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BICN 7-20 September 2000

Volume 4 Number 1


From the Editor

Homecoming 2000

Feature Article 

Reviews of '16 Decisions' - Critically Acclaimed Documentary on the Grameen Bank by Film Maker Gayle Ferraro

This Issue's Sponsors (Commercial Advertising) 

Badhon, The Largest And Only Computerized Matchmaking Agency In Bangladesh

Events Calendar, Dhaka & Beyond



Unofficial Bangladesh Cricket Page

For UK Muslims

The Impact Of Globalization: Briefing Notes From The World Bank

Non-Commercial Advertisements

  BICN is published first & third Wednesdays, September to May, from Dhaka Bangladesh. BICN welcomes announcements, personal ads, letters to the editor, press releases, and articles - all such  items appear FREE. 

Commercial ads are USD8 / Tk450 for <100 words - commercial includes all ads advertising an apartment/house/land for rent/sale; ads for employment available or sought other than household staff; ads for products and services offered for sale.  ONLINE SECURE CREDIT CARD PAYMENT FACILITY NOW AVAILABLE - WORLDWIDE.  

Email all inquiries &  items to . Next issue submission deadline Tue 17 Oct 2000. Email to subscribe. Sara Bennett, Editor.

(c) BICN. BICN items may be freely reprinted with this attribution: "Source: Bangladesh International Community News ( / )."




** HOMECOMING 2000 **

Welcome to the fourth year of publication of BICN. Will this be the year that we figure out how to cover costs??? Or how to get an enthusiastic volunteer on staff??? Stay tuned ... !

For those of you who are recently arrived in Dhaka, welcome (back) and let's hope the best for the coming year. For those of you who have been in Dhaka over the summer, I hope you and yours escaped the worst of the dengue epidemic. And for those elsewhere - are you missing Bangladesh, or not?!

Me, I'm stuck in Canada until the end of September. Thus the Events Calendar is pretty anemic in this issue - can't quite read the Gulshan bulletin boards from here. If some kind soul would like to go around and copy down upcoming events for the NEXT issue and email them to me(by Tues 19 Sep), it would be much appreciated, by me and by everyone else in the community I'm sure.

A special welcome to Victoria & Dee Deppert and son Oliver, who are returning to Dhaka for their Nth long-term stay in South Asia. When I first came to Bangladesh in the early 1990s, Victoria was my role model in how to survive & thrive as an expat woman/wife/mom. She now claims to have "forgotten everything" during her stint in the USA ... we'll see!




** Two Reviews of '16 Decisions' - Critically Acclaimed Documentary on the Grameen Bank by Film Maker Gayle Ferraro (email  ) **

The first review is by Dr. Abdul Shibli:

" ... the film was a treat. The narrative follows the life of a typical rural housewife and her day-to-day struggle to put food on the plate. Very realistic, not much glossed over. The mostly non-South Asian audience was moved at so many parts of the story that this woman had to tell. Reminded me of "Durga" in the Apu trilogy of Satyajit Ray. It was a 'virtual' trip through Bangladesh and a rich visual experience."

The second is by Chris Cooke:

"Gayle Ferraro's documentary '16 Decisions' explores how [Grameen Bank] loans have affected the lives of the Bangladeshi poor; in particular the life of one woman, Selina, an indentured servant as a young girl, wed in an arranged marriage at age 12, now mother of two children, and recent loan recipient.

"Like other women in receipt of loans, Selina attends regular meetings sponsored by the Bank, where the women account for their financial expenses. These meetings are also a method of propagating a social charter that the bank has found useful in ensuring that the lives of the people are stable enough to pay back their loans. This charter, called the 16 Decisions, serves to promote healthier living conditions ('We shall build and use pit-latrines,' 'We shall drink water from tubewells'); encourages pragmatic living ('We shall plan to keep our families small,' 'We shall minimize our expenditures'); strengthens the community ('We shall always be ready to help each other'), and eradicates archaic customs ('We shall keep the center free from the curse of dowry,' 'We shall not practice child marriage'). The women recite these decisions in unison at the meetings.

"If this all seems a bit Orwellian, it's certainly for a good purpose. The loans from the Bank have improved the quality of life of their recipients considerably, and the majority of the loans are paid off. Furthermore, Yunus asserts that the poor women themselves created the 16 decisions, not the bank.

"More interesting than the actions of the bank, however, are the day-to-day lives of the Bangladeshi people. Selina is inadvertently charming -- shy at first, then warming up to the camera. As she describes her acceptance of her lot in life, her sacrificed desires and resignation are subtly yet unavoidably exposed. As interviews with her parents, husband, and in-laws flesh out the story of her life, her perseverance and patience become all the more apparent.

"Ferraro's periodic voiceover is frequently redundant; her camera and subjects tell us all we need to know, and the film as a whole could use a little more dramatic impetus. But regardless, "16 Decisions" is a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the Bangladeshi poor. It would be difficult not to feel compassion for their plight having seen their efforts to improve the conditions in which they live.

"Boston-area filmmaker Gayle Ferraro has a BFA from the University of Massachusetts and Master's degrees from Boston University and Harvard University. For more information see or  ."

[These reviews were sent to the Alochona discussion group at by Mahmud Farooque (email  ). ]




Badhon, The Largest And Only Computerized Matchmaking Agency In Bangladesh

Badhon now lets you find your match through its online data base! No more tiresome process of 'arrangements' for finding a match. For further details check out  or write to us at , or call or visit our Uttara or City offices.

Badhon Uttara: House 19, Road 30 Sector 7, tel 8916966, 8918851, 8921067, fax: 8918798. Badhon City: 18, Dilu Road, tel 9331198 or 9342254. Matchmaking services since 1995.







To have your Bangladesh-related event - in Dhaka or anywhere else in the world - included in the next Event Calendar, please email the time, date, place, description, and email contact address to by Tues 16 May  00.

All events are in Dhaka unless otherwise noted. Entry to some events is restricted, eg to members - contact event organizers for more information.

[Event Calendar omitted from web version of newsletter]




** For UK Muslims **

Visit the UK Muslims Club 

Join the UK Muslims Mailing list by sending a blank e-mail to 

** The Impact Of Globalization: Briefing Notes From The World Bank **

Globalization is a much talked-about subject. But what is it actually? And what has been its impact? Is globalization increasing world poverty? Is it worsening world inequality? Is it causing deterioration in environmental standards?

Drawing on evidence from a large number of countries and concentrating on the international trade dimension of globalization, the World Bank has prepared a series of briefing notes addressing these questions, available on line at:  .

Other dimensions of globalization will be addressed in future notes.

[Submitted by Syed A. Mahmood, World Bank, email  ]




Always free:  ads to buy or sell used personal / household items or hire or place household staff, lost & found.  Email your information to . Note that for security/privacy reasons, ads contain only names and email addresses - residential addresses and phone numbers are not normally published.

[Non-Commercial Advertisements omitted from web version of newsletter]

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