BBC Learning English (1st June already)
It's the first day of June and, in London, the sun is shining. It's trying to make my first task easier which is to say goodbye but not farewell to James. James, thanks to you it has been an impressive month on the blog - I believe you have set some new records including being the first person to blog every single day!!! and the first person to have a new tagline with your signature for each blog.
Thank you for your dedication and effort. It has proved, yet again, to be a fascinating area of the site and I've looked forward to finding out what your new topic would be each day. I hope that we will continue to see you popping up on the comments system.
As one blogger leaves us a door opens for another and, today, I'm very happy to introduce Naheed Shoukat Ali from Pakistan. No more details from me, I'll let Naheed introduce herself in her first blog. But I'm sure we'll give Naheed the usual, fantastic BBC Learning English welcome when she writes for the first time.
Bye James and good luck Naheed.
posted on Friday, 01 June 2007 | comment on this post
This is my first day on The BBC Learning English blogs and I hope it's going to be great. Thank you so much for choosing me the blogger of June and, it's been exactly a year since you started blogging service.
Here's an introduction about myself, I am Naheed Shoukat Ali and I come from Karachi, a city in Pakistan. It's very hot these days in my city but, the good side is, evenings are always cool and breezy. I am studying for the degree of CIMA (UK) (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) as a distance learner. Taking education as a distance learner requires a lot of hard work. The biggest problem, that arises, is to find a suitable tutor, preparing for exam is another big thing. However, after all this, I believe in 'All is well that ends well'.
I've just finished up reading Miss Jo Kent's blog and I can say it's going to be great time with her. Jo, I like your name it's small and nice, people from any language will say it right without making a mistake.
Bye for now
posted on Friday, 01 June 2007 | comment on this post
Before I go further with my blogs and write more about myself, it’s time to write about mangoes.
Heat, rain and mangoes – these are what define summer in Pakistan. Though scorching heat of the sun coupled with frequent power outages make life difficult, but, a big, pulpy, juicy and sweet mango makes forget everything.
Mango is known as the ‘king of fruits’ and is rich in vitamins A, B and C. It can be eaten in as many ways as one can count on, sliced, cubed, milk shake, ice-cream, and salad and so on.
I like mangoes very much and I savour their delicacy in my style. You must have mangoes in your countries, then here’s my simple yet delicious recipe to note down. Take a big ripe mango cut into cubes, add a spoonful of honey, one and half spoonful of milk powder, roughly mix them all and, here you go...yummy
Like ripe mangoes, raw mangoes also remain in demand throughout mango season. These are made into pickles, jams, chutneys and last but not least sorbet. The sorbet made from raw mangoes tastes fantastic. First, the mangoes are peeled and roughly cut into slices and are put to boil in water. When the mixture thickens and a bit yellowish, it is cooled down to room temperature. In a mixer blender, it is then blended with sugar, little salt and a pinch of black salt. If it feels sour and thick, then some more sugar and water is added to make it leveled in taste, but it should not feel very sweet. It tastes delicious when it is a bit sweet, a little salty and tangy.
I must stop here or the mango fans could not resist to eat mango right from the fridge.
In my next blog, I will write about the kinds of mangoes and their production in Pakistan.
Jo, do you like mangoes? I’ve been waiting to read your comment on my writing.
Thank you so much Alinor from Brazil, sweet Ana Paula from Brazil and Phu from Netherlands for your warm welcome.
Alinor, I will write more about myself and my country in Monday’s blog and I hope you will like it.
It’s a mile’s distance from S in the word Smile, but it takes a moment to bring it on face. Always keep smiling
posted on Saturday, 02 June 2007 | comment on this post
Thank you Jo, your comments are really encouraging to me. I will also keep those mistakes in mind. Your homework seems to me like a brain teaser! But I still like you and I will try my best to work it. Here, I would like to say something honestly about Shakespeare is that, I haven’t read a lot about him but I have read many of his plays and poems and I like them all very much.
Before handing my homework to you, I would like to give good wishes to your niece, Sophie. May she have happy life and be as brilliant as you are. We all look forward to reading about her christening and yours being a godmother.
Here’s my homework,
. it smells to high heaven; might mean (something sounds strange)
• full circle; :-(
• one fell swoop; :-(
• strange bedfellows; maybe (a group of criminals/bad people) I have read this one somewhere but really can't remember
• the world’s my oyster; might be (it’s easy to deal with things coming one’s way)
As I had promised, I am writing more about the production of mangoes and their varieties. Pakistan is the fifth largest producer and fourth largest exporter of mangoes in the world. It produces over one million tones of mangoes of which 60 to 70 thousand tones are exported. The main importers are Middle East and European countries and the Gulf and Saudi Arabia are traditional import markets.
Europeans get mangoes from many parts of the world such as Pakistan, India, Peru, Kenya, Mexico, South Africa, Puerto Rico, Venezuella, Jamaica, Ivory Coast, Thailand and Australia. UK imports the greatest number than any European nations.
Some of the popular varieties of mangoes are, Langra, Sindhri, Chaunsa, Anwar Ratole, and Dasehri. Chaunsa is considered to be the best variety in Pakistan; I would say it is ‘the king of mangoes’, and it is exported to the Middle East. Export quality Chaunsa is packed in 3 kilogramme boxes, containing a minimum of six mangoes.
Other famous varieties include Neelum, Alfanso, Lal Badshah, Sindoori and Siroli. All these names might sound strange to you all.
Jo, I can understand that the mangoes would be expensive in your country because, we even never get to see those ones here. They are directly exported to the countries demanding them. However, your idea to taste mangoes straight off the tree is excellent.
Bye for now
posted on Sunday, 03 June 2007 | comment on this post
Something about Pakistan
It was interesting to read about the christening of Sophie and she is very beautiful, looks like a little angel. I woul say about you Jo that you are very pretty. I read you brother’s (Neil Kent's) comment in your blog, what I figured from that , he must be Sophie’s father.
Here children are named usually by their grandparents, aunts and sometimes by parents. Father or any member of a family says call of prayer in a baby’s ear. I was named by my father's sisters.
It seems you like strawberries. I will also give a try with cream. There was a time when we used to dream of strawberries but for the past 8 or 9 years, they have made their permanent place on the markets. In some regions of Pakistan, strawberry farming has been successful and they are hot favourite just as any summer fruits.
I am going to learn from you so much as a student and I will also pay attention to the mistakes I have made. From now on, I will learn more words coined by Shakespeare and will try to use them in my everyday English. I’ve got your explanation really well. I've also tried some sentences here.
Yesterday the pigeons ruined my beautiful climber plant, they took away the entire stem with leaves, all in one fell swoop.
At a fish market: Oh! This place smells to high heaven. I can’t bear to stand here at all.
When Venus failed her driving test, all her efforts to learn driving came to full circle and she was very disappointed.
Beef and chicken are rather strange bedfellows, they will not get you good taste if cooked together.
The day when I will finish this project, which I’ve been working for ages, the world will be my oyster.
Here are the adjectives relate to the nouns you have given me:
The Philippines (Philippine / Filipino)
This time I am writing something more about myself and the life in Pakistan. We are four sisters and my parents, we are a happy family. About my daily routine, I am an early riser. I wake up for prayers in the morning and go for a walk which I usually do 7 days a week. I also do yoga and I love this form of exercise very much. I throw (Jo I can't find any better word here) grains for pigeons which I love to do every morning. I like pot gardening since I have no space for land gardening. Next time I'll write only about gardening.
