55 Facts of Song Joong Ki (Part 1)

Still, to celebrate our Joong Ki’s birthday so I collect this. The facts are taken and compiled from some interviews, shows, and events he attend. Check it out! ^_^

1. He was born on September 19th 1985, the year of cow.

2. His blood type : A

3. His height : 178 cm, and weight : 65 kg.

4. He lived in Taejeon before move to Seoul for his career.

5. He became the model in Tei’s sad ballad MV, Poisonous (Wicked) Tongue.

6. When he was small, he don’t like people to call him ‘pretty’. But now, he likes when people call him ‘pretty’.

7. Since before debut, he always put a sunscreen when he goes to play basketball.

8. He likes to sing ballad song and want to play guitar when singing like Bruno Mars.

9. He has an older brother who is very different from him (masculine…

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A Romance with Victorian Classics: Silas Marner

A Romance with Victorian Classics: Silas Marner

My mother was a great book lover. She had tons of books in her shelf and I’ve seen her reading them in a late afternoon or on a lazy weekend. Maybe that was the reason I wanted to have my own books. It wasn’t until the 4th grade that I was lucky enough to own a book. My father had bought me one when I got chicken pox. It had adaptations from great stories like Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Three Musketeers, Gulliver’s Travels, and such. Since then, the journey of my love for English literature began.
In English literature, if you are looking for a good book to read, you will firstly be introduced to books by some of the renowned contemporary writers. Getting introduced to English literature meant knowing about the Victorian or Georgian age- contextually meaning the period of Queen Victoria’s reign from the early 19th to 20th century.
Victorian literature was not the only shining period in the history of English Literature. However, it was the novel that was dominant in this period to the English literary public which makes it the most important in the field of literature. The Romantic Literature, which preceded the Victorian Literature also gave us some great works including poetry and novels, but the dominating genre of this era was poetry.
As a lover of contemporary novels, my first introduction to English Literature had been when I was at the age of 12. I have always had fascination to classical novels and a love towards the then rising Europe. My first book was Silas Marner that belonged to my elder sister. I remember it took 6 days to reach the ending but I hadn’t been able to finish it. She had sold the book. Yeah.
I don’t know why I had picked this particular book while there were many other books in front of me like Arms and the Man, A Tale of Two Cites, Sons and Lovers, Measure for Measure or even W. B. Yeats. But it was the cover of the book that had me like ‘okay, this is the book I want to read.’ I think as a child, the book rendered to me as an easy read and the story wasn’t very impressive. But it was a good one. The main character wasn’t talking to me, he was all by himself- quiet and stoic. It’s like you are peeping through a window and watching everything happening. I liked how Elliot narrated it and her powerful voice came through in her writing.
Silas Marner had left quite an impression on me. Since then my hunger for contemporary books had grown. This book covered a pretty good idea about the 19th Century Europe and George Elliot combined symbolism with a historically precise setting in order to create a tale of love and hope. The reason I liked Silas Marner was because the novel explored the issues of family, and impacts of industrialization on English society of the sophisticated England.
Before that, my thought on England was that it was a heaven on Earth, a Utopia in the middle of civilization. These novels attracted me to know more and as I continued to read, my idea of Europe changed. It gave a much broader idea not only about the functions of various social ingredients and customs and traditions but also about the contrast between the life of sophistication and the common. And in order to apprehend that England, we have to understand how England emerged through the Romantic period. England was also going through the process of great changes and improvements especially in the Romantic era. It was the era when there were wars – French Revolution, Napoleonic wars and the First World War. These wars seemed to influence the Romantic era along with the political and social turmoil that came with it. The start of the Romantic Movement that is marked in Wordsworth and Coleridge’s poems from Lyrical Ballads spread along the lands of Europe. It greatly influenced the literary public and was noticeable in some of the contemporary writer’s writings.
While most Romantics were broadly progressive in their views and some seemed to keep conservative views- which was overly disrupted by Western traditions of rationality, the idea of moral absolute and agreed values for over a century. It slowly led to nationalism that we can see in Goethe’s work to even totalitarianism and fascism. However, the end of Romantic era is marked by a new style of Realism that greatly affected the literature. This movement was led by France, with Balzac and Flaubert in literature. Stendhal was an important precursor of Realism. In music, after about 1850 such works are referred to as “Late Romantic” or as Neoromantic” and “Postromantic”. Although in English literature, the convenient term “Victorian” evades having to characterize the period further.
But when I started to read Silas Marner, I didn’t know all these. In this Victorian classic I could see the 19th century England before my eyes while reading it. It was the England that recovered from the Romantic era and stepped into the Victorian era. Elliot painted a wonderfully vivid picture of English life in the village of Raveloe portraying varied aspects of human nature- cowardice, greed, despair, moral inflexibility, love, devotion and hope. All I could see in front of my eyes was that it’s a person who is interacting with life, with himself and other characters. He is honest and believes in religion until he is betrayed by his own friend and is left by the church. He gets everything back in the face of a little girl and her unconditional love. In the final page, he appears as a man with new faith, inner strength and maturity.
Elliot greatly narrated a place that portrayed the functions and beliefs of the people from the 19th century. You can easily start to believe that Raveloe is a real living place filled with flaws, defeats and triumphs of real human life.

