BICN 7-20 September 2000
Volume 4 Number 1
IN THIS ISSUE
Reviews of '16
Decisions' - Critically Acclaimed Documentary on the Grameen Bank by Film Maker
This Issue's Sponsors (Commercial Advertising)
Largest And Only Computerized Matchmaking Agency In Bangladesh
Events Calendar, Dhaka & Beyond
Bangladesh Cricket Page
For UK Muslims
The Impact Of
Globalization: Briefing Notes From The World Bank
published first & third Wednesdays, September to May, from Dhaka Bangladesh.
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FROM THE EDITOR
** 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 email@example.com
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
"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 http://www.aerial-productions.com
[These reviews were sent to the Alochona discussion group at egroups.com by
Mahmud Farooque (email firstname.lastname@example.org
THIS WEEK'S SPONSOR
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EVENTS CALENDAR, DHAKA & BEYOND
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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 email@example.com
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