I like sketching, decorating terracotta pots and making beautiful henna designs (a herb which is used to paint hands and feet) on hands. In my future blogs, I will post some pictures of my sketch work and my hand painted pots.
Here’s something about Pakistan:
The official Name is Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The name Pakistan means Pure Land.Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan. Urdu is our national language and the basic unit of currency is the Rupee. Pakistan has four provinces: Balauchistan, North West Frontier Province (NWFP), Punjab and Sindh. As I had mentioned in my first blog, that I come from Karachi, which is one of the biggest cities of Pakistan and a centre of commerce. It is the capital of Sindh. It’s a city where you will see people from all races and languages and it’s a good thing I will say. People usually like to eat spicy food. Karachi is famous for its beaches and for the past year, reconstruction of the infrastructure of roads is in progress. Life in Karachi is nice but you know, sometimes due to some political issues, the weather changes!
Some of the readers have asked about my education, I am studying for CIMA’s qualification. It is a qualification of the UK and global too. People living in any part of the world can take this qualification. All one has to do is to get registered with them, and find a centre which is registered with CIMA and conducts their exams. It offers Certificate in Business Accounting (CBA) and Professional qualification which comprises Managerial level, Strategic level and TOPCIMA. Currently, I am preparing for CBA and I am intending to take my exams in July, so that I could start preparing for Managerial level exam for November sitting. CBA can be taken any time of year, the exam is computer based and one gets the result as soon as the paper is done. Of my five papers, I’ve taken the one and passed it too. Anyone interested to know further can visit:
To all the readers who have sent their lovely comments:
Thank you so much for reading my blogs and I am very pleased that you all liked the description of mangoes. Next time I will post some mouth watering pictures of mangoes and I hope you will like them. I may not be able to reply to you all but, I read all the comments.
James, you are right, Urdu is our national language. However, the provinces, which I have mentioned above, have their languages too. As you asked about English in Pakistan, people want to learn it and be good to it. Many people you will find here, who speak English fluently and also write very well. You will see all types of learners here, from beginners to advance learners.
KIrsti, black salt is a kind of salt just as white salt but the black salt used in a very little quantity.
Tomo, raw mangoes are used for making pickles and they are sour in taste so the pickle never tastes sweet. It's tangy and spicy.
Katy I like pears very much.
Pary, Naheed is a Persian name (which means planet Venus) and is usually given to females.
posted on Tuesday, 05 June 2007 | comment on this post
Looking forward to reading about Jo's Pets
Hello Jo, and all
I could not post my entry on Wednesday and I feel bad about it. I want to make the most of becoming the student blogger of June.
Jo, thank you so much for your kind wishes. This time again, I will try those phrases. Yes (:-)), that's me who drops articles such 'a' and 'the'. I often find myself get stuck with articles, probably say, some of the times I get to the right ones and some of the times I mess with them. I will try my best to correct my mistake which you've pointed out.
'A father or any member of the family says call of prayer in a baby's ear.'
'Venus, you have lost 8 kg to fit in your wedding gown, if you didn’t leave your habit of eating chocolates and creamy pastries, your weight will come full circle.'
'Fish and ginger seem like strange bedfellows, but they go well when fried on low flame.’
Jo, the animal you’ve described in your riddle is a cat, isn’t it? This time we all want you to talk with us and tell us more about yourself. As how do you spend your weekends? What major differences you find in the life in a big city and at the countryside?
A big THANK YOU! To all the readers who take time to read my blogs, and write their nice and friendly comments. Your comments are always welcome
Ana Paula, I really liked your saying and, you are right, as learners of English we must give a try to read the works of Shakespeare in English. I read the works of great writers in easy English which I can find in the form of the books which are designed for the students at school and college levels. I also read them on the internet, there are lots of online libraries that offer the classics of the most famous writers. I also searched for the pictures of Brazilian mangoes, they are fantastic with red blushes. I had once read that Brazil is growing its orange orchards and very soon, it is going to be on top of the list of other orange producing countries. Ana, next time I will post the pictures of my sketch work.
Marainna thank you so much for your kind comments. In the year 2003, the first time I came to know about The BBC learning English and, the service I had subscribed to was an email discussion group which was closed last year.
Pilar, you asked about my name as how is it pronounced? It’s: (na: heed)
Hoyshil, your comments are always welcome. Thank you:-)
Benka, the beach in Karachi is also known as The Clifton beach. It is surrounded with some memorable places built under The British rule and is worth visiting.
Leila, it’s really nice to know that your name is Persian too, and yes, we are like sisters because of this. How did you find your friend from Karachi like whom you worked in London with?
Katy, first of all thank you so much for your comments. As you asked, in Pakistan, whether people use English in their everyday life. I would say, those who know, speak confidently and even those who can’t speak well, they try their best and don’t feel shy about making mistakes. There are some who are extremely shy learners. About me knowing Persian, I know a little bit not much.
Thanks Wisarut, I will definitely write more about Pakistani Food and Yoga as well.
Marco, I also welcome you.
David, your comment is very informative about Taipei. I will surely write more about my city.
Thanks Seacloud for your kind wishes.
Here is the link which could not be posted last time:
Best wishes to all
posted on Thursday, 07 June 2007 | comment on this post
Here are some pictures of my work
Scratchy is so cute that it reminded me of my rabbit to whom we sisters used to call as our baby brother. It's so nice to know that you think about animals and you care about them. Animals can't speak but when we care about them and don't hurt them, they pray to God for our wellbeing.
Jo, I am getting your explanation about the articles. And I am also looking at the sentence I wrote. I can understand from the article 'the' which explains something which is a fact, we can say about the thing as 'you know i know'. That's why we will use 'the' for father. I will do some exercises on today's lesson.
Thank you to all the virtual friends for your kind comments.
Ana Paula, do let me know when you see my work, I will be waiting for your comments :)
Tomo, I will write more about the snacks we have with tea in my tomorrow's post. For now, I will say I am from a Gujarati family so we have a long range of tea snacks. Could you please tell me more about The Japanese tea as how is it made and the rice crackers.
Thanks Manas, and what I say about your friend, it was really funny to read about him :). I am sure most of us have problem with articles.
Adek, I sound like a Polish girl! Now you will have to explain me how? I will be looking forward to reading your comment.
Leila I can understand that.
Marianna, I like your comments when you write to me so keep writing whenever you have time. I love to read everyone's comments.
Here are some pictures of my work as I had promised to post them.
A pot was placed before us and we had to draw it. It was drawn with a charcoal pencil.
Bye for now
posted on Friday, 08 June 2007 | comment on this post
Hello Raffles and everyone else
Gorgeous! Raffles you look like a Hollywood film star, oops! I mean :-) a pet star. Hummm… It seems you like to play Frisbee very much. Thank you for giving this homework but, never say before anyone else that idiom is a mixture between the words idiot and bum, it never means like that at all.
Here are the answers:
1)There’s no smoke without fire means nothing happens without a reason.
Adam says he was fired without knowing what he did. I will only say there is no smoke without fire.
2) Every cloud has a silver lining means there’s always something good to come after bad times.
