Sunshine Too Brief


All Contents copyright of
Tazzy at

I'm a self-absorbed Bengali-Torontonian;
Fish comes to me raw, wrappend in seaweed, not cooked in curry;
I love watching thunderstorms and rain;
Sad endings make more sense to me than happy ones;
I hate empty walls.

In the News

Craving of the week-
Dark Chocolate
Reading List-
Midnight's Children
Movie review(out of 5)-
127 hours- *****
Buried- ****
That Girl in Yellow Boots- **
Love of the week-
Seeing James Franco
Aim for the weekend-
Watch 'Going Postal' The Movie

My Novella: Samosa for the Arranged Souls

Introduction & Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapters 3, 4 & 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 6 continues

Chapter 7 & Epilogue

  • May 2004
  • June 2004
  • July 2004
  • August 2004
  • September 2004
  • October 2004
  • November 2004
  • December 2004
  • January 2005
  • February 2005
  • March 2005
  • April 2005
  • May 2005
  • June 2005
  • July 2005
  • August 2005
  • September 2005
  • October 2005
  • November 2005
  • December 2005
  • January 2006
  • February 2006
  • March 2006
  • April 2006
  • May 2006
  • June 2006
  • July 2006
  • August 2006
  • September 2006
  • October 2006
  • November 2006
  • December 2006
  • January 2007
  • February 2007
  • March 2007
  • April 2007
  • June 2007
  • July 2007
  • November 2007
  • December 2007
  • January 2008
  • February 2008
  • May 2008
  • June 2008
  • July 2008
  • August 2008
  • September 2008
  • October 2008
  • November 2008
  • December 2008
  • January 2009
  • February 2009
  • March 2009
  • May 2009
  • July 2009
  • October 2009
  • November 2009
  • December 2009
  • January 2010
  • February 2010
  • March 2010
  • April 2010
  • May 2010
  • July 2010
  • May 2011
  • Current Posts

  • Friends & Daily Reads

    Brainy Jane
    Megaphone Diaries
    Third World View
    Daily Dose of Imagery
    Bangladesh Photography
    Passive Aggressive Notes
    Fug Yourself
    @Tremendous News
    Global Voices
    Cake Wrecks

    Listings and Credits

    Powered by Blogger
    Blog designer
    Daily Dose of Imagery for side-panel picture
    Flickr Beta

    Thanks! You are my visitor number,


    Who's your daddy, USA?

    Canada! Thats who :)
    We had been saving seats at JackAstors on front since an hour before the game started. It was sheer madness inside with hockey fans and everyone dressed in patriotic reds. It got intense when US scored a second time in the last 20 seconds of the third round, tying the score. I think got even more nauseous with anxiety. Unusual for a non-sport fan like me. But 7 minutes into over-time Crosby scored a win!
    And just like that Canada won Hockey gold for the first time on home-soil for Winter Olympics. We also won the most number of gold medals for any host country in the history of Winter Olympics. How cool is that? This must be how USA feels all the time!

    As we poured onto front street, we were faced with hundreds of fans like these.

    Then we walked up along Yonge, hi-fiving other fans on the sidewalks, pouring onto the streets with EVERY car honking along to cheer us on and random renderations of the national anthem.

    R and I posing with the flag and some random hockey fan!

    Until we hit Dundas square...and saw more.

    The party is still going on as I type.



    A few weeks ago at a gathering at my place, someone pointed to my collection of books in Bengali and asked:  "Can you really read them?"

    For a second, I was tempted to mess with her and say. "No, I keep them for decorative purposes!"

    I didn't, but I'm always surprised at why people find it weird that I am fluent enough in another language to read entire novels written in a script so entirely different from English. Clearly, I have a non-Canadian accent when I speak English, meaning English is NOT my first language. So why should I not be bilingual? And why should I not display my first language, that which my mother spoke to me, with pride? We all should.

    I was reminded of this incident very recently since the 21st of February, which just passed, was celebrated as UNESCO's "InternationalMother Language Day" across the world. It has been observed yearly since 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism across the world. It is of particular significance to me because the proposal to declare the particulars of this day was sent by Bangladesh - the country of my birth and the country that fought for the right of its people to speak the language of their parents, Bengali.

    For Bangladesh, formally East Pakistan, the fight for the Mother Language was a fight for identity as well as against oppression. With the creation of state of Pakistan in 1945, it was decreed that "Urdu, and only Urdu" would remain as the official state language of Pakistan.  This decision was faced with immediate criticism from the Bengali-speaking majority living in East Pakistan because with one state language, the educated society of East Pakistan who spoke Bengali, would become "illiterate" and "ineligible" for government positions. Furthermore, the protesters against one official language were labeled as "Enemies of the State" for choosing to preserve their language and culture over the integrity and sovereignty of their nation. The government invoked a limited curfew against the provincial strike of university students across East Pakistan who called for Bengali to be recognized as the second official language of Pakistan. Protests were tamed down so as to not break the curfew. However, on February 21, 1952, the police fired on a group of young university students despite their peaceful protests and a number were killed. It started a wave of dissent and widespread protests across the province, until  Bengali was officially accepted as a second official language of Pakistan in 1954.  This is the monument built in the honor of the young souls do died during the movement.

    This Language Movement had a major cultural impact on the Bengali speaking population of Pakistan. Some historians have put it down as the beginnings of the internal conflict that ended with a civil war between the two sections of Pakistan and ultimately, the creation of the nation of Bangladesh in 1971. Throughout the entire time of the conflict until the present time, the 21st of February has been  celebrated as Language Movement Day or Shohid Dibosh(Martyrs' Day) in Bangladesh and has inspired the development and celebration of the Bengali language, literature and culture. A month-long event called the Ekushey Book Fair is held every year to commemorate the movement, the likes of which I'm yet to see anywhere. To take the message about the importance of preserving languages to a more global level, Bangladesh officially sent a proposal to UNESCO to declare February 21st "International Mother Language Day"; it was supported unanimously at the 30th General Conference of UNESCO held on November 17, 1999.

    So why is it important to preserve our mother language? Well, languages are the most powerful instruments of preserving and developing our tangible and intangible heritage. All movements to promote the dissemination of mother tongues will serve not only to encourage linguistic diversity and multilingual education but also to develop fuller awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions throughout the world and to inspire solidarity based on understanding, tolerance and dialogue.

    I have not noticed much celebration of "International Mother Language Day" in Canada, which quite surprises me. In Canada, the historic struggle between French and English colonizers to possess the "New World" resulted in the establishment of two "official" languages - English and French. Although they compete for use with many other languages, they still remain the two dominant languages of the country and that says a great deal about Canada's history, culture and heritage. The importance of preserving a mother language can only become more essential as Canada as a country becomes more and more multicultural. Unfortunately, the opposite happens. New immigrants arrive in Canada with their own mother languages and they are quite often made fun of because the way they speak English or French sounds "weird/different", when their multilingualism should be applauded. First generation immigrants, feeling the pressure to sound more "Canadian", also end up not doing enough to preserve the rich heritage of their languages and don't always pass it on to their next generations. I place myself among those people when I chat up my nephews in English more and more frequently.

    Being bi or multilingual should not make you "less Canadian"; it should make you more so because it truly represents the sprit of openeness that's supposed to exist in Canada. There are other benefits of being bi or multilingual as well. Recently, there has been a study by a scientist at the Baycrest Centre in Toronto which showed that being bilingual can delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease by a few years!
    I, for one, would like to see "International Mother Language Day"  celebrated with great gusto in Canada to truly appreaciate the rich heritage of our people, freshly arrived or not.