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BICN 2 May - 6 Jun 2001

Volume 4 Number 15

From the Editor

Last Issue Before Summer Break
Help Wanted - BICN Editor 

Letters to the Editor

[none this issue]

Feature Article

"The Busy, Busy Mru, " Mis-Interpreted by Reng Yu

This Issue's Sponsors (Commercial Ads)

Jazz It Up In Singapore - Singapore International Jazz Festival Presented By Singapore Airlines (SIA)

Translation Services Offered: Bangla/English - English/Bangla

Offered for Sale - Easy Bangla Software (Version 2.0 With Voice) For Foreigners & Bangladeshi Children Abroad

Seeking A Capable Young Lady Executive For Modern IT Cybercafe in Hajipara Dhaka

Offered for Sale - Easy Bangla Software (Version 2.0 With Voice) For Foreigners & Bangladeshi Children Abroad

Ethnic Bandarban Hilltract Tours: Specials for Dhaka Expats

Effective Bangla Language Center (EBLC)

Lake Facing Apartment To Let

Community Announcements

Dhaka International Christian Church: Home/Small Groups
For Bright Young Canadians With Itchy Feet - Internships for Young Canadian Professionals 
BWA Yard Sale

Events Calendar, Dhaka & Beyond


UNWA Bangladesh Website 
Night View of the World from the NASA Space Station 
Bangladesh Chapter, 2001 Annual Report of 
Reporters Sans Frontières
Dengue Website
Ricksha Web
Might Be Useful Websites?

Personal Advertisements

Subscription, Advertising, & Other Details

Next issue submission deadline Tue 4 Sep 2001.

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

Get BICN on your handheld! Visit:

From the Editor 

Last Issue Before Summer Break

Next BICN will come out the first week of September. With a new editor, I hope ...

Help Wanted: BICN Editor

Well, here it is finally, the official help wanted ad for a new BICN Editor for next year... 

HELP WANTED: Editor, BICN email newsletter, 2001-2. Tasks: 

  1. Produce the BICN email newsletter from September 2001 to May 2002, on a monthly or bimonthly basis (this is negotiable). The editor assembles the newsletter from: information received by email from community organizations, subscribers, and others; and from other sources eg Club bulletin boards, surfing the Web, reprinting of articles (with permission) that have appeared elsewhere, commercial ad copy submitted by advertisers etc. At the editor's option, s/he may publish original writing of his/her own and/or solicit original writing from others.
  2. Respond to inquiries about commercial advertising, finalize commercial ad copy submitted by prospective advertisers, collect or receive ad payments from advertisers, maintain an up to date receipt book.
  3. At your option, work with the owner to convert BICN from free to paid subscriptions starting with the early October 2001 issue. 
  4. As time and inclination permit, devise & implement ways to promote BICN to the community, on- and off-line.

Qualifications: Resident in Dhaka or in Bangladesh with Dhaka connections. Adequate written English and editing skills; any form of journalism experience a plus. Own computer with Internet connection, and reasonable proficiency in use of standard Internet clients (browser, email, etc.) and word processing. An interest in communications & community welfare. Able to put in 10-15 person-hours for each issue. Committed to work through the full publication year (Sep-May). Able to meet publication deadlines consistently and keep track of petty cash (ie advertising remits). 

Remuneration: Lots of fame, not so much fortune. This is basically a quasi-volunteer position with a minimal to modest honorarium. The 2001-2 editor will retain 100% of revenues from local commercial advertising [these were USD 146 for 1999-2000, USD 270 for 2000-1 - with no marketing - and could reasonably be expected to continue increasing, more rapidly if promoted.]. If/when BICN is converted to paid subscriptions, subscription revenues will be split between the editor and owner (who would like to recover some or all of out-of-pocket website hosting charges etc.) by some mutually-agreed formula. The annual revenue from subscriptions for 2001-2 is projected to be between USD 300 and USD 1000. [Based on an estimated free-to-pay conversion between 5% and 15%; 900 free subscribers; subscription rates of USD 9/year for individuals, USD5.50/person-year for group subscriptions; 50% individual, 50% group subscriptions.] 

If you are interested in this position, please email

Letters to the Editor

[none this issue]

Feature Article

The Busy, Busy Mru, Mis-Interpreted 

By Reng Yu ['Big Snake' AKA David Buckley of Bangladesh Ecotours, email . Bangladesh Ecotours is working with the Mru, a small tribal group living in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, to develop environmentally and socially appropriate tourism. See their ad in the Ads section of this issue.]