I was very depressed when I moved to Canada for good and I couldn’t find a job. But you see every cloud has a silver lining, after having hard times for two months long I got a good job and that with an accommodation.
3) You could have knocked me down with a feather! This means something is very shocking and surprising
When I heard that you are getting married. You could have knocked me down with a feather!
4) There’s no such thing as a free lunch. This means we never get things for free, if they appear to be free, we will have to pay in some way.
I thought that the deodorant spray was a free sample that anyone could get it but there’s no such thing as a free lunch. It was only free on the purchase of a pair of jeans.
5) Give someone an inch and they’ll take a mile means if you give someone a little they will ask for more
Never lend Mike any money, he is something of a kind that you give him an inch and he will take a mile.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
Let’s talk something about snacks as I had promised Tomo. In Pakistan, there are many things that are taken as teatime snacks such as roasted peanuts, poppadoms (these are round thin crisps made from rice), vermicelli (made from gram flour), samosas, cup cakes, potato crisps, and biscuits. I usually like biscuits, sometimes cupcakes and vermicelli with tea. But anything that’s on the plate is welcome wholeheartedly. A cup of tea without anything is also accepted.
Here’s a quick recipe for the tea which is made here:
Take some water and bring it to boil, add tea and let it boil for 5 minutes or so, put some milk and give one boil. Pour into the teacup and add sugar according to taste. Ginger is also added while the water is put to boil to make it ginger tea.
Best wishes to all and to Raffles and Scratchy the boss
posted on Sunday, 10 June 2007 | comment on this post
I'm back after two days
Hello Jo and Everyone
First of all, I am sorry for coming this late. I hope you won’t mind. I had prepared the post yesterday but due to power shutdown I could not post it.
Thank you Jo! It sounds great that you like tea too and what I say about the ginger tea, this makes a perfect evening tea. To prevent low blood pressure, it is best to drink half glass of water before tea. This controls dehydration in the body.
Jo, I’ve read your post just now and the pictures are lovely and I’ve fallen in love with the first one. It’s beautiful. And these two woodpeckers are so cute. I hope Scratchy and Raffles won’t mind.
I hope I will be better in articles day by day. So far we have learned three things from you: Words coined by Shakespeare, idioms and articles. And I’m sure including me; all the readers are going to be benefited from these. Here are the answers to the options:
1) the 2) the 3) a (this can be any home exhibition) 4) the 5) no article.
Here in Pakistan, it depends upon the location as where one decides to by a home. Like the areas where the riches live, they usually buy bungalows and the initial price begins with 2 crore (£1 equals to Rs 120 Pakistani currency). Apartments are also built around these posh areas and the prices start from 30, 00,000 and go up to 80, 00,000. Whereas in average areas, prices begin from 500,000, and reach up to 50, 00,000. People usually prefer to live in an apartment. I also live in an apartment and my father had bought it for 75,000 when he was not married. Property prices also vary from city to city. In the cities like Islamabad and Lahore, the prices are higher than in Karachi. People also live on rent. Property prices also depend on the budget, like the rise in the prices of cement and iron will also raise the property prices.
Children usually live with their parents and leave homes only when they go abroad or the other city (in Pakistan) for higher studies. When the boys get married, most of them decide to live in a separate home. If they come from a well off family and have a good job, they buy their own homes. Some choose to live in a joint family.
Dear friends thank you very much for your kind comments
Thanks Ana Paula that you liked my drawing. We also make the kind of tea you have described about. You see even living far apart we share the same spices. I also remember that I have to tell you about the writers I like to read.
Maria it will always be a pleasure to read your comments.
Alinor I don’t read poetry very much but I just love to draw and what I say about gardening, I love it since I was younger but I’ve got a chance to do it now.
Wisarut I am glad to read your comments on my work and that you read my posts.
Benka I am going to write about the travel in Pakistan shortly.
A BIG SMILE fro you Hyoshil.
Thanks James, for your keen interest. I really like the way you gather information and explain it. I am going to write more about Pakistan very soon.
Tomo, there is an organization here that offers courses from handicrafts to fashion designing at reasonable fees. I’ve also taken many courses from there because they are not very time consuming and one can take them besides studies. I still have to take an advance course in sketching which I am going to take after my exams. I liked your description of ocha and senbei. Like senbei, we also have some snacks that are made from rice. And it would be a great idea if we talk more about tea times in our countries.
You are right Manas, eyes speak a lot without saying a word. As you asked about my rabbit (baby brother), we used to have it 14 years ago. We only have his sweet memories now. Answering to your question about masala tea and green tea, yes, I do know about them and have also picked the recipe of masala from the website of Tarla Dalal. I like green tea chilled with honey and lemon. Have you tasted Jasmine flavor in green tea? I like its taste very much.
You know Leila, life is incomplete without purpose. Feeding pigeons, drawing sketches and sowing seeds and looking after them like kids make me think that God has made this world really beautiful. But we never happen to see around. Sitting and doing nothing makes one bone lazy and that’s very dangerous.
Pleased to read your comment Salman.
Celio it’s also nice to read your comments thanks.
Hello, a reader without name. Thanks that you liked reading about tea snacks. I will post a link about libraries in my tomorrow’s post.
Thanks Lana for your lovely comments. I like espresso too.
Richard Li, the climate of Pakistan is not very hot but some cities experience hot summers.
Marianna I liked your comments very much and thanks you liked my drawings.
Maru, I’m glad that you like my posts.
Thank you Tejasvi and as a learner of English language I would say that read, write and speak. To learn any language it is important that we practice all the three things together.
Haivan thanks for your nice comments and reading my blogs.
I agree with Minch’s comment that we are not virtual friends we are real friends and I’m happy to have such lovely friends. Thank you All!
Oh! I must post this entry before another power shut down
posted on Wednesday, 13 June 2007 | comment on this post
Travel in Pakistan
Hello Jo and Everyone
As I had promised to write about travel in Pakistan, here I am with some useful information for you all. Before I begin, here’s a bit about the population of Pakistan which is 164,741,924.
Tourists usually move towards Northern areas because of their enchanting beauty of mountains, lush green valleys, lakes, rivers, tall trees and some of the oldest forts. The areas one must give a visit are Baltistan, Hunza, Gilgit, Chitral. The best places you can go to are Shigar fort, Baltit fort, Baltoro Glacier, K-2 and Koh Murree. Link
Besides Northern areas, tourists also like to visit Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi. Islamabad is famous for its greenery and some places like Shakar Parian and Shah Faisal masjid (mosque) and the hills surrounding it. I have also been to Islamabad and have visited both the places I’ve mentioned. Don’t give a miss to a visit to Lahore because this city is popular for its food streets. The places you can visit there are Red fort and Badshahi Masjid, there are some more places too but these two are said to be the famous ones. And if you are in Karachi, the first thing you will see here are the beaches, people love to see the Clifton beach and the Manora Island. This city is a shoppers’ paradise too because like other cities, things are not very expensive here.
There is a town named Thatta at a drive of some kms from Karachi. This is an all time tourist attraction due to it’s mosque that has 100 domes. On the way to Thatta, do give a visit to the necropolis of Makli.
I really forgot to mention another lovely city called Hyderabad. This is another big city of the Province Sindh. It’s at a drive of around 5hrs from Karachi and is famous for its handicrafts.
