Brattish puritanism ensues and so commences the whining. My God! What is happening to this nation? Why are we so insecure and childish? Why does every big entertainment event hosted here have to enrage nationalists, VIPs, or be an occasion of war to protect our heritage? Is our thousand-year-old culture really going to go extinct? Is chomchom going to be less sweet tomorrow?

Do we not celebrate March 26 or Pohela Boishakh the way we always do? Are all our own TV and radio channels broadcasting in Hindi? Why can’t a show be just that, a show? Why does it need politicisation? It wouldn’t be far-fetched to label us the leading drama queens of South Asia.

Please have some dignity or display restraint in your paranoia, so that some of us, with our diminishing stocks of self worth, may continue to retain it more easily. The stench of hypocrisy in the current flow of borderline racist and bigoted outrage is all pervasive. We must make a concerted effort to be a part of this century, lest we be abandoned completely, at which point we truly will see a hijacking of our culture.

Following pre-show “India is taking over Bangladesh’s culture” rants on Twitter and Facebook to the post-show conspiracy theories as to why it’s unfair to have Hindi songs play in our opening ceremony, to our baseless lamenting of public funds being used in the show prominently featuring Indian artists; our image to those who believe in a cooperative global village abroad is getting smaller with each instance of such demented close mindedness. 

For one, this is an opening ceremony/celebration concert for a sport that is multicultural and global; we don’t own cricket, and no one else does. To stage a global sporting event in its full glory, it requires that we summon our resources and contacts globally and present a show that’s “entertaining” and of a “world standard.”

Everything – the lights, the budget, the artists – must represent a global standard and display our abilities to host events like this in the future. There must be an element of novelty and brevity. An attempt must be made on such instances to display a vision that’s global, that we too can compete with the world. Whether we succeed or not is a different question meriting perhaps a debate, but we must intend to put our best foot forward.

FIFA World Cup musical ceremonies, like that of the Olympic ones, no matter in which country they are hosted, often prominently feature headlining artists of varying nationalities. Think Shakira, a Colombian, at the football World Cup in Africa.

Hosting a celebration for a global sport often requires that you present your nation’s strengths “in organising” such events and in this instance our headliner was AR Rahman, an Oscar winner and multiple Grammy winner who has in the past performed in numerous distinguished global events such as the Oscars and the Nobel Peace Prize concerts, amongst many such other illustrious examples.

It strikes me as odd and selectively political in its tone that the uproar in one section of our society centres on AR Rahman performing, yet little noise was made on account of Mr Akon. Is there more to this selective protest by nationalist advocating of local artistic protectionism? Would the guardians of our culture please stand up?

Can the non-religious elitists amongst you please explain to me how perhaps having Shakira or Justin Timberlake would make you less angry? Why was Bryan Adams’ opening turn at the cricket World Cup more palatable?

One must be realistic and pragmatic about our artistic image in the world. I find it hard, with due respect to our own crop of legendary performing artists in the show, to claim that they could, by merit, stand shoulder to shoulder with other artists worldwide perhaps with the exception of Arnob and friends.

Who really are the only artists that we can be proud of on a global stage? If the others could, and had it in them, we’d have seen it by now, and have witnessed universal appreciation for them, both critically and commercially the world over, like that of an AR Rahman and Akon, who they claim, they are better than.

Then after all that, to argue that we are deprived of opportunities worldwide, so on our soil we must make exceptions for them, is really taking the cake and burning it. That would be a true waste of our phantom public funds. 

To the proponents of the anti-Hindi language movement in Bangladesh, you are overlooking that we are a pretender progressive nation, and must on the face of it, in events such as this, regardless of personal biases, pretend to uphold the tenets of what that means. To be less bigoted. To be more accepting of diverse cultures. To be more humble and kind to guests. To believe that we have still lots to learn as a nation from others in the world. These are all qualities we must begin schooling on if we are to grow in the world stage. 

To end, seriously ask yourself, where’s the novelty in seeing Miles or LRB perform for the umpteenth time the same songs they have performed for two decades? Why should we be protecting their interests? What would be their universal draw in such a ceremony? A cover of Santana?

The only fair thing would be to leave these matters to the free market capitalistic community that we truly are, and I see nothing wrong in that. There must be a freedom to plan these kinds of mega events in our country, and for us to not shiver and acquiesce every single time to the unreasonable demands of being represented, because that is what a progressive nation does.

We must fight and compete for our representation worldwide. We must reject free handouts. We must enhance our art to international standards and fight for recognition. We must make a global impact with our art. We must collaborate with open hearts with other artists, and not condemn their art because of misplaced pride and ego. That is how our brethren across the borders progressed to the front stage of world entertainment, and we’d be wise to take a leaf out of their book.

Originally published at: http://www.dhakatribune.com/op-ed/2014/mar/16/not-cultural-hijack#sthash.JbrvE6ch.dpuf

EXO member Luhan has done what no other k-pop artist has done thus far.

The idol member made it onto the Guinness World Records for a post that he made on his Chinese social media account, Weibo, regarding Manchester United back in September 20, 2012.

