Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Quotation of the Week (February 22 - 28, 2015)

A quotation of John Erskine on 'beauty and charm of a woman,' compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Photo (An intricate woodcarving of a Hindu goddess in Karaikudi South Indian restaurant on Kennedy Road, Toronto: July 16, 2013) © Jerome D'Costa

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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Bengali Language in Bangladesh Is Losing Its Importance

 A weekly 'Bangla Kagoj' article on the waning position of the Bangla (Bengali) language in Bangladesh (Click on the above images to read them in an expanded format)
Through struggle and blood, the Bangla (Bengali) language earned its rightful place as one of the two state language of Pakistan after 1952.

Salam Saleh Uddin, in his Bengali-language article, published in the weekly Bangla Kagoj (February 17, 2015), provides the background of this language movement in Bangladesh culminating in the independence of the country in 1971 and Bengali being its sole state language.

The writer then demonstrates with facts and reasoning how the preeminence of this language in the country is gradually being jeopardized by unfocused and unthoughtful government policies and decisions. He says among 114 universities in the country, only 18 have the Bengali as a subject in the curricula. This is all the more shameful because countries around the world in every February 21 observe the International Mother Language Day following Bangladesh's example of the Bengali language movement

In addition, the globalization with its free economy and incursion of the international communication media (Internet, TV and films), the Bengali language in Bangladesh is under aggression from both English and Hindi languages.

To read the complete article of the Bangla Kagoj in an expanded format, you may click on the two images above.

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'Roktim Polash': A Book of Poems by Moon Rozario

Roktim Polash, a book of poems, by Moon Rozario
 Moon Rozario’s Roktim Polash (meaning 'red Polash flower', having the scientific name of butea monosperma) is a book of Bangla (Bengali) language poems, published by Jolark of Dhaka, Bangladesh.

This book is a collection of 71 poems, ranging from agony, hope, love and God to poet’s surroundings, seasons and persons around her. 
Her reflections  and feelings are expressed in her poems. 

Besides poems, Moon Rozario also writes short stories and novels. She is a Christian poet hailing from Noakhali region of Bangladesh.

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Today Is the Ekushey February: Bangladesh and World Honour Their Mother Languages

The Shaheed Minar (language martyrs' memorial) doodle by Jerome D'Costa
Today is the 63rd anniversary of the Bangladesh language martyrs' sacrifice of life for defending their mother language, Bangla (Bengali), against the encroachment of Urdu. 

On this day, the Bangladeshis all over the world pay their tribute to the language martyrs, called Bhasha Shaheed. Millions of Bangladesh citizens converge on their local Shaheed Minars to lay flowers, garlands and wreaths in honour of the martyrs. 

 In consonance with this day in Bangladesh, the world communities also observe this day as the International Mother Language Day.

To read more on the subject, you may visit our past blog posts at: Ekushey February.

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Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Quotation of the Week (February 15 - 21, 2015)

A quotation of George Santayana on 'the need for learning,' compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Photo (A cycle-van driver carrying wood in Tongi, Bangladesh: Jan. 10, 2012) © Jerome D'Costa

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Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day: Stories of Some Interfaith Couples in Ontario

L-R: Sahar (Muslim) + Alvaro (Catholic)

Today is the Valentine’s Day. Love is in the air all over.

On this day, it would be both interesting and enlightening to see that there are an increasing number of couples engaging in interfaith relationships.

Colin Boyd Shafer, a teacher-cum-documentary photographer, in his website, called Interlove explores ‘how people with differing beliefs come together in love.”

This website in next few months will profile 100 couples across Ontario with their individual stories. A number of stories, already published, are a fascinating read. These tell who they are, and how and why they fell for each other. 
L-R: Amanda (Atheist having New Darwinism spectrum) + Craig (Afrocentric Spirituality)

Photos courtesy:

Some of the couples mentioned there, in black-and-white photos and texts, come from following religious backgrounds: Jewish + Catholic, Muslim + Catholic, liberal and non-traditional Muslim + Greek Orthodox, Catholic + Agnostic, Jew-tile (Jew and gentile) + humanistic Jew, Atheist but culturally Jew + Aboriginal Anishnawbe Spiritality, and Catholic + Hindu.

You may visit the website, Interlove, to see the photos of these mixed faith couples and read their stories in detail.

More couples of interfaith backgrounds in Ontario can also visit this website and provide their details for inclusion in it.

