Youth Awareness











{February 29, 2012}   Mohajir identity – Ali Chishti

Supporters of Muttahida Quami Movement attend a rally in Karachi

In my book tracing the origins of the word, Mohajir, I wrote, “the word Mohajir (capital M) is vaguely traced to the 1970s and 80s, when the persecution of people of Indian ancestry gained momentum. It simply stated, when the Punjabis started calling them “HindustaaNRaan”, and the Pathans and Sindhis labelled them as “Panah Guzeer” and “Makars”, the immigrants started calling themselves “Mohajirs”, since they cannot really relate with the other four ethnicities.

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Now, the word with the capital M has come to symbolise, correctly or incorrectly, all people who came from minority provinces of India or are the descendants of those immigrants. For me however the word “Mohajir” is not an honorific title or something to complain about – it’s simply a statement of being from somewhere else. In fact, “Ansaar” is a more positive word which means “those who help” which is something similar to democratic ideals vs democratic party. Similarly when the white Americans were searching for all kinds of nomenclature for African Americans (Negros, coloured people, and worse) these African Americans chose to call themselves “Black” Americans.

But there’s a serious identity crisis within the Mohajir community be it a general in the army or a ‘babu’ at the foreign office, or a butcher in Orangi town – it’s a community in search of its roots because in all ‘practicality’ and there’s a strong feeling that the ‘Mohajirs’ had been rejected by other ethnicities in Pakistan. Later, Altaf Hussain, the man who is credited to have given the Mohajirs a somewhat-political identity in a book titled “Safar-e-Zindagi” published in 1989, described Mohajirs as “those who migrated from smaller provinces of undivided Hindustan to Pakistan”.

The Partition was something no-one really wanted and it only became inevitable when the Congress leadership rejected the Cabinet Mission Plan after initially accepting it.

Mohajir identity has evolved through the years and transformed from being a right-wing Jamaat-e-Islami or JUI supported movement to a centrist ethno-political identity

Jinnah, the Quaid-e-Azam, could do no more than to console his countrymen, “We have been squeezed in as much as was possible and the latest blow that we have received is the Award of the Boundary Commission. It is an unjust, incomprehensible and even perverse Award. It may be wrong, unjust and perverse; and it may not be a judicial but a political award, but we have agreed to abide by it and it is binding upon us. As honourable people we must abide by it. It may be our misfortune but we must bear up this one more blow with fortitude, courage and hope.” Mohajirs migrated from as far as Calcutta, Malabar, Aurangabad, Amritsar, Patna and Ahmadabad and other Muslim minority provinces leaving not just “everything” but “everyone” behind.

Pakistan originally envisioned by Iqbal had no Bangladesh but only consisted of what is Pakistan now. The leadership of Pakistan later made sure that Pakistan would transform from Jinnah’s Pakistan to Iqbal’s Pakistan resulting in yet another partition that ruined the ideological basis on which the first Partition took place. And that is why the 1971 setback hurt the Mohajirs.

And there are warnings more such partitions are likely if the status quo does not change. Many Mohajirs, Sindhis, the Baloch, Pathans, and even Kashmiris will reach the point of no return. Islam could not eventually become a unifying factor for East and West Pakistan.

The 18th Amendment had been a good start of a new social contract which is not ground-breaking, but a start nevertheless.

Be it a general in the army or a ‘babu’ at the foreign office, or a butcher in Orangi town – it’s a community in search of its roots

But to save, Pakistan we need full provincial autonomy and nothing else. We should realise the gravity of situation in Baluchistan, Pakhtunkhua and Sindh where million’s are dying of hunger and the frustration against the state is at its height. Perhaps we need to take a breather, reflect on the situation, consider all our options, and then have a polite national debate, without the use of force, riots, Rangers, or street power, to decide if and how we can live together, or if we should go our separate ways.

During his rule, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto began to crush his opposition within Sindh. He started “Sindhisation” campaign and introduced the Language Bill in 1973-1974 making Sindhi language compulsory for all students in Sindh, a move which caused rioting in Sindh. During nationalisation move, Mohajirs believe only the businesses they owned were targeted. Similarly, they say the quota system deprived the deserving Mohajir the right to get into universities and jobs and hundreds of less educated and less competent people were appointed as schoolteachers.

