What to do?

At the end of the chapter 8 of the book Growing up Untouchables in India, Vasant Moon talks about his concern about his action and the decision he made to stop the marriage of a teenage girl to a 45-year-old man. He managed to threaten the 45-year-old man to change his mind about marrying a teenage girl. However, later he is questioned about stopping the marriage. For many days since then, Moon thinks about the complexity of social issues and the girl’s future, and wonders if his decision has been a right one.

Facing dilemmas in decision making seems more important when the decision we make will affect other people’s lives. I used to ask myself how leaders, people in authority, or anyone who is in a position to make decisions about other people’s lives can cope with the pressure of making important or life-lasting decisions, while I had hard time making simple decisions that only affected my own life. I knew it needed a lot of courage to make crucial decisions, but what was more difficult was to face the consequences of making decisions, especially if it is wrong.

I learned the answer of my question from two serials: All Saints and 24. All Saints was an Australian serial about nurses and doctors who worked in a government hospital with the same name. Some of the nurses were dispatched for rescue team missions. In several cases, doctors or nurses faced a situation when that they were not determined what was the right thing to do. The life of the patient was in their hands, and they had to make a final decision how to save their lives. They did, but if they lost the patient or caused more damage, they tried not to blame themselves and accepted the fact that they were human beings and liable to make mistakes.

In 24, Jack Bauer and his team worked for Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) and detected and stopped terrorist attacks on America’s soil. One of the important characteristics of Jack was his strong determination. He didn’t show any doubt while making decisions so that his team would believe in him and follow him. He taught his colleagues to make their mind thinking about the priorities; for them it was national security. In most of their missions, each second’s worth was very high, and they shouldn’t waste it by pausing and pondering what to do next. Sometimes, they made mistakes, and people were killed. However, many times they saved people’s lives too. If they thought only about the negative parts they would go crazy, and end up in an asylum. But Jack and his team would continue to serve their people.

The important thing was that they all had a good intention, used all their skills and human knowledge, and did the best they could.

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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.

 

 

Manners Cause Misunderstanding!!

American 1: How ridiculous it is! She is licking her fingers!!
American 2: Oh! Yes! It’s absolutely disgusting!!
Bangladeshi (thinking): Why those two foreigners are looking at me in that weird way?!? Who knows what’s wrong with them!!
Arab: Hey! What are you thinking?
Bangladeshi: Oh! Nothing! I am just eating, you know…
Arab: Look! They have not offered me anything yet! I am so hungry and want to eat something.
Bangladeshi: Okay, you can ask them to get you something. In fact, we all are eating except you!!
Arab: You know, the waiter offered me to take a dish, but I said, “No, thank you!”
Bangladeshi: Oh! What did you do? I heard that it is an American custom not to offer again and again!
Arab: But how can I know this?!?! We have a different custom. It is our manner not to take any food from dish for the first time!! If someone offers again, then we take it!!
Bangladeshi: Oh! It created misunderstanding!!
Arab (with a sad voice): Yes, I am supposed to know this………………….
Bangladeshi: Don’t worry. Just tell the waiter to bring you some foods.
Latin American (keeps a hand in the shoulder of the Arab and gives a big smile): What are you talking about guys??!!!
Arab: Oh! You know, those Americans didn’t give me anything to eat. They don’t know courtesy!!
Bangladeshi: Oh, man! It’s just a misunderstanding for following different etiquettes.
Latin American: Yeah! But those Americans are very proud about themselves!! They insulted me!!
Arab & Bangladeshi (with wonder): HOW?!?
Latin American (with anger): Before starting the party, I wanted to meet them. I stood so closely in front of them, and they just stepped behind about one arm length! How insulting that was…..
Arab: I think they don’t like close standing space. They want to keep at least an arm length space whenever they talk to other person.
Bangladeshi: Yeah, I also noticed that.
Latin American: But this is so insulting for us, for Latin Americans!!!!!
Bangladeshi: Hmm…I think this all about misunderstanding not to know about each other’s customs, manners and etiquettes.
Arab and Latin American: YES! We also think so. This is also applicable for those Americans!!
Bangladeshi: Actually we all need to learn other’s customs and manners to avoid embarrassment.

Classified Lies

Social Lies
Jenisha (employee): Boss, your flowery shoe matches with your dress. You look so pretty.
Boss : Thank you Jenisha.
{Results: Boss can choose Jenisha among others while promoting the employees}.