Like many ethnic groups the Mru people have a 'lost book' legend:

Long, long ago, not so long after setting up the universe, Thurai (God) visited Earth and called an international conference of all the races and tribes of men together. After the meeting, He began the distribution of scriptures to all the different peoples. Everyone on the planet was represented, except the Mru. 

The Mru did in fact get their invitation, albeit a bit late (those hilly postal services!), but so typically, they all discussed it together and came to the decided that they were simply far too busy to attend. "After all it is planting season and we all have so many things to do, quite impossible! Besides what's the point of it all, we'll just be insulted by all the other people as we dress and live so simply," they concluded.

Anyway, at the end of the ceremonies and as everyone was leaving to their respective homes, villages, and countries, the creator noticed that there was still one book left. "Ahh, this is the Mru book", he thought aloud, "they obviously were too busy to attend. I don't want to carry it back - Mmm, what to do?" 

Well there was a big, strong cow passing by and Thurai asked if he'd mind delivering the instruction manual on his way home. Of course the cow agreed at once thinking he'd get lots to eat in the hills. So, after God gave him detailed directions and bid him good luck, off wandered the cow.

Well, being a bit different and wishing to stay a bit aloof, the Mru live on the tops of the hills (as opposed to most of the hilly people who prefer to live in the valleys). So the cow was climbing and climbing and climbing and... becoming really exhausted and finding no food around (it was the jhoom time and the shrubs were all burnt to ash as fertilizer for the next planting), wondered what to do. 

Finding no alternative, and being rather lazy as cows tend to be, he finally decided just to eat the banana leaf on which the book was written. After arriving at the Mrus' place, he explained everything. 

The ancient Mru in a really unheard of exhibition of excitement, speared the cow and as the remains of the scripture was still on his cud, (cows are constantly re-chewing their food) they pinned his tongue to a decorated bamboo post, had a huge party with plenty of dancing and music and rice wine, what else to do? 

Thus began the 'Mru Cow Festival' or the real title of this little saga.

### The End ### (of Part One...)

This Issue's Sponsors (Commercial Ads)

Jazz It Up In Singapore - Singapore International Jazz Festival Presented By Singapore Airlines (SIA)

Promising to be Asia's biggest jazz event, the Singapore International Jazz Festival will be held at Suntec City/Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre from 18 to 20 May 2001. This three-day festival will showcase more than 50 performances by over 150 of the greatest US and Asia-Pacific jazz stars, including a number of Grammy award winners. Performances will be featured of many outstanding artists including Ernie Watts, Eldee Young, Vanessa Rubin, Lee Ritenour, Terumasa Hino, Tuck and Patti; and the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Alumni/Jazz Living Legends featuring James Moody, Slide Hampton, Jon Faddis, and John Lee.

Tickets for the mainstage program are priced at SGD60, SGD90, and SGD120, with discounts for all KrisFlyer members and American Express Card members. Please contact your nearest Singapore Airlines office for further information. Payment by international credit card is required.

For those in Bangladesh, there is the Singapore Experience package that provides Three Days/Two Nights hotel accommodation, plus an Economy Class air ticket on Singapore Airlines for USD555 (twin sharing basis).

For any further information, please contact Mr Ahsan Sharif, Senior Marketing Officer, Singapore Airlines, Bangladesh Office, office tel 9883259, mobile 018-216839, email .

For more information about the festival, visit .

Translation Services Offered - Bangla/English-English/Bangla 

Bangladeshi, with a US engineering degree would like to do translation work on part time basis at home. Bangla to English and vice versa. Material may be emailed if desired for ease of handling. Rate is Tk 3 per word. Expect to translate about 500 - 1000 words per day. If interested in this service or something similar, please contact Syed Quader at 

Seeking A Capable Young Lady Executive For Modern IT Cybercafe in Hajipara Dhaka

The search is on for a capable young lady executive to start work immediately in a newly set up modern IT cybercafe in Hajipara, Dhaka.

Desired qualifications: reasonable working knowledge of sales services, basic computer operation, and client relations.

Initially the work will be to represent the firm and provide services to up to a maximum of 12 computer users at a time in an exclusive information super highway ambiance.

Working hours are six days a week from 9am to 6pm. An attractive package with competitive salary will be offered. For a career-oriented woman, a career path to top management and to business partner is possible.

Interested candidates please email a brief CV with a PP size color photograph immediately to or . Only short-listed candidates will be contacted for an interview.