The army inspired action against Mohajirs in the 1990s led to an exodus of many talented families from Karachi/Hyderabad. Hundreds and thousands of educated boys and girls were forced to migrate. They now feel secure and have no desire to return, and that leads to the impending problem with Karachi and Pakistan in general – the loss of valuable human capital. In what was called “Operation Clean-up”, more than 15,000 Mohajirs were murdered in extra-judicial killings in Karachi alone. Women were raped and were even seen carrying the bodies of their dead male relatives. The operation also ruined the economy of Karachi.

In an interesting study I carried out about Mohajir identity at various colleges and educational institutions for my upcoming book tracing the roots of Mohajir political movement and identity, 73% of adult student’s identified themselves as Mohajir first and Muslim second. This shows that Mohajir identity has evolved through the years and has transformed from being a right-wing Jamaat-e-Islami or JUI supported movement to a centrist or a left-wing ethno-political identity which surpasses religious identity. The MQM – which has now transformed into ‘Muthida’ but is in fact a Mohajir-centric party made to safeguard the rights of Mohajirs in Urban Sindh – is a clear example of this new identity.

And while the word Mohajir remains controversial and often used by lower classes, the middle and upper classes in the community tend to classify themselves as “Urdu Speaking”. For them, the term Mohajir represents the “hateful past”.

During my research work, I met MQM Rabbita Committee’s Kunwar Khalid Younas – one of the soft faces of MQM – who has been writing in English for years defending the MQM and coining or using terms like the “Urdu Speaking Community” or USC. But one sub-community, the Memons, do not agree, because Urdu is not their first language.

So where does the Mohajir identity stand today, and has it become weaker or stronger with time? Statistics of ethnic violence show that in a very polarised Karachi, Mohajir nationalism or identity has become stronger, except in the middle class.

The real issues that Pakistan faces today are poverty, illiteracy, and violation of human rights. And the people of Pakistan must realise that these are the issues political decisions should be based on. Mohajir nationalism will only weaken when the sense of equality and justice is restored in the society.

Ali Chishti is a TFT reporter based in Karachi. He can be reached at akchishti@hotmail.com 

