A Mela in Gazipur May 2, 2009Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Culture, Daily Life.
I don’t think I’ll ever get used to starting the week on Sundays. Finals begin tomorrow and hopefully all the buzz and excitement will overshadow my departure. I don’t like saying goodbyes.
One of the professors at IUB invited me to visit his families home in Gazipur district yesterday. It was about 35 km outside of Dhaka. Once we turned off the main road there were rice fields and the first miniature forest I had seen in Bangladesh.
We made the journey to celebrate the inauguration of his wives hair salon for “gents.” It stuck me as being odd to open such a business out in sub-urban (not suburbia) Dhaka. I’m sure that my friend and his wife did their market research. She already has two other successful clothing shops in the area. As in many Asian countries, Bangladeshi men take a lot of pride in the way their hair is styled. Most barber shops tend to be very basic, some with just a chair and mirror set up by the side of the road or in the middle of a field on market day. This one looked European and had all of the amenities that gringos are used to.
As the sun went down the crowd began to gather and entered a large tent set up for the occasion. The Imam arrived and led a short Mela chanting blessings from the Koran for the new enterprise. Hundreds of cardboard snack boxes were given out to family, friends and well wishers. There were even a few local politicians in the crowd. According to my friend the event was a huge success.