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oracle
February 14, 2004, 04:06 AM
DStar (http://www.thedailystar.net/2004/02/14/d40214011919.htm)

Away from prying parental eyes
Valentine's Day today
AFP, Dhaka

Young lovers around the world struggle to escape the watchful eye of their parents, but in countries such as Bangladesh the quest to find that perfect Valentine hideaway is even more difficult.

Kazi Rokibul, a 23-year-old student, plans to buy flowers for his girlfriend this Valentine's Day. Then Kazi and Shurovy, also 23, will spend the afternoon meandering around Dhaka University's leafy campus.


It's not a plan that would alarm many parents, but Kazi knows his mother and father would hate the idea.


"They really dislike Valentine's Day," he said. "They think it is part of some alien culture that is being imposed on us. It irritates them that my generation likes it so much."

Not so long ago, Valentine's Day was virtually unheard of in Bangladesh, the world's third largest Muslim-majority country. But in recent years, it has been enthusiastically embraced by teens and twenty-somethings.


Bangladesh's younger generation is highly receptive to Western culture, with interest partly fuelled by widespread access to satellite television channels.


Dhaka's many new cafés and restaurants have been a gift for dating couples.


Aimed at the burgeoning middle class, they also provide a safe haven for thousands of young people desperate to shake off the attention of their ever-watchful parents.


"We only opened a few months ago but I'm sure we will be completely full on Valentine's day with couples having ice cream and cappucinos," said Reza Karim, manager of a new Italian-themed cafe in Dhaka.


"They will come here for a fun, romantic time. In places like this they can be alone together without their families watching all the time, although of course they will probably tell their parents they are going to be with their friends."

At Dhaka's Asparagus restaurant, manager Kazi Nazrul says Valentine's Day is getting busier each year.


"It's getting more and more popular all the time. Young people like to mark it because they see it as a bit of fun. Plus, they like to have something for themselves, that has never been part of their parents' experience," he said.


"Rich families don't really mind their children meeting their girlfriend or boyfriend. But middle class and working class parents disapprove, so couples meet secretly most of the time, not just on Valentine's Day."

For those stuck for ideas this Valentine's Day, newspapers have been offering advice on the best places to meet. Suggestions include cafes, the roofs of apartment blocks, and parks. Alternatively, they suggest couples go paddle-boating on a city lake or for snacks at Dhaka University.

Nasif
February 14, 2004, 04:12 AM
Watch out bro Kazi Rokibul, your secret is out. Bashai gele full course dholai hobe :D

Sami
February 14, 2004, 10:23 AM
ei jonnei potrikawala der shathay secret alap korte nai... boka chele ;)

Arnab
February 14, 2004, 02:14 PM
The romance among middle class bengali couples is all the more spicier because of the societal restrictions.

Nishidddho Prolobhon.

[Edited on 14-2-2004 by Arnab]

Tehsin
February 14, 2004, 07:38 PM
Did you hear about the stern warning given by some of the hindu fundamentalists groups in India to folks about celebratiung Valentines day ? Watch and we'll hear muslim Mullah's doing the same in BD once they find out what it is. :)

Funny how despite the religious differences, the fundamentalists have always been hand in hand in everything (down to hating each other - and the world - for no freakin reason).

Zephaniah
February 14, 2004, 08:23 PM
Originally posted by Arnab
The romance among middle class bengali couples is all the more spicier because of the societal restrictions.

Nishidddho Prolobhon.

[Edited on 14-2-2004 by Arnab]

"The romance among middle class bengali couples" Boy, i lost you somewhere. I guess it is as spicy as sweet green pepper!!!

'make love and have fun'!;)

[Edited on 15-2-2004 by Zephaniah]

Arnab
February 15, 2004, 01:16 AM
Haha, making love is way harder to perform than spicy, flirty romance. Romance doesn't require you a cardiovascular workout and strenuous use of various muscles.

mona
February 15, 2004, 01:32 AM
Romance doesn't require you a cardiovascular workout and strenuous use of various muscles


teehee i just thought of something cheesy you could say to that.

chinaman
February 15, 2004, 01:45 AM
I see, the waiting game is giving somebody a few adrenaline rush!

fab
February 15, 2004, 11:32 PM
Celebrating Valentine's day is already banned in Saudia Arabia - perhaps our mullahs are too dumb to understand what it signifies.

Shubho
February 16, 2004, 12:49 AM
Our mullahs are causing us enough trouble back home.

