Why does ragging exist in our universities? Answers and confessions

Cover art: Nasif Chowdhury

Over the years, ragging has become a tradition in Bangladeshi universities. Behind the facade of welcoming the new students, ragging is a notorious practice where the seniors get an excuse to harass their junior counterparts and often target them to satiate their own sadistic pleasures. For decades, ragging has been discussed and debated, but while we all have been looking for solutions, there is little effort to figure out why it is even being practised in universities to this day.

It is yet to be understood that ragging is not merely a socio-legal problem, it has a certain psychological basis too.

Just like how every crime has some sort of motive, a bully, too, has something to accomplish through the act of ragging.

Let’s take a look at some of the psychological reasons behind ragging and bullying in universities.

A sense of authority

Most bullies seem to constantly fail to establish control over their own lives. So, when they get a freshman or a junior at their command, they nurture a sense of authority that boosts their morale and put them on a high. This is more like an alternative way for them to somehow fill that huge void in their lives.

“I loved being on the campus all day because they would do anything to be on good terms with me. I’d rather stay there all day than go home, things weren’t that easy back home.”

– Anonymous

A ticket into the influential crowd

Often bullies live under the misconception that ragging is a fashion statement these days and that it can help them get into the ‘influential crowd’ in their universities.

Peer pressure

It is also true that not all the seniors involved with ragging do it because they enjoy doing it, or even do it at their own will. What they really want is to not feel left out as they see their friends and batchmates indulge in ragging their juniors. So, due to the fear of isolation, they end up joining the herd in the act.

Means of retaliation

Seniors who have a previous history of getting ragged often rag their juniors as a means of revenge for what they had to go through.

“I was not someone who liked ragging juniors. It’s just that, having gotten ragged as a junior myself. It sometimes felt like a need to give my juniors a subtle taste of what I had to go through. I regret it though”

-Anonymous

The satisfaction of sadistic pleasures

Many bullies in universities see ragging as an opportunity to satiate their sadistic pleasures. People with twisted minds who find pleasure in seeing others suffer, they exist. The reasons can include issues like bad childhood memories, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), bad parenting etc.

No matter what psychology works behind this behaviour, ragging is not okay and there is nothing that can justify this awful act. However, it’s important to identify the reasons for an issue in order to fix it from the core.

How to remove Holi colors off your skin, hair and clothes

Holi, the festival of colors is finally here! Being an Indian and Nepalese festival originally, it’s now popular pretty much all around the world because it’s so much fun, wholesome and colorful! Imagine the vibrant colours everywhere, even in the air. Plus, going all crazy, splashing colored water and pelting each other with all possible hues is one of the biggest reasons why many of us wait so eagerly for Holi every year.

No matter how much we love Holi, most of us who have actually played at least once know that it’s also the time of immense damage to our skin, hair, and clothes. As much as we don’t want to miss out on the fun, we don’t want our skin, hair and clothes all damaged either. So here are some simple ways to clean Holi colors from your skin, hair and clothes the right way.

Removing Holi colour from skin safely:

Apply moisturizer or oil before going out to play:

Because prevention really is cure! So first of all, it’s really important to apply a generous amount of moisturizer or oil (like olive oil or coconut oil) on your face, hands and all exposed body parts before going out to play. This will not only create a layer on your skin to keep it safer from the harsh colors but also help in removing the colors with ease.

Use a mild soap or face wash and cold water:

Please do your skin a favor and don’t try to scrub the colors off your face rigorously. Use cold water, a mild face wash or soap to clean the colors off your skin.

Use milk and gram flour:

You can also opt for natural ways to remove the colors off your skin. Just mix some gram flour with milk to make a paste and apply it on your face; rinse off with cold water when it dries.

Never forget to moisturize well:

After cleansing, make sure you moisturize your skin well with a generous amount of moisturizer that suits your skin type. Never forget this step; your skin needs this!

Use Glycerine and rose water to soothe itchiness:

Sometimes, even herbal colors can cause itchiness and allergies. Just mix some glycerine and rose water and apply the soothing mixture on the itchy areas. You’ll be fine in no time.

Removing Holi colors from your hair:

Use Castor or Olive oil:

Before getting out to play Holi, apply either castor oil or olive oil to the hair. The oil forms a protective layer over your hair. So it not only protects your hair from the damage but it makes the colors come off easily when you wash your hair. You can also use coconut oil or almond oil as alternatives. Honestly, they all work pretty much the same! It’s best if you massage the oil the night prior to the day to protect your scalp.