Husband: No honey, you still look young, and this dress suits on your figure.
Wife: Oh really! Thank you dear. I too think in that way. Few gray hairs will not make me look old.
{Result: That night, at dinner, wife will cook special dinner for her husband}.

Girl on a party: Your new hairstyle is hot.
Boy: I am glad you liked it.
{Result: Boy will have soft corner for her from that night onwards}.

Peace Keeping Lies
Mother: Where did you buy this? I only gave you $150, but it seems it cost $400. Did you again borrow money with your friends?              Daughter: No mom, these pair of shoes were on sales. I bought it for $100 only.
{Result: Mother will look at the shoes and she will  it on her own feet}.

Girlfriend: How can you forget my birthday?
Boyfriend: Baby, how can I forget your birthday? I was about to call you and give you a surprise with a cake and chocolates; unfortunately, all the cakes were out of stock in GEC shops.”
{Result: Girlfriend will forgive him for this time}.

Protective Lies
Dad: Does your friend smoke? He smelled horrible when he passed near by me.
Son: No dad, actually his father smokes, and he has been hanging out with his father for the whole day.
{Results: Dad will generate a positive attitude towards his son’s friend}.

Conservative Uncle: Is your teacher gay?
Niece: No, he isn’t. He is just pretending to be like Brittany Murphy whose biography we are reading about.
{Result: Conservative Uncle will not interfere again when niece is taking her classes with the teacher}.

A daughter: Mom, why doesn’t dad come to visit us?
Divorcee mother: No honey, he is just too busy with his official works.
{Results: Daughter will develop a positive attitude towards her father}.

Trust Keeping Lies
Ayush: Do you know why Rohan proposed my girlfriend?
Bijay: Hey Ayush, Rohan never knew that you two were dating each other.
{Result: There is less chances of fight taking place between Bijay and Ayush}.

Teacher: Do anyone know why Seema is absent on this class, but she was there in Ms. Zena class?
Students: Sir, she suddenly fell sick, so she went to health center to take some rest.
{Result: Teacher will mark sick instead of absent in the attendance sheet}.

trust-keeping lie and my experience

Judith Virost explains the habit of telling lie of human in a brilliant way in the article “The Truth about Lying”. She shows evidence that how easily we tell lie socially without feeling any remorse as those lies are not harmful. However, Virost asks her reader to think that it is ok or not to lie. She says that though all lies are not harmful, some of them are not acceptable too. She divides the lies in four sections: social lies, peace-keeping lies, protective lies, and trust-keeping lies. In the case of trust-keeping lies, people lie for keeping trust to others. As Virost gives an example that often trust-keeping lies come when we want to keep our friends’ trust and lie for them.

When we read that term and examples about trust –keeping lies, I remembered one experiences I had last year. When I was in Dhaka, I got a close friend in my hostel. One day, I decided to go my uncle’s house and she asked me to take her with me as she also had relatives in the same place. However, when we came out from the hostel, she said me that her boyfriend was coming to meet her and she would stay with him that day. Moreover, she requested me not to tell that anyone. Hearing that, I was shocked and said that she should have told me before coming. I was not willing to relate myself with her personal matter. As that kind of affair is hatred in our society, I was literally disturbed by her request and felt a dilemma. However, I agreed that I would tell others that we were together. Next day, I came back and saw that she was crying in her room. Other girls were questioning me that we went together and came back separately, and she was crying, so where we were. I was really in trouble as the girl was not saying anything except crying. As a result, I told that I had to do some shopping which made me late. It was clear that the girls were dubious about my statement. Whatever, I tried to talk with the girl and she said that her boyfriend wanted to break up with her and she was feeling helpless. Moreover, the girl cut her hand with knife and did other things that everyone got to know that she had recently met her boyfriend and had some problems. However, I was the person who was queried by all people. Though I did not tell them the truth because of keeping my promise, they knew that I was hiding something. I was telling lots of lies to hide one secret, which decreased my morality badly. I blamed myself for my foolishness though it was not my own fault. The situation was against me. Really it is difficult for me to explain the situation and how disturbed I felt that time. I promised that I would never be agreed to lie for others and get into others personal matter.