What things one must be careful about? There is no such thing as foreigners are welcomed wholeheartedly. But I would like to advise you something. When you shop never buy anything without bargain because, sellers tell prices quite high when they see a foreigner in their shops.
To find more about travel in Pakistan and more about Thatta you can also visit Click
As you all know sometimes due to some politial reasons, Pakistan is under the shadow of violence so you should be careful about this also. The rest goes well here.
Here is th link to read books
posted on Thursday, 14 June 2007 | comment on this post
About writers and poets
Hello Jo and Everyone
I’ve come with late work from ‘Wise words from a dead man’. I hope you won’t mind Jo.
Tricky: to do something which is not easy.
Sky-high: When something is out of one’s reach, very expensive.
Duty: it is necessary.
Stopped me in my tracks: it got your attention to it.
Struck: that touched you.
Everyday: part of our routine/ daily life
Bird-feeder: a kind of pot (i can't find any better word here) used to keep birds' food.
Pecking: this is used for birds which means to pick the grains from the beak.
Decipher: succeed in finding out which is difficult to understand.
This homework is great fun, all we have to do is to read and find the meanings from the context. I wonder which member of your pet family is coming to say hello at the weekend.
I hope you all liked the information I shared with you all about travel in Pakistan. I will also say thanks to Dilshair Khan who added some more places to visit. Sindh is also famous for having the remains of an ancient civilization called ‘Moen Jo Daro’ which means mound of the dead. Today I must tell you about the famous poets and writers of Pakistan. Before that I have a bit of information about Urdu for you. Maulvi Abdulhaq is called the Father of Urdu’Baba-e-Urdu’, it was his efforts that Urdu made its place on the list of the languages of the world.
Let’s begin with writers, Ashfaq Ahmed and his wife Bano Qudsia, Saadat Hassan Manto, Sir Sayed Ahmed Khan are the ones I have always liked reading. Their work is something of thought provoking. I also like to read Mark Twain and Charles Dickens. I have also read Shakespeare and Thomas Hardy but not very much. There are some more whose works I have read at school and college and now I read some of them from my younger sister’s books.
Allama Iqbal is our national poet, the rest I will mention here are best know as the poets of Urdu language and are read by everyone. They include Mirza ghalib, Mir Anees, Khawaja Mir Dard, Mir Taqi Mir, Maulana Altaf Husain Hali, Faiz Ahmed Fiaz, Ahmed Faraz and Parveen Shakir.
There are some present day writers that you would like to read and can find their works in English are Bapsi Sidhwa and Kamila Shmasi.
Jo, what peots and writers do you like? And friends don’t forget to write your favourite ones too.
It’s reply time.
Marianna I also wait for your comments. I am also interested to know your everyday activities may be you would like to share it with me?
There’s something I would also like to add Mauricio, in news we see the politicians or extraordinary people but we never get to see a common man. But it’s possible at the BBC blogs. I’m not a politician nor am I a celebrity. I am only an ordinary citizen of Pakistan who tells you about her country in her own way. And thanks that you liked the description of my country.
Richard Li don’t worry it was just that, while replying to your comment, I ate few words. Yes, I know you wrote that the weather of Pakistan is not hot. That’s true however, some cities experience hot temperatures in summers. But this doesn’t remain same all the time, it tends to change after the monsoon rains.
That’s right Tomo, when we go to other country, language should not be the barrier it is though. The most important thing is how we use our brains.
Lana, I love to go to the sea side and when it’s in your city how can you give a miss to it. I usually spend my weekends at home and sometimes we gather at my aunt’s and have a lot fun. You have asked me quite interesting questions. Let’s begin with power shutdowns (I feel like to eat my fingers) that make life difficult especially in summers. I love Monsoon very much, but the problem which I think might be faced by other countries too is muddy streets after heavy showers.
Oh Maria, maria! Pakistan is bigger than its population so it doesn’t fall short of space. But I would say that population is a bomb which grows bigger and bigger and when it gets really bigger, it goes off with a big bang.
Ana Paula, James, Pilar, Manas and everyone, I will write about the customs and traditions of Pakistan and music in my tomorrow’s blog.
posted on Friday, 15 June 2007 | comment on this post
Customs and traditions in Pakistan
Hello Smokey and Everyone
It’s so nice to see you Smokey! You are sweet and seem very lazy but I like you. Hmmm! Jo has quite smart pets who can use the computers too. Smokey a kiss for you for the homework and some fish too (I hope you are not vegetarian).
Ok Smokey, have fun! It’s time talk to Jo. As you asked Jo, whether balti is a Pakistani dish or Indian. It’s an Indian dish and is also liked in Pakistan. But there are many dishes that are shared by both India and Pakistan and are cooked almost the same way. On the whole, you will find minor no differences between the foods in the two countries. Baltistan (Bal is pronounced as ble in the word able) is an area in Pakistan and has no connection with the dish balti as such. A little information about Baltistan, it is also known as Baltiyul, the language spoken here is Balti. Baltistan is often called little ‘Tibet’. I hope you will find it informative.
I think before I start writing about the customs and traditions in Pakistan, I must do my homework first.
1) Naheed is a talented artist, isn’t she?
2) Naheed draws beautifully, doesn’t she?
3) Today is Saturday, isn’t it?
4) You are good at English, aren’t you?
5) I am quite a grumpy cat, aren’t I?
And Jo is a nice teacher, isn’t she?
Let’s talk about the customs and traditions. According to my knowledge these two are a part of a culture along with religion, language and the way of living. Some customs and traditions are such that we like to follow them, some need changes and some are a kind that after a long time of practice we come to realise that we better not to follow them.
In Pakistan, man is considered to owe the responsibility to look after his family; in terms of clothing and shelter, and woman is supposed to look after her family, her home. Here I would like to throw some light on the view of Islam about the rights of man and woman. They are equal, they both have a right to get education, they are treated equally and are respected equally. In some matters the man is given superiority over the woman. It is just like, there are two students and both have secured equal marks in exams. One secured highest marks in math and the other secured highest in science, but the sum of their total marks is equal. Physically, man is considered stronger than woman and that’s why he’s been given the responsibility to look after his family as a bread winner and protect his family. However, there are no restrictions on women and they are respected.
It’s a custom that elderly members are considered to be the important members of a family. Their opinion is highly considered in all the matters. Marriages are both arranged and love, it’s usually a boy’s family that sends proposal for marriage to the girl’s family. A traditional Pakistani wedding lasts for three to four days. The first two days are of a family get to gather as women paint their hands with beautiful henna designs. It’s a tradition that a bride’s hands and feet are painted with henna in a very special way. Groom doesn’t paint his hands with henna of course, but his little finger is painted by his sisters and cousins to wish him happiness.
Third day is a very special day as this is the day when the wedding takes place. The bride and the groom are dressed in their best wedding clothes and are given official papers to sign which is followed by Nikkah; it’s a recitation of few verses from the Quran. There is a wedding reception after Nikkah, where all the friends and family members gather to celebrate the occasion. I like to attend wedding receptions very much because one gets a delicious feast of various foods and I love food. Then the time comes for the ‘Rukhsati’, it’s a time when bride meets her family and weeps as she is leaving her home to begin a new life with her new family.
A picture for you of a Pakistani wedding couple.