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منیر احمد فردوس

شروع سے سنتے آئے ہیں کہ جب گیدڑ کی شامت آتی ہے تو وہ شہر کا رخ کرتا ہے مگر میں نے کبھی شہر میں کوئی گیدڑ نہیں دیکھا بلکہ ہر طرف شوہر ہی دیکھے ہیں، اس لئے یہ کہا جا سکتا ہے کہ جب کسی مرد کی شامت آتی ہے تو وہ سر پر سہرا سجا لیتا ہے، جسے عرفِ عام میں شادی کرنا کہتے ہیں۔ شادی اور شامت دونوں  ”ش” سے شروع ہوتے ہیں اس لئے دونوں کا مقصد اور اثرات بھی ایک جیسے ہی ہوتے ہیں بس فرق صرف اتنا ہے کہ شامت میں آدمی خود اپنے پائوں پر کلہاڑی مارتا ہے جبکہ شادی میں اس کا پورا خاندان اس پر وار کرتا ہے۔یعنی مرد کو شادی کے نام پر مرد چوسنے والی ایسی ”چوسنی مخلوق” کے پلے باندھ دیا جاتا ہے جسے بیوی کے نام سے پکارا جاتا ہے۔یہ واحد خود کفیل مخلوق ہے جس کا قحط آج تک نہیں پڑا اور یہ دنیا کے ہر خطے میں خودرو گھاس کی طرح اگتی ہے۔
الطاف حسین حالی نے کہا تھا کہ دنیا کی اصل خوبصورتی عورت کی وجہ سے ہے۔ پہلے میں بھی یہی سمجھتا تھا مگر جب عورت کے نام پر ایک عدد بیوی گھر لایا تو اندازہ ہوا کہ الطاف حسین حالی نے یقیناً نظام شمسی کے کسی اور سیارے کی عورت کو اس کی خوبصورتی کہا تھا۔مگر افسوس کہ الطاف حسین حالی نے اس سیارے کا نام نہیں بتایا۔ پہلے دن سے ہی بیوی نے کامیاب وارکر کے گھر کا چین سکون چوس لیا۔پہلے میری آنکھ پڑوسیوں کے گھر میں ہونے والی لڑائی سے کھلتی تھی اور اب ان کی آنکھ میرے گھر میں ہونے والی لڑائی سے کھلتی ہے بلکہ جس دن لڑائی نہ ہو تو لوگ عیادت کو پہنچ جاتے ہیں۔ایک  مولوی صاحب نے کہا تھا  کہ انسان کا دشمن شیطان ہے، اس سے بچ کے رہو گے تو زندگی آرام سے گزرے گی، مگر شادی کے بعد احساس ہوا کہ شیطان کا تو یوں ہی نام بدنام ہے، اصل کارنامے تو بیوی کے ہیں۔ یہ بھی ہو سکتا ہے کہ شیطان نے اپنی جنس اور نام تبدیل کر کے بیوی رکھ لیا ہو یا یہ بھی ممکن ہے کہ جس مولوی نے ایسا کہا تھا وہ کنوارا ہو۔مجھے جلیبی اور بیوی کی نیت میں کبھی فرق نظر نہیں آیا۔نئے ملبوسات، زیوارت، فیشن، پرفیوم، جوتے، میک اپ کا سامان، شاپنگ، بیوٹی پارلر کے چکراٹے، غرض کون سی ایسی فرمائش ہے جو میں نے پوری نہ کی ہو مگر پھر بھی بات بات پر طعنہ، لڑائی اور دھمکیاں میرا مقدر بن گئیں۔ ہر اس آدمی سے کہا جس نے میر ی شادی میں شرکت کی تھی کہ مجھے میری بیوی سے بچائو مگران سب کی بھی ایسی ہی حالت تھی۔دوسرے خاوندوں کا اس بات پر ایمان ہو یا نہ ہو مگر میراتو پکا  ایمان ہے کہ کچھ لوگوں کو اپنے گناہوں کی سزا اس دنیا میں ہی مل جاتی ہے۔ طالب علموں کو گناہوں کی سزا بھاری بھرکم بستوں کی صورت میں اور شوہر کو سزا بیوی کی صورت میں مل رہی ہے۔شادی سے پہلے میں مال گنا کرتا تھا اور اب سر کے بال گنتا ہوں۔میں ان شوہروں سے ضرور گذارش کروں گا جن کے بال ابھی تک فخر سے سینہ تانے کھڑے ہیں کہ ہمیشہ بیوی کے لئے نرم تلے والے جوتے لایاکریں بلکہ گر ہوائی چپل ہی لیا کریں تو ان کے بالوں کی عمر بیوی کی طرح لمبی ہو سکتی ہے۔ بیوی کا خرچ بند کیا تو اس کے آنسوئوں کے لشکر نے خرچہ دوبارہ جاری کروادیا اور میں یہ کہنے پر مجبور ہوا کہ بیوی کے آنسو کا ایک قطرہ مرد بیچارے کی تنخواہ کے ساتھ ساتھ اس کی مردانگی بھی بہا کر لے جاتا ہے۔بیوی شادی سے پہلے معصوم پرندہ اور شادی کے بعد خونخوار درندہ بن جاتی ہے، جس کی نظر اور ہاتھ صرف جیب اور بالوں پر ہی ہوتےہیں۔اس درندے کی نظر اتنی طاقتور اور تیز ہوتی ہے کہ اسے چھ فٹ کا شوہر نظر نہیں آتا مگر تین انچ کی جیب دور ہی سے نظر آ جاتی ہے۔
بیوی کی کئی قسمیں ہوتی ہیں یعنی صحافی بیوی، سیاسی بیوی، صحافی بیوی، لڑاکا بیوی، کڑاکا بیوی، چالباز بیوی، جھوٹی، ڈرامہ باز، اور ڈرائونی بیوی۔مختلف اقسام کی بیویاں ہونے کے باوجود سب کا ایک ہی کام ہوتا ہے، گھر کو میدان ِ جنگ بنا کربیچارے شوہرکے ساتھ جنگ کرنا۔ اس لئے یہ حقیقت ہے کہ مرد کے لئے شادی کی رات خوشیوں کی آخری رات ہوتی ہے۔ میں نے ایک عامل سے بھی کہا کہ ”محترم! مجھے میری بیوی سے بچائو”۔ اس نے کہا ”اگر میری بیوی نہ ہوتی تو آج میں بھی عامل نہ ہو تا۔اگر تمہارے اوپر جن سوار ہو جاتا تو میں اسے سیکنڈوں میں اتار دیتا، مگر تمہارے اوپر بیوی جیسی مخلوق سوار ہے، جس سے میرے تمام مئوکل ڈرتے ہیں،بلکہ وہ تو خود اپنی بیویوں سے بھاگ کر میرے پاس آئے ہیں۔بیوی سے تمہیں اب صرف عزرائیل ہی نجات دلا سکتاہے۔”
میرا اب یہ تجزیہ ہے کہ شادی کے بعد رنگین مرد غمگین ہو جاتا ہے اور بیوی کی صورت میں اسے غموں کی ایسی پوٹلی ملتی ہے، جس کے ہر غم میں ہزاروں غم چھپے ہو تے ہیں جس میں سب سے بڑا غم یہی ہوتا ہے کہ بیوی اپنے شوہر کی تمام جائیداد و املاک میں برابر کی حصہ دارہوتی ہے، سوائے غم و الم کے۔ اس لئے بیوی کی تعریف بھی شاید یہی ہے کہ ”وہ عورت جو شادی کے بعد دل جلاتی ہو نہ کہ ساتھ نبھاتی ہو۔”
ایک عدد بیوی پالنے کے بعد اب میرا ذاتی تجربہ یہ ہے کہ شادی کا صرف ایک ہی فائدہ ہے کہ خود کشی کرنے کے لئے رسی نہیں خریدنی پڑتی۔ آخر پر ایک نصیحت میں ان شوہروں کو کرنا چاہوں گا جو بیوی آلود ہو چکے ہیں”اے پاکستانی خاوندو! بیوی کو مضبوطی سے باندھے رکھو، تاکہ تم میری طرح سے یہ کہنے پر مجبور نہ ہو جائو کہ “مجھے میری بیوی سے بچائو”۔

