Category Archives: Uncategorized

Women in Trousers? Scandalous!

Over the course of time, cultures and mores change and along with those changes, fashion too often changes.  This is particularly true of women in trousers.

Early Persian paintings depict women in pant-like garments and women throughout the Eastern World have long been wearing a type of trousers.  The same cannot be said for the Western women; especially women from the English speaking world.  At one time it was taboo for a woman to wear trousers.  It was considered unladylike or even sinful for a woman to wear pants.  In Canada a woman was called to confess that she had worn trousers while riding her bicycle to work.  She should have worn a dress or skirt.

There has always been a rebel or two and one such woman was Elizabeth Smith-Miller.  In the 18th century she made a debut in a design borrowed from the East; Turkish-styled trousers.

It is not that the Western woman did not wear trousers; she did, but she wore them for outdoor work or for ‘men’s work.  In the 19th century in England women who worked in coal mines scandalized Victorian society by wearing pants under their dresses to work.  Once there, for ease of shovelling coal, they rolled up their skirts so they were not cumbersome.  In the American West women who worked on ranches wore trousers for outdoor work such as riding horses; and during World War II women wore trousers to work in factories while their husbands were at war.  But skirts and dresses for women were still considered the norm and women who wore trousers were frowned upon.

In 1939, Vogue magazine, for the 1st time, pictured women in trousers.  By the 1960’s designers such as Yves St. Laurent were designing classy pantsuits.  Over the course of time, it became more and more acceptable for women to wear trousers to the workplace, although pants were still taboo.  By the 1960’s, some businesses permitted their female women to wear trousers to the workplace.  Schools were slower to catch on to the new trend.  It was not until 1968 that some schools started to allow their female students to wear trousers to the classroom.  Schools, even into the 1970s, continued to relinquish their hold and the number of female students wearing pants to the classroom continued to grow.

So, in the West, the tradition of women wearing pants or trousers has only been around for about 50 years.  But we have since come a long way.  By the 1990’s it was reported that about two-thirds of the female population wore trousers to work several times per week.  As for the study hall, the most common sight in North America or Canada is girls studying in blue jeans.

Studying in Canada in One of Its Richest Provinces

If, after your study period in Canada you intend to work in Canada, you will want to consider beginning your Canadian study experience in one of the richest provinces in Canada.

Based on the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of $70,826, oil rich Alberta is the place to study and work.  Studying in Canada where prospects of employment and a good salary are high is an incentive to study in Alberta or one of the other oil rich provinces, Saskatchewan or Newfoundland.  Where there’s oil, there’s gold!  Saskatchewan, the 2nd highest has a GDP of $60,878, which is then followed by Newfoundland, Ontario and British Columbia at $55,213, $46,303 and $44,847 respectively.

Some of these provinces mentioned claim many excellent colleges and universities where you can complete your studies in Canada.  Alberta has some of the finest educational institutions in the country.  This is home to the University of Alberta which is ranked 67th in the top 100 universities in the world and boasts of 18 Faculties and 400 programs.  Not to be underestimated is Grant MacEwan University which has university transfer and collaborative agreements with the University of Alberta.  A smaller university, it is often the first choice of students who want to study at a smaller institution for the first 2 years before transferring to a major university like the University of Alberta or the University of Calgary.  Alberta has two well recognized polytechnic institutions, NAIT and SAIT and if you are looking for a way to fast track yourself into working in Canada, you will want to consider these fine technical schools.

British Columbia (BC), although it only ranks 5th on the GDP per capita, is no slouch in an expanding international market.  The City of Vancouver, ranked as the No. 1 city for the highest household net worth is a prime place to study and find work in Canada.  The University of British Columbia, ranked 25th in the top 100 universities worldwide, is located in Vancouver.  Douglas College, in a student survey rated an A grade in quality of education provided to their students, has university transfer and collaborative program agreements with both the University of BC and Simon Fraser.

Ontario, the 4th richest province in Canada has a number of fine universities and colleges; the University of Toronto, McMasters, Waterloo and York are to mention only a few.  Several feeder colleges, such as Seneca or George Brown are also sound choices for a place to start your studying in Canada experience.

