Alamgir Mohiuddin :
It is indeed a great achievement for The New Nation as it celebrates the 40 year of publication. Happy Birth Anniversary to the paper that bears the name for which it strove hard all these years. For me it is nostalgic and at the same time great happiness. During my association with it for over a decade and half I heard the heart-beat of the newspaper that a dedicated group of people ensured that it ticks well and strong. All including those who guard it well when everybody is asleep, deserve hearty congratulations.
We often ignore the reality around us. Researchers say history has two views. One is that it happens by accident and the second is that everything happens by design. The first is held by the ignorant and the second by the wise.
There has been repeated warning by the wise that 'mankind is now sleepwalking through monumental nightmare as earth shattering events, never conceived in anytime earlier, are occurring un-folding before everybody's eyes. Hidden power, large and unseen, are working on preordinated plans to control everything. These powers' influence manifest at the higher levels of global state.
Newspaper publication is a hard job in Bangladesh from multi-angles. Some time it appears that every sector-involved in the newspaper sector including the power that be, are so united that the newspapers cannot live freely. Well, this situation inspired so many movements' and efforts to keep it going.
Control on newspapers was sought from the day it started operation. Because it reaches information to everyone. Uninformed people are easy to control and manipulate. That is why whoever goes to power seeks to control the flow of information. Newspapers, being the principal medium of this flow, feel the first barrier and pressure. Understandably, fight for freedom of information and speech began from this urge. Legal guidance is often seen as the tool of the powerful as mind control.
Often people ask why the newspapers face so many barriers. The answer is simple. It is because the newspapers consider its duty to speak the truth. As truth is almost a casually everywhere, the newspapers bear a big part of the pressure.
It is row an accepted norm that freedom of speech and thought are inborn right. All across the world, irrespective of race and thought, lend support to this concept. As a result, government and the state are made to adopt laws and practice. For example, a man has a right to protest if he is wronged. But the power, that he inflicts on someone that wrong, seeks to ensure that none opposes and protest. That is why they want to control or stop freedom of speech. Even they try to control the thought.
As technology developed, the process of mind control becomes easier. Protest against such steps thus becomes complicated and difficult. But the powerful want them to stay on. As a result most countries across the world, torn into what in popular parlance is called Police State where brutal force is the principal weapon of control. Mind control, thus, is now preferred way for the powerful, who always live on brutal force.
Birth days observed in different countries
It is simple and at the same time weird. It is natural because people want to remember the Day. Personally I don't observe it for one reason. It is a grim reminder that year another lapsed into eternity shortening our stay in this world. It is grim because often we find that the time had not been fruitfully used. Even then people observe it to remember some of the positive moments of life. They want keep those colourful happy moments of life. In doing so people often land into unexpected ways. Let us look into some of them.
When we picture Birthdays, the first thing that pops up in our mind is probably the typical cake with sprinkles and candles blazing on top (as well as the accompanying booze). However, this westernized traditional Birthday cake is not, shockingly (intended sarcasm), the norm in other countries. You might be surprised by how others celebrate their Birthdays around the world!
Birthdays have been celebrated as far back as the Ancient Egyptian celebrations for Pharaohs. But it was the Romans who first introduced the idea of celebrating family and friends' Birthdays. We're taking a look at 21 fun Birthday traditions that have developed all over the world.
1. South Korea - Seaweed Soup
No, it isn't KBBQ, but you could definitely celebrate your Birthday dinner eating the different kinds of meat they serve at a Korean barbecue restaurant. Mi-yeok-guk (???), a hearty seaweed soup, is usually served as part of breakfast for the beloved birthday boys and girls in Korea. Mothers will also typically eat this soup after childbirth to replenish nutrients during pregnancy. So you better pay respect to your mother whenever she cooks this on your birthday because it's delicious, healthy, and nutritious.
2. Russia - Personalized Pie
Shove that birthday cake off the table, because it's pie time. On your birthday in Russia, you'll be presented with a glorious homemade pie with a personalized message carved in the dough on top. These pies can be sweet or savory, but of course, it will ultimately be up to the birthday child. You can make your own cinnamon pie in your college dorm if you can't wait until your next birthday to give this Russian tradition a try.
3. China - Longevity Noodles
In China, eating oodles of noodles, or Chang Shou Mian (???) on your birthday symbolizes the oodles of life you'll hopefully have. It's an extremely intricate dish tailored to the taste palates of each household, but simply put, it's an egg and chicken broth served over noodles. Your loved ones can also wish for your longevity, so bring everyone around the table and start slurping up those noodles of life.
4. Australia - Fairy Bread
There has to be something amazing if this special birthday food is called fairy bread. It's an unbeatable combination of buttered bread and tiny Hundreds-and-Thousands (sprinkles is a more common term in America). It's so simple, you can't mess it up. If you would like to try this heavenly Australian treat, learn how to make your own fairy bread with a twist.
5. The Netherlands-Taarties and Pancakes
Who knew that adding an extra "A" to the word tart makes it a Dutch fruit tart? A popular birthday tradition in the Netherlands is to serve these taarties filled with different fruits and topped with fresh whipped cream. If you're celebrating a crown year birthday (ages 5, 10, 15, 20, 21), you might be lucky and get some powdered sugar pancakes with this too.
6. Sweden - Princess Cake
For your majesty's birthday, I present to you a traditional Swedish layer cake filled with marzipan (a sort of yummy almond paste), sponge cake, and a LOT of whipped cream. These princess cakes have fondant green tops and are sprinkled with powdered sugar. Breakfast in bed and this awesome cake for your special day? How can I say nej?
