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5 December, 2016 00:00 00 AM
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Cultural deviation: A social malady

We have long standing social values. We have the festivals like ‘Pahela Baishakh’, ‘Bosonto Utsab’ that we attend to observe irrespective of our religious beliefs, caste and creed
TM Aman Ullah
Cultural deviation: A social malady

‘The Bangalees do not share a common trait in terms of appearance; so in terms of mind.’ The Chinese or the Japanese and many other races across the world could hardly be differentiated from one another in terms of their outer look. In fact, most people especially in their native lands across the world share a common characteristic either in terms of their skin texture, nose structure, size, shape etc. or of several of these together. But what they still lack in is a single common culture due to promoting a hybrid culture. It is only the Bangalees who hardly share a regular trait in physique. Whatever the reason behind this variety that every one of us is unique from other is true.

This gash of non-uniformity could, to some extent, be compensated by the only factor that we speak a common language named Bangla with an exception to some dialects used unofficially particularly by the mass people living sporadically in rural and urban areas. But we have our long standing social values. We have the festivals like ‘Pahela Baishakh’, ‘Bosonto Utsab’ that we attend to observe irrespective of our religious beliefs, caste and creed, and of our social and economic statuses. 
But are we, now-a-days, much aware of preserving and observing our traditional values which have long been ensuring a sound and safe existence for us? Aren’t we fervently bent on importing and embracing nasty western cultural elements many of which have already proved spiteful for themselves in their own lands?
Marriage, for example, in our culture is both religiously and socially a holy institution. This holy tie arranges not only for an adult man to embrace an adult woman for ever but also paves the way for an extensive socialisation-thus leading to a harmonious human existence in society. 
The social interaction prompted through ceremonial functions aimed at this heavenly bond has special significance in human life. It is only the nuptial tie that liberates us from the gratuitous and unrestrained sexual behavior.
Moreover, the wedlock makes us responsible for our family and society-thus helping us shun whimsical behavior. The consummation of a marriage, as is often believed in most of the religions, incurs special grace of the Almighty. Our culture, by no way, approves of either premarital or extramarital relationships. Concubinage is not only utterly condemned in our society but also people involved in such a detestable activity are ostracised. Matrimonial relationship between homogeneity is not corroborated either in our culture.
But, now-a-days, we see an alarming rise in such obnoxious activities as involving in extramarital relationship and living together without any socially and religiously or at least customarily binding ties. As these relationships do not involve any ceremonial functions (though done, sneakily in some cases) and having no social or religious recognition, the people involved in such relationships are not properly committed to their relationships.
 If, any way, misunderstanding develops, they tend to end up with their relationships without presuming the consequences that may follow. Under this situation they can hardly select the next course of action other than developing frustration, a sense of rejection that may eventually lead them to take the ghastly decision of taking their lives on their own. And, of course, the female counterparts are the worst victims in this case. This unsupportable activity spoils peace in family and gives rise to social instability.
A group of fanatical people become encouraged to adopt violent means to put a stop to such acts as premarital or extramarital relationships which they consider abominable and sinful, therefore, be condemned. Thus militancy comes into being and rule of law collapses. In order to get rid of all these prospective pitfalls, we must resist intrusion of fraudulent foreign cultural elements into ours. Besides, we must foster those values and teachings in our life amid which we are grown up.

The writer works at Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS)

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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