Before getting out to play Holi, apply either castor oil or olive oil to the hair. The oil forms a protective layer over your hair. So it not only protects your hair from the damage but it makes the colors come off easily when you wash your hair. You can also use coconut oil or almond oil as alternatives. Honestly, they all work pretty much the same! It’s best if you massage the oil the night prior to the day to protect your scalp.

Apply egg yolk or curd mask before shampooing:

Avoid immediately shampooing your hair to remove the colors after playing Holi. Apply egg yolk or unflavored sour curd on your hair at least 45 minutes before shampooing. This will help remove the colours with ease and reduce the extent of damage.

Shampoo and condition your hair:

After the hair mask, you will have to clean it all off with shampoo and then make sure you condition your hair properly because your hair needs that love!

Removing Holi colors from your clothes:

The best way to remove colour stains from clothes is.. well, by not getting any on them! But who are we even kidding? The vibrant splotches of colours are going to make their way to your precious clothes. It’s time to play Holi after all!

Don’t worry though. Here are some of the easiest ways to remove those colors from your beautiful white clothes, like they were never there!

Lemon juice:

Use lemon juice on the color stains. The acidic nature of lemon helps lighten and eventually remove the stains. Soak the stained clothes in lemon juice for like 15-20 minutes and then scrub gently with your hands. Wash them as usual, but separately.

Bleach:

Go for this only if your clothes are white. Simply just soak them in hot water with some non-chlorine bleach. Wash and dry them separately. Voila!

White vinegar:

Add half a cup of white vinegar and 1 teaspoon of detergent powder to around 2-3 litres of cold water. The acid easily pulls the colour out from your clothes and your clothes will be good as new.

Happy Holi!

How to dodge marriage proposals if you are a Bengali

Being a brown Bengali woman in your mid 20’s, you can only have one life goal – to find and marry the perfect man.  And if by any chance he happens to be a doctor, engineer or lawyer, well then you’ve hit the jackpot!

It’s a universally acknowledged truth, that a deshi girl who has surpassed the age of 20 must get married, or else the world shall perish.

It’s usually a random aunty or uncle who desperately wants to take on the role of a ‘ghotok’(match-maker) for you, if it’s not your parents stressing you out already. We often face a hard time thinking what our parents would have to face if we straight off reject these ‘biyer prostaabs’. However, it is actually possible to dodge these marriage proposals easily without bringing too much trouble. Here are some tried and tested easy ways to avoid such encounters.

Read more: 5 strategies on surviving Desi weddings.

Goth Lipsticks

Trust me on this, dark goth lipsticks scare deshi aunties. Seriously, pick any goth shade, be it dark shades of blue, grey or just pure black. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that it makes you look rough and ruins the whole facade of the “ideal, docile wife” image. Whatever it is, it seems to do the trick for you. Plus dark lipsticks are bold and gorgeous. Rock them while shock them aunties!

Use the sarcasm shield

Sarcasm is a life savior. If used correctly, it can get you out of almost anything! It can ensure you with one of the two: either they will catch onto the sarcasm and assume you’re extremely rude, or they will believe what you say and think you are absolutely insane. To be honest, both work pretty well. Seriously, just imagine their expressions when you tell them “I’m sorry, I was just busy reading this fun article on how to properly chop human bodies.” with a serious face on.

Tell them you can’t make tea

Or worse! Add salt instead of sugar in their tea and then sit back to enjoy their expressions when they sip on your evil-eye-casting-potion. If you’re a proper Bengali, you know that tea is basically life to most Bengalis; the better the tea, the higher your rank in the household. So what could be more off-putting to these uncles and aunties than a woman who can’t make cha? One who makes terrible cha! And you will no longer be a daughter in law material, sorry. Or maybe, you’re welcome?

Be bold and opinionated

This isn’t a hard task for many of us. Don’t just jump straight to an issue; you could really just randomly talk about normal things and slowly go for sensitive areas that are considered taboo; like gay rights, abortion or even legalizing marijuana! It’ll be so much fun to see an aunty in shock after you discuss sexuality openly, I mean where is my lojja shorom?!

Do something insane

Maybe chop off those locks? Okay, I’ll admit this one is pretty drastic, so maybe you can use it as a last resort. It’s actually an excellent last-minute backup plan though. One of my friends was once almost forced to get engaged to this older man. When nothing else worked, she decided to completely shave her head on the day of the engagement! Guess what? It worked!

But really you could do so many other crazy stuff that you could actually have fun doing. Maybe dye your hair a gorgeous color? *gasps* Yesss, any color! Put on a poker face and do something incredibly crazy to scare the hell out of these people, like pretend to talk to an imaginary friend. Or maybe start laughing at completely inappropriate moments like when they’re talking about a tragic incident. Seriously, get creative and you can single handedly make these prostaabs fly away before you can say ‘Kabool’.

