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Guided by a Bengali Poet

When people ask what my Bangladesh life was like, I will say that at its best, it followed the path of the poet Jibanananda Das.

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The Rickshaw as an Endangered Species

Bangladesh's endangered rickshaws and wallahs serve as brightly coloured, moving works of art, and as constant, mobile displays of human nature – often at its best.

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In Conversation with Bangladeshi Poet, Kaiser Haq

There are more than a dozen languages spoken in Bangladesh. English is a presence, a second language, in which poets such as Haq can be found.

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Living in a Po-Co World

Expats in post-colonial Dhaka have their hearts in the right places, if their generosity at fund-raising events is anything to go by, although the end result is haphazard, like a game of ‘Pin the Conscience on the Public Servant’ that has been played their tipsy spouses.

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Sacred Ornas and Secret Longings

The orna's slim fabric casts a net of symbolism and serves as a democratic garment -- for a certain class of people.

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During the Deluge

A crowd of bideshi (foreign kin) stood on the roof and watched Star Kebab burn, and the riot squad shamble in, and the sky fill with black-blue smoke.

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Travels in Little China

The Chinese brand of red tape now wraps around Tibet as fiercely as the Red Guards that once invaded it. Travelers who gain access now see a Disney-fied Tibet.

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Seeking Some Reprieve

I can now wrench my hand away from a doe-eyed child miming hunger and clinging to me without losing my stride. One’s brain, as well as one’s bowels, are not always all right in Bangladesh.

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Dr. Dhaka’s Lonely Hearts Club

For the Bengalis, dating and marriage are integrally intertwined with familial love. For a single female visitor, a creative spin on extended family relations helps with the curious doorman.

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Deep ’Desh

The minute I step out of my flat, Bangladesh drags me into its unique intensity; and without home as a point of reference, I am left without my level of reasoning.

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My Wandering Days

Our intrepid traveller summarizes many journeys past, as she prepares for another in Bengal.

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Women of the Evolution: (Another) Discussion of Chick Lit

If literary genres were a feast, chick lit would be the coconut soufflé. Dessert, anyone?

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A New Year’s Career

Mental note: sincerity doesn't count for much in the job-hunting game.

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Five Years' Moldering, Now

As in all the human rights violations going on at Guantánamo Bay, the US has, with Australia's help, betrayed its traditions of upholding civil and international rights to rationalise its (in)actions in David Hick's case.

Kathryn Hummel
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Bridesmaids Revisited

Take it from someone who knows, really knows; bridesmaiding is not glamorous work, but a hard slog at buffering the bride and groom in the social occasion war zone -- you are putting your body on the line.

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Reel Australia

Hummel used to dread, simply dread, Australian-made films. But a number of recently discovered intelligent, evocative films have her singing her creative countrymen's praises. Here are some movies you shouldn't miss.

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I Am / We Are / You May or May Not Be, Depending

Maybe it's quite enough to try to sell the idea of Australia as a 'somewhat tolerant' country rather than a 'multicultural' one, with all the latter's suggestions of actual unity.

Kathryn Hummel
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Little Americans: They're Everywhere!

There's probably not a single place on earth where one won't run into an Australian. Hummel speculates on what compels her people to travel so.

Kathryn Hummel
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Invasion of the McMansions

A look at what the relentess tide of change dragged in to Adelaide's shores.

Kathryn Hummel
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Little America's Term of Love

While peering 'down' at Australia from on-high (or rather, up north) through one's proverbial binoculars, one might get the impression this country is closer to North America -- perhaps uncomforably closer -- than mere geography might imply. Hummel hopes that is but a trick of the light... and other changeable circumstances.

Kathryn Hummel
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