  • See more at: http://www.ourtimebd.com/beta/2016/04/11/a-romance-with-victorian-classics-silas-marner

If Your Life Was a Book, What Would You Call It?

All my life, I have read books that I found intriguing. I considered myself to be in those books, a character playing a part and not as just an audience. I have lived their lives, I have won battles and I have cried and felt joy along with them. These books have been a part of my life, a part that I have found rich and voluminous. But reading them was not enough.

I had to see if there was anyone who was me. A girl who saw the world just as I do, who sometimes danced when walking while no one watched, sometimes she talked so much she forgets where she had started. A girl who thought the world was unfair while she loved it at the same time, who held sparks in her eyes, enough to ablaze someone who looked too deep. I’ve searched through the books of Hardy, Shakespeare or Austen but never been able to find that one girl who resembled me. Perhaps, I am still to be written. I am yet to be described in those poetic gestures lovers use to describe their soul mate.

No, I am unwritten because I still have to choose what I would like to create for myself in any aspect of my life. It is so easy to get busy with everyday boring tasks, same old stuffs and slowly drift away from what your heart actually wants. What if tomorrow when you are sitting at a restaurant with your friends, watching Tom Hardy on that big screen TV getting comfy in his couch and they ask you “So, what have you been doing with your life?” and you realize you don’t have a story to tell. What if?

We all need a story of our life that we can tell people about. For that you need a pen and a paper. Well, lots of papers. I believe life isn’t about having a job and paying bills. Life is when you see yourself on the verge of making that dream come true. It’s about passion and courage – to reach the glory of success you have desired. If you don’t write that story yourself, no one else would. You are the author of your life and your life is the book you need to write. If you don’t have an idea what your story could be, just take a deep breath and let the story emerge slowly. Everything I do, I don’t have a certain intention or a conscious thought and most of the time I am stumbling upon things that I am doing. I am letting my own story emerge as it goes. But I don’t make it significant because if we did, it would become a pressure and we will lose hope from that.

So don’t see if your story is right, just see if you are taking it to where you want it to– that makes your heart sing. After all you are the author – you get to decide.


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Celebrating Women’s day at the UNIC

Celebrating Women’s day at the UNIC

International Women’s Day- a day dedicated to all the women of the world. On March 8, I had the opportunity to celebrate this day with a wonderful experience. I had participated in a debate regarding gender equality. I was able to share my views with lots of other youths who also have their own views on women and gender equality.
As a member of Dhaka University Model United Nations, I got the opportunity to participate in this International Women’s Day debate that was arranged by United Nations Information Center to mark the Women’s Day this year. The opponents were 3 members from UNYSAB –all bright and hopeful men. But who rocks the world? Girls. To compete with them was not just an achievement because they were actually good but in the end, the girls had to win. The DUMUNA delegation team consisting of three female members that I was included in won in the final round of the debate.

The final round of the debate was held between us and UNYSAB on the topic “Planet 50-50: Gender equality can be achieved by 2030”. The UNYSAB delegation spoke in favor of the topic and we took stand against it. The debate was aimed at raising awareness about the fifth goal of the 17 sustainable development goals which is achieving gender equality and empowers women and girls by 2030. The program was inaugurated by United Nations Residential Coordinator for Bangladesh Mr. Robert D Watkins at 10AM in the United Nations Bangladesh office at IDB Bhaban of the capital and the session was beautifully moderated by UNIC Dhaka Officer-in-Charge Md. Moniruzzaman.
Mr. Robert D Watkins was keen enough to discuss the issues that the women face in everyday life- from harassment in public bus transport to child marriage. According to him, the women has a vital role to play in the society and about time equality between men and women established. He let the young audiences share their own views on the situation of women in the society and gender equality. He urged to work both male and female together to achieve the gender equality by 2030 in all means.

Head of UNIDO Operations in Bangladesh Mr. Zaki Uz Zaman, Head of UNODC Operations in Bangladesh Mr. Kamrul Islam, Communication Officer of UNFPA Bangladesh Ms. Asma Akhter, Communication Officer of UNESCO Bangladesh Ms. Nyma Nargis and Communication Officer of WFP Bangladesh Ms. Mahreen Ahmed were in the judges’ panel of the debate. One thing that they talked about was positive discrimination. Sometimes discrimination is needed when you are a girl, you need more attention than the male members in your family for your own security and privilege. The debate was followed by a slogan contest, where the youths from different universities of the country suggested slogans on women rights.
Lastly, what inspired me was a line that Mr. Zaki Uz Zaman said in his speech- “it’s not just the duty of a woman to raise voice against gender issues but it’s the duty of a man to make the people aware of the equality of men and women.”