Nasif
February 16, 2004, 02:06 AM
Last thing we should care about is what Saudi's do. They don't represent anything. A Kingdom is it? They should call it Moron-Dom.

Arnab
February 16, 2004, 12:59 PM
Originally posted by fab
Celebrating Valentine's day is already banned in Saudia Arabia - perhaps our mullahs are too dumb to understand what it signifies.

I don't think it necessarily signifies anything, other than more business opportunities.

[Edited on 16-2-2004 by Arnab]

Navarene
February 16, 2004, 01:18 PM
And I second Arnab

fab
February 16, 2004, 05:59 PM
I don't think it necessarily signifies anything, other than more business opportunities. Yes it does. Valentine's day is to celebrate a Christian Saint (and patron saint of lovers) - St Valentine. In other words, to mullahs it could be seen as a 'kaffir' ritual celebrating the deeds of an infidel. Anyhow, it's only in the last 100 years or so that the day has lost its meaning by being totally overtaken by marketing nazis.

Shubho
February 16, 2004, 08:08 PM
i'll go with the marketing nazis. how do you sign up for party membership? they sound like a less dangerous outfit than our mullahs or the Saudis.

Arnab
February 16, 2004, 08:50 PM
Originally posted by fab
Anyhow, it's only in the last 100 years or so that the day has lost its meaning by being totally overtaken by marketing nazis.

The day had little or no 'meaning' before eighteenth century, when the British started celebrating it commercially. St Valentine died around 270 AD.

But this is the real piece of information:

"Approximately 85 percent of all valentine day cards are purchased by women."

source: http://www.historychannel.com/exhibits/valentine/history3.html

Cunning businessmen profiting from urges of dumb women. That's what this is all about.

[Edited on 17-2-2004 by Arnab]

fab
February 16, 2004, 09:54 PM
The day had little or no 'meaning' before eighteenth century, when the British started celebrating it commercially. Err it did have 'meaning'. St Valentine's day started off in Rome around the 5th Century and has been celebrated widely in France and England since the Middle Ages. It USED to have a theme of chivalry, courting, romance etc, but nowadays it just about buying expensive gifts for your partner and making single people feel horrible.

"73% of people who buy flowers for Valentine's Day are men"
source (http://www.lucire.com/2004a/0207ll0.shtml)

Flowers cost a lot more than cards, thereby making men dumber. :)

[Edited on 17-2-2004 by fab]

fab
February 16, 2004, 09:59 PM
Shubho
You are doing your MBA right? Then you're already a member, lad :P

Nasif
Saudi Arabia might be a "moron-dom" but it seems like mullahs around the world like to follow them hook line and sinker!

[Edited on 17-2-2004 by fab]

Shubho
February 16, 2004, 10:08 PM
damn, i'm doing an MA, not an MBA...i guess there's still enough time to change programs though.

Arnab
February 17, 2004, 02:23 AM
Flowers cost a lot more than cards, thereby making men dumber.

Absolutely. I agree. It's about dumb, sappy women and their even dumber, wussbag boyfriends. The whole idea is pretty dumb really. The best way to celebrate Valentine's day is to somehow be a flower and cards seller for one day of the year, IMO. I would salivate to have such a sure profit situation.

say
February 17, 2004, 10:42 AM
Originally posted by Arnab
Originally posted by fab
Anyhow, it's only in the last 100 years or so that the day has lost its meaning by being totally overtaken by marketing nazis.

The day had little or no 'meaning' before eighteenth century, when the British started celebrating it commercially. St Valentine died around 270 AD.

But this is the real piece of information:

"Approximately 85 percent of all valentine day cards are purchased by women."

source: http://www.historychannel.com/exhibits/valentine/history3.html

Cunning businessmen profiting from urges of dumb women. That's what this is all about.

[Edited on 17-2-2004 by Arnab]

Wait a minute... this is only a partial history.
Read the two previous pages from the history channel website and you'll see Valentine Day's history as a 'whole' - not just one third of it.


http://www.historychannel.com/exhibits/valentine/history.html

http://www.historychannel.com/exhibits/valentine/history2.html

And then the previously quoted link,

http://www.historychannel.com/exhibits/valentine/history3.html

(I suspect no foul play in qouting only a part... :) )

Arnab
February 17, 2004, 01:01 PM
There was no foul play, really. Before the eighteenth century, Valentine's Day was observed by a small number of people in Britain and subsequently in the US -- rich, catholic people in power. They were kings and knights and lords - a very small section of the total population. Which is why I said not before the eighteenth century, this thing started to get "commercialized" and penetrated all the social classes in Britain and the US. That's when cards started to be printed and so on.