Dear friends, I don’t know, you have that kind of experiences or not. I think, it is better to stay away from lies and from others’ secret matter. As trust and lie are opposite from each other, it is better to avoid trust-keeping lies.

 

Dangers of All Kinds of Lies

            The essay “The Truth about Lying” by Judith Viorst, discusses about four kinds of lying that are not harmful for the society; rather, these kinds of lies makes relationship better in some cases. The author has categorized these into four categories, and these are social lies, peace-keeping lies, protective lies, and trust-keeping lies. In my life, I had to tell all these four kinds of lies in order to live happily, but unfortunately, all these four kinds of lies brought troubles in my life. I want to share my experiences about how lies are always worse.

            Social Lie: This kind of lying is a little bit like flattery. However, we have to lie sometimes to make our dear ones happy by praising them highly although they are not worthy of that much praise. I always tell these kinds of lies. One day, one of my friends made some sweet food for me. I highly praised her telling that that was very delicious. She became very happy. When she went away, I just threw that away. Oh my goodness! Another day, she made lots of same food, and she wanted me to eat more and more (as she thought I liked that very much). She was sitting in front of me, and I was eating that rubbish food! Can you imagine what happened to me that day?

            Peace-keeping Lie: Before coming at AUW, I had to live with one of my female cousin whose husband lived in another city. She had a little son. One day, her son became very sick, and she took her son to the hospital. Unfortunately, she left her mobile phone at home. In the mean time, her husband called me, and asked where she was. I was in a fix what to say. Her husband was very bad tempered man. I knew he would quarrel with my cousin for the baby’s sickness; therefore, to keep peace in the family, I told him that she went to park with her son. When my cousin arrived, she called him over phone again and said same as I said. At night, we were surprised seeing my brother-in law at home. He came to surprise us! At that day, he scolded both of us for lying. He thought we both sisters always lied to him.

             Protective Lie: One girl in my neighborhood became pregnant before marriage. Pregnancy before marriage is like a crime in our society. In the mean time, she was affected by malaria. Her mother took her to a local doctor. To protect her daughter from social punishment, she didn’t tell the doctor that her daughter was pregnant. Doctor gave her high doses of medicines. Ironically, after a few days, the girl died only for one lying.

             Trust-keeping Lie: One of my friends always used to go to date with her boy friend, but whenever her father scolded her for being late to return home, she told that she was with me. Her father often called me, and I assured him saying that she was with me, but she was not. Every time, I had to tell lies to keep her trust. In our final exam, she failed because she missed lots of important classes for dating. I felt guilty myself that I also assisted her in this evil habit.

             In conclusion, I want to say my friends, think 100 times before telling a lie whatever it is- social lie, peace-keeping lie, protective lie, or trust-keeping lie.

Say Yes for Lie

Everything in this world can be used in two ways: good or
bad. Even good things can be used in wrong way. It depends on one’s intention
of using it and how they use it. The same thing happens in usage of lie. I
think telling lies is not always bad. When people tell lies for a good purpose
such as keeping trust or protecting others, that lie will not be considered
wrong.

In my childhood I heard about a true religious story about a
poor mother and her hungry children. Long time ago, there was a sultan named
Hazrat Umar Radiallahuta-ala-anhu. He was a very kind and amiable ruler. Every
night he came out in disguise to see his subjects whether they were happy or
not under his rule. One night, while he was passing a hut, he heard that two
children were crying and asking their mother to serve food. Every time they asked
their mother, she appeased them by telling them to wait for a few minutes and
that food was still cooking. For a long time she was doing same thing.
Actually, she had nothing to cook. Putting stone with water in the pot, she was
pretending that she was cooking food. After waiting for a long time, her children
slept, and she was crying beside the stove.
Her children didn’t understand that their mother was lying but Hazrat
Umar Radiallahuta-ala-anhu understood. He went to his house and brought a sack
of rice to that woman. He also told that mother not to tell lie to her
children.

Skimming over the surface, it is true that the mother was
telling lies, but if we closely observe the intention of that mother to tell
lie, we can understand that she was not cheating her children. Judisth Viorst
wrote about the classification of lies in her essay “The Truth about Lying”:
Social Lies, Peace-keeping lie, Protective lie and Trust-keeping lie. I think,
it is Trust-keeping lie because she didn’t want to break her children’s trust
that her mother would give them food. She just didn’t want to hurt her little children
because she loved them. Therefore, I believe all lies are not bad. Even parents
can tell lie when it is necessary.

