Which One Is the Reason for the Faded Friendly Communications?

“Today, if you were to ask anyone on the streets to show you the direction they’d probably deliberately show you the wrong way” (Gardner). It is what some old Bengali migrants believed as it was reported in the “Narrating Location”. While reading the text, I started thinking about the reason of the change in their perception of the new generation. Is it their view that has changed or it is the society that has turned in a different manner? What is the reason that most people have lost their patience, passions and the sense of responsibility toward others? I came to this point that since the life styles have changed and made people hide themselves behind their text messages, their emails, their E-cards and avatar in their electronic accounts, they are not eager to show their respect and kindness directly. They are not willing to open their heart and offer their passion to others who need them. I believed that life in high buildings with glittering glasses and speedy cars have engrossed people so profoundly that they have forgotten the humanity. Well, if it was true, it could be a calamity for the society and for humanity. However, my teacher and friends’ idea about this topic was different. It alleviated my concerns. What our teacher, Ms. Fatema said was that when people get old, they naturally think the same, they would think that whatever they had in the past was better than what they have now. It means that it is not the society that has changed but the perception of individuals of the society. I agree with this idea too, because I have seen how elders complain about children’s disrespectful behavior toward elders, youths’ carelessness toward their responsibilities, parents’ evading from taking care of their children themselves and even the taste of food. In most of cases, elders claim that all of these things were better in the past, children used to respect more, youths were conscientious and food was tastier. Sometimes, the memories and description of some kinds of fruit or food explained by elders would lure me so much that I wish for some of them. I used to believe in this idea too. But until when I learnt about getting old and the easing time of senses and emotions. I understood that when humans get old, the abilities such as sight, hearing and others get weaker. Consequently, they think it is the tastes, people or others who have changed. It is a scientifically proved idea; as a result, I think I should believe in this idea too. However, still none of these ideas could convince me for accepting the diminishing friendly communications.

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Gender discrimination in religion

While discussing about “Narrating Location: Space, Age and Gender among Bengali Elders in East London” by Katy Gardner in class, we talked about the space in Mosques for women in Muslim community. I wonder about why women are not allowed in Mosques or why there is separate section for women or men. We talked about different reasons such as because of menstruation cycle, because of household chores, because it is comfortable for women to pray in their house and so on. No matter what the reason is women have been and are always discriminated against men in every aspect. Though, today, the level of discrimination has reduced, in some cases such as in religious purposes they are still highly discriminated.

In our Hindu religion, women have high position in religious matters. There are many female goddesses who are considered superior than male gods. Furthermore, in Nepalese culture, we have a living goddess called Kumari. She is a small child and is worshiped as goddess until her menstruation cycle starts. When the cycle starts, the goddess in replaced by another child. From the history, Nepalese people have been worshiping her as Goddess. Moreover, there are no such restrictions for women to go temples. In fact, the number of women going temple to worship god is more than the number of men in our community. However, despite the fact that women are worshiped as goddesses, they are still discriminated against men. Similarly to Muslim religion, women are not allowed to go temples and pray during their menstruation cycle. They are considered impure during this period and are refrained from any kind of religious events. In Nepal, there are few temples where women cannot go to worship after their menstruation cycle starts. Although a female goddess is worshiped in those temples, women whose menstruation cycle has started cannot enter the temple. Moreover, until now I have not seen or heard about of any women priests in any temples.

Therefore, not only in Muslim community, women are discriminated against in Hindu community as well. The reasons may be the same or different but they are discriminated. Thus, women have to aware of this discrimination and have to stand up for their rights by their own.

Digya Shrestha

My Experience as a Migrant

While reading “NARRATING LOCATION: SPACE, AGE AND GENDER AMONG BENGALI ELDERS IN EAST LONDON” by Katy Gardner, the only thing that I reminisced about was the days right after coming to Asian University for Women. As those people were bound to remain inside a circle in this reading, my condition was also same. I couldn’t walk freely wherever I wanted. One difference that I found among these people and I as a migrant was that they were concerned about their country and place, whereas I am concerned about my family. Perhaps, the age can be the reason. The culture, environment, people and everything was new for me. That loneliness among the crowd of new faces, not being able to sleep due to wet pillows, and feeling everything in life has been messed up is what I still remember. I hated people and I hated being here then. Whole day I would miss my home and in everything I did, I would remember my mom. Migrating for me was not a good experience at first. Before coming here, there was fear of the new faces and new places which soon converted into hatred for those.

It has been eleven months since I came here and it is time to go back to my home and my people. But feelings are complicated. I love the people here and I am nervous to go and be with my people whom I left 1 year back. I fear of being an outsider in my own home and being lonely among my own friends and relatives. I had never thought that my life would take me in this situation from where I can see everyone is mine but the closer I go, the attachment gets weaker and weaker. I even don’t know if it is only my illusion, but things have changed and so have I. Sometimes I gather the memories and see myself in the mirror. What I see is I have come along very far from the world I used to be in. Messed up with these mixed feelings, I wonder what my days will be like when I reach my home among my family and friends. Whole year I panicked to be with my family and finally when the day is coming I guess my heart really don’t want to be there with them. Or maybe I want to be with them, but I don’t want to feel like outsiders. I exactly don’t know what I want and what this feeling is, but one thing for sure I have experienced that migration have changed my life drastically and I am still in confusion whether I have wanted my life to be changed this way or not.

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.

