And we continue to celebrate Women in Barisal, Bangladesh

After a delicious lunch, we went to play. Well, yes, why not? Paddling was hard work, so a little recreation was in order. The game was of the blind-folded variety, and our goal was to break a clay pot propped up on the grass, roughly eight meters away.

Yes, I missed the pot, but it would seem that I landed as close as anyone else was able to, because I won the first prize. Yeah! And I’m glad to report that women fared much, much better at this game than men did.

The game was followed by a cultural show, back under the larger tent erected along the river, with very pretty dances…

Next, our group, otherwise known as “Game For Anything if Slightly Deranged Bideshi Women,” climbed onto the stage to perform a song that none of us (save two) had ever heard before. We’d started rehearsing it on the deck of the Rocket Boat, the night before…

Our friend, whose idea it was to sing this particular song, knew the lyrics by heart and we copied them on scraps of paper, and shared them. That was easy enough. The real challenge was getting the tune right, as we had no music, no wi-fi on the boat to access You Tube or iTunes, and our leader, a beloved member of our community blessed with superior organizational skills – as the king pin of the whole trip, she pulled no stops to make things happen, even when it seemed impossible – a great sense of humor, and a knack for coming up with original, if somewhat wacky ideas, will not hold it against me if I whisper, in tiny font, that the Singing Fairy went on strike the day she was expected to work her magic at her cradle. No matter. Sing we would, and sing we did. A cappella. And what we may have lacked in musicality, we more than made up with enthusiasm and conviction.

Luckily, there’s no known record of our performance : we were all too busy bellowing our feminist message on the stage to think about filming it for posterity.  Then again, I only have to consider the very large public…,

… and the number of cell phones around, to get this vision of generations of villagers glued to a tiny screen, laughing uproariously. Or it could become a punishment of choice : if you don’t do your chores, you’ll have to watch these crazy ladies singing ten times…

OK, and what song am I talking about, you wonder? Here it is.

Great message, right ? Sadly, it is still relevant, some forty years after it was first created – and not only in Bangladesh – just watch the US Republican Presidential Primary. But I digress…

Back in our little village, the lowering sun was casting an orange glow on the water…

… and we were exhausted – the overnight journey on the boat, if reasonably comfortable, had not allowed for much rest.

We went to our little guest house, and indulged in a water bucket shower (and a stiff gin and tonic) before we returned to the Tarango compound. The party was not over, and after a lovely dinner, there was more music and dance, and we all showed our moves for a little while. Until fatigue took over. It had been a LOOOONG day, and one we will not forget any time soon.

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2 thoughts on “And we continue to celebrate Women in Barisal, Bangladesh

  1. Fabulous Katia – that’s the nicest way I’ve ever been told I cannae sing !! ah – you’ve made my day (again). Really great memories which you have written so fantastically about. Thank you. Dawn

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