Saskatchewan, the 2nd richest province in the country does not have too many universities where you can study in Canada.  But it does have the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Regina.  The University of Saskatchewan is known throughout the country for its excellent agriculture program and especially its School of Veterinarian Science.  It is a researched based institution and also has one of the best Medical Colleges in Canada

So, as you consider your options for studying in Canada, look out on the horizons of Canada, look at all of Canada’s provinces, not just the one you know about.  You will want to explore what is your best option.  You will want to take into consideration the wealth of the province because that means dollars into their educational facilities which means a better education.  You will want to consider the wealth of the province because that means that you will be able to find work in Canada after you graduate.  If you want assistance as you consider the different studying in Canada choices, then call a Canadian Representative in Pakistan near you.

Mother’s Day is May 13, 2012

My mother is a very special person.  I have the fondest memories of her.  She has a calm and gentle spirit that is a reflection of her deep devotion to God.  She is my role model and friend.  As far as I am concerned she is the best Mom anyone can have.

As a child, I remember our house was filled with music.  My mother had a beautiful soprano voice and she sang hymns and choruses, unaccompanied by musical instruments, in perfect pitch and harmony.  She sang mostly in English, but sometimes she would sing a couple of songs in German.

The lyric to one of the songs she always sang has, for the last number of days, been on my mind.

And so Mom, this verse to this song is for you:

You can’t buy the love of a mother, nor childhood again at her knee,
You can’t buy your youth when you have grown old,
Nor your life when your heartbeat is gone.
You can’t buy the love of a mother, nor childhood again at her knee.
Although you may hold both silver and gold,
The best things in life are free.

International Labour Day – May 1, 2012

History of Labour Day

Most nations celebrate Labour Day on May 1st, this is especially true of nations where there has been an English or European influence But what are we celebrating?  Is it just another day when we don’t have to go to work, or do we really understand what Labour Day is all about?

Labour Day is a day that was initiated in the 19th century and it commemorates the social and economic achievements wrought by labour movements that strove to improve the appalling working conditions for poor labourers.  The labour movements were especially strong in Europe and English speaking North America and England.  Labour Day also recognises the efforts of the majority who toiled endlessly in factories or did menial labour so the privileged classes could enjoy luxuries and leisure secured by the Industrial Revolution.

In 1810, labourers, desiring humane working conditions, demanded ‘8 hours work, 8 hours recreation and 8 hours rest’.  This single plea became the basis for International Labour Day.

If you are one of the privileged few who get a holiday on May 1st, consider your fellow citizens who continue to work, who have no holiday and who continue to labour endlessly on our behalf.  Our luxury is their sweat.

McDonalds Should Thank Me for Spreading the Word

I should have written this when the advertisement was fresh off the press; but I didn’t.

I noticed it right away – the new McDonalds’ billboard advertisement next to my office.

Is the error intentional or a mistake?

The sign reads “I’m lovin’ it”.   The coffee, that is.  Yes, for all you grammarians, that’s right; the sign says, “I’m lovin’ it”.  [McDonalds Pakistan has come out with a variety of coffee choices.]

At first I let is slide, but after tasting the coffee I could hold back no longer.  I had to write.

The first time I saw the sign, and every time since the words glare at me, grate against all my sensibilities as to what is correct grammar.  As a creative writer the words rub into me, the wrong way.

Did McDonalds mean to make a grammar error?  Was it an intentional play with the English language, a type of advertisement ploy that would grip readers like me (and now all of you who are reading this article) so we would not forget that McDonalds now serves several varieties of coffee?  And if we remember the ad, maybe we would try it.  Was that their intent?

Or maybe McDonalds Pakistan needs help with the English language.  I think the ad should read, “I love it.”  For those that remember their English language classes, you would have learned that love is a verb of feeling, of emotion as are like, hate, dislike, etc.  It is not an action verb.  So we say, “We love tea.”  “We love our children.”  We don’t use the present continuous for verbs of emotions or feelings.  You love something or someone, you are not loving them.

So McDonalds Pakistan, what is really behind this ad?  Is it a play with words and you know the English language so well that you deliberately used incorrect grammar; or do you need help with the English language so you don’t make these kinds of grammar errors again?

I love coffee.  And I did remember the advertisement.  Maybe, just maybe, I thought, I could forgive them if the coffee was really good.  So I had to try one of the flavours.  I wish I hadn’t.  Whatever their intent with the ad, I was not impressed with the coloured dish-watered foam I was served.  Foam is not coffee.  McDonalds’ coffee is ‘not my cup of tea’.  Or should I say ‘my cup of coffee’?