Scottish philosopher David Hume once said, "Beauty is no quality in things themselves. It exists merely in the mind which contemplates them". Bengali women are unique in their stature for brown skin, dark hair and black eyes. With gifts of God endowed in brown skin and black hair, our women look naturally very pretty and sweet. Our women, for ages, remain content and happy with the gifts of nature and remained as best house-wives, mothers and daughters in the society.
Of late, it has been observed with great shock that a section of young ladies seemingly not happy and content with the gifted skin colour and hair colour and go crazy in quest of looking white and blonde, forgetting that skin and hair colour is a product of inherent genetic device carefully engineered within. They run from door to door of beauty parlours and cosmetic surgery clinic for administering facial skin treatment with harmful chemicals and return home after sometime, in many cases, with tears in their eyes with destroying the natural shades of the skin and look uglier than before. With blonde hair and artificially generated white skin, Bengali ladies look neither like foreigners nor as Bengalis and ultimately find them hung in limbo in the realm of beauty where nature rules supreme. Our gracious ladies must take note of philosopher David Hume's words that 'beauty merely exists in mind. Bengalis are great nation blessed with flocks of handsome men and beautiful women who grace this land of unbound greenery and sublime beauty.
With regard to culinary habit pertaining to our Bengali culture, who does not like to relish a sumptuous dish of Muri ghonto prepared with Rui Fish head and Mashoor daal? English men preserve or collect fish heads from super market for their house cats. They have, no doubt, discovered many wonders of the world, but perhaps not yet discovered what a grand taste lies in fish head if cooked and prepared in right gastronomical skill. Unnecessarily adhering to English food culture and abstaining from relishing the taste of Muri-ghoto and other Bengali delicacies is tantamount to depriving oneself from the delicious taste of a dish. I hope no Bengali can afford to go against our cultural heritage and food habit and be transformed a hybrid for any reason.
On occasions, great people expose themselves straightway without hypocrisy. A vox populi --- Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was once asked by his personal assistantt to specify the size of beef steak in inches for a dinner reception in Bangabandhu's honour abroad. In great humour Bangabandhu asked his personal assistant to run with a measuring tape and fix his own steak in right measurement. Bangabandhu further said that as a Bengali man with a strong Bengali jaw he was habituated in proper mastication of beef with bones.
A great Bengali born in thousand years, Bangabandhu taught us to bear in our psyche aroma of Bangladeshi clay soil and not to distort our cultural heritage and food culture etc for any reason. Unrelenting distortion of language, culture and life style is feared to leave us to a state of cultural bankruptcy and a nation without cultural backbone which we cannot afford to be transformed as our track record of a thousand years duly reflects that Bengali is a brave nation with heads held high in towering height.
Wedding ceremonies are the occasions which Bengalis celebrates in pomp and grandeur from time immemorial. Singing, dancing and entertaining guests with good foods are the age old traditions Bengalis still rear. With the advancement of technology and improvement in the quality of life, celebrations in wedding ceremony have now taken a new dimension in thoughts and practices. Gaye holud- a pre-wedding day celebration is organized with eye catching programs of songs and dances. It is expected that such program be designed with items if not fully but at least partly with songs and dances reflecting Bengali culture and tradition. Alas! Musical programs in gaye holud are now totally occupied by Indian Hindi songs and dances. You will not trace a single item in such programs that goes soothing with Bengali culture and heritage. It is also much disturbing to note that now a days, invitation cards for wedding ceremonies are printed in English instead of Bangla. This is a kind of inferiority complex the society is unfortunately gripped in. Invitation cards can be nicely designed and printed in Bangla in giving artistic flavour. Instead, cards are printed, in many cases, in English containing full of mistakes and errors.
Distortion of Bengali language and distortion of Bengali culture are rampant in all walks of life and growing like cancers to eat the very fabrics carefully woven for our own existence over generations. It is, therefore, is the time to hold the leash in strong grip before the mad horse go berserk to shake the foundation of our existence as a proud nation. Although it sounds undemocratic but the good things should be imposed in the society by heavy hand from the above in the greater interest of the nation. Kemal Ataturk succeeded in Turkey in doing so for bringing the detracted society to the right track in making a modern Turkey. Why don't we try within the paradigm of democratic norms to secure our national pride, culture and heritage? (Concluded)r
Mahbubar Rahman is a former civil servant.