 




US Efforts to encourage old heritage

امریکی سفارتخانے کی جانب سے فیس بک پر دئے گئے ایک اشتہار، یو ٹیوب پر موجود ویڈیوز اور امریکی سفارتخانے کی ویب  سائٹ پر موجود معلومات سےانکشاف ہوتا ہے کہ پاکستان میں قدیم ہندو رسوم اور انتہائی متنازعہ امور کو پھیلانے اور مقبول بنانے کے لئے  امریکی سفارتخانہ   گزشتہ دس  برس سے ہر سال کروڑوں ڈالر خرچ کررہا ہے۔ امریکی سفارتخانے کا موقف ہے کہ پاکستان جس خطے میں موجود ہےاور جو علاقے پاکستان میں شامل ہیں وہاں  ماضی میں انتہائی  ترقی یافتہ قومیں آباد تھیں اور  ان کا ایک کلچر تھا جو اس علاقے کا اصل کلچر ہے اور امریکی سفارتخانہ اس قدیم اور اصل کلچر کو بحال کرنے کے لئے کوشاں ہیں۔ امریکی سفارتخانے کی ویب سائٹ پر دئے اعدادوشمار سےپتہ چلتا ہے کہ امریکی سفارتخانہ ایسے 17 متنازعہ ترین پروجیکٹس پر کام کررہا  ہے اور ان کے لئے فنڈز فراہم کررہا ہے جس سے پاکستانی معاشرے میں انتشار مزید پھیل رہا ہے، ان سترہ پروجیکٹس میں اکثر قدیم ہندو اور بدھ  مت رسوم اور تہواروں پر مشتمل ہیں اور پاکستانی معاشرے میں حال  ہی میں انہیں زور و شور سے منانے پر محاذ آرائی شروع ہو چکی ہے۔ امریکی سفارتخانے کی ویب سائٹ کے مطابق ان میں سے ایک بسنت و بہار نامی تہوار ہے۔ ا مریکی سفارتخانے کا کہنا ہے کہ یہ اس خطے کا قدیم تہوار اور ثقافت ہے اس لئے وہ اسے معاشرے میں رائج کرنے اور محفوظ کرنے کے لئے فنڈز فراہم کررہا ہے۔ انہیں سترہ پروجیکٹس میں  قدیم بدھ   دیوتائوں کے بت، قدیم مندر اور  دیگر  ایسے علاقائی تہوار شامل ہیں جو اب معدوم ہوچکے ہیں اور اگر انہیں بحال کیا جاتا ہے تو اس سے براہ راست پاکستانی تشخص اور  اسلامی کلچر پر اثر پڑتا ہے۔ امریکی سفیر کا  ایک کہنا ہے کہ وہ پاکستان کی نہیں بلکہ علاقائی ثقافت کو محفوظ بنانے کے لئے کام کررہے ہیں اور انہیں اس کی اجازت اقوام متحدہ کا چارٹر دیتا ہے۔