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Luhan set a record for himself, receiving over 13.2 million comments for the post. The post itself was simple with Luhan making a post about his favorite soccer team along with the caption, “That’s Why I Love Manchester United!”

The member of the South Korean-Chinese boy band, which is signed under SM Entertainment, has been able to garner so many comments because he’s made a name for himself within the Asian music industry.

Luhan is known for his singing and dancing skills, according to the publication Dhakatribune. The singer is now reportedly branching out into the world of acting after a recent appearance in the Chinese movie “Miss Granny.”

Aside from all that Luhan is capable of, the Chinese member of the popular K-pop group is also known for his undeniable good looks. Despite the singer’s claim that he truly is a “manly man,” fans have taken note of the idol member’s delicate features.

EXO leader Suho even mistook Luhan for a pretty girl when he was playing around with a wig backstage, according to the website MSN Entertainment XIN.

Luhan will be joining EXO’s solo concert tour that will launch on August 23 in Singapore.

The rising popularity of EXO also contributed to the explosive rise of Luhan. The now 11-member boy group just wants to give back to the fans that have continued to provide them with love and ongoing support.  

"We want to thank our fans from all around the world for giving us so much love. We will try harder to promote ourselves not just in Korea and Asia, but around the whole world. Please look forward to it," stated the EXO members during an interview with Billboard. 

 

Tahsin momin is a feature assistant editor of Treehouse , who always follows the office dress code. He is a thrill seeking person and he loves fast cars and gadgets. He also loves to drive fast.
Eating, sleeping and reading mystery fictions are his hobbies.

There are a very few things Tahsin hate, which includes waking up early in the morning and going to class.

Banana Republicans: Time to pick a side

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By Matthew Islam (for Dhaka Tribune’s Op-Ed section as printed May 7th, 2013 and alternatively online by clicking the following DhakaTribune.com)

There is a very contemporaneous quote by Roy Barnes that is worth considering today: “We are all one or at least we should be — and it is our job, our duty, and our great challenge to fight the voices of division and seek the salve of reconciliation.”

Division is the poison that destroys nations. It has done so in the past and it continues to do so now. This is common knowledge to most.

Yet, we all participate in divisiveness quite actively. Why? How much more blood need be spilled before we understand the destructive nature of the beast whose belly we now live in?

I have educated friends from all spheres, my twitter friends and those on facebook — who have chosen sides in the politics we see unfolding in front of us today and I find it flabbergasting that they do not recognise a simple fact that no one is without blame and our system is totally broken; that if you choose sides, you are doing a disservice to your nation, fellow countrymen, your moral standards, and intelligence, and selling yourself short.

You are acquiescing to unknown people with unknown agendas, to parties and movements that truly deep down you do not and cannot, by standards of decency, support.

Awami League, BNP, Jatiyo Party, Jamaat etc, who really has ever fought for the betterment of this country lately? Ask yourself that. You look at the recent history of this nation and its clear, they have only ever fought and shown leadership for their own survival and all their means are directed to that end. How much more blatant do their activities, misrepresentations and buffoonery have to be for you to say: “You know what, my support of this system is insulting to me.”

The prime minister extends an olive branch, the country appreciates the effort, and then we end up with an ultimatum. All this has happened before and will surely continue into the future. They cannot bring themselves to sit on a table together to improve their own working environment because of inflated egos and score settling, and you expect them to fight for you?

Therefore unless you have an intention to launch a party of your own and gather like-minded good people, and have the strength and fortitude, both monetarily and organisationally, to push through reforms, I suggest you go about your daily lives ignoring politics altogether.

Forgive me for being a naysayer, but you can only be actively helpful to your country when you first shut off from contributing to the ongoing poisonous rhetoric and admit that the system is rigged and broken. I am saving you the pain and recurrent disappointment.

I implore you, the least you can do to help this sham of a democracy, lest it get worse, is to not participate.

Yes, in an age when everyone encourages one to participate, I am advocating that you do not participate. I am asking you to be a cynic, a skeptic. I am asking you to seek answers. I am asking you to value your democratic right. Don’t vote either.

I ask this because your voice is being misconstrued to mean that you support those active in politics today. You are fueling their power. Well, I am fed up with that. No one represents me in our politics and they do not represent you, either. When someone tells you otherwise, ridicule them. Tell them your support is valuable. That your voice is not on sale and you have little wish to sell out cheaply.

The killing, arson, looting, political bickering, lies, insensitivity, cruelty, fights and protests will as usual continue to be a part of our lives but at least it will not have your support and your conscience will be clear.

So I am asking you to pick a side and the side I am asking you to pick is your own and if you have any hope left, then in earnest, back your country. Only when you pick that side and admit to yourself we have a problem, can you truly begin to fight the division that poisons Bangladesh. 

Matthew Islam is a Barrister-at-Law and CEO, Profusion Textiles.

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Slip into a pair of La Mode silver studded flats. Go all out on the eyes and the lips, keeping the outfit neutral and you are set for a crazy night out.

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