This is my cousin brother and his bride
I hope you liked the picture of a traditional wedding I tried to paint. Let’s talk about how we welcome our guests. Suppose you come to my home as guests, if you come at the lunch time, my mother will never let you go without lunch. She will serve you with a delicious food that she will make in a jiffy. If you come in the evening, you are surely going to have a cup of tea and snacks and she will insist to have dinner with us too. At the time of saying bye she will present you a gift.
In some parts of Pakistan, it is a custom that when there are guest at home, they are served with the best food. They present women a shawl as a gift which is considered to be a sign of respect to them and to men a shawl and a hat for the same reasons.
Here’s something about the homes we live, all kinds of homes you will see here from the bigger ones to the smaller ones. My home is perfect according to our family size and when there are guests, it never falls short of space. There are three rooms, two bathrooms, a balcony, a common space and a kitchen.
James had asked me the difference between the masjid and mosque. There is no difference between the two. Masjid is an Arabic word for the place where people worship. Mosque is an English word for this.
A bit about music in Pakistan, you can hear rock, jazz, pop, classical and almost all kind of music here. I like classical music and I’m very selective about music. My favourites are, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Shafqat Amanat Ali, Sajjad Ali, The Beatles and Whitney Houston. I like to listen to them.
Best wishes to Sleepy Smokey and All
posted on Saturday, 16 June 2007 | comment on this post
Hello Jo, and everyone else
It’s pleasant today as it drizzled in the early morning. It is likely that it may rain in a couple of days. I like rains because they calm down everything around from scorching weather to unhappy and sad faces.
I must share something funny with you all probably some jokes and funny things from real life.
A sixty year old couple was celebrating its 3oth wedding anniversary. As they cut the cake, a fairy appeared and said,” Since you have spent 30 years of your life together, it’s time to give you the reward.” The fairy said that each of them can have a wish only once so they must think well before they wish. First, she asked the wife to have a wish. The wife wished to see the world and with a wave of the wand, a ticket to the world tour was in her hands. Now it was the husband’s turn to have a wish. He wished that, “I wish for a woman who is 30 years younger than me.” The fairy waved her wand and can you guess what happened??? Ok I’ll tell you. The man turned 90 year old.
Once I was listening to the radio, there was a quiz about a beauty contest that had recently taken place. The radio presenter had asked a question that was something like, “who was the first runner up in the Miss Universe contest and what was her name?” Many callers came, but there was one of the callers who came up with a very funny answer. She said,” I don’t know her name, but I know that it was Miss France and she came from France.”
I like this one very much and I often recall it. Once, my father took my youngest sister to the shop to buy her sweets and crisps. She was 3 then, now she is 13. On the way, she saw a donkey and said,” Papa look at there, how small cow it is.” My father looked around, he didn’t see any cow. He said,” I don’t see any cow around.” She went near the donkey and said,” This cow papa. It’s very small, isn’t it?” It was really sweet of her. He then explained her that it was a donkey not a cow.
posted on Monday, 18 June 2007 | comment on this post
Replies to your comments
Hello Jo and Everyone else
I hope you are all keeping well. I am glad to know Jo that you liked my jokes. As you wrote about moaners, the same is with our nation.There are always so many things to learn from your blog posts, from your writing style to vocabulary, use of phrases and expressions and grammar. In your latest blog, you wrote ‘it’s second to none’. Would you explain it as I didn’t get it this one? There is one more of this type ‘it’s next to nothing’, am I correct with the meaning ‘it’s entirely nothing’?
There’s another sentence that you wrote:
This weekend my best friend and her husband are coming down from the north of England to visit.
If the same sentence is written as:
This weekend my best friend and her husband are coming from the north of England to visit. (We as learners often write like this)
What is the difference between the two sentences?
Dear friends, today I thought to reply to your comments. In my previous post, I forgot to mention a point regarding Nikkah. Along with the recitation of the verses, Nikkah is a legal marriage contract between the bride and the groom which also requires acceptance by both. There are some obligatory conditions for a marriage to be recognized as legal and valid in an Islamic law which are: two witnesses, the agreement of mehr (it is an obligatory condition of marriage that the man fix and gift an amount to his wife, according to his means or according to his wife’s demand, at the time of marriage. You can also learn more )and the proposal by the man and acceptance by the bride. These civil and social laws are laid down by God to protect the honor and right of both the parties.
Pary, wearing red colour is not a tradition as such. It’s more to do with choice.
Celio, every country has it own issues and so have we.
Yes, Tomo, I have heard about the book ‘Memories of a Geisha’ but I’ve never had a chance to read it. I had once read on the BBC website about a 17 year old Japanese girl who chose to become a geisha. I’ll find more about Haiku (I like this word) and may be one day, I will write one too. I’ve heard about fireflies but I’ve been longing to see one. Our national poet ‘Sir Allama Iqbal’ has written a poem on it. Tomo, Kimino is a traditional dress for the wedding couple in Japan, am I right? I saw it in the wedding picture of one of the teacher bloggers, Lewis Davies.
Marianna, it was so nice to hear something from you. I imagined myself in your country when you described the castle with its golden hall. You see, we share the same interests; I love birds and love to draw them as well. Yes, there are pelicans in my country, but we hardly get to see them.
How have you been Wisarut? I usually get cross with my studies when I can’t solve a question, and sometimes loads of work make me feel like to bite my fingers. At that time I do nothing and stand by the window to breath in fresh air. I also draw sketches and these little things make me feel fresh to get back to work with new energy.
Julio, when you all write me comments, it gives me confidence to write. And we also have a teacher blogger, Miss Jo Kent, who is always there to guide.
Hi Lana, I haven’t read the book ‘My Feudal Lord’, but I had once read the interview of the writer. She had married to a politician who was already married and had children. The man was a landlord and a part of feudal system where male domination is everything. Her married life didn’t go well with him and she got divorced. She now lives with the man’s first wife who has also been divorced. Her writings are based on the feudal system and often remain in controversy. Tehmina Durrani is a woman of courage at least she raises her voice against something which is unfair.
Manas, thank you for liking my jokes. I really like that you always have something to share with at your end.
Neha, it’s a pleasure to meet you. So you are from Mumbai, on of my favourite cities of India. I still miss that Chopati beach and those coconut trees.
Fulvio, In Pakistan the birth of a baby is celebrated by an Islamic practice called Aqiqa or sacrifice (of a goat), however this is not obligatory in Islam; it is a voluntary deed. A baby boy is circumcised which is deemed obligatory.
Ana Paula I really don’t think your long comment got me bored. I read it with great interest, how poor of me that I haven’t seen the movie “It’s a wonderful life”. The only movie I have ever seen is, ‘Alice in wonderland’, I have seen its both old and new versions. I also used to watch a TV serial called ‘The wizard of oz’, it was similar to Alice in wonderland and I liked it very much. I haven’t read the works of Jane Austen, but I know something about her is that, most of her writings are based on women.
Benka I like to watch movies based on novels and stories, but not the ones that are made on real life characters such as Alexander the great. It’s not easy to portray that way.
posted on Tuesday, 19 June 2007 | comment on this post
The lunar eclipse of Venus
Hello Jo and Everyone,
Thank you Jo! First, I would like to say that, I learn a lot from the way you write. I sometimes can't explain things in detail.This time I've tried to follow in your steps in writing. I will do some more exercises on the grammar points you’ve explained.