امریکی سفارتخانے کی جانب سے فیس بک پر دئیے گئے اشتہار کا عکس امریکی سفارتخانے کی جانب سے فیس بک پر دئیے گئے اشتہار کا عکس




Few tips from Randy Schrum for use of Linkedin…

Dear Colleagues,

So what makes a highly successful Linkedin Job member?

Here is what I have discovered as not only habits, but also “secrets” of the treasure chest on Linkedin.

1. They invest their time strategically by putting fresh content on Linkedin when it’s the best time to do so. Let me explain, for me weekends are times to prepare Linkedin content, but as you will notice most collaboration does not take place on weekends. So hold the great Q/A’s, the awesome discussion topics, or the great status updates until Monday and never late Friday. Think about what your audience is doing and be strategic.

2. They use their status update to post something new every 24 to 48 hours and 80% of those updates include a link that gives a call to action. Such as signing up for your next webinar, promotions to visit your blog, to visit your resume, or visiting your corporate website etc…

3. They answer target specific questions that are related to their target market. This is great exposure for your business that Linkedin Pros are doing everyday!

4. They use the “saved” search “alerts” option for both advanced searches and job searches. By doing this you can be alerted instantly when opportunies become available such as new prospects or jobs. This allows you to reach out before the masses.

5. They answer every Linkedin email/inmail. Maybe not timely, but they never waste an opportunity!

6. They post their company events on the events application provided by Linkedin and use this as a way to measure interest and involvement for such things as conferences, webinars, or seminars. The events application has only been recently used by Linkedin Elite, but many are beginning to wise up to its amazing potential.

7. These highly successful members have identified their target markets on Linkedin, their goals on Linkedin, and are executing their plan every single work day. Social Media can be measured, but most don’t understand how to begin measuring their Social Media efforts because they have never identified their goals for using the Linkedin space. Once you have identified your goals then you can build a measurable matrix to analyze your efforts.

I hope you enjoyed these highlights that will help in your LinkedIn efforts.
Please share any other tips you have for our group members.

Randy Schrum

The 7 Habits of Highly Successful Linkedin Job Members



{February 13, 2012}   Valentine’s Day Facts

Did you know that nearly 150 million cards are exchanged each Valentine’s Day? Or that more than 40,000 American are employed at chocolate companies? Explore these and dozens more Valentine’s Day facts about cards, chocolate, flowers and candy, the hallmarks of St. Valentine’s Day.

Looking for Love

141 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged annually, making Valentine’s Day the second-most popular greeting-card-giving occasion. (This total excludes packaged kids valentines for classroom exchanges.) (Source: Hallmark research)

Over 50 percent of all Valentine’s Day cards are purchased in the six days prior to the observance, making Valentine’s Day a procrastinator’s delight. (Source: Hallmark research)

Research reveals that more than half of the U.S. population celebrates Valentine’s Day by purchasing a greeting card. (Source: Hallmark research)

There are 119 single men (i.e., never married, widowed or divorced) who are in their 20s for every 100 single women of the same ages. Corresponding numbers for the following race and ethnic groups are:

  • Hispanics: 153 men per 100 women
  • Asians (single race): 132 men per 100 women (This ratio is not significantly different from that for Hispanics or non-Hispanic whites.)
  • Non-Hispanic whites (single race): 120 men per 100 women
  • Blacks (single race): 92 men per 100 women (The numbers of black men and women in this age group are not significantly different from one another.

