Purpose of Narijibon Blog

Nari Jibon Project seeks to increase our students’ and staffs’ abilities through different ways: classes, practice, computers, internet, and now the Narijibon Blog. Readers and writers (our students & staff) of the Blog will both learn about our lives, culture, Nature, activities of people in Bangladesh and the Nari Jibon Project.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

In South East Asia Bangladesh is one of the few countries that remain to be explored-2

written by Mohtarimun Nahar [Bipa]

Hello readers. I hope you all knew about our Bangladeshi beauties. If you would like to visit in Bangladesh, the following few facts and fingers about Bangladesh might be some use to you...


Bangladesh lies on the Eastern fringe of the Indian sub-continent and its people have always been great lovers of freedom; As a result, the area has almost always enjoyed a fair degree of sovereignty during its entire history, sometimes as one state and sometimes as several, with only perfunctory allegiance to the central ruling powers. It became a part of the British Empire in the 18th century. In 1947, when the sub-continent was divided into Pakistan and India, It became apart of Pakistan , When the Bengali Nation separated from Pakistan through an armed struggle in 1971, Bangladesh Became an independent and sovereign country.


Bangladesh lies in the North Eastern part of south Asia and is surrounded by India on the West, North and East. To the South it has the Bay of Bengal and Myanmar to the South- East.

Ethnic Heritage:
The population of Bangladesh is a mixture of Dravidians, Aryans and Mongolians, belonging to the black-haired, dark-skinned and short featured Austro / Mongoloid group. Hill tribes have their own distinctive racial features.

Our culture is rich and intermingling; Aryans, Hindu, Mughals, Iranians and colonial Europeans have left their marks in the cultural identify of the people.

The climate of Bangladesh is subtropical and tropical with temperatures ranging from an average daytime low of 15 º C in the cold season to a top of 35 º C in the hot season. Annual rainfall varies from 1000 mm in the west to 2500 mm in the South–East and up to 5000 mm in the North - East where tea is grown.

There quarters of the annual rainfall occurs between June and September. The 90% to 95% humidity during this season is almost unbearable for some travelers. The humidity remains high all year round producing thick logs in winter and making chilly nights in the North feel much colder then they are.

Bangladesh has three main seasons: the monsoon or wet season from late May to early October; The cold season from mid October to the end of February; and hot season from mid-March to mid-May. There are two cyclone seasons – May to June and October to November.

Best season for a visit:
October to March, when the sun is mild and pleasant, is the best season for a visit. The ‘Monsoon’ season (June to August) also has its own charms.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Missed Calls and Other Mobile Moja

Written by Kathryn B. Ward
Email: pagol.nari@gmail.com

I’d like to talk about good behaviour when using a mobile phone, especially missed calls and talking with boys. Since 2000-1, one of the most interesting things from my travels to Bangladesh has been that ownership of mobile phones has grown quickly! Even inhabitants of the remotest village can own a phone. At first, international media reported that ‘village’ women could take Microcredit loans for mobile phones and make calls. In 2000-1, they had no one really to call because of the small network coverage: missed calls meant no network available calls. Now village women and men are getting micro-loan phones, making international calls, and even setting up internet networks via their mobile links!

Or some Nari Jibon staff members have been known to get a phone card and make international calls to me and others in USA!

Anyway, as mobile phones became more popular, some lessons were needed in better mobile phone manners or etiquette. During my visits, I would get many mobile calls because I would give out my number in person and on my business card. Then I would get calls where the caller would ring once and hang up, e.g. the ‘missed call.’ I guess that they thought I was a rich foreigner, and I could afford to call people back on my own taka! This was very irritating because often I didn't have time to call people back, or I would call them back, but their mobile was busy-busy, because they kept missed calling me! So instead of just calling, having a brief chat, and hanging up, I would have to redial them repeatedly. Finally, I told nearly everyone that I would not return missed calls.

Beyond missed calls, some men engage in what we call ‘phishing’, where they would start calling random numbers until they got a foreigner (man but especially woman), or local woman on the mobile. This affects women’s security especially when we do not know the caller. They would repeatedly call back and disturb me.

This is very important security issue because often times you don't know who's calling, unless their name is in your mobile phone book. Many people start their call with ‘apni koi?’ (where are you?) instead saying their name, hello, etc. Or as a foreigner, if I reply in my baby Bangla, then I have to understand the rapid stream of Bangla that often follows, hence my frequent ‘aste kotha bolben’ (please speak slower).