 

Choice of ‘Death Place’

While reading the article, “Narrating Location: Space, Age and Gender among Bengali Elders in East London” by Katy Gardner, I could not refrain my thoughts regarding death. As Gardner quotes Hannerz, who says, “The earth where I’ve buried my father is where I want to be buried.” This sentence compelled me to make my own notion about choosing my ‘death place.’ While I went through the text, I found the Bengali families working hard in Britain all their youth but wanting to die in their own motherland, Bangladesh. In this regard, I realized that I share different view. For me, as long as people work for their country and contribute something to the human race, it does not matter where they die. If they pour their sweat and toil in foreign land and flourish the economy of that land, what is the use of occupying the space of home country coming back just to rest their old and weak body? Saying this, I am still answerless for why people take the place of dying with such strong feelings?

 

On thinking about it with more objective view, I somehow found answers to my question regarding ‘death place.’ I realized that the Bengali migrants in the article had ended up in Britain lacking job in Bangladesh. Moreover, these Bengalis had sent remittance to Bangladesh. The other point that made me to think about my argument of “sweat and toil” is that these migrants had changed themselves to adjust with the situation and environment of the host country, and once they change themselves, it is difficult to retreat back to past habits and behaviors. In addition, these migrants in Britain are used to more sophisticated life than Bangladesh and they are accustomed to receiving government services, which are not available in Bangladesh. Thus, I came to the conclusion that it was a way of showing their respect to their motherland for those who wish to take their last breath in their own homeland. However, these people are somewhat selfish because they want their relatives to pay tribute at their funeral, which is not possible if they die in foreign land.

 

Although I tried think about ‘death place’ from two different sides, I still hold my view that it makes no difference where I take my last breath. The only thing that matters is whether I contribute to my home country or not.

Blind Men and an Elephant

In the article “Narrating Location: Space, Age and Gender among Bengali Elders in East London,” Katy Gardner explores the memory of some Bengali elders, who have settled in East London, to show their relationship with space and places as well as different situations that men and women have experienced.

At the beginning of this paper, Gardner says that those narratives are not necessarily true or false, as what those people stress are the ones they think important, which means that people’s feelings are involved in when people describe the journey they have travelled. For those Bengali elders, one miserable part of their memory was work, so their comments for work were negative and somehow exaggerated. In term of this kind of action, my teacher had a very good explanation, “Emotions color the memory.” In our lives, we often describe something with a tone that based on our feelings. Therefore, the way we look the world is highly likely to be biased. When our moods are not good, we may think that the sky is gray even though it is blue in reality.

Hence, our perception about a thing is not always fair, and we need to combine different opinions from different people to see the whole picture of a thing. There is a good example – blind men and an elephant – from a course named the idea of globalization that I took last year. In this case, the elephant is a symbol of the fact of globalization, and those blind men represent the scholars in different fields.  The man who touches a leg of the elephant sees the aspect of economics only, and the one who touches an ear see the aspect of environment, and so forth. Since those “blind men” are the experts in their own field, their point of views are limited in the areas they touch and the feelings they have. However, the complete picture of globalization is constituted by those different opinions. This example shows how people’s feelings influence their sights. Thus, in order to see a thing clearly, people have to look at it from different angles, instead of standing still in their own positions and being controlled by their own feelings.

None of us wants to be a “blind man,” so sometimes we need to ask other people for their opinions. Then, we will see the complete “elephant” after combining the “ears,” “legs,” and other organs together. It is what I think and what I feel. What’s your opinion?

Where’s the Space for Women?

A few days ago we read a journal titled “Narrating Location: Space, Age, and Gender among Bengali Elders in East London” by Katy Gardner. In this journal, the writer mentions about the changes in the life of the Bengali migrants in London. While studying that journal we learned about spaces and consequently, the matter of women’s availability on the roads of Chittagong came up. According to my friends, there are fewer women seen on the roads of Chittagong. From that moment I was thinking about the reason behind it.

In the context of Chittagong, most of the people here have got a conservative outlook. Moreover, the number of housewives is larger than the number of the working women. Housewives in Bangladesh remain busy with their household chores most of the time; therefore, they don’t get enough time or they don’t feel the necessity to go outside and hang out. Their world avails around their home and their family and I guess housewives in everywhere have the same condition. Even if they are not seen on the road more often, there are some places where you will find mostly women; for example, shopping complexes, super markets, kitchen markets, and beauty salons, where they are supposed to be. Still they are not seen on roads because they feel comfortable to take privet or public transports like, rickshaws, CNGs, or cars. That’s the same in case of girl students and working women. They tend to use transports to go somewhere, sometimes at a short distance as well. There is a strong reason for that as well. Women of different ages are not comfortable to walk on the streets because they are susceptible to be teased by boys. A statistic shows that during the period of January-July 2010, about 13,000 women fell victim to eve teasing around Bangladesh (“Eve Teasing in Bangladesh”). Having an unfavorable condition like this, no family wants to send their women out on the streets, no matter the family is conservative or liberal. Even if I belong to a liberal family, my mother also doesn’t want me to go outside after evening.

So, there are several reasons for which women are not seen on the roads. I don’t know the situation in other countries, but regarding the present condition in Bangladesh, it will take time to change the view and I hope that someday women will be able to have their space and move freely on the roads.

Work Cited

“Eve Teasing in Bangladesh.” Lawyers N Jurists Resource Directory. Web. 24 June 2011. <http://resources.lawyersnjurists.com/articles-and-assignment/articlesjournals/eve-teasing-in-bangladesh-3/&gt;.