[Edited on 17-2-2004 by Arnab]

fab
February 17, 2004, 06:21 PM
Originally posted by Arnab
The whole idea is pretty dumb really

haha! Now you're starting to sound like sour grapes (and some of my single friends)..
They were kings and knights and lords - a very small section of the total population. Which is why I said not before the eighteenth century, this thing started to get "commercialized" and penetrated all the social classes in Britain and the US. That's when cards started to be printed and so on.
Commercialisation, mass marketing/production is inevitable when something becomes a part of popular culture and/or there is a burgeoning entertainment hungry middle class. Days like V'day, Mother's day, Father's day etc are marketers' paradise, but I don't think the significance of those days themselves is something to scorn, since they can be a lot of fun.

What I find amusing however is when something is an elusive cult we tend to respect it more than when it becomes popular. It our inherent desire to be 'unique' and therefore somehow 'superior' to the masses. I must admit, I do it all the time, especially with the amount of Pop music bashing I do.

Arnab
February 17, 2004, 08:38 PM
Fab, things can be dumb AND fun. :)

It's all about reframing your mind and being emotionally and intellectually flexible.

Yes, when I look at Valentine's day from a detached point of view, it certainly seems dumb. But, if my girlfriend likes it and if that means I am assured of my nookie later in the night, who cares! I am every bit willing to dumb down. Being dumb often makes people happier. For example, dumb people derive pleasure from the simplest of things, blue sky, chirping of birds, cards, flowers, etc. They may not have the brains to derive pleasure from a chess match or a well-composed sonata or even a great philosophical novel, but hey, that's not their fault.

Again, it's all about constantly reframing your mind and being emotionally and intellectually flexible.

Shubho
February 17, 2004, 08:59 PM
Arnab v Fab
Wrestlemania XXXXI
Round 5,324,450

fab
February 17, 2004, 10:29 PM
Arnab, your elitist views are hilarious! I guess it's youthful conviction and confidence or something like that.

Frankly, I think emotionally and intellectually flexible people are prone to hypocrisy and snobbery. In my opinion, one should either enjoy something for valid reasons or dislike something for equally valid reasons. You claimed celebrators of V'day are either dumb women or wussbag boyfriends, yet proceeded to celebrate the day regardless while giving a lame excuse of 'dumbing' yourself down to be happy! This shows two things 1) you have succumbed to commercialisation and become a wussbag boyfriend yourself, and 2) by being emotionally and intellectually flexible you cannot practice what you preach. :cool:

PS: Shubho, Wrestling is not exactly my cup of tea. In fact, I find it quite barbaric! :duh:

reinausagi
February 18, 2004, 01:16 AM
emotionally and intellectually flexible people are prone to hypocrisy and snobbery.
Those emotionally inflexible are destined to observe life, mot to feel, or live it. What's the point of going to college, if one is intellectually inflexible.

It is a fact of life that, absent any groundswell of core believers, most holidays with origins rooted in religion/historical religious figures, will get commercialized.

Yes, women get the best of it when it comes to valentine's day. We get the flowers and are obliged merely to scribe Hallmark cards.

But somewhere down the line it all averages out. We spend an hour and 45 minutes on hair, nails and make up, for a dinner date that culminates in half that time, after waiting to be seated for twice that long by the hostess at the restaurant.

No need to over intellectualize Valentine's day. It is simply a ritual we indulge in because of peer pressure. Chaulk it up to to the price we pay for living in a ordered society.


BTW: I love wrestling (WWF). The inherent unfairness and asininity of it all, is very relaxing. Who says everything we do ought to be intellectually stimulating?

Zobair
February 18, 2004, 01:40 AM
rein apu! if I have a feeling you are misundestanding fab apu here :) I may be wrong but she is probably referring to flexibility "post- forming an opinion" i.e. you believe in something (have made an"informed" decision) and indeed preach it, but for the sake of your own pleasure you act otherwise. That, some may say, is tantamount to hipocrisy in some cases. Perhaps Fab apu will clarify it herself.

