Cultural Nationalism

This essay has been penned by Rushaed Ahsan for CDLS which was hosted by Modern School in India.

Cultural Nationalism refers to collective practices that form modern political communities within, unsanctioned by, or even undercutting state authority.

Cultural Nationalism is a form of nationalism in which the nation is defined by a shared culture. It is an intermediate position between ethnic nationalism on one hand and liberal nationalism on the other.

Ethnic nationalism is a form of nationalism wherein a state is defined in terms of ethnicity, which means an affiliation resulting from racial or cultural ties.

Liberal or Civic nationalism in in which importance of the values of freedom, tolerance, equality and individual rights are upheld. It also show its importance towards an individual to have a national identity.

As uncommon as it may sound, the origins or the development of cultural nationalism took place in Ireland in the 19th century, the place which is famous for its beer. During this time the Irish became anglicized, which means adoption of English as a personal preferred language.

By 1880’s most of the population spoke English, read English books and played English games. Although the Irish got their independence, their nationalism seemed alike to the Englishmen. This showed lack of national identity. Hence through cultural nationalism they tried to develop aspects of Irish life which were uniquely different from the British lifestyle.

The growth of new forms of cultural nationalism- The Gaelic Athletic Association  (GAA), Gaelic League (GL), and literary revival, and also the occurrence of a number of important political  initiatives – the birth of Sinn Fein, the rejuvenation of the Irish Republican Brotherhood   (IRB) and the emergence of a stronger labor movement.

The history of European peoples and cultures from the prehistoric times to the present is also significant, as Europe at the present is one of the most important continents of the world thanks to the European Union.

Europe is a more ambiguous term than most geographic expressions. Its etymology is doubtful, as is the extent of the  physical area it designates. Its western frontiers seem clearly defined by its coastlines, and yet the position of the British Isles remains equivocal.

To outsiders, they appear clearly a part of Europe. Too many British and some Irish people, however, “Europe” essentially means continental Europe.

To the south, Europe ends on the northern shores of the Mediterranean sea. Yet, to the Roman Empire, this was an inland sea rather than a frontier. Even now, there are questions about where or not Malta and Cyprus are European islands.

The greatest uncertainty lies to the East, where national frontiers are notoriously elusive. If the Ural Mountains mark the east boundary of Europe as it lies to the south of them?

These questions have acquired new geographical importance as Europe has come to be more of a geographical expression. Historically Europe was forced into unity first by the Holy Roman Empire and the Roman Catholic Church. Later, though a number of political theorists proposed plans for the European Union, which both Napoleon Bonaparte and Adolf Hitler tried to implement. It was not until the world war II that the union was proposed peacefully to avoid any further future wars in Europe.

At present time cultural nationalism is becoming an important part in the formation of public policies. As cultural factors influence economic behavior, political participation, social solidarity, value formation, and evolution of different countries in different ways. The competing hypotheses cultural nationalism evident literature has significant influence on public policy.

There are some areas of public policy which can be improved through consideration culturism including testing of cultural variables on public success and failure, relationships between national cultures and preference for the different types of multi- level governance systems.

In my opinion cultural nationalism is not only important for public policies but also for national development. In Bangladesh, a country which contains a diverse amount of cultures all blended together in it. These cultures can influence the number of cultural celebrations which go on in the country. From those celebrating Muslim to Hindu To Buddhist To Christian holidays. We the citizens of Bangladesh not only get to see these celebrations but also enjoy more holidays than in any other nation.

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Quick to the draw, such a tragic flaw.

Bangladesh.PNG
This Reminds Me of Oliver Barrett IV from Erich Segal’s Love Story, always too quick to judge, didn’t even know his father was a good guy until the second book!

Here’s the thing, if those kids “Child labor” don’t get employed by the RMG (Ready Made Garments) sector, they don’t bring in any income home.

What does that mean?

Their parents kick them out since they are no longer useful and become just an extra mouth to feed in a starving household. It’s straight to the streets for them.