There are 34 single men (i.e., never married, widowed or divorced) age 65 or older for every 100 single women of the same ages. Corresponding numbers for the following race and ethnic groups are:

  • Hispanics: 38 men per 100 women
  • Non-Hispanic whites (single race): 33 men per 100 women
  • Blacks (single race): 33 men per 100 women
  • Asians (single race): 28 men per 100 women

(Note: None of the ratios for the individual groups differ significantly from one another nor from the ratio for all people age 65 or older.)

904: The number of dating service establishments nationwide as of 2002. These establishments, which include Internet dating services, employed nearly 4,300 people and pulled in $489 million in revenues.

Be Mine

Be Mine . . .

2.2 million marriages take place in the United States annually. That breaks down to more than 6,000 a day.

112,185 marriages were performed in Nevada during 2008. So many couples “tie the knot” in the Silver State that it ranked fourth nationally in marriages, even though it’s total population that year among states was 35th.

The estimated U.S. median ages at first marriage for women and men are 25.9 and 27.6 respectively, in 2008. The age for women rose 4.2 years in the last three decades. The age for men at first marriage is up 3.6 years.

Men and women in northeastern states generally have a higher median age at first marriage than the national average. In Massachusetts, for example, women were a median of 27.4 years old and men 29.1 years of age at first marriage. States where people typically marry young include Utah, where women were a median of 21.9 years and men, 23.9 years.

57% and 60% of American women and men, respectively, are 15 or older and currently married (includes those who are separated).

70%: The percentage of men and women ages 30 to 34 in 2008 who had been married at some point in their lives – either currently or formerly.

4.9 million opposite-sex cohabitating couples maintained households in 2005. These couples comprised 4.3 percent of all households.

Candy is Dandy

Love Candies

1,241: The number of locations producing chocolate and cocoa products in 2004. These establishments employed 43,322 people. California led the nation in the number of such establishments with 136, followed by Pennsylvania with 122. (Source:http://www.census.gov/prod/www/abs/cbptotal.html)

515 locations produced nonchocolate confectionary products in 2004. These establishments employed 22,234 people.

The total value of shipments in 2004 for firms producing chocolate and cocoa products was $13.9 billion. Nonchocolate confectionery product manufacturing, meanwhile, was a $5.7 billion industry.

3,467 Number of confectionery and nut stores in the United States in 2004. Often referred to as candy stores, they are among the best sources of sweets for Valentine’s Day.

The per capita consumption of candy by Americans in 2005 was 25.7 pounds. Candy consumption has actually declined over the last few years; in 1997, each American gobbled or savored more than 27 pounds of candy a year.

Flowers

Flowers are best way to express your feelings

The combined wholesale value of domestically produced cut flowers in 2005 for all flower-producing operations with $100,000 or more in sales was $397 million. Among states, California was the leading producer, alone accounting for nearly three-quarters of this amount ($289 million).

The combined wholesale value of domestically produced cut roses in 2005 for all operations with $100,000 or more in sales was $39 million. Among all types of cut flowers, roses were third in receipts ($39 million)to lilies ($76.9 million) and tulips ($39.1 million).

There were 21,667 florists nationwide in 2004. These businesses employed 109,915 people.

Jewelry

There were 28,772 jewelry stores in the United States in 2004. Jewelry stores offer engagement, wedding and other rings to lovers of all ages. In February 2006, these stores sold $2.6 billion worth of merchandise. (This figure has not been adjusted for seasonal variation, holiday or trading day differences or price changes). The merchandise at these locations could well have been produced at one of the nation’s 1,864 jewelry manufacturing establishments. The manufacture of jewelry was an $9 billion industry in 2004.