7. Ghana - Oto
This West African nation is known for satisfying the palettes of the spicy and soulful. Oto is a mash made of Ghanian yam and eggs that is fried in an onion-infused palm oil. A tradition is to cook a huge pot of this hearty dish and serve it for breakfast for everyone to eat. Don't be shy about foreign cuisine because this amazing, flavorful food is far from "weird."
8. Mexico - Arroz con Leche
We all know from our Spanish class that this is the one and only, Rice Pudding! Besides hitting a traditional piñata at a Mexican birthday party, it is an absolute Must to serve this warm and tender dish for the birthday child and guests. If you're craving this tasty treat, learn how to make one here.
Not only is it really interesting to see how the people of other countries celebrate their birthdays, but it's also extremely important to have an awareness and understanding for all cultures. Let us all raise our birthday glasses to that?
Weird birthday traditions around the world
There's no doubt that a birthday hamper is a foolproof gift for just about everyone, however, while the Western idea of celebrating a birthday is with a cake and a few candles, this idea hasn't quite caught on in other parts of the world. In fact, other cultures have many long-standing traditions that simply don't involve a sugar rush.
So, let's take a trip around the world and find the weirdest birthday traditions that appear unbelievable. In Bangladesh, birthday is generally observed with some colour at birth. But after that it becomes limited to the urban areas.
1. The flour-covered Caribbean
In many regions of the Caribbean, most commonly Jamaica, an individual of any age can expect to have their birthday celebrated by having huge amounts of flour thrown at them by friends and family. What's worse is that the really unlucky ones will be covered in water first, making it extremely difficult to remove the flour!
2. Being pulled in Hungary
Just as the Brits celebrate a birthday with the Birthday Bumps, the Hungarians will wish an individual good luck and a happy birthday by pulling on their earlobes. This tradition will normally take place just before the opening of any birthday presents, while a song is sung that translates to "God bless you live so long so your ears reach your ankles".
3. Singletons in Germany
There is a longstanding tradition in Germany whereby single men turning 30 are required to go out and sweep the steps of the local church or town hall. This is supposed to give them the chance to show off how good they are at cleaning, and let's face it, what woman could resist?
For young children in Germany, they are officially exempt from doing their homework and chores for the day.
4. A greasy nose in Canada
A very famous tradition in Canada is the practice of nose-greasing. This is where a young boy or girl is pinned to the floor while their nose gets smeared with butter. The reason for this is to ensure the individual is far too slippery for bad luck or negativity to get a hold of them in the next year.
5. Caked in Venezuela
For those celebrating a birthday in Venezuela, it's probably best not to bother with makeup as you're most likely to have your head pushed into the birthday cake! Believe it or not, this gesture is one of laughter, luck for the year ahead and love. Needless to say, there is a skill involved in ensuring the candles have been blown out properly.
6. Clowns in Switzerland
Perhaps one of the strangest traditions, parents in Switzerland will hire an evil clown for their child's birthday. The clown won't only look terrifying but will also follow and torment the birthday girl or boy before putting a pie in their face for good luck!
7. Cakeman in Denmark
Rather than a standard birthday cake, Danish children will enjoy a "cakeman" which really does resemble the patient from the "Operation" game, only with icing. Once the songs are sung and the candles have been blown out, the cakeman is decapitated and the head is presented to the birthday boy or girl. The family and friends then dig into the body.
8. Toast in New Zealand
Those from New Zealand will enjoy a unique treat on their birthday, involving ice cream and sprinkles on toast. Yes, on toast.
9. Career choices in China
When a child is born in China they are considered a year old, meaning their first birthday is actually their second birthday. On this day the child will be placed on the floor surrounded by objects, the first object the child picks up is thought to determine what they will be when they grow up. Meanwhile, during other birthday celebrations, a cake is skipped entirely and instead the child will be given a bowl full of noodles which they must put into their mouth until they can't fit any more in.
10. Flowers in Egypt
Egyptian birthday parties are full of dancing and singing traditional songs. The room will also be full of flowers and fruit to symbolize growth and life.
11. Prizes in Russia
Instead of a birthday cake, Russian children will enjoy a birthday pie with a greeting carved into the crust. They will then play a game that features the use of a clothesline and hang prizes from it so each guest can take a present home.
12. Crowns in Israel
Young children in Israel will be given a crown to wear that remade from leaves and flowers on their birthday. They will then be asked to sit in a special chair that's been decorated for them while their family and friends dance around it.
13. Shaving head in India
On the child's first birthday, his or her head is shaved while the baby is held over a special fire this is to symbolize cleansing of evil and renewal of the soul. Now that you know some of the weirdest birthday traditions in the world, what will you be doing for your friends or relatives'?
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(Alamgir Mohiuddin, Editor of Bengali daily Naya Diganta, is one among the few journalists in Bangladesh who trod every branch of newspaper publishing. He worked in the BSS, Morning News and Bangladesh Times. He was Editor of Bangladesh Times and The New Nation. He worked for 15 years for the American News Agency, United Press International (UPI) before he joined The New Nation.
Alamgir Mohuddin visited most of European, some African. American and Asian countries in his long journalistic career, meeting many great personalities. He joined a year-long course, organized by Paris-based journalist en Europe. He was the first from Bangladesh to join this prestigious course. He fondly recalls his interviews with German Chancellor Willy Brandt, Spanish Premier Soares, Imam Khomeini among others. He was the first Asian journalist to interview Brandt on his famous Brandt Commission Report. During the early days of his career, he trekked with Acharya Vinova Bhabe, who passed through the then East Pakistan on foot.)