Loads of them end up being picked up by gangs or turn into junkies since they got nothing better to do with their lives.

Truth be told, while child labor is horrible, it’s better than being out on the streets living a half life.

So before anyone gets up on a high horse and says “I won’t buy clothes made in a sweatshop” please realize you’re aggravating the situation, thanks.

Morality is great and all, but not at the expense of the lives you are “trying” to protect.

Also, while those kids would be better off in school, that takes money and in the current status quo, the schooling system in Bangladesh needs an overhaul. Over 250,000 people don’t get into college each year and end up in stasis with their lives, unsure of what to do next.

The Importance Of Being Someone Who Can Say “NO!” At Will

Written by: Ruminator

Say No To Saying Yes.

Yes Men are essentially people who are willing to agree to just about any request they have been asked to fulfill as long as it makes the person asking for a favor happy.

Ironically people are never happy so they keep asking for more and more. This means that the authority figure can basically go unquestioned as well as unopposed which is an invitation for further exploitation.

The reason Yes Men are not ideally suited to some challenging leadership roles is that sometimes negative feedback is necessary. It is impossible for a human being to be correct 100% of the time and not secretly be ‘Earth’ from the trilogy Hitch Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.

Without criticism, the person in charge will not grow as an individual and learn from his or her mistakes. Nonetheless even in the case of responding to criticism it is advisable to only take heed if it is good constructive criticism. If a Yes Man were to keep changing every time someone spoke out against him, he would be little more than a Ditto from Pokemon.

With that being said, let us take a glance at Elie Wiesel’s words.

The people taking advantage of the said Yes Men can be described using adjectives I am not currently at the liberty to use. To put it in a civil way, they are opportunists who spot people that are willing to look past their obvious faults and try to discern something good out of their characters.

Fortunately for me my mum once said, “The best trait of person X’s character is that he has no character to start with.”

These are people who will tell you what you want to hear instead of what they believe is best for you.

To effectively address this situation, you will have to learn how to say NO.

If you have a hard time saying no, I suggest you learn the ways of Grumpy Cat.

You may need expert negotiating skills, however, as Grumpy Cat says “NO” to taking on any pupils.

To conclude, the movie Yes Man is a good example of how saying Yes to new activities can introduce some fun change to life, yet at the same time, it also displays how saying Yes all the time can lead to unnecessary problems.

Which is worse: To have too little or to have too much?

Written by: Rakimul Huq, Class XI.

Editor’s comment after reading the essay: Can we have too much of too little? Is that possible?

Also Charles Foster Kane from ‘Citizen Kane’ tried to purchase love.. but failed miserably…

Modern Lifestyle is nothing more than a race. Everywhere you go there is a sense of competition, and surely there is a lot at stake for this to be the way it is. Most societies have one thing in common, there is a competition that runs on the greed, and avarice of others for money. No matter what we do, we all have the same desire, the same goal, the same dream- Money.

They say money can’t buy you health. Yet it enables you to afford a heart or kidney transplant. Many claim that money cannot buy you happiness. Yet, the majority would prefer to cry in a limousine rather than smile on a bicycle.

Is it true that money cannot earn you love? Money itself is an unauthentic contrived attraction, which will ensure that you are overflown by false love as long as you are rich. So is too much money a good thing to have?

Too much money could also ruin your personality. It gives you a strange sense of pride and makes you lose your respect for others, distract you from your responsibilities, and fills your heart with arrogance.

Once you have it all, you become greedier, and avarice working in close conjunction with pride (as we all know) are the sources of cruelty and misery, not to mention two of the 7 deadly sins.

What is the meaning of being wealthy if you can only live for a brief period of time on this planet?

On the other hand, having too little money can never be helpful. The undeniable fact is that the world runs on money, and he who does not have it will be forced to deal with the bitter coldness of life. Every step will be a struggle and every effort made to move forward would be like sailing against the wind.