I happen to celebrate Valentines day because, coincidentally, it is my sister's birthday :) Also I believe it is a good idea to let people you care about (your parents, close friends and family) know how much you appreciate them...one should be doing it as often as they can. Alas! we live in a fast-paced world where we supposedly don't have the time for such overtures, and have to be "reminded". I generally take this opportunity to let my people know that I appreciate them in a simple manner. Thats my take on this day.

But I agree with rein apu! this topic does not warrant such an involved discussion, I am sure our intellectual abilities will be best applied to more worthy issues.



[Edited on 18-2-2004 by pompous]

fab
February 18, 2004, 02:54 AM
reinaussagi,
My apologies, I can see now that my post was rather ambiguous. Pompous has explained what I meant succinctly. I was using the same definition of 'intellectually flexible' as explained by Arnab, in the sense that one must be flexible and be able to 'reframe their mind' by adapting to some scenario not becuase of what they personally believe, but for various other reasons. I think that type of intellectual flexibility may lead to hypocrisy.

Of course, the intellectual flexibility that you are talking about (which is perhaps the true definition of the term?) is very important for the reasons you have mentioned.. I don't disagree with that.

You like WWF? I would never have have guessed! I think it's the flabber and vulgar dress code of wrestlers that I find too grotesque to bear. But then again I sometimes like relaxing by watching this mindnumbing Australian soap opera called 'neighbours'. *shrug* :)

Orpheus
February 18, 2004, 04:34 PM
It is a fact of life that, absent any groundswell of core believers, most holidays with origins rooted in religion/historical religious figures, will get commercialized.

Perfect answer.. .end of discussion!

I always thought Mother Day is the worse of all these celebration. Why you need a day to give your mom or show your love towards her? Yeah you can argue that it's a day set to SHOW your love, love was always there... I always thought loving your mom is a universal law. Eveyone knows it. Why we need a date? that's insulting!

p.s. I can't speak for eveyone but I don't think Guys really want cards! Waste of time picking the right saying... Really... no guy would care.. if he did.. he is gay!

Orpheus
February 18, 2004, 04:46 PM
one more thing: if well composed sonata is for sophisticated ppl, i wouldn't call listening to bird chirping a thing for dummies. There are many famous composing, which try to mimick the sound of nature....

aanyways, 1 hand typing is too hard - eating - peace

sorry for degrading the thread w/ my posts

Arnab
February 20, 2004, 10:58 AM
Those emotionally inflexible are destined to observe life, mot to feel, or live it. What's the point of going to college, if one is intellectually inflexible.

Rein, I have observed the same thing myself. In fact, among my friends, I constantly refer to myself as an 'observer'. That's why I said it's necessary for some of us (at least for me) to dumb down and just 'feel' and 'live' life for a while.

[Edit: That didn't come out right because I misread your quote. I actually agree with your quote. I meant to say one can be flexible and be an 'observer' of different emotional and intellectual states. I think you being a person from the academia has a lot to do with our views being alike.]

The more you learn, the more flexible you become. "Flexible" doesn't mean abandoning some core values altogether, but "being aware" of all your opitions and "seamlessly" transform into something that you have carefully chosen to be your next emotional and intellectual state. It's a very empowering feeling. I am a human being and cannot suddenly transform into something else. Tha laws that govern human nature through its evolutionary makeup still apply to me all the time. Only by being flexible you can truly explore and learn your own nature.

And fab, perhaps now you know what I mean by 'flexibility'. And yeah, 'reframing one's mind' is a VERY handy tool. Psychotherapists use it all the time to cure mentally imbalanced people. YOU yourself use it all the time to rationalize various things. You just don't know it. When Rein says, "It all averages out" she is basically "reframing her mind" to justify something she cannot reasonably explain. When, in real life, you say "It will all work out fine in the end" you are reframing your mind to stay positive. Whenever you look at any event from different perspectives, from the perspective of your parents, your friends, your enemies, your relatives, yourself, etc. you are continuously reframing your mind to get a grasp of what really is happening.

Too subtle and elitist for ya, eh? ;)

[Edited on 20-2-2004 by Arnab]

rafiq
February 20, 2004, 11:42 AM
Bangladeshis arrested for throwing Valentine Day's party in Saudi Arabia (http://www.drishtipat.org/nuke/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=97)

Arnab
February 20, 2004, 11:43 AM
That's funny. And ironic.

Pundit
February 20, 2004, 09:15 PM
Sounds like a made up story piece !!

