It’s the thing to do here in winter. Picnicing is certainly not a summer/any other time of the year activity because picnicing
a) in the summer season would be a very, very, very (VERY) sweaty way to spend a day
b) in the rainy season would result in pretty soggy sandwiches
So given the nice weather, everyone picnics (I’m going to one tomorrow). There is a picnic spot near my house somewhere. With loud music, and a very eclectic playlist. Which becomes the background music of my day. Yet, somehow, it doesn’t really bother me. I think it’s because I know there are people out there having a good time, relaxing and having a bit of a party. And that, to me, is a GOOD thing. Music isn’t big in Bangladesh and I practically never hear it (unless I play it myself, and no, I’m not counting the call the prayers as music). I’ve just read the blurb on music in the Idiot’s Guide to Understanding Islam, and Muhammad forbade public dancing (for all), and solo performances by women. He also declared certain types of instruments off-limits, such as flutes and stringed pieces, equating them with having the ability to make people forget God and to get lost in the passions of the flesh. Well there you go… and don’t say you don’t learn nothing on this blog….I do sometimes think there is a lack of visible joy and fun in Bangladesh (severe poverty and natural disasters aside), but I won’t get into THAT right now.
So, back to the picnic music. Besides ALL of my favourite Bangladeshi songs being played, on repeat sometimes (is it just me or are there very few popular Bangla songs, or is it that they just all sound the same?), here’s a sample of the ‘western’ music from yesterday’s picnic.
- My heart says la la la la la –> very, very, very popular, also often played on repeat, ad nuseum
- anything by Queen
- My sweet buttercup
- that Celine Dion song from Titanic
- various heavy metal songs (a surprise entry in this year’s charts…)
I’m yet to ascertain if there is actual dancing at these picnics, to accompany the loud music. I’ll let you know tomorrow.
PS Music and dance is, however, big in the indigenous communities. For this, they are often judged by the Muslim majority. Well, for that and the rice wine, of course. If anyone has access to Banglapedia, have a read through T for Tribal People. Hardly a well balanced and fair account.