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Songs of Wingless Butterflies: Women in the Eyes of Hardy

Songs of Wingless Butterflies: Women in the Eyes of Hardy

“Happiness was but the occasional episode in a general drama of pain.”

― Thomas Hardy, The Mayor of Casterbridge.

In this patriarchal society where women has no voice, sometimes I feel like those female characters from the books portrayed by Thomas Hardy. Those females whose eyes are filled with dreams, to whom the world is a mystery and their heart is as pure as a full moon. All they want is their right in the society and a little love and affection. However, they are the ones who are unwanted to the society and are objective to the errors of the society. I am not only the victim to their injustice but also subjected to torture- oppression.
Just as they hide their little dreams in the corner of their mind, accept their fate and get down to face the struggle of life – I cannot do that. I have seen dreams and I have seen them getting fulfilled. Perhaps Hardy wanted to show the society that these soft-hearted girls can also dream. But he himself confined their lives with tragedy. They didn’t only see their dreams getting lost, they saw the chapters from their lives getting erased. To Hardy the moments of their lives were like those sand castles beside the ocean, which break easily with the surge of the ocean waves.
Thomas Hardy, an English novelist and poet who was born in Higher Bockhampton, Dorset on June 2, 1840, reflects a dark naturalistic realism in his works and his characters are haunted with tragic and self-destructive fate. His writings are frequently considered to represent the ache of modernism which is quite clear in Tess of the d’Urbervilles. Hardy contends to suggest the obscurity of time and change and human reason against divine power through family-betrayal, class perceptions, sex and material longing. He uses several naturalist references about Tess that represent earthly ideals through showing how she was abused by the representatives of both high culture and Christianity. Hardy reflects his pessimistic outlook towards civilization, religion and high society as fraudulent influence that eventually corrupts the good and earthy heroin.
Couldn’t Hardy organize their lives differently? Couldn’t he let those heroines see their dreams getting wings of reality? Perhaps, Hardy was dissatisfied and never got for himself what he had wanted. Perhaps, that was why he refrained his imaginary female characters from getting what they wanted. Or he had a dark soul which kept him from giving his characters what they deserved. He might have tried to explain through his works that there was a brutality in the society; a selfishness that echoed through civilization which Thomas Hardy portrayed through these characters. But they also portrayed a reflection of his own dissatisfied heart.
Hardy is the visualization of the thoughts of people of that period and his female characters are ever-present. Whether it is the impersonation of Hardy, or the grudge of his heart, or his realization, would our relinquishment be still now similar to his works of tragedies?

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Brushing The Sorrows Aside

Brushing The Sorrows Aside

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time” – a very famous quote by Thomas Merton says all about art. I think art is not just a creative skill or imagination, but it is what comes from your soul. What you can make other people see, is what we call the language of art.

Starry Night by Van Gogh is one of the famous piece of arts. One quote by him, “the emotions are sometimes so strong that I work without knowing it. The strokes come like speech” says so many things about Van Gogh. He was not just an artist, he knew how to put his emotions into words with the strokes of his brush.

Van Gogh came from an upper middle-class family and had the potentials to change his life but everyone knows how he had suffered with mental health issues throughout his life. In winter 1888 after a fight with a friend and mutilation of his ear Van Gogh gave up himself to Saint-Paul-de-Mausole lunatic asylum. This was the place where he came to see the scenic beauties we now see in Starry Night.

While the painters in the mid-nineteenth century painted mostly photographic and realistic landscapes and portraits, Van Gogh used more exaggerated, distinctive brushstroke and thick application of paint that was not appreciated in his time but was obviously far ahead of their time and paved the way for Expressionism.

Critics of that time thought that Van Gogh’s signature style- characterized by bright and heavy brushstrokes, was unkempt, rude and childish. These critics had decided that Van Gogh was crazy and his paintings, that were not photographic and realistic, were not as good as the other contemporaries. However, the vivid style chosen by him was unusual and to portray this night scene he used lines instead of silhouettes that was a more obvious choice. Even he himself called it “exaggerated” and was aware it to be somewhat surreal and stylized.

One might say that The Starry Night is so popular because stars make you dream. The reason I like Starry night is because Van Gogh visualized in this painting how he felt inside and revealed his personal impressions. The struggling feelings of isolation, insanity and depreciation are clear in Starry Night. Although the real reason is not the negative emotions that initially inspired the artwork, but the bright lights of the stars that conveys the strong feeling of hope.

Starry Night gives me hope that I am not alone and Van Gogh teaches me to dream through his art. Van Gogh struggled to maintain his agony and depicted that in his paintings because he had dreams in his eyes and hopes in his heart.

Till the end, he hoped to be appreciated; he hoped to be somewhere he wanted to be. He makes me hope to become appreciated too, and to be different from all others because in this world, if you want to leave a mark, you have to be unique.

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