Significance of festivals

Though all festivals are supposed to bring joy to all sections of the society, the fact is they provide a “nice” platform for the rich and upper-middle classes to flaunt their wealth in the form of attire, jewellery and what not. The hullabaloo revolving the festivals seems more barbaric due to the fact that scores of poor people, especially children, who cannot afford to have a new dress or two square meals a day, have no role in the celebrations and are simply left to glare at the festivities and fun relished by those from the“upper classes”.

While the fortunate ones purchase perhaps all luxuries under the roof of shopping malls to “welcome” the festive occasion; the unfortunate unprivileged children either beg or stare with a vacant look outside it. Festivals are nothing but an alien concept for these poor folks. Perhaps it would not be out of context if we recall Rabindranath Tagore’s short story “Kabuliwala” in this perspective.

Though a marriage ceremony is not a religious festival, still it is an occasion of joy and display of barbaric wealth. In the said story, the bridegroom Mini’s father donated an amount to the poor fruit-trader Rahmat Khan so that he can return to far away Afghanistan to meet her daughter after several years. In the process, band-parties and lightings could not be organised during Mini’s marriage; but the heart of Mini’s father glowed with much more vigour and lightened up his horizon.

Kajal Chatterjee, Kolkata


This is in reference to the write up “Fashion is an art” (THT, Online, January 12). As an author of Falang English Dictionary, I wholeheartedly agree with assertions that the writer has made in her piece. Yes, indeed, the word fashion is an art. However, I would like to do a little bit of linguistic and etymological labouring here. The word fashion originated from Latin which is “Facere”. This word used as a verb says “to do or make”, and slightly over the year it became Factio and when it came to old French it turned into “Facon” and in the middle English, this lexical word moulded into a different etymological form which is “Fashion”. Now it is widely accepted as “Fashion” in all standard English

dictionaries across the world.

Shiva Neupane, Melbourne


The health concern in South Asian countries is a growing challenge and lifestyle has become a major barrier in pursuit of healthy life. A sedentary lifestyle invites diseases and unfortunately, South Asian countries are vulnerable to such conditions. Diabetes, the most prevalence lifestyle disease, is rapidly growing in those countries.

According to WHO, India is estimated to have 8.7 million diabetic population among 20 to 70 years of age group. Sri Lanka has witnessed a rapid increase of 4% in the last five years. Almost 9.1% population of Nepal is victim of diabetes.

Siraj Ahmad, Dharamshala