and not being settled with a proper job. Both of the sons didn’t have a good proper job, but why did Willy get infuriated with Biff? This is because Biff is the eldest, and his expectations from him were somewhat high. So when Biff couldn’t find a job even at the thirty four, this made Willy worry and his concerns turned into anger against Biff. They think Willy was crazy. Happy and Biff decided to borrow money from Bill Oliver to buy farmland and raise animals and produce vegetables, so that they can earn a lot of money.

Such type of conflicts can happen to several families. Usually our parents expects highly from us. Often times we fulfill it, and few times we fail to fulfill it. It is easy for them to expect from us, but they never realize the difficulties and rigors that we go through in order to fulfill their expectations. Not all dreams and visions can be accomplished.  Similarly, I think Willy should also understand Biffs’ situation. His not having a proper vocation is not because he didn’t try to find a job or he slept all day paying no attention to his career. He took several professions such as shipping clerk, salesman, keeping stroke, etc. Moreover, it was during the time of Great Depression where the economy of the world was in recession. Everybody might have faced the same problem of not having a constant occupation during that time.  Surprisingly, Willy himself wanted to become a successful salesman, but he was not able to acquire his dream. So how can he criticize Biff for not living up to his expectations? He should look at his own position and judge Biffs’ condition. Now, I am not saying that Biff should totally ignore his father’s wish. It would be great if he could achieve his father’s dream. But Biff is also in such a pathetic situation. He tried his best, but certain circumstances stopped him from living up to his father’s expectations.

Happiness

Happiness is the state of being happy.  It can have different connotation to different people. Something that makes me happy may not make you happy.  For example, my friend associate happiness with eating ice cream, but her concept doesn’t apply for my definition of happiness. For me, I feel that happiness is when I am free of anxiety, stress, tensions, and depression. In short, a peace of mind is happiness. Sometimes, making others happy also brings happiness. For example, I got a beautiful bracelet, and my friend got an unattractive bracelet. When I gave her mine, she became happy, which made me feel happy as well.

People often equate happiness with wealth. Can wealth be regarded as a way to acquire happiness? No, it is not. Even if you are a billionaire, you won’t enjoy the delight of happiness. Ironically, cynical people believe that all rich people are very miser and self indulgent. Their greediness never leaves them to rest at peace. They always ascertain for a strategy to increase their richness.  The more they become wealthy, the less happiness they get in their lives. However, some people seem really happy because of their wealth. I see them enjoy every bits of life. As long as they have money, they are indifferent to problems and troubles. However, quite often, they lose their happiness due to some chaos in friendship and love affairs. So, this indicates that no matter how much rich you are, it doesn’t mean that you are happy.

Happiness is what we make out of ourselves. Happiness is something that isn’t tangible. Here is an anecdote I got from the Indian Newspaper called The Speaking Tree. “Once there was a kitten that chased her tail all the time. One day, an old wise cat saw her. He watched the kitten for some time and then asked her why she was chasing her tail so much. The kitten gave a shrewd answer saying she was finding happiness because her mother told her she would find happiness in her tail. Upon hearing it, the wise cat advised her not to chase the tail because the more you run after your tail, the faster it will run away from you. Don’t chase your tail, it would follow you. And the old cat walked away with wagging his tail.” This tells us that happiness is not something that can be caught and kept with us forever. Be happy and cheerful, you are sure to get happiness.

Untouchables

According to Vasant Moon’s concept about Untouchables, the Brahmans were considered pure and the best, whereas Untouchables were considered impure and the lowest (ix). The people who were born impure by birth and were offered low leveled jobs were considered as Untouchables and they were looked down upon the society.

Caste system existed almost in many parts of the world in the past and it does exist in some few countries presently. More specifically, it was a very common system in India. The caste to which they belonged was considered very important in their daily lives. People looked at the caste to which a person belonged in order to give their daughter’s or son’s hand in marriage. If either the boy or the girl weren’t from the same caste, they weren’t allowed to marry even if they loved each other desperately. In this kind of cases, the couples have chances of committing suicides or eloping away from their families and their society for the sake of their love. Thus, the caste system derived the rights of the children to marry the love of their life.

We are all human beings. We live in the same planet.  We breathe in the same air. Also, not only the Brahmans but also the Untouchables need to depend on food and water for survival. So why do the inequality exist? Is it necessary to create inferiority and superiority in the society leading to various problems and chaos? Is a racial and ethnic division vital for the maintenance of society? Why can’t everyone be treated equally and enjoy a peaceful surrounding?

It is good that the custom of referring to someone as an Untouchable is abolished. How can people live their lives if the superior groups dominate each and every corner of their lives?  While watching Bollyhood movies, I had seen several disadvantages of people from low caste faced in the society. Even an old man had to respect a child belonging to high caste groups. Those people had to perform low status jobs.

 We live in a world where we are exposed to various aspects of lives.  Don’t be selfish and praise about your superiority. Let us all think in a way that can bring peace, equality, and harmony to the society. Forget the questions of class and race to which a person belongs. Accept the person as he or she is not as what caste or race he or she belongs to.