It's interesting that tomorrow we are going to experience the longest day of the year. I’m surely going to see the sun rise as I’m up around 4.40 a.m. for prayers, and the best thing is that my room’s window is in the east direction, so I can enjoy every single moment of the sun rise. It might sound quite early but I take half an hour’s sleep after prayers which I will not do for tomorrow. Asia is also in the northern hemisphere except Indonesia which is primarily in the southern hemisphere. As about celebrating the Summer Solstice, there is nothing much about it. It’s just that we get to know about it in the newspaper and on TV. Here it is still a bit light around 8.00 p.m. at night, and at 9.00 p.m. you can say that the sky is dark.
I would also like to share something with you all. It is that, on June 18th we saw the lunar eclipse of Venus. At around 7.40 p.m. or a bit before the planet Venus positioned towards the moon in such a way as “a little ball in the bowl” (just like the moon and the star in the flag of Pakistan). At around 9.00 p.m. it was pointing just below the moon (the round outer lining of the moon) . Both the views were beautiful. Since it was a third day of the new lunar month; the moon was crescent. I must say it was a beautiful evening.
posted on Wednesday, 20 June 2007 | comment on this post
Fables of Rumi
Hello again everyone
It rained in Karachi today, the first rain of summer. The day was very hot till 5.00 p.m. then gray clouds began to appear and it started to rain around 7.00 p.m. It lasted for two hours. The first thing we had to experience after the rain began was power shutdown. As it is said, 'where there's a will, there's a way' and we say that,'where there's rain, there's power shutdown'. However, the weather has got better now.
Today I have come up with a fable. Have you ever heard about ‘Mawlana Jalal-ad-din Muhammed Rumi’ also known as Rumi? He was a 13th century Persian poet. His work includes odes and quatrains and has been translated into many languages. Children love to read his fables and so do adults. I’m also sharing one of his fables with you all.
It’s a story of a merchant and a parrot. The merchant was excessively fond of his parrot. He kept it in a silver cage and fed it fruits and nuts and anything else it asked for.
The parrot longed for freedom but the merchant always said that it could ask for anything else. One day the parrot said him to give him freedom and it would give him three pieces of advice that could be of great benefit. The merchant loved the parrot but he loved money more. He thought to himself that if the advice helped him become richer, it would be worth it.
He opened the cage and the parrot hopped out onto his hand and said, “Never grieve over loss of wealth”. The merchant thought it was a tame advice.
The parrot then flew to the roof of the merchant’s house and said, “This is my second piece of advice that never believe everything that is told to you.” The merchant got annoyed and said to tell him something else that he didn’t know.
This time the parrot said, “What you don’t know is that I have two priceless gems in my stomach.” Hearing this merchant regretted that it was fool of him to set the bird free. “Don’t you want to hear my third piece of advice?”, Said the parrot. “Tell me”, he said bitterly.
“I advised you never grieve over losses but you are grieving over losing me.” It further said, “I advised you never believe everything that is told to you, but you believed immediately when I said I had two priceless gems in my stomach. Could I have survived if I had two gems in my stomach? My third advice is: Listen; learn to listen with your mind instead of just with your ears.” After giving third advice the parrot flew.
It’s time to talk to friends.
Hi Tomo, It would be great fun to climb a mountain. Unfortunately there are no such big mountains in Karachi, there are only hills. Yesterday I searched on the internet about how to write haiku and have tried to write some of my own.
Embracing the blooms
Here comes the spring
Tied to my ponytail
The tender touch
Of my mother’s hands
The nightingale is singing
The first summer rain
In my garden tree
Hi! Manas, I’m afraid I don’t know the answer to your question. It’s not a bit tricky but a lot!
Hullo! Mauricio, are you interested in astronomy? I will write about some more events which will occur during 2007.
Thank you Ana Paula! I like it that you never forget to write me comment.
Hello Teresa! I’m really glad that you read my blogs and sent such a lovely comment.
Benka, it’s all your comments that make me write enthusiastically.
James, thank you! Your explanation was absolutely right. There’s something more to write to you. It’s a custom in Pakistan that if a friend visits for the first time he/ she is presented a gift. Frequent friends are offered a cup of tea at first and then lunch or dinner whatever. Actually I didn’t explain well in my blog.
Wisarut, you all send me comments because you take time to read my posts and it would not be nice if I don’t reply. We are all becoming friends.
Adek, in Islam consent of a man and a woman is highly considered in marriage.
posted on Thursday, 21 June 2007 | comment on this post
Breakfast in Pakistan
Sounds interesting Jo and opposite to an English breakfast. You are definitely going to have strong bones even when you will be sixty as yogurt is said to be a source of calcium. May I ask since how long have you been a vegetarian? Is it because you love animals or any incident that you don’t eat meat? Or perhaps you don’t like to eat meat.
In Pakistan, the food people usually eat as breakfast is fried eggs, flat bread made of wheat and a cup of tea. A traditional breakfast which is eaten only on Sundays includes halwa, curry made of chickpeas and potatoes and puri. Halwa is a traditional desert which is served on all occasions. It is made of semolina and garnished with almonds and pistachios. Puri is deep fried bread and it can be made both with wheat flour and white flour. These make a delicious Sunday breakfast. And Jo, if you ever want to try it, you can find it on the menu of Indian restaurants in the UK by the name ‘Chana (chick peas) Bhatora (puri)’. In some parts of Pakistan people eat lassi Paratha as breakfast. Lassi is a drink made of yogurt and a little water and Paratha is fried bread.
I prefer to eat flat bread, homemade jam of mangoes and a cup of tea as breakfast. I don’t eat eggs daily, it’s only twice a week. If you ask me the vilest food, I would instantly say sweetened pickle. It‘s made of raw mangoes, sugar and spices and it is eaten with spicy food.
I have tried to find out meanings of the words.
1 bangers - sausages
2 grub - an insect
3 sarnie - sandwich
This time I am also posting some pictures of the places in Pakistan.
This is the picture of Frere hall in Karachi
This is mohatta Palace in Karachi
This is Badshahi mosque (Lahore) built in 1672-74
Moen Jo Daro(ruins of an ancient civilization 2500 B.C.) (Sindh)
Another view of Moen Jo Daro
Have a nice day
posted on Friday, 22 June 2007 | comment on this post
It's pouring down
Hello Jo and Everyone else reading!
I hope all of you are fine and enjoying the weekend and thank you so much for your comments! I never give a miss to read them all.
It was very hot yesterday, so hot as if the sun had come down upon our heads. But God had to send down best for us. At around 4.30 p.m. when I was watering my plants, there was a thunderstorm and it was very strong. Just after that it rained heavily and lasted nearly for 3 hours. It also affected the electricity, which came at around 2.00a.m.
Karachi sizzled on Friday as the mercury touched 42 C. Such temperatures are rarely experienced in a coastal city as Karachi in June. It’s expected that an approaching monsoon weather system will cause heavy rainfall.
I also read in yesterday’s newspaper that Southeastern Europe experienced the hottest day on Friday with nearly 30 deaths in recent days across the region. The Island of Rhodes recorded 45 C, which, according to the met department, could be the warmest June in 90 years.
I’ve been observing since I was a child that the weather is getting warmer and warmer. The past year is said to better than the present year. Don’t know what will happen in coming years?