Ethnic Bandarban Hilltract Tours: Specials for Dhaka Expats

Once again our 'Expat Special' is on offer -- book this month in groups of 4-6 for a tours anytime in 2001 and get up to 25% discounts! Profits go directly to indigenous projects.

Join us in the Bandarban Hills in southeastern Bangladesh and visit the easygoing tribal people, boat along the Sangu river, walk through verdant hills, stay in a hilltop cottage, imbibe a little moonshine, and sway to hypnotic Mru music!

Contact Reng Yu, your tour coordinator, anytime at or mobile 018-318345, or click .

Offered for Sale - Easy Bangla Software (Version 2.0 With Voice) For Foreigners & Bangladeshi Children Abroad

Easy Learn Bangla Software (Ver. 2.0) by '212 Soft Bangladesh' will help you learn Bangla by yourself at home in a short time. It is very user friendly and fun to play with; foreigners who tested it for us gave us very positive responses. Features of the program include:

  • Introduction to the Bangla language
  • Bangla alphabet and numbers, with animated writing order, scientific pronunciation with voice, and automatic English-to-Bangla number conversion
  • Easy Bangla Grammar, a simplified approach to Bangla Grammar
  • Useful daily conversations with voice- such as greetings, getting around, food and restaurants, asking directions, around town, making hotel reservations, shopping, talking on the telephone, emergencies, Bangla proverbs etc.

To run the software, you need to have a computer with Windows 95 +,Pentium processor, 16Mb RAM, 5 Mb free hard disk space and a CD-ROM drive.

To purchase, visit Aarong's Dhaka (Dhanmondi, Gulshan) or Chittagong outlets. Or, email to arrange delivery to your home or office (by courier to international addresses). Software price net of shipping is Tk1000 / USD18. For more information, please contact Dr. Aminul Karim Chowdhury, 212 Soft Bangladesh, S/25 Noorjahan Rd, Mohammadpur, Dhaka-1207, Bangladesh, tel +880(2)8115958, cell 018-239711.

Effective Bangla Language Center (EBLC)

A new Bangla language center in Banani with a grop of the most experienced instructors. We promist to make your life easier in Bangladesh. Courses are offered to individuals and groups:

  • Course 1, Survival Bangla - 20 2-hour sessions focusing on speaking and understanding
  • Course 2, Basic Bangla - 20 2-hour sessions with the introduction of reading and writing
  • Advanced course - focusing on Bengali customs, culture, historical, social, and religious aspects
  • Special course for diplomats
  • Crash course in spoken Bangla specially designed for Western children
  • Intensive course & individual instruction tailored to students' needs

All instructors are former senior staff of HEED Language Center, each with 12+ years of Bengali teaching experience.

Email, include your name & telephone number. 

School Opening Hours: 8:30am to 4pm 

Address: House 16/A, Road 25/A, Banani 

Hotline: 017678547 

Evenings after 7pm: 802, 8129299, 8018967, 8114663 

Fees: One-time registration Tk1000. One month course fee Tk5500. Hourly rate Tk350. Book Tk200.


Lake Facing Apartment To Let


A large (2,800 sft) second floor three bedroom lake-facing apartment in a quiet cul-de-sac with spacious drawing and dining rooms, a modern well fitted kitchen, central hot water system, separate maid's room and bathroom and an independent power generator is available for immediate rent in Green Terrace Apartments, Gulshan. Green Terrace has a lift, a twenty-four hour security system and parking space. Address: Apartment # 3D, Green Terrace, Plot # 24, Road # 121, Gulshan. For further information please contact Mr Haroon, Manager or Ms Nahar Ahmed tel 8624032.


Community Announcements

Dhaka International Christian Church: Home/Small Groups 

DICC is a large interdenominational congregation of expats that worships every Friday at 4:30pm in the Korean Church (top floor of the Korean School) in Bashundhara. In addition to Friday service, there are a number of home/small groups that meet during the week, in various parts of the city and for different kinds of people (etc. all adults, women, men, single, married). It's a great way to make friends and get involved.

If you are interested in getting the list of the current DICC Home Groups, joining a group, starting one in your area, or require further information, please contact the Home Group Coordinator, Rodney Dyer at

For information on kids & youth activities & groups, contact Gary Hanson at .

For Bright Young Canadians With Itchy Feet - Internships for Young Canadian Professionals 

The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) has just posted on its website a list of more than 350 newly approved internships. These are professional internships for young Canadians (aged 19-30) offered by a variety of CIDA funded Canadian organizations (NGOs, academic, private sector). 