Since many mobile carriers provide free phone calls after midnight 12pm, all night long, many bad men or dusto women who want to show that they know a foreigner will call-call. Over time, I closed my mobile or put it on silent mode so that I would get some sleep.

Some times this led to some interesting phone calls including one man who kept calling around 4:30am, but only spoke Bangla. Eventually, he called back during the day, I gave the mobile to my driver. He told my driver that he met me in a bar, and I promised to give him 20,000 taka! I had never gone to a bar in Bangladesh, but I was able to get him to stop because my driver said some bad Bangla words to him, and threatened complaints to his mobile carrier and police.

I’ve noticed that missed calls are a problem in other countries, as Fouzia Mohamed reports from Libya on her 20 July blog.

About the missed calls made to her and her young son’s phone and they used up his cards. Eventually, she stopped returning any such calls and they stopped.

So as we both have found, if you don't call people back, they usually stop calling. Unless they find out that you are a foreigner. For some reason that really interests young and older men—especially if they get a young female foreigner on the phone and think she will take them to the USA.

For another blog entry, I will address the dating through mobiles discussion: how young women and men are using their mobiles for late night free calls to get around their parents’ restrictions on talking with persons of the opposite sex and/or neglecting their all important home works! Last year in Bangladesh, some “people” proposed banning the late night free phone calls especially for young people. Or even earlier at another research office, I have seen a former unmarried male staff member disappear for some mobile bhalobashi kotha and ignore his work. Or even more troubling is when young female students skip their classes to gossip on their mobiles. We are starting a zero tolerance policy for students who skip their classes to do mobile gossip with boys(!): they will be dropped from Nari Jibon classes and office.

So in general, stop wasting my phone cards with missed calls! Pay attention to your home work, classes, and office work! I would love to hear from the rest of you via text message and/or email. Take care and remember safe mobile calling is good calling.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

The Flood of Bangladesh and My Experiences

BBC has arranged ‘Bangladesh Sanglapa’ on 5 August 2007 at Bangladesh Cina Friendship Conference. In that discussion the first question was about Bangladeshi flood. All the audiences discussed more than 15 minuets. The authority invited the guests who were from the different political parties, cultural person and climatologist. The first question was from an audience, ‘Why the political leaders are not going to help the flood affected peoples.’ The guests answered according to their capability and were try to show their bindings to help flood affected peoples. Anyway, I have question on their opinions.

Dear readers, I keen to inform you about my experiences on flood which was 1987, 1988 and 1998.

In 1987, I was the student of class five a 10 years old boy. It was the first flood. In that time we lived in stage which was made by bamboo. We had to move one places to another by boat. We had no problem because the villagers had a good habit to move by boat. Both male and female knows how to swim and how to drive boat. I can remember clear that our tube-well went under water and we had go to collect water everyday 2km away form our home.

The flood of 1988 was terrible. The water level was so high that we had not opportunity to live in our house because the water level was nearly hour house roof. So we had to take shelter near the dam which was completed recent year. Not only we but also all of our villagers took their shelter on that dam.

At that time the miserable experiences was that people who were inside the dam. I am saying the miserable experiences because their house went under water when they all slept. The area we live is beside the river and outside the dam. So, in the area we lived the water level raised slowly and it took more than 5days. The poor people basically who are day labor had no work. They lead their life by the help of relief. Our father helped two families whole month by giving food.

For the dam, the water level was more than 600cm differences between the two sides. We took our shelter on the dam and the peoples who was inside laughed at us. I can remember clear that the water raised more than 200cm in a day. At that night, the dam was broken by the force of water and they did not get time to take themselves shelter. For this many people and cattle died. It took nearly one month to reduce the water from our areas.

In 1998, whole Bangladesh was affected by flood. I just have finished my higher education and lived on our local town. I had some experience about flood. But the town people had no experiences how to save themselves from flood. Many people took shelter on different schools and colleges who came form the different villages. My village homes went under water too. That time we had to take shelter on that dam too.

I think, it is not time to quarrel and not to show the excuse. Just help the flood affected people according to one’s capabilities. I had no desire to express my experiences. But the ‘Bangladesh Sanglapa’ bound me to describe it.

A sample video of flood affected area of Dhaka City

by taslima and animesh

In every Bangladeshi newspapers are forecasting the new of the flood affecting areas of Bangladesh. The low level area around of Dhaka city also affected by flood also. We know a little bit of them because we did not see the every area. By our shot visit we took some video of it. This area is not far from our working place. People are trying to protect themselves as they can.

Please see the youtube video;