After such a serious talk I should also tell you as what do we do on a rainy day? That’s a very usual thing to tell that people come out their homes to enjoy the rain. I should tell you something about snacks that are made. All the mums put the kettle on as first thing. Then to accompany the cuppa, everyone’s favourite pakora is made. Pakora( it is like falafal in the Middle East) is made from gram flour, few green chilies, sliced onions, a teaspoon of cumin seeds and a little water. All the ingredients are mixed and fried in a form of balls and are served with chutney or ketchup.
We did not make pakora but I had baked raisin sponge cake. My mother doesn’t like so much fuss when it rains. She says one can make snacks for one, two or four days. What if it rains for a fortnight? The budget for the oil will be out!
I would like to know that do you experience heat wave in your countries and what is the maximum temperature? and How do enjoy a rainy day?
Replies to your comments
Tomo thank you so much for liking my haikus! This is the way through which I will always remember you. I will continue writing haikus in future also. It’s so lovely to know that you used to make little dolls when you were a child in hope of a good weather. I still remember when I was a child, I and my younger sister used to stand by the window and sing a song for rain. Childhood memories are beautiful, even when we grow older, they always remain with us.
How are you Teresa? Your name reminds of Mother Teresa. I’m glad that you like reading my blogs. I would be pleased to hear more from you.
Hello Ahmed! I had said the second idiom jokingly, there’s no idiom of such kind. ‘Where there’s a will there’s a way’ is an idiom. For the second point in your comment, the sentence can be written by both ways. And for your third point I would say we sometimes eat words while writing.
Fulvio, ‘One thousand and one nights’ is also known as ‘Arabian nights’. I haven’t read it and I also don’t know much I’m afraid. I have only read the story of ‘Alladin’ and I don’t know whether it’s one of the stories of ‘Arabian nights’.
Seomon, Thank you for your comments and I hope I’ll hear from you again.
It will rain anytime.
posted on Sunday, 24 June 2007 | comment on this post
Hello! Jo, and Everyone
I hope you are all fine. Thank you! Jo and everyone for you kind concern.
Jo, it’s really nice to know more about you. And you will like it when you try Pakistani food.
As for my favourite landmark in Pakistan, I like ‘Moen Jo Daro’ and ‘Baltit fort’. I haven’t visited them yet but I have read about them and have seen their beautiful pictures and their documentaries on TV. I like historical places very much. My father has seen Moen Jo Daro, that time he used to live in the interior part of Sindh. He was quite younger then and often used to cycle there as it was at a mile’s distance from his home.
Here are my answers to the quiz:
1) It’s boiling! – It’s very hot
2) Nice weather foe ducks! – The weather is bad and rainy
3) Brrr! It’s a bit parky today! – It’s cold
4) It’s bucketing down. – It’s raining heavily
5) It’s close! – I don’t know exactly maybe it’s warm
Here are some pictures of Halwa Puri
chickpeas and puri
Today I'm writing about the festivals celebrated in Pakistan.
We follow the lunar calendar and the religious festival that is celebrated is called Eid. There are two Eids celebrated in a year called Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Azha. Eid-ul-Fitr is also called Ramadan Eid.
As I said, we follow the lunar calendar; the new month begins with the sighting of the moon and a month is of 29 or 30 days. Ramadan is the 9th month of the lunar calendar. Muslims observe fasts in this month and celebrate Eid on first day of the 10th month. The fast is kept by having a little food at dawn a while before a call to prayer and broken at the time of sunset with a call to prayer. This means one has to abstain from food till the sunset. People exchange sweets and make delicious food at Eid and it’s a great time to have a meet up with family and friends. The second Eid, Eid-ul-Azha, is celebrated in the month of Zilhajj which is the 12th month of the lunar calendar. Muslims perform Hajj in this month(pilgrimage) to the holy city of Mekkah. This Eid is celebrated by sacrificing animals which is a tradition of Prophet Abraham (Pbuh). A small part of meat is kept at home and the rest is distributed among the orphans, widows and the homeless. Hajj is obligatory and those who are in good health and are financially sound should perform it once in life. Sacrificing animals also depends on one’s financial soundness. The birth anniversary of the Prophet Muhammed (Pbuh) is also celebrated both as a festival and a holy event.
Other religious festivals that are celebrated are Christmas, Holi, Dipawali and Navroz (Zoroastrian New Year). Navroz is also celebrated as spring festival. Basant (kite flying) is considered to be a cultural festival.
Replies to your comments:
How are you Wisarut? First of all, I would like to say that here in Pakistan, people like Thai food very much. If I am not wrong the main ingredients for Thai cooking are coconut milk, fish sauce and noodles, aren’t they? It’s a good idea to save rain water, because it’s a main source of irrigation for seasonal crops.
Manas, can I ask you a question? Are you from Mumbai? I like this city very much especially the Chopati beach and there is one more called Juhu Chopati.
Sayla, thank you for your lovely comments! I would like to say that there was a time when Bangladesh was called East Pakistan. It’s so nice to meet you. And thank you Bappy for reading my blog. I hope to read more from you.
Tomo, you are right, it’s all because of the global warming. However, we can save our environment by changing our lifestyles. As the time passes things are getting modernized.
Hello Ana Paula! It’s so lovely to read your nice comment about rain and the band Legiao Urbana. In answering to your question, I have never been to UK, but I read a lot about it. As you know I’m taking CIMA qualification and its head office is also in London at Chapter Street. Secondly, I read a lot about food, surf on the internet for recipes and watch food channels such the BBC-Food.
Hello Ernesto! It’s great to read someone from Chile. Can I ask you a question? Does it rain in winter in your country? I hope to hear more from you. And thank you Gabriel! It’s great to hear about the winter season in your country. I like winter but I don’t like winter blues.
Teresa, how have you been? I would like to say that I’m good at cooking and you know what? Girls are better at cooking than guys but I really can’t understand why all the world famous chefs are men. I think women are not restricted to work in Pakistan. And men do go abroad for good. The problem of electricity in my country is due to power shortage which is 163MW.
Dear friends I’ll try my best to reply to your comments daily as Saturday would be the last day of my blogging and I want to talk to you all as much as I can.
posted on Tuesday, 26 June 2007 | comment on this post
I hope you are all keeping well. This is going to be an interesting discussion on superstition because there are so many things that people consider good or bad. The good ones are always welcomed but unfortunately the bad ones are always considered as ‘an ugly duckling’. I am sure everyone will come up with some interesting superstitions.
I am not superstitious; however, I like saying ‘keeping fingers crossed’. When I was a child I had to believe in some of the things told by my elders, though my small mind never accepted them at all. When I was quite younger, my grandmothers both from my mother and father’s side used to advise us that if someone is leaving home never to ask where s/he is going. Because this brings bad luck and the person leaving should sit for a while. There’s another superstition about a black cat. If a black cat crosses someone’s path, the person should change the path to save himself from something happening wrong to him. Jokingly, in my view if a black cat crosses your path, you should not change your path. Instead you should make the cat change its path.
There are some more interesting superstitions to share with you all. I will begin with the bad ones first. It is considered to be bad luck if the milk spills. Seeing of an owl is said to bring the news of death. Breaking of mirror is a sign of bad luck. A pregnant woman should not do any work with needle, scissors and a knife when it’s solar or lunar eclipse. It is believed that the baby is born with some abnormalities. I have also heard another one of such kind that an expectant mother should not go out of home in solar or lunar eclipse. Babies born with teeth are not considered lucky for the family. However, medical science has an answer to this one that why are babies born with teeth?