Peace-Keeping Lies in the Autobiography and the Play

In the chapter “Chickpeas and Parched Rice,” in the autobiography, Growing Up Untouchable in India, Moon tells the readers that his mother lied to the neighbors about making non vegetarian food. Since most of the people in that locality were vegetarian, Purnabai, Moon’s mother, couldn’t able to make non vegetarian food in her home. As she wanted to eat meat, once, she made it. However, when the woman, Baina, asked her by recognizing the smell of mutton, Moon’s mother replied, “‘I bought a jackfruit today’” (Moon 53). Moreover, Moon writes, “She would call fish the ‘vegetable of leaves and pods’ and say eggs were ‘potatoes’” (ibid.). According to Judith Viorst, this is a peace-keeping lie. She told the lie to avoid argument and keep peace. If she divulged the truth, its implication was bad. She might have to leave the place. According to Viorst, this lie is not considered as a fault; however, I think that she shouldn’t tell the lie. If anyone caught her making meat, she would have lost trust from the community. After telling the lie, she did two mistakes. First that she made non vegetarian food in her home; second that she told a lie to her neighbors. In this case, her situation after telling the lie would be worse than the first situation.Therefore, she should avoid telling the lie.

Similarly, in the play “Death of a Salesman,” Willy told a lie to Biff. When Biff went to Boston to inform his father that he flunked math  and asked for help, he saw the woman in his home. When he was confused to see the woman, His father told a peace-keeping lie to protect himself. He said, “Ah – you better…. They must finished painting by now. They’re painting her room so I let her take a shower here. Go back, go back. …This is Miss Francis, Biff, she’s a buyer” (Miller 44). Here, Willy told the lie to his son, so his son became angry at him. Consequently, he told “a liar” and “phony little fake” to his father (Miller 45). It also decrease Biff’s faith on his father, and he didn’t want to go with his father to meet with maths teacher.

These two events exemplify peace keeping lies which can weaken the bond of relationship. Therefore, we always try to avoid telling lies. If it’s very essential, then we can tell lies, otherwise it’s immoral to tell lies because when the lie is caught by someone, its implications are very bad.

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.

Anthropology of Food

Food is considered as one of the topics in anthropology as it is an important matter that reflects civilization and society. As eating falls under an important category under human practices, it is a good idea to learn about food under anthropology in order to study about the food and eating habits of different culture and society. As food is related with social and cultural values, it reflects human behaviors and the culture they belong to. Moreover, if we try to know about other culture, the first thing that comes in our mind is the traditional food. Therefore, it is an identity of one’s culture.

In every culture, there are foods that symbolize tradition which has been followed from the past. For example, in Newar community of Nepal, egg, fish, and liquor are usually offered to people to bless them with luck especially in their birthdays and their new journey in any fields. Indeed, every culture has practiced certain food ways that tells how the food is eaten and also gives ideas on discipline while having food in one’s culture. For instance, in traditional Nepalese family, the head of the family is served with the food at first. It’s there tradition to eat their food by their hand. Furthermore, it is regarded as a bad habit to talk while having food together.

In addition, food is a metaphor of celebration. In every society, people often celebrate their happiness by treating their loved ones with food. It was not only prevalent in the past, but also is common in today’s society. For instance, whenever there is any new occasion or celebration, people often organize party in order to treat their friends and relatives. Also, to celebrate important events in one’s life such as marriage ceremony and graduation ceremony, people throw party to their realtives and friend, and ofcourse there is no party without food.

Furthermore, possessing food may differ according to the climate and regional basis. For example, in hot regions, people often have light food where as in dry and cold places people generally eat heavy food. It also depends on the type of food that is available in the places due to the differences in climate and topography. On the other hand, some foods also symbolize religious views. For example, Hindus often slaughter animals in the name of god in their main festivals. Meat is the main part of their feasts in the festival; whereas, Buddhists on the other hand do not sacrifice animals in their religious festivals.

Food not only falls under the traditional and religious categories, but also falls under globalization. Due to globalization of food, fast food has become a trend all over the world. Similarly, because of globalization, food of one country is introduced in other countries as well. For example, Chinese food is available in every parts of the world. It is the fact that due to the affect of the globalization, the food products of one country are available in the other. Thus, food is also one of the important parts of world economy.