Typically between six and 12 months, with a minimum overseas portion of three months, these internships take place in Africa, the Americas, Asia and Central and Eastern Europe. For more information, visit 

Jean-Marc Emery, Senior Program Officer, Youth Action Division, Canadian Partnership Branch, CIDA 

BWA Yard Sale

The BWA Yard Sale on Sat 12 May is booking seller's tables at Tk1000 each - email  to reserve. Please contact us soon to reserve a table as they are selling fast!

Also, even if you don't have anything to sell, you can help us raise funds by donating:

- Good quality second hand clothes

- Offers to bake bread, biscuits and cakes to sell

- Second hand books/magazines/videos

- Bric-a-brac/jumble/white elephant 

Email for drop off locations. 

We also need help on on the morning itself! Look out for the posters nearer the time and don't forget to tell your friends. - Nancy Benham for BWA

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 by Tues 4 Sep 01.

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

In May

5-7 May - BUET- UNU International Workshop On Technologies For Arsenic Removal From Drinking Water. Pre-registration is required but there is no fee. For more information and registration form, contact Professor M. Feroze Ahmed, Department of Civil Engineering, BUET, tel 9663693, email ; or Dr. M. Ashraf Ali, Department of Civil Engineering, BUET, tel 8614640/7625, email 

Sun 6 May - Buddha Purnima (GOB holiday)

Wed-Sat 9-12 May - Dhaka Stage presents Random Acts, a production of two one-act comedies, "Power Lunch" by Alan Ball and "Exploding Love" by Joseph Coyne. 7:30pm, American International School auditorium. Directed by Aland Russell and featuring many of your favorite actors as well as some new faces. Tickets Tk. 350 at the various expat clubs and AIS/D reception. Not suitable for children. Email .

Sat 12 May - UNWA General Meeting, Sonargaon Hotel upstairs, 10:30am, Bangladeshi cultural show and dishes. 10-12 year old children from the poorest families will share their dancing, songs, and joy in a short programme followed by refreshments. Email 

Sat 12 May BWA Yard Sale at Grace First School, House 1 Road 62/63 Gulshan. From 10am till 12 noon. Stalls with cakes, breads, toys, bric-a-brac, used books and used clothes on sale. If you would like to buy a table on which to sell your own goods, or wish to contribute items to the stalls listed above, please contact for info. 

18 May-7 Jun - Exhibition of Bangladesh scenes by photographer Dirk Frans, Drik Gallery.

Sat 26 May - Photographer Dirk R. Frans conducts a workshop on "How to take better pictures in Bangladesh", from 8-9:30pm at the new location of the Netherlands Recreation Centre, Road 74, House 33, Gulshan (next to the Italian Embassy).

Wed 30 May BWA Musical Evening, 8pm in the BHC Residence. Fundraiser for Acid Survivors Foundation. Performers will include pianists, guitarists, saxaphonists, tabla player, harmonium, dance, poetry reading, choral groups, jazz, and folk. Tickets on sale from 16 May at Tk1500 each members/non-members. Buffet supper and drinks as well as wonderful raffle prizes. Email 

June & Beyond

Wed 6 Jun BWA event 3pm, a talk about the history of jute in Bangladesh, how jute is harvested, what products can be made from it, and lots of wonderful samples to purchase. Free for BWA members, Tk100 non-members. Email for venue etc. 

Tue 4 Sep - Deadline to submit items for next edition of BICN.

4-6 Jan 2002 - Association for Economic and Development Studies on Bangladesh (AEDSB) Conference in Atlanta GA at the Allied Social Science Association (ASSA) Annual Meetings. Email: khan@uwp or mquddus@usi 


UNWA Bangladesh Website

The first UNWA website for the region:

Night View of the World from the NASA Space Station 

- Item contributed by Tom Faherty

There is a scrollable image of the panoramic view of the world from the new space station at

What can you see? That Canada's population is almost exclusively along the U.S. border. Moving east to Europe, that the high population concentration along the coast of the Mediterranean. Check out the development of Israel compared to the rest of the Middle East. Note the Nile River, the Australian outback and the trans-Siberian railway. Another striking feature is the difference between North and South Korea. 