Some good luck superstitions are: crowing of a crow at a window is the sign of guests. If a honey bee builds a comb outside a house, it is said that a person buys a new home. Putting a dress on inside out. I can only think of these
Answers to your questions Jo:
1) A horseshoe - lucky
2) Oepning an umbrella whilst indoors - unlucky
3) Anew pair of shoes on the table - unlucky
4) A black cat crossing your path - unlucky
5) Breaking a mirror - nlucky
Good luck to all
posted on Wednesday, 27 June 2007 | comment on this post
Hello, Jo and Everyone reading!
It’s still cloudy and windy here. I am having a cuppa and writing this blog entry. I have almost reached the end of blogging month and by the time this blog entry gets published, there will be two more days to go.
Jo, today I would like to ask you that what things I still need to add to my English learning. As a teacher and a native speaker you can suggest me better. How can I make my writing better and impressive? What areas of the language you have found me weak in? Your tips and suggestions will worth a million to me and other learners too.
As for my everyday English learning, I try to keep reading, writing, listening and speaking together for better learning.
Let’s talk something more about a day here. I have already finished the tea and it’s evening right now. My mother has just returned home from shopping, and has brought a beautiful leafy stem of the Tulsi plant with her. You would also like to see some pictures that I have taken.
A close up at tiny flowers
Tulsi is also known as Basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) or you can also say one of the members of the basil family. It is aromatic and has edible seeds which reside in very small flowers. The one my mother has brought is ‘Thai Basil’, because it smells like aniseed or licorice. I like its aroma because it takes me back to some beautiful memories. Do you know this is one of the ways to relax from a stressful day? If you are tired or gloomy or may be stressed, you can try this out, too.
I like to relax myself by sitting crossed legs in a quiet place with a light perfume of my choice. It can be a scent of cologne, a flower.
What are your preferred ways to relax yourself?
Till then I am off to prepare the soil for tomorrow to sow the seeds of Thai Basil.
posted on Thursday, 28 June 2007 | comment on this post
Hello, Jo and all!
I hope you are all well and must have got that Friday feeling.
Jo, I will bear all those points in mind which you pointed out during my blogging. Thank you for being such a wonderful teacher! Your guidance will help me in my future learning too.
It was very interesting to know the superstition about cats. I also told this one to my mother and to my surprise, she said her grandmother used to tell this too. That means we share this one about cats as well.
We talked about so many things and now it’s time to talk about proverbs. I like this one ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’ and that’s also true. Some works are of a kind that it is best to do them alone or they become a mess.
Here are my answers.
1 The grass is always greener on the other side – Things at the far end always appear to be attractive unless they are experienced. For e.g. Garry always wanted to settle into London but the grass is always greener on the other side. Now that he lives in London, but he is sick of the weather there.
2 People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones – Those who are vulnerable should not attack others.
3 A rolling stone gathers no moss - this refers to people who are always moving and don’t form their roots into one place.
4 Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth – we should be thankful when we receive a gift, and not wish for something better.
5 Empty vessels make most noise – people with little knowledge speak the most and make the greatest fuss.
Jo, I must say you have given great words of wisdom. I hope I have explained them correctly.
It’s time to talk to friends. It was really interesting to read your comments about how you relax yourselves.
Ana Paula, how are you? The way you have described to relax at the sea side and used such vivid imagination that I am also visualizing myself at the sea. Lovely!
Thank you Ernesto to write about your country! That’s really surprising to know that it never rains in the part you live. I think your question doesn’t sound stupid. The flower is just to make the food look nice.
Hi Manas, I have been to India and the cities I visited were Mumbai and Ahmedabad. It’s very interesting to read your superstition about the presentation. I agree with you that attitudes give more space to superstition. The Tulsi you are talking about is called the ‘Holy Tulsi’ which is found in most houses in India.
Thu, learn English with fun and you will like it. It is best to practice reading, writing, speaking and listening together in your everyday learning. For listening you can watch English channels.
Hello Tomo, as for fasting, there is no harm to swallow saliva in fast. In fact it’s a natural thing that secretes out from our salivary glands. God is all merciful and He is kind upon His creation.
Mauricio, the weather was very hot until it did not rain but now it has got better. It was 42 C on June 22nd which was recorded as the highest temperature of June. The reason for babies born with teeth is, The 20 baby teeth, or primary teeth, begin forming below the gums before birth. The two lower front teeth (central incisors) are generally the first to erupt. This typically occurs around six months of age, but can vary by a several months from child to child. Most children will have a full set of baby teeth by the time they are three years old.
Some children are actually born with a tooth or teeth. These are called neonatal teeth. They are true baby teeth and not extras.
Benka, it was very interesting to read about the festival you celebrate. As for the pictures of food, I haven’t taken them myself; I have copied them from a website of Pakistani food. I also remember you had asked me about Mohatta Palace and Moen Jo Daro. You will find these links informative. I like Lavender plant very much but the weather of Karachi is not suitable to grow the plant.
Wisarut, I have only tasted Thai soup and it tastes great. There are many restaurants here that serve Thai food. I like to cook my own at home so I always search for the recipes. I have heard about Thai massage, it is said to be the best way to relax mind and body. Your ways to relaxation are good.
Ailing20, I like flowers too and it sounds interesting to read about the Yunnan province being called the ‘Kingdom of flowers’.
Marianna, I am very pleased to read your comment. Pay my regards to your parents. I would also like to say about you that you are wonderful. I have always found you kind and friendly throughout your comments. Yes, you are right I have made so many friends here and I will be popping up on the comments system.
Teresa, you must be enjoying your friend’s wedding and the banquet as well. You all have become my friends. We can talk at the Communicate part of the BBC services. I have also formed a blog on a website but the BBC team will not allow me to write here.
posted on Friday, 29 June 2007 | comment on this post
You have all been wonderful! Thank you!
Bonjour, Jo and everyone!
It’s 30th June already. A month passed in no time and it’s time to say welcome to the new student blogger who will be writing blogs for the month of July. Best of luck!
My younger sister has made this cycle which she calls 'Blog Cycle' and this is for the new blogger
I want to say a special ‘Thank you!’ to Mr. Paul Scott for having me such a great opportunity. ‘BBC Learning English’ is best and anyone who wants to learn English should spend 30 minutes to on this website daily.
I have had a great time with you all. Thank you Jo! I have learned so much from the way you write and your suggestions will help me a great deal. It’s been a privilege. Best wishes to you and Richard.
A huge ‘Thank you!’ to everyone who has read my blogs and posted comments. You have all been very kind and friendly. Ana Paula, I remember you had requested me to write another fable of Rumi. I hope you will also like to read his words.
Only from the heart can you touch the sky
Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.
Don't grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form
Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart.
Every tree and plant in the meadow seemed to be dancing, those which average eyes would see as fixed and still.
Pilgrimage to the place of the wise is to find escape from the flame of separateness.
It's started to rain.
A rainy Bye to you all!
A gift from my pot garden 'My Periwinkle plant'
posted on Saturday, 30 June 2007 | comment on this post