Those who are photophiles (lovers of photographs) and want to see more photo projects of this same photographer, may visit his other website, called Colin Boyd Shafer.

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Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Quotation of the Week (February 8 - 14, 2014)

A quotation of Gail Godwin on 'teaching,' compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Photo (A sunrise seen through a car window in Toronto: Oct. 11, 2013) © Jerome D'Costa

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Saturday, February 7, 2015

Mary Ann Gomes Seeks Funding for Her FIDE Women's Chess Championship Trip to Sochi, Russia

Mary Ann Gomes, a chess player and a Woman Grand Master from Kolkata,receives the National Championship trophy at the Velammal 38th National Women Premier Chess Championship -- 2011 in Chennai, India

Mary Ann Gomes, hailing from a Bangali Catholic family in Kolkata, India, is an accomplished chess player and a Woman Grand Master. Recently she has been nominated to represent India for participation in the 2015 Federation Internationale de Echecs (FIDE) – World Chess Federation – Championship for Women to be held from March 16 to April 17, 2015 at Krasnaya Polyana in Sochi, Russia, reports Isaac Gomes, a member of the Indian Catholic Press Association. 

Sixty-four women chess players of different categories (Women’s World Championships 2012-2013, FIDE rating lists, World Junior Championships, Continental Zones, and FIDE President’s nominees) will compete for six rounds in Russia this year. 

The first five rounds of matches will consist of two games per round, with the winners progressing to the next round. The sixth and final round will be played over four games and the winner will be declared Women’s World Champion. 

As there is no financial sponsorship available for Mary Ann’s participation in Russia, she seeks any amount of voluntary contribution from well-wishers and individuals. She requires about a minimum of US $ 5,000 (Indian Rupees 310,000) for her travel to and from Russia, hotel accommodation, meals, further training and practice under experienced coaches and the like. 

Anyone, in India and abroad, willing to make a financial contribution, may contact Mary Ann Gomes at this email:

Mary Ann Gomes with a trophy
 Mary Ann Gomes, presently having the Elo Rating of 2355 for her chess playing and competitive skills, acquired the following achievements in the last decade:

  • Best Woman Player in “Grand Europe Golden Sands Open – 2013 (Bulgaria: June 10 – 18)

  • Bronze in Commonwealth and South Africa Open Chess Championship (for women) (Port Elizabeth, South Africa: July, 2013)

  • Bronze in World Team Chess Championship – 2013 (Astana, Kazakhstan)

  • Champion (Hat Trick) at 40th National Premier Women’s Chess Championship – 2013 (Kolkata, India)

  • Bronze in Commonwealth Chess Championship (for women) (Chennai, India: November, 2012)

  • Champion (Hat Trick) at 39th National Premier Women’s Chess Championship – 2012 (Jalgaon, India)

  • Champion (Hat Trick) at 38th National Premier Women’s Chess Championship – 2012 (Chennai, India)

  • Best Woman Player in International Grandmaster Chess Tournament – 2011 (Chennai, India: January 17 – 26)

  • Bronze in Commonwealth and South Africa Open Chess Championship (South Africa: November, 2008)

  • Gold in Asian Junior Chess Championship (for Under-20 Girls) (Chennai, India: December, 2008)

  • Silver in 38th Chess Olympiad (for women) (Dresden, Germany: November, 2008)

  • Gold in Asian Junior Chess Championship (for Under-20 Girls) (Mumbai, India: December, 2007)

  • Bronze in World Youth Chess Championship (for Under-18 Girls) (Georgia: October, 2006)

Woman Grand Master Mary Ann Gomes receives the International Masters Norm Certificate in Chennai in November, 2011

Mary Ann Gomes’ father Charles Vincent Gomes and late mother Freda Gomes, grandfather late Francis Gomes and great-grandfather late Shukhlal Gomes have ancestral roots to Atharogram area of Bangladesh. Their original home was at Paka Bari of Mohobbatpur Village, near Bandura, under Hashnabad Catholic Church parish. Presently they belong to St. Patrick's Church parish in Dum Dum area of Kolkata.

Grand Hotel in Krasnaya Polynaya in Sochi, Russia, where the 2015 FIDE Women's World Championship will be held in March and April
Photos: At the courtesy of  Isaac Gomes, Kolkata

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Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Quotation of the Week (February 1 - 7, 2015)

A quotation of Taisen Deshimaru Roshi on 'happiness,' compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Photo (Based on a photo of a bush in Toronto: Oct. 11, 2013) © Jerome D'Costa

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