Talk money

While the suitor’s mothers and/or aunts brag about how rich and successful he is, why not take them up on it? Get extra enthusiastic, ask about their advancement opportunities and pay. Act like you’re calculating something and then hypothetically discuss how much you would get if a divorce occurs. Create an entire financial plan right in front of them.

Fart (!)

Yes, no joke. Once you master the art of flatulence, it’ll not just help you drive away the aunties, but anyone that messes with you. It’s the ultimate human repellent!

The smile

They say a girl’s best weapon is her smile. They are right, they’ve always been. Whenever your suitor or their family is talking about something they are passionate about, smile. Nope, not the sweet encouraging one. A sympathetic, sad and patronizing smile. If he’s got any sort of common sense in him, he’ll pick up the remains of his bruised ego and never bother you again. Seriously girl, you need to smile more often now!

Read more: 5 reasons not to get married before thirty

It’s not necessarily true that marriage is the end of everything, you can still rock you life and do things you love after marriage. But then again, if you’re better off, I hope these tricks help you out. But remember that I bear no responsibility for the consequences. So proceed at your own risk, girl!

Good luck!

Through Her Eyes: Celebrating and inspiring women filmmakers in Bangladesh

Women have been making films from the beginning of film production history but when it comes to nam a few, we realize how strikingly less number of women are prominent in the field than men filmmakers around the world. In Bangladesh, we currently see a number of women filmmakers actively creating and working in all genres of filmmaking; women like Samia Zaman, Meher Afroz Shaon and  Shuchanda only to name a few. These women set an example for female film enthusiasts around the world given how it still remains a challenge for a woman to be a film director and continue to create in this line of work. ‘Through Her Eyes’ is an attempt to inspire women in this field and celebrate those who carved out that opportunity for themselves despite the challenges.

What is Through Her Eyes?

Through Her Eyes: Celebrating & Inspiring Women Filmmakers In Bangladesh 7

In cooperation with the International Film Initiative of Bangladesh (IFIB), Goethe-Institut Bangladesh, launched a new film screening and discussion series “Through Her Eyes – A space to watch and discuss films with women filmmakers of Bangladesh” on Sunday, 20th January, 2019 at 5 PM.

It is a series of screening sessions of movies directed by prominent Bangladeshi women filmmakers, followed by discussion sessions with them, the entry being free for all.

They will be screening a movie on every third Sunday of each month at the Goethe-Institut auditorium at 5 pm for everyone to join and celebrate & inspire women in the film industry. It is undoubtedly an amazing opportunity for both male and female film enthusiasts, students, academics, professionals and people from all walks of life to come together to watch award-winning films by women filmmakers currently working in Bangladesh and to interact with them directly at the end of the screening.

What happened on the first day?

As part of the initiative, the first day included a screening of the film “Under Construction” directed by Rubaiyat Hossain that was followed by a highly interactive Q&A session held at Goethe-Institut Bangladesh auditorium. The film is a realistic representation of the life of a modern Muslim woman struggling to find herself in the sprawl of male-dominated urban Bangladesh.

Film synopsis:

Still from the film Under Construction

In the constantly changing dynamic city of Dhaka, Roya, an actress in her early thirties, has to face her first challenge. She has been playing the same part repeatedly for years now, working for a stage director who now thinks she’s getting too old in spite of her young age. She enters a deep introspection about her life, her desires, her art and her place in the patriarchal society. Rubaiyat Hossain’s film Under Construction provides the portrait of a woman, whose life is still under construction.

The guests were clearly impressed by the emphasis on the details in the film and the story itself. One of the guests, Nadira who aspires to be a filmmaker told us she was overwhelmed to see a woman just like her creating something so brilliant. “The film was so impressively time-frame focused and realistic; the details were so carefully worked on. It was amazing!” she told us.

Why you should definitely go:

“The film inspired me to keep moving, no matter where life takes us. What really matters the most is if you’re still doing what you love”

Said Sadia who also told us that every moment of the event was worth it to her.

Besides the chance for us to come together and watch amazing creations of these inspiring women, the monthly programme will also be a space for young filmmakers, academics, film enthusiasts to engage in discussions, to learn about opportunities and career paths to critically interrogate societal relations. Moreover, the event promotes networking and will help us find out about the industry and important aspects for rising filmmakers like what kind of challenges should young filmmakers be ready for and what role can others play in this. What’s better? It’s free! So if you want to spend a Sunday evening watching something worthwhile, this is it!