Yet, it is not that bad a situation to have too little money. Firstly, it develops one’s endurance and mental maturity. Secondly, the hunger for a better life can sometimes be the incentive to bring out the best of one’s self. Thirdly, anyone who struggles so much in life will never take things for granted and knows the true value of hard work.

The truth about money is that it comes and goes with the ebb of time. A wise man once said, “There are two things that define you: Your patience when you have nothing and your attitude when you have everything.”

Speaking for myself, I would give away all the money in the world to have a true smile on my face.

Highschool Is Where People Feel Low

Penned by: Jawad Mahruj Khan

High school is a critical time in the life of young people. On the one hand, teenagers are eager to enjoy their freedom and independence. On the other hand, they must be disciplined enough to keep their priorities straight. In my opinion, three social institutions impact high school students the most at this vulnerable time – the family, peer group and school.

First and foremost, the family plays the central role by providing the backdrop in a young person’s life. A positive family environment provides love, support and encouragement for the student to do his/her best. Simultaneously, the family aims to instill discipline and ambition in the child. The influence and expectations of family members remain paramount at this time and throughout a young person’s life.

However, don’t forget that as a child turns into a teenager, the peer group begins to play an increasingly important role in his or her life. The friendships one develops at this highly sensitive stage can affect ones attitude to studies, authority, society and the world. In the right company, young people can get involved in positive activities that support their academic performance. With the wrong crowd, teenagers could develop a host of unhealthy and dangerous habits which impact not only their grades but all aspects of their lives.

Lastly, the school itself is a deciding factor in the student’s academic success. A variety of elements determine how the students feel about school: the teachers, the staff, the facilities, the subjects, the text books, the method of instruction and more. All of these have a significant impact on the young person’s motivation to excel.

Overall, high school success is the product of various influences. We are all fortunate that, aside from a few unfortunate exceptions, the majority of students worldwide aspire to do well and grow up to become active and healthy participants in the world around them.

Bed of Rose Thorns

Written by the person who wrote it. Class? In a class of his own.

The writer Orchit Rahman has given me the go ahead for mentioning his name.

Life is not fair to anyone thus comes the statement, “Life is not a bed of roses.” Everybody is equal in this world, but life does not treat everyone equally. We have to struggle to survive in this vast and competitive world. Some are born with a golden spoon in their mouth, as for others it is not the same case. With hard work comes success, and to accomplish that success we have to work hard.

Life is a cardiogram line: it is full of ups and downs. When we have ups we have to be confident about it, and when we are down we should be hopeful.

My life has hit rock bottom. No one has ever accepted me for who I am. I have suffered all my life. The fountain of youth is not a monument I had the luxury to visit. My parents were never there as my mother and father worked two jobs to support our family and my education. Still I could not get the promised quality education due to our financial crisis. I also did not have a great time at school because the teachers did not treat me appropriately. I had no close friends; I was in a world of my own. The weaker people in my society have been treated much more badly than me, so whenever I expressed my sorrows people were quick to point that out to me. However, relative happiness does not in any possible way assuage one’s unhappiness.

I knew that life is not a bed of roses. I had to find a way to make people accept me as it was the only way I would be treated as a normal person in this world. I had to struggle a lot to make my friends accept me. I used to take money from my mother every day and saved it so that I could present fancy treats to my lavishly rich friends. After giving them treats, they started to make me feel welcome and made me a part of their clique. My mother was becoming suspicious about what I did with the money she gave me. I told her that I was using it to eat lunch. Now that I was feeling accepted by my friends, they started to talk to me, and for once in my life I felt happy like I was somewhere I belong.

We have to be happy and content with whatever we have. We have to work hard all our lives in order to live a life like Richie Rich. We work hard so that we can survive in this world as life is not a bed of roses. Even though I did so many things in order to gain acceptance from my friends, they slowly began to ignore me, yet again. They did not talk to me properly. Also, they looked down on me in a condescending manner because they saw me for what I was(‘nt), a ‘low-class’ boy. Life brought me back to the same state I was in previously: Not square one, no that would be far too kind, I became stuck at square nothing.

Forgiveness Or Forgetfulness?

