Bangladesh: Christmas & Eid celebrations, cold days and heated up politics

Like any other country Christmas was celebrated in Bangladesh with much enthusiasm. Tom of Bangladesh Barta shares his experience of celebrating Christmas in Bangladesh. Being a majority Muslim country should Christmas remain a minority festivity in Bangladesh? Sadiq of Inspirations and Creative Thoughts compiles some historical facts and lessons which depicts that both Muslims and Christians have a lot to learn from Christmas. Christmas does not only have religious flavor in it but also a lot of local cultural elements. Welsh expat Andrew Morris tells a tale of three Christmases depicting the different cultural aspects of Christmases as celebrated in the different parts of the world. Such religious festivities can be part of every family. Sanjida shows how a Muslim family celebrated Christmas in the US.

Eid-ul-Azha or Bakri (sheep) Eid coincided with the first day of New Year (2007) in Bangladesh. People had double fun. This Eid marks with the sacrificing of animals, the meat of which are distributed in prescribed portions to the relatives and the poor. But in the absence of slaughter houses, the animals are kept in homes and some times controversially sacrificed on the street. You can imagine the situation from Tanvir's comment:

“I've got a goat in my toilet and a cow downstairs. This is the best Eid ever!!”

Meanwhile just before Eid Bangladeshis were glued to TV and voted amass via sms and internet to choose the winner of ‘Close Up1: Tomakei Khujche Bangladesh 2006′, Bangladesh's answer to the American idol.

Shaon and Samira post details on Salma Akhter, this year's winner. It was a remarkable journey for her coming from a very poor family and slowly growing in confidence to be the best amongst the 54000 candidates.

South Asia Biz reports that a cold wave is sweeping over the South Asian countries and killing many people. Ershad Ahmed has some photos depicting how people in Dhaka city got effected by the cold wave. People may wonder how cold it is! Drishtipat draws a comparison that what 7.7 degreed Celsius may not be seen as cold in many parts of the world, but in Bangladesh, where poor people live in not insulated Bamboo huts or on the streets, this much cold means death for children and the elderly. Let alone heating system many cannot afford a warm fire or a blanket or a sweater. Cold waves do not kill people but poverty does.

In these cold days Bangladeshi politics arena heated up with many issues. Many in Bangladesh were stunned as the secular party in Bangladesh politics Awami League reached an MOU with Khelafat Majlish, a right wing Islamic party for a political alliance as a ‘tactical electoral ploy’ for the next election. Drishtipat writes an open letter to the Awami League General Secretary protesting this decision, which will enable the Islamists to issue fatwas, which are banned in Bangladesh. Shada Kalo blog asks ‘is there no sane person left in AL leadership'?

Bangladesh's upcoming election process became uncertain as Awami League and its grand alliance decided to boycott the election. A Nikonian's blog analyses that a strong possibility of this election being skillfully engineered and that is the reason behind the decision. Their current agitations and blockade programs are being brutally controlled by the Security Forces. Drishtipat blog has some pictures of the police atrocities.

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