Find out more about the event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2099870576979355/

Keep an eye on the page of Goethe-Institut Bangladesh for the upcoming screening next month. Here’s the link to the page: https://www.facebook.com/goetheinstitut.bangladesh/ 

About the director of Under Construction:

Rubaiyat Hossain, one of Bangladesh’s handful of female filmmakers is known for her critically acclaimed debut feature film Meherjaan (2011) which due to its anti-war narrative, and critic of masculine nationalism from a feminine point of view, faced political and cultural outrage in Bangladesh. It was stripped down fromtheatres across the country only a week after its release and is still prohibited from being screened. While Under Construction (2015) is her second film that has won several national and international awards, she just finished the shoot for her upcoming film Made In Bangladesh.

Through Her Eyes: Celebrating & Inspiring Women Filmmakers In Bangladesh 3

Having completed her B.A. in Women Studies from Smith College, USA and M.A. in South Asian Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, she is currently attending the Tisch School of Arts at New York University in Cinema Studies while living between Dhaka and New York making films. Besides being a filmmaker, she is an interdisciplinary research scholar and has worked for prominent women’s rights NGOs in Bangladesh like Ain O Shalish Kendra, Naripokkho and The Asia Foundation. Moreover, she was the assistant coordinator for the first international workshop of Sexuality and Rights organized by BRAC School of Public Health in 2007 and has also worked as a part-time lecturer in the Department of Economics and Social Sciences at BRAC University, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

5 Reasons why you should volunteer

Volunteering is about more than the impact one makes in the lives of those who are less fortunate. Volunteering can play a pivotal role in making a person more tolerant and more empathetic. It can be a practice in selflessness or can be motivated by advancing career goals. No matter what, volunteering improves and inspires individuals and communities.

Here are 5 reasons why you should volunteer, at least once.

Community involvement:

Volunteerism is one of the easiest ways to get involved with something that is bigger than yourself. It leads to many other opportunities. Besides, it’s easy to start with! You can start regardless of your academic score. If you are enthusiastic and have a will to make a difference by being an active part of the community, you already have everything that a volunteer needs to be.

“I was just a first-year college student with no prior experience when I first volunteered. The feeling that I am a part of a greater community working for a cause is so inspiring!”

Nawar, a volunteer at It’s Humanity Foundation (IHF), a non-profit organization based in Bangladesh, told us,
5 Reasons why you should volunteer

Career booster:

Volunteerism is an excellent way to boost your career prospects.
Recruiters and future bosses appreciate the skills, especially in leadership that you build by volunteering. It helps you make a positive impression. You are enriched by a wide range of useful skills. While you become a better version of yourself, your CV look more attractive and creative to prospective employers.

“I was so anxious when I was applying; I have heard how hard it is to get a job these days. To my surprise, my CV almost never got rejected and I always noticed how the employers were so keen to know about my volunteering experience,”

Said Adiba who has been an Executive at IHF where she started as a volunteer.

Learning new skills:

This is exactly why employers love a volunteer’s CV. Volunteering enables you to work in the field and gain a wide range of soft skills in the process.

“Facing problems on a daily basis, having to deal with a mix of personalities, all while adjusting to life outside of my comfort zone. All of that added up and helped me improve my teamwork, problem-solving and people skills,”

Said Nusrat, a seasoned volunteer at JAAGO Foundation and other organisations.
5 Reasons why you should volunteer

Building a network:

You meet people from all walks of life when you volunteer. You meet fellow volunteers who may be like-minded, but outside your current social circle. A conversation over this shared interest can have a lasting impact on your life. As you come across volunteers with different skills in different organisations, your professional circle expands.

“I got to surround myself with charismatic people through volunteerism and that changed my life!”

Maisha, who started as a volunteer at IHF and currently leads a women empowerment Project Protibha as the CEO told us,

Making a difference:

Volunteerism gives you a chance to contribute to your community on a daily basis. You can build towards the world you want to live in. You get to use your skills and civic responsibility for the greater good.

“How awesome it is being a part of an impact and actually getting to witness it? I would have never known if I hadn’t volunteered!”

Shams, who had previously volunteered at several organizations like Mastul Foundation and other local schools for underprivileged rural children.
Organizations you can donate your unused warm clothes to 3

Get started today!

If you aren’t currently volunteering, or have never volunteered before, it’s something you should try at least once in your life. Most organizations seeking volunteers often post online so a little bit of researching can help you find an opportunity. Even committing as little as an hour per week can have a profound benefit on your own life, and the organizations that rely on volunteers will be able to thrive. You can also reach out directly to an organization that you support and ask them what you can do to help. Just try doing something for a community that needs help and you will get back more than you can ever imagine.

Cheers!