...And it's real dark in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh Chapter, 2001 Annual Report of Reporters Sans Frontieres

On 3 May, RSF webposted their annual report for 2001. There is a section on Bangladesh. Due to the way the RSF website is constructed, it was not possible to get the URL of the Bangladesh section itself, but here is how you reach it:

1. Go to

2. Click on "Annual Report" in the image map near the top of the page

3. When the Annual Report page loads, click on "Asia"

4. When the Asia page loads, click on the drop-down menu and select "Bangladesh"

Dengue Website


Ricksha Web

From Joanna Kirkpatrick, an anthropologist who did research in Bangladesh from 1975 to 1998: "My website on 'The Ricksha Arts of Bangladesh'

has been updated with more images, more descriptions, two articles from my CD-ROM, and more useful links."

Might Be Useful Websites?

I sometimes get emails from businesses who think their product or service may be of interest to BICN subscribers. Sometimes these are obviously relevant and high-quality, or obviously non-relevant or just plain trash. 

Then there's a middle, maybe-yes-maybe-no category... of which I had a bunch this month. [They mostly also seemed REALLY slow to download on my typical Dhaka ISP connection...] If any of these "grab" you, have a look and let me know what you think:

The Frugal Consumer's Guide to Moving House

The First Worldwide Relocation Portal

Expat Shanghai

Bengali Songs

"Global online community for families transferred abroad by their employers"

Non-Commercial Advertisements 

Always free in BICN - personal classified ads, this means ads to buy or sell personal household items, to hire or place household staff. For security/privacy reasons, ads contain only names and email addresses - residential addresses and phone numbers are not normally published.

FOR SALE: Sony Color 26" stereo TV. Panasonic multisystem VCR. 166 MHz computer with CD drive & external modem. All 3.5 years old. Prices negotiable. Call 913-0617 or email .

APPLIANCES WANTED ­ We are moving from an apartment into a house in Dhaka, and are looking for air conditioners, a fridge and a stove, passbook or non-passbook. Email ..

SEEKING PIANO TEACHER: We are looking for a piano teacher for our 10 year old son, starting in August 2001. He has been playing two years already. We will be based in Khulna but may come to Dhaka once a month. Email .

DRIVER WANTED: The ideal candidate would live in Tongi/Uttara, have an H.S.C. education, be very good with children, enjoy work, be honest, encouraging and have great perseverance. If he could do minor repairs to the car as well as driving it carefully, even better. Does this sound like someone you know who is looking for a job? Contact: ..

FOR SALE - Lego and Lego Duplo for sale. Email ..

ELECTRICAL ITEMS ­ AVAILABLE MID-APRIL 2001 - Phillips 21" Television Set: Dual system, Remote with many functions, etc ­ 20 months old 1 ps. Tk 20,000 (US$350) Phillips Music Centre: CD, Cassette and FM/AM Radio with remote control (2 years old) 1 ps. Tk 12,000 (US$ 200) Filter Coffee Maker 1 ps. Tk 1,300. Email ..

BEARER-COOK AVAILABLE MID APRIL 2001 - Batcha has looked after us for the last 3 years. He came with us to our Flat when we moved in and has fulfilled all our expectations. Batcha is a cheerful and lively young man, very conscientious and is a good timekeeper. He communicates well in English and is learning to read English. He is never too conspicuous and fits into the family very well. His duties for us have been Cleaning, Washing & Ironing, Cooking and dish washing. He also runs errands and when required will go to the market. He keeps reliable accounts if this is necessary. Batcha has a range of speciality dishes. He cooks Bangla food and makes an amazing Bolognese sauce. He has added to his repertoire over the last two years which now include Chicken Caciatore, Pork Chasseur and so on ­ but he has his own names for these dishes. He can also roast chicken and meats. Desserts include Fruit Crumbles, Pancakes with lemon filling and Creme Caramel. He is eager to learn more recipes if supervised over the first couple of times. Batcha lives with his family in Badda and commutes on his bicycle. He is happy to fit in with your schedule and Hartals are never a problem. Email ..

Subscription, Advertising, & Other Details

BICN is a free email newsletter published first & third Wednesdays, September to May, from Dhaka Bangladesh. Sara Bennett, Editor.

Contact Info - Email all inquiries & items to

Always Free - 

  • Personal ads to buy and sell personal items, hire/place household staff, lost & found, sublets
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  • Letters to the editor
  • Press releases
  • Articles
  • And of course subscribing!

Economical Ads - 

  • Offer your apartment/house/land for rent or sale 
  • List employment available or sought 
  • Offer products/services for sale

Ads cost only USD8 (Tk450) for up to 100 words, half price for repeats booked with the original order. Payment accepted in Taka cash/check, USD cash/check with payment pick up for reasonable Dhaka addresses, or by Credit Card, secure payment on & offline available worldwide!

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