:)

fab
February 22, 2004, 08:32 PM
Arnab,
What you call 'dumbing oneself down', others may call 'following sheep' :P You participate in popular culture, and justify it with your 'reframing the mind by doing something dumb' hypothesis, others participate because it's fun & everybody else does it. In the end, it makes little difference why you do it..

Anyhow, as some have mentioned, something does not have to be intellectual to be fun and if something is a part of popular culture, it doesn't mean that is dumb either (and if you end up participating in these 'dumb' events, no need to give silly excuses - just enjoy it, and admit that it's fun).
YOU yourself use it all the time to rationali ze various things. You just don't know it.
..
Whenever you look at any event from different perspectives, from the perspective of your parents, your friends, your enemies, your relatives, yourself, etc. you are continuously reframing your mind to get a grasp of what really is happening Okay, now it seems like you've gone off on a tangent. Rationalisation and understanding does not necessarily lead to hypocrisy. Whereas, what we we were discussing previously, re the justification of behaving in a way one does not fundamentally agree with, IS hypocrisy.

Here's an example to help you understand.. I absolutely despise reality TV. But, I can understand its appeal, why some people may find it entertaining and why there can be big money to be made from it. That is called rationalisation. Now, if I were to reframe my mind, as you do, and suddenly start watching Big Brother (for whatever ulterior reason), at the same time bagging it off, that could be considered hypocritical to most people. Anyhow, that is what my point was, which both you and reinausagi seemed to have missed.
Too subtle and elitist for ya, eh?
Hardly.. :cool:

Arnab
February 22, 2004, 09:34 PM
Anyhow, as some have mentioned, something does not have to be intellectual to be fun

That was me! Haha!

OK, now, for the sake of clarification:

1. "If something is a part of popular culture, it doesn't mean that is dumb either."

Nobody claimed that. I didn't. Something is NOT dumb just because it is practiced in pop culture. But it is dumb to ASSume that I follow that kind of logic.

2. "And if you end up participating in these 'dumb' events, no need to give silly excuses - just enjoy it, and admit that it's fun."

And I DID admit that I enjoy some of these 'dumb' events, being dumb and having fun, dummy! :)

3. "Whereas, what we we were discussing previously, re the justification of behaving in a way one does not fundamentally agree with, IS hypocrisy."

Nobody was "fundmentally" disagreeing with anything. I wasn't. I just said it's "dumb".

Let me explain it clearly: Calling something "dumb" is not equal to disagreement. By calling something dumb I don't sign a muchleka that I won't do that thing myself. If I do it myself, then I myself will be dumb as well, by my own standards. Now, if I don't admit that I am being dumb WHILE I am doing it, only THEN I would be a hypocrite.

As far as "fundamentals" are concerned, I explained clearly what I consider fundamental: the ability to reframe one's mind, to be emotionally and intellectually flexible.

Gosh! I think I just blew someone's mind on the other side of the world! More power to the internet!

fab
February 22, 2004, 10:01 PM
Let me explain it clearly: Calling something "dumb" is not equal to disagreement.
Aah right. THAT was not clear in your previous posts.. e.g.
It's about dumb, sappy women and their even dumber, wussbag boyfriends. The whole idea is pretty dumb really. The best way to celebrate Valentine's day is to somehow be a flower and cards seller for one day of the year, IMO. I would salivate to have such a sure profit situation. The vehement use of the word 'dumb' led me to believe you disliked the day based on certain principles.

Gosh! I think I just blew someone's mind on the other side of the world! More power to the internet!
Oh please, you did not blow away my mind - your ambiguous statements were just misleading at best ;) Anyhow, I can't believe I've participated in such a lame debate..

Zunaid
February 22, 2004, 10:17 PM
Oh, how delectably ironic a thread - a "high-brow" discussion on "low-brow" issues.



Anyhow, I can't believe I've participated in such a lame debate..


It wasn't wasted. "Debates" such as these have the most salubrious effect of cleaning the cob-webs from the brain. No matter how inane or dare I say "dumb" the topic is. :)

Enjoyed this most thoroughly.

Cheers,
Zunaid

Arnab
February 23, 2004, 12:24 AM
Misleading? Haha! Oh yeah, that's right. Whenever I post something light-hearted, my sole goal is to preemptively mislead fab lest she barges in later to engage in a heady, intellectual debate. :)

Beethoven's fifth symphony says:

"dum dum dum DUM!"

[Edited on 23-2-2004 by Arnab]