Choosing the right foreign university

So you’re all determined that you’re going abroad for higher studies now but have you picked the right university yet? With hundreds of educational institutions to choose from, picking the right one may seem like a monumental task when you first begin your search.

The best way to start your search is by making a shortlist of all the institutions that you might want to consider. Then you can start narrowing down the list of potential institutions by weighing up each institution according to certain factors that are important to you. Here’s a list of some key considerations that will help you find the right fit.

Field of study:

Choosing the right foreign university 3

What would you like to study? What are you passionate about? It’s important that you pick the field of study at first. Remember that it has to be something you want to study and pursue in your career life. It’s alright; it doesn’t have to be a specific decision right away as you can find various courses under your favorite subject. For instance, if you like Science, with a bit of research, you can find a wide range of subjects that universities around the world are offering like Astrophysics, Biophysics, Biochemistry etc. Once you pick out your favorites, you can simply find out which universities are offering the courses you listed down.

“I started by picking my preferred courses first and it made my life easier!”

Said Ishrat, a first-year Biotechnology student at the Technical University of Munich, Germany.

Location:

Choosing the right foreign university 6

Now, that you know what you want to study, and you have a list of the hundreds of universities offering the courses, it’s time to filter out the ones situated in the locations that fit your criteria. Yes, you do need to set your criteria for the location in order to narrow down the list of the universities. We often think that we can adjust once we get somewhere but it’s not entirely true if you’re going for studies.

“There will be so much going on already, like dealing with the never-ending nerve-racking paperwork, the new lifestyle and you need to make friends too! What if you can’t tolerate the weather and get sick?”

Noshin, a Computer Science student at Texas University, Arlington told us

So, if the location does not play well for you, you will be in trouble.

You can pick your desired locations on the basis of factors like climates, cost of living, lifestyle etc. For instance, in the U.S., the Southern region is known for its humid summers and mild winters with a low cost of living whereas the Western region is known for its geographically diverse area, it’s very mild and damp climates to very hot ones and the slightly higher cost of living than the Southern area and so on. Once you pick the zone for you, you can then choose among Urban, Suburban and Rural settings that differ in population, accessibility, environment and cost of living.

Tuition fees and scholarships:

Choosing the right foreign university 1

Now, that you have the list of universities located in your preferred settings, it’s time to sort out the ones that match your budget and need. Don’t get overwhelmed with the numbers because universities around the world provide a number of scholarships to international students like you. Scholarships can vary; they could be based on your previous academic scores, test scores, achievements in extracurricular activities & sports, leadership activities etc. So, don’t forget to list down your achievements; you never know how something you did for fun could help you embark on a life-changing journey towards a future you always dreamed of.

“I remember how the really high tuition fees made me think I could never afford it, but I still pushed myself and with just a bit more research, I found out I was already eligible for a scholarship because of my test scores!”

Mou, a Human Resource Management student at Monash University, Malaysia told us

So, it is essential to check the university websites and make the most out of the information provided. If needed, you can also contact the representatives from the admission offices of the universities. They will be more than happy to help you out.

University ranking:

Choosing the right foreign university 2

Pick the universities that have a better ranking because they are there for a reason”

Said Dyuti, a Computer Science student at Auckland University, New Zealand.

Better universities not only have better facilities, on-campus part-time jobs, and assistantships that match you, they also have a better environment and will add more value to your career.

If you think you are an extraordinary applicant and your previous achievements can really light up your college application, these criteria should be the first one to consider for you. Although top-ranked universities might charge higher tuition fees, yet they give away a huge amount of scholarships every year to talented and charismatic students.

Other things to consider:

Choosing the right foreign university

Other than the basic criteria, there are things you cannot possibly avoid like the type of on-campus living facilities, diversity of the students attaining degrees from the universities, on-campus job facilities etc. The importance of these factors depends on your preference and way of living. All these information are usually available at the university or college websites. However, if not, you will always find the contact information of the college representative who is there to answer your queries anytime.

Finding the right fit for you can be really nerve-racking and time-consuming but you need to trust yourself and make the most of the time spent on the research with a clear direction.

Talk to people who have been there and learn from their mistakes. Remember to always keep your research game strong to stay updated.

Good luck!

Organizations you can donate your unused warm clothes to

Winter has finally arrived. The perfect season to rock that favourite red sweater again and the time to finally execute the trips you have been planning for all year. Some of us just like to curl up in a blanket with a warm cup of coffee and a nice book. Maybe even binge-watch something on Netflix. While we’re all so excited, the scenario isn’t the same for everyone. In fact, for a massive proportion of the population, the season means enduring a series of hardships and miseries. Yet, there are many who cannot afford even a day’s meal properly, let alone buy warm clothes for winter.