We can forgive others, but can we forgive ourselves?

Oscar Wilde once said in no uncertain terms that, “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” More often than not, we reluctantly accept the faults of our friends. Yet, we turn into an angry, tomato throwing, beet root red faced critic when we stare into the mirror. Why is that? What could possibly be so irredeemable about ourselves? I only wish that I knew.

In spite of being overly critical, it is wise to note that failure is the backbone of graduation for any self-respecting student. While not so much the funny bone but more the raw nerve failure is still a topic that should be discussed during relevant discourse.

Focusing on our failures, as surprising as it sounds, can be a cathartic release. Below this swollen vein lies our funny bone, the core of our humor. All we have to do is tap into it for inspiration. According to Rammstein, “deep waters don’t run still!” which is another way of saying that seemingly complicated problems are in fact quite simple in nature and have nothing interesting to offer.

Appearance should not be the yardstick to judge others by. What may seem innocuous at first could turn out to be deadly: A wolverine for example, appears to be cute and cuddly at first sight, but make no mistake, it can steal food from a bear as well as take down a moose. Failure is not a wolverine. It doesn’t have Adamantium claws.

Good can come of bad. If not for the constant chattering of my classmates, I would never have been able to appreciate the soundness of mind I experience when I’m meditating below the waterfall of Buckethead’s music, all by myself.

Astounding is the human mind’s ability to forget! Trust, on the other hand, is quite another matter. Oscar Wilde also happened to say,”A true friend stabs you in the front”.  Although that does sound like a mawkish line forever sentenced to second rate renditions of Julius Caesar with Brutus yelling the line to himself at the top of his lungs while he commits the unthinkable, it is an effective saying.

A real friend would, at the very least, check with you before doing something you frown upon. It is called common courtesy. I for one, believe that someone who gives others a heads up before wronging them has a good heart and an ambiguous-ambivalent character. There is nothing wrong with forgiving someone like that. No, I would go so far as to make it mandatory! Truthful-liars and honest hardworking hoodwinkers are a scarce breed of men, are they not?

Saving the best for last is something we should do more often. That way when whatever we look at seems hopeless and bleak, there will always be an UV ray of sun, a single solitary sliver of our soul, which will guide us on our way to self-acceptance.

Accordingly, a zen buddhist teaching seems fitting: Inner peace comes with accepting yourself and everything around you as they are. Friedrich Nietzsche knew this sensation to be ‘Amor Fati’.

Last but not least, Oscar Wile- Yes this is the third time I’m quoting him- imparted his wisdom to us by articulating thus,

“I hope you have not been leading a double life, pretending to be wicked and being good all the time. That would be hypocrisy.”

Editorial: What do Certificates Certify? (Parody)

This post is not intended to be taken seriously.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? is a Latin phrase found in the work of the Roman poet Juvenal from his Satires (Satire VI, lines 347–8). It is literally translated as “Who will guard the guards themselves?”

Is there a special place certificates have to go before they get the required certification to become a chartered certificate? (ACCA= Association of Certificate Collectors & Awardees)

What with the recent influx of students striving to accumulate as many certificates as possible, the overall market value might have diminished as a consequence.

Think about it in this way: If everyone in the country who studies under national curriculum achieves GPA 5, then the universities will raise the bar and set Golden GPA as a minimum requirement. Similarly, if all the students chase certificates and not excellence in a particular field, then they would be missing out on the full package while at the same time making things difficult for themselves as well as others. An analogy can be constructed: Certificates are a lot like currency in the sense that more doesn’t necessarily mean better. A Dollar is worth 77 Taka.

Do not misconstrue what I am attempting to express. In no way is participation a bad thing. However, if people take part in events with the sole objective of getting a certificate then the event might be missing out on its target audience. This does to a certain extent affect the quality of the event without the organizers being at fault.

There are those who are genuinely interested in a plethora of different subjects and would like to possess a diverse repertoire. And there are those who prefer to focus on a particular subject with a one track mind. Although, both kinds of students are different, as long as they remain focused on whatever it is that they are doing, and act with passion and curiosity, that in itself is an achievement. One which cannot be “certified”.