Suyuan’s Soul

“Mama, Mama,” my daughters were murmuring. They are warmly embracing each other. I am on the other side watching all of them with tears of happiness in my eyes. This is what I had wanted to see, to see the three of you united as sisters.  Jing-Mei, you fulfilled my long cherished dream of finding the two of your sisters. I am happy to see you all pleased to see each other. Even though they could not see me while I was alive, my heart has always been longing for your presence since the moment I left the two of you near the road side.  It is not that I left you because I didn’t want the two of you, but I was left with no other option. However, I regretted a lot after leaving two of you behind. Every day and night, I thought of various strategies to find the two of you.  I wrote to many of my friends, so that I can find you two as soon as possible. Unfortunately, no matter how much I wrote to them, their reply was always hopeless. Even after several failure of not being able to get small information, I still tried my best to find the two of you until I could not take the pain any longer. Now, you have found your sister Jing Mei and father Canning. They will take care of the two of you. I am very proud of Jing-Mei. She has the best quality of selflessness and I want Jing-Mei to teach them the sense of selflessness and generosity.  Canning, my husband, with the Polaroid in his hand, is busy taking snapshots of my three daughters. You are a man of pure heart I had ever met. Canning, I am very thankful for your silent understanding. You didn’t tell me about my daughters because you thought I would feel ashamed and guilty. Moreover, I am sorry for not telling the truth that I was trying all those years to find my daughters. Now, I am satisfied that Jing Mei had fulfilled my unfinished mission. It is time for me to go… and a strong wind blew in the direction where the four of them were laughing and wiping tears from each other’s eyes. With the flash of the wind, Canning saw Suyuan rising into the sky with a satisfied smile and waving farewell. “Suyuan, your soul had wondered a lot to find these two kids, but they are found. It is time you rest your soul in peace and take refuge in the paradise of Lord Buddha,” Canning said.

Relationships

True love…true love…true love…Is there such a thing called true love? The reason why I am asking this question is that through what i observe around me, I can see that there are many husbands and wives getting divorced and many boyfriends and girlfriends breaking up. Why does it happen?

Well, most people have the illusion of perfect love based on the ideas depicted in the fairy tales and movies with happy endings. For instance, the story of Romeo and Juliet is widely considered as the epitome of true love. Usually, the love portrayed in movies and fairy tales are idealistic. However, from my point of view, I feel that being humans, desiring for such kind of love is just desire that can’t be achieved. Everybody yearns for the intimate affection that someone can give them. Women dream of their Prince Charming to come and ask for her hand, whereas men always search for the love of their life. However, staying together always results into some misunderstandings. And a person has to work hard to solve the misunderstanding or their love would disappear in the air. Most people seems to say the three words “I Love You” but when it comes to problems, many of them appears to be too ignorant and let their love diminish. Can this be true love? Why can’t those people think carefully and realize the value of their shared love? Can they simply let it to happen? In this way, I feel this isn’t true love. If you really love someone, you can’t imagine of leaving that person no matter what happens between them. They should try their best to overcome every conflict to sustain their relationship. Also, from my perspective, I think true love is when someone loves you for what you are, not for what you have or possess. Seriously speaking, I don’t like when people expresses love in a romantic poetries. I always find some faults behind it. Moreover, it sounds very corny and banal and I don’t consider it as true love. For instance, in the chapter “Waiting between the trees” of the novel The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, Ying Ying’s husband expresses his love in a very romantic poetry which made her love him so deeply. He said, “You have tiger eyes. They gather fire in the day. At night they shine golden.”(280) However, she was betrayed and he left her with his child implanted in her womb. Therefore, I would say that true love is something that is very rare to exist in this realistic world.

Selflessness: The Best Quality

In the chapter “Best Quality” of the novel The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, Jing Mei’s mother Suyuan gave the jade pendent as her appreciation of Jing-Mei’s sense of selflessness.  It was during their New Year celebration that Suyuan invited her longtime friend s Lindo Jong and her family. Suyuan cooked eleven crabs for eleven of them and one crab among them had torn off leg. During the dinner time, everybody chose the best and the plumpest, and the last two crabs with faded orange color and torn off leg was left. Jing Mei chose the crab with the torn off leg sacrificing the other one for her mother. Thus, Suyuan realized that her daughter’s thinking was different from others.  She had the sense of selflessness, which can be considered as the best quality a person can possess.

From my point, I also believe that selflessness can be one of the best qualities for a person, but we all are human being, so we somehow tend to choose the best one for ourselves. The greed in us never allows us to forfeit something for someone else. Only few people can sacrifice for other beings. For instance, if we are given a chance to choose a gift, everybody will choose the loveliest one. We will never choose the worst one so that the good one can be taken by the other.  Except in the case of mothers, they are the epitome of altruism. A mother’s love is unconditional and selfless.  They sacrifice everything for their children. For instance, in the chapter “Magpies” of the same novel, An-mei’s mother who was the third concubine of Wu-Tsing sacrificed her own life for the sake of her daughter. Wu-Tsing promised her to give her own household, but his plan was chopped by the second wife. Wu-Tsing was afraid that her mother’s spirit will come to take revenge, so he promised to nurture An-mei and the other son as his own child.

Moreover, I am a Buddhist follower and according to my religion, selflessness is the one of the most fundamental key to attain enlightenment. Desiring for something and selfishness is considered as a sinful act. Therefore, whenever we pray and offer butter lamps, we never pray for our own benefit, we always pray for all living beings to rest in peace. Thus, I agree that Suyuan that selflessness is the best quality a person can ever have.