So, how about instead of stacking up those extra blankets and sweaters that don’t fit you anymore, you give them away to a needy family? Even your smallest contribution can bring a smile to someone’s face who probably is in dire need of it somewhere right now.

While we all want to help out people in need, we often struggle with finding out a proper medium to do so. We just don’t know where to go

Here is a list of organizations where you can donate your warm clothes to:

1. Warmth for Winter by It’s Humanity Foundation (IHF):

IHF has been organizing winter fundraising campaigns for the last 5 years for the unfortunate underprivileged suffering from the harsh realities of the extreme cold in Northern Bangladesh. This year, they have organized “Warmth for Winter 2018”, a campaign through which you can donate your warm clothes like sweaters, shawls, socks, blankets etc. and they will get your precious gifts of warmth to the distressed in the northern part of the country where the cold gets so unbearable, people have reportedly died of extreme cold in the past years. After collecting your donations, the team along with their volunteers will set out for the distribution by the beginning of January 2019.

Contact: https://www.facebook.com/itshumanityfoundation/

Website: www.itshumanity.org

Phone: 01879800800

2. Smile 18: An initiative by Studio Green:

Organizations you can donate your unused warm clothes to

Smile is an annual initiative by Studio Green to reach out to the underprivileged of the society and provide as much support to them as possible to make their lives easier. Although they mostly focus on providing assistance to the aged underprivileged, children on the streets and kids at orphanages. They will be collecting donations till the month of January 2019 and will be accepting donations in the form of warm clothes which are in usable condition. Donating warm clothes instead of cash is encouraged. After collecting the donations, they will be distributing the clothes and blankets to the underprivileged community living in the Northern Part of Bangladesh by the beginning of February 2019.

Contact: https://www.facebook.com/events/210302723201878/

Phone number: +880 1672-704823, +880 1824-850938

3. APON Foundation:

There are numerous child-care centres across Bangladesh. However, APON foundation has already distributed a huge quantity of blankets and clothing to its young beneficiaries over the last 10 years. They will be accepting unused warm clothes for children aged between 4 to 10 years and they will be receiving donations throughout the month of December 2018. The distribution will be carried out by the end of December 2018.

Contact: [email protected]

Facebook: www.facebook.com/aponfoundation

Phone: 01711054701

4. Winter Drive 2018-19 by Project Kombol:

This year Project Kombol has organized “Project Kombol Winter Drive 2018-19”. Through which, you can donate your unused blankets and warm clothes in good condition. Moreover, by only making a meagre contribution of Tk. 300, you can ensure a blanket for someone in need. Distributions will be carried out in certain remote areas of Bangladesh by the end of January 2019.

Contact: www.facebook.com/projectkombol

Website: www.projectkombol.com

Phone: 01819230486

It really takes nothing but kindness to make the world a better place. Moreover, your donation, no matter how big or small, can create a huge impact on someone’s life. Share the love of warmth this winter and make someone smile. Cheers!

Want to study abroad? Things you need to consider before the big decision

Let’s be honest. It’s so exciting and easy to dream about studying abroad and getting to discover and experience new places and cultures. So exciting that we often forget that it’s not as simple as it seems. And so before you know, your dreams of earning a foreign degree might turn into a nightmare without proper consideration and preparation.

So are you really made for this? If so, are you really ready yet?

It’s true that you don’t have to have the personality of an experienced globetrotter to study abroad but you need to be a few things. Here’s your checklist before you even consider studying abroad for a foreign degree as an option.

1. The new responsibilities:

First of all, you need to be honest with yourself. Wanting to be mature, independent, and consistently on top of things is okay, but you need to face the reality. Everyone who goes abroad for higher studies will be facing new responsibilities. There will be no one there to make sure you attend your classes or your hand in intelligible essays while maintaining your chores. You would need to arrive with a willingness to take responsibility for yourself.

“Finding a place to live in, cooking and cleaning while studying and working, handling the never-ending paper works- all on my own, thousands of miles away from home; it’s intimidating!” said Ishrat, a first year at the Technical University of Munich, Germany.

2. Letting go:

Let’s get real. You will have to be able to give up seeing your family and let go of your rigid circle of friends. You’ll be there all alone while they’ll all be back at home. Truth is they’ll move on and adjust at some point to living without you. You will have to do the same without letting it affect you because you’ll be having essays to work on.

“Letting go of my family for 4 entire years was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. It’s so hard to concentrate when you constantly feel homesick!” said Anik, Texas University Arlington, USA.