Data courtesy of the U.S. Census Bureau



{February 13, 2012}   Valentines Day

Relationship that last forever

Every February 14, across the United States and in other places around the world, candy, flowers and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. But who is this mysterious saint, and where did these traditions come from? Find out about the history of this centuries-old holiday, from ancient Roman rituals to the customs of Victorian England.

The Legend of St. Valentine

The history of Valentine’s Day–and the story of its patron saint–is shrouded in mystery. We do know that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, and that St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. But who was Saint Valentine, and how did he become associated with this ancient rite?

The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl–possibly his jailor’s daughter–who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories all emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and–most importantly–romantic figure. By the Middle Ages, perhaps thanks to this reputation, Valentine would become one of the most popular saints in England and France.

Origins of Valentine’s Day: A Pagan Festival in February

While some believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine’s death or burial–which probably occurred around A.D. 270–others claim that the Christian church may have decided to place St. Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to “Christianize” the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. Celebrated at the ides of February, or February 15, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.

To begin the festival, members of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, would gather at a sacred cave where the infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf or lupa. The priests would sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification. They would then strip the goat’s hide into strips, dip them into the sacrificial blood and take to the streets, gently slapping both women and crop fields with the goat hide. Far from being fearful, Roman women welcomed the touch of the hides because it was believed to make them more fertile in the coming year. Later in the day, according to legend, all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn. The city’s bachelors would each choose a name and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. These matches often ended in marriage.

Valentine’s Day: A Day of Romance

Lupercalia survived the initial rise of Christianity and but was outlawed—as it was deemed “un-Christian”–at the end of the 5th century, when Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine’s Day. It was not until much later, however, that the day became definitively associated with love. During the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds’ mating season, which added to the idea that the middle of Valentine’s Day should be a day for romance.

Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages, though written Valentine’s didn’t begin to appear until after 1400. The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. (The greeting is now part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London, England.) Several years later, it is believed that King Henry V hired a writer named John Lydgate to compose a valentine note to Catherine of Valois.

Typical Valentine’s Day Greetings

In addition to the United States, Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France and Australia. In Great Britain, Valentine’s Day began to be popularly celebrated around the 17th century. By the middle of the 18th, it was common for friends and lovers of all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes, and by 1900 printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology. Ready-made cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one’s feelings was discouraged. Cheaper postage rates also contributed to an increase in the popularity of sending Valentine’s Day greetings.

Americans probably began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s. In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentines in America. Howland, known as the “Mother of the Valentine,” made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as “scrap.” Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year. (An estimated 2.6 billion cards are sent for Christmas.) Women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines.



{February 10, 2012}   HOW TO COPE WITH COLD WEATHER

Basically the human beings are hot animals and they can not bear cold weather.

Life disturb due to cold weather in most parts of the country

Therefore they have to make some adaptations like wearing warm cloths in order to adjust in the cold environment. For the humans to survive they need to produce enough body heat by in- taking large quantities of food and by controlling the loss of heat with the help of warm shelters and clothing.
A lowest temperature that a person can bear may vary from person to person but normally at 25 degrees a person may start feeling cold. Soon after shivering starts to occur and skin starts giving other responses as well.
These physical responses mean that a moderately fortunate full adult can maintain their temperature in still air above freezing point with light cloths. This mending of temperature becomes overmuch fractious in afoot air and also in blunt or wet conditions. If the extremities fall down the freezing level than a lasting harm may occur. The cooling essence of afoot air is suitable. Paul Siple of America explained that wind raises the rate of temperature loss.

His unique experiments were conducted in Antarctica in 1941 by evaluating how longer it took h2o to immobilize in baked beans tins in varied strengths of wind and at dissimilar temperatures.

The use of cool wind is used to guide the efficient temperature at a certain wind speed. For example in cold conditions a person wearing warm cloths may even be in a little danger. A light wind has the same effects as the temperature of -44 degrees when a person is exposed.
There are certain tips as well that may help you to cope with the cold temperature. The ones that are most common and helpful are to wear layer of cloths, take warm drinks and soups etc.



et cetera
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