To redefine ECA, watch this video.

Equal: The artificial sweetener we have all come to know and love!

Written by Ahnav Ahmed, Class XI, Green

Is everybody equal?

In the face of God, everyone is.

Does God exist?

What does it mean to exist?

“When walking down a lane in which you can either choose to believe or not to believe in god, no matter how much faith you have in god, when your life is on the line, you know you look both ways.” – House M.D

Finding an answer is important, but looking for one may not be the wisest decision. Sometimes, answers cannot be found no matter where you look. And so sometimes, you’ll find answers when you’re not even searching.

So would you say everyone is equal?

What do you define by equal?

We can try to measure a person’s worth so that we can understand it better. This way, we can represent complicated and difficult personalities in a universal numerical language. We can try.

Science is the product of mankind’s hunger for knowledge. It is said to have its own set of pros and cons. However, upon close inspection, most of the pros are ignorantly justified by us. Of course, what’s right and what is wrong is as distinct as two shades of the color grey. Whether the lighter or the darker shade is better is up for debate.

Set of ethics, morals, sense of right and wrong. Do we really have the right to discriminate? Sounds a bit self-centered if you ask me.

The world has the potential to have an inifnite amount of rules. So why do we need to follow someone else’s’ rules? Because somebody else will call you a cheater, or accuse you of having no honor? Why should I feel honor for a game I am being forced to play? A game that separates, classifies, distinguishes, discriminates, and determines our worth?

Is that right?

Sure, you can make your own paradigm of rules. Make a game that accepts you, makes you feel better about yourself while letting others play their own game. Follow their own rules. What would be the purpose of doing this? Making yourself feel less rejected, more at home. A place where you belong. But it’s rather futile.

In the end, none of that will matter. The game where you were the winner, feeling confident enough to face all the other winners of the differently named games will only get so far. But at one point you should realize how useless it all is.

Because the trick, my friend, is not to run after pride and become a winner. My answer is not to play at all.

Hear Or To Be Heard

Hear or to be heard.

Written By:

Jawad Mahruz Khan, Class XI, Section Blue

Imagine yourself standing inside a large auditorium, giving a glorious speech. Now, fluctuate your mind to a quite different setting, say in front of a food stand where you are arguing boldly with a friend. I presume you would much rather prefer to be on that platform, letting the people hear you. However, one must realize that although each of us enjoys being heard, listening is a vital skill that is often ignored. How do you expect people to listen to you if you don’t listen yourself?

Let’s look at all the good that has been brought by hearing others. Listening, is by definition, an active role by which one can both take part in a conversation and hear another opinion. By listening, you are making the time required to arrange your thoughts, format your ideas and then say something in context to what you heard.

Barrack Obama is the greatest example I can refer to in attempting to explain. The flair of his personality does come neither from his deep voice nor from his resounding persistency; it is due to his unparalleled ability to listen the voice of the poor, the voice of the neglected, and the voice of the common man. His attempts at resolving major issues such as expensive health care and education go deep into the lives of the people suffering from misery and have changed their lives for the better. The amazing feats he has achieved in his 7 years as President would not be possible by a mortal man, if not for the fact that he values every single person’s opinion.

Joan of Arc was an avid reader- a reader of people’s minds. This is the result of Joan being an active listener. If it was not her who heard the voices of the farmers, the voices of the weeping old ragged men who had seen both their father and sons being mercilessly killed by the British, and quite controversially the voice of God, there would be no France. Because she has an active listener, she managed to both hear and be heard; a whole nation of tired men was ready to give their lives for her, sacrifice for the one true purpose.

“The barriers preventing the solution to all human conflict would be broken if only people would listen first.”-McLellan, PG. Is it not beautiful to be silent and hear the magic inside everyone? Of course it is! Listening is a crucial instrument that can be mastered with practice, and it is one we must all endeavor to learn.