3. Adapting:

It’s obvious that when you’re studying abroad, wherever you go, you’ll have to face new accents, foods, social situations, and traditions. You can’t expect vacations or time offs for Eid and Pujas. You need to be adaptable and flexible.

“Dealing with culture shock was a real challenge for me but thankfully my extrovert nature helped me adapt very easily. However, I’ve seen my introvert friends suffering to adjust so hard. It’s really important to prepare yourself first if you’re not extremely adaptive” said Dyuti, Auckland University, New Zealand.

4. Multitasking:

It’s impossible to adjust out there alone if you’re not a multitasker. Unless you’re living with family members out there, you will have to do all your household chores like cleaning or cooking for yourself while you excel in your studies and work after classes! Also, what’s the point of all the hard work to get there if you can’t plan a few trips around? Exactly. Multitasking is the key to surviving out there.

“I did my research before applying so I knew how it was going to be. It’s really helpful if you already have a little bit of part-time job experience besides your studies. That way, you’ll learn a little bit of multitasking and it will help you a lot” – Ananya, Technical University of Munich, Germany.

5. Know what you’re doing:

Seriously, if you’re planning to study abroad on a subject that you’re not good at, don’t go for it just because it gets you there. It will immensely affect your future. Sure, getting to experience a whole new place and cultures would be exciting but you’ve got a life to live after that. What happens next? Fine, we get that it will be a life-changing journey for you but you’ve still got to excel, you know? The degree will be useless otherwise.

“I was so good at Math back in school that my teachers recommended that I study economics and statistics in future, but I had my mind set on an independent life abroad. So, I wasted 4 years of my life on the wrong subject thinking it would eventually work out. Well, it didn’t”, said Fariha, a former Arts student at Monash University, Malaysia.

So, don’t just go for it because you want a new life-changing journey. Choose your program wisely.

Studying abroad can be a daunting and exciting experience altogether. It’s not impossible if you can push yourself in the right direction. As long as you’re choosing the right program for yourself and you believe it’s worth giving up a few things in life for it, you’re good to go.
Good luck!

12 things only a bookworm can relate to

If you are anything like me, you will think that books are absolutely amazing and they are an essential part of your life. Here are 12 things that you can definitely relate to for your love of reading.

1. You think books are better than people:

12 things only a bookworm can relate to-HiFi Public

Let’s just admit to this; books are literally the greatest gift to mankind. Besides that fact that you just cannot have enough of them, they are never ever going to judge you! Plus, they smell good! What else could you have asked for in a best friend?

2. All your pocket money is spent on books:

12 things only a bookworm can relate to-HiFi Public

Sounds familiar? Exactly. Because we’ve all been there. While talking about his collection of books, Abeed told us how he used to spend all his pocket money on books. He said he’d rather read a new book than spending on getting a haircut.

3. Everything is a bookmark:

12 things only a bookworm can relate to-HiFi Public

That dentist’s business card that your colleague gave you, your credit card, a pen, an old receipt, a train ticket or even a tissue paper! Yes, everything.

4. Panicking when asked what your favorite book is:

12 things only a bookworm can relate to-HiFi Public

“Oh my god! Which one is my favorite? There are so many! What do I tell him? I’m sure he thinks I’m dumb.”

5. You’re judged for sniffing books:

12 things only a bookworm can relate to-HiFi Public

“I always find someone creeped out staring at me when I’m sniffing books in libraries and bookstores. What? It smells awesome!” said Aneeka while sharing her experience at bookstores. Ordinary people will never understand Bibliophiles and their obsession with Biblichor. Let them be, enjoy your time smelling the best goddamn thing ever. As long as it makes you happy, who cares?

6. You just need to make people read your favorite books:

12 things only a bookworm can relate to-HiFi Public

It is practically your hobby to make people read your favorite books because you just can’t wait to see them get as excited as you are. And that too all because YOU made them read it in the first place!

7. Movie adaptations never live up to the books:

12 things only a bookworm can relate to-HiFi Public

Tell me you have never felt this at least once in your life. Exactly! “It’s never entirely the same! And it’s sad!” said Raeesa while talking about movie adaptations of her favorite books.

8. You’re lost when you’re done with a great book:

12 things only a bookworm can relate to-HiFi Public

There is literally nothing more bittersweet than finishing a great book. You are finally done reading the best book ever but you’re just…lost. A whole new world and all those characters you’ve known and loved so much for so long are suddenly gone and you keep wondering what happened next.

9. You can’t wait to get back:

12 things only a bookworm can relate to-HiFi Public

You have been thinking about it all day since you had to put it in your bag to attend a class or probably because you had work to do. You just cannot wait to get back to where you left off. Abeed told us about how he keeps imagining what happened next in the story and going back to the book is what keeps him going all day.

10. It’s physically impossible to cross a bookstore without checking it out:

12 things only a bookworm can relate to-HiFi Public

Books stores are your favorite. Even when you’re too broke to buy a book, you just need to see what’s in there and decide what you should buy next!

11. Page numbers are your new time units:

12 things only a bookworm can relate to-HiFi Public

Mom: “Dinner’s ready!”
Me: “I’ll be there when I get to page 255!”

12. A good book with a warm cup of coffee or tea is the true definition of stress relief to you:

12 things only a bookworm can relate to-HiFi Public

Whether you’re a tea or a coffee lover, as long as there is a great book giving you company, you’re good to go. It heals everything, be it a tired mind or a broken heart.

If you can relate to at least five of the above, you’re one of us! However, the one common thing that we can surely relate to is the fact that we’ll never stop loving to read, and we’re all proud to be bookworms.

Struggles of an older sibling

Anyone with siblings knows that life will be absolutely different without them. The older sibling has an experience that only other elder siblings can relate to. Here are the struggles that will certainly feel familiar if you are an elder sibling in your family:

1. The Guinea Pig:

For one, you’re the guinea pig of the family. Since your parents have never had kids before, they have a tendency to overdo things in their attempts to figure out what’s best for you, only to realize that the endeavor is worthless. So, now the younger siblings get the advantage of not going through all of that. Tasnova, the eldest among three sisters, shared her experience of shifting between 6 different schools as her parents figured out the best, while the other sisters got the stability of being in the same school all their lives.

2. You’re old news:

There is no way you cannot relate to this! The moment the younger sibling arrives, you’re old news. Your parents’ world that once used to revolve around you suddenly shifts. Everyone gets new stuff for the baby, while you still wait for your mom to maybe just notice you, let alone buy you that red jacket you asked for like three months ago. When I was 6 and my little sister was born, I was so frustrated I literally picked up my stuff (a red dress, an old sock, a Tk. 2 note, and my teddy) and ran away. I sat at the porch waiting for someone to come looking for me. After like an hour of waiting, I eventually had to get back home when I got hungry. So yeah.

3. A live-in babysitter:

You know what? You’re probably better at feeding babies and changing their diapers than your mom used to be. Because you are the most underrated and unappreciated goddamn live-in babysitter in the whole wide world! What’s worse is that sometimes you have to take them with you on your hangouts, so that they don’t feel left out while you feel left out from your hangout because you’ve brought a responsibility with you!

4. You’re a live-in tutor too:

Having been sent to like hundreds of tutors since you were a kid, you are now expected to be a live-in tutor for your siblings too. Like you did not have too much on your plate already.

5. Your thing is now their thing:

So that signature move that you had after saying something cool is not so awesome anymore because now it’s their thing too. No matter if you have a brother or a sister; they will try to follow every single thing you do. Whatever your favorite thing may be, it becomes their favorite thing too. You feel like their idol and it feels cute until it gets really annoying.

6. The responsible one:

The eldest is expected to be the responsible one in the bunch. Even when the little ones are fighting, the eldest must resolve things. While talking about how their fights used to end up, Maliha told us that when she and her younger sister were both fighting, she was the one who used to get in trouble. Why? Because she’s supposed to know better. Duh.

7. You’re the late bloomer:

You sit there clueless while your friends talk about all those cool retro bands they learned about from their older siblings. I mean your little siblings have you, who’ve you got?

8. Watching them get away with murder:

“Watching them get away with things that you used to get ‘Jharur barees’ for is the worst feeling ever” said Rayhan while he was telling us about the time his little brother Farhan got away with cigarettes in his pocket because according to his mom “He doesn’t know any better”. Like, mom, he’s 19. He DOES know better!

9. Absolutely no privacy for your things:

Finding your little brother wearing your favorite shirt, spilling soup all over it or finding your little sister chewing on your favorite lipstick and smearing it all over her face and teeth; all because ‘they want to be like you’. Been there? So have I?

10. You’re super protective:

You’re always cautious and protective about them so if you ever find someone hurting them, you just can’t take it. You want to probably break their face in half, whoever it is, and do anything to make your little bundle of joy feels better.

11. Watch them grow up to be adults:

Knowing that they will eventually grow up to be adults who have to take their own responsibilities one day is a mixed feeling. It’s just overwhelming that they will not be little forever and not need you anymore. They will have to face the world on their own.

Being an elder sibling is one of the toughest and most under-appreciated jobs in the world. No matter what struggles you may go through, you’ll probably not have it any other way. Because in the end, seeing the little ones do something right with their lives is the best feeling ever!