You think you are doing good, but you are not

Minu (left) and her younger sister Shumi (right) worked on the Planet Money men’s t-shirt. (Kainaz Amaria/NPR)

This is one of the stories in the Planet Money T-shirt series. The series is about globalization. But what I quote has nothing to do about globalization.

This is a story about two girls working in garment factory in Bangladesh.

Minu, in her mid-twenty, is married and has a 7-year-old daughter. Minu’s father married off her since girls are burdens to family. And her father hopes Minu to have a better life in marriage. Minu, marrying a man she barely know, not surprisingly, suffers from her marriage. She could not hold her tears when talking about her marriage. Minu said she does not have the capacity to forgive her parents marring her off. She rarely goes back to the village to visit them even though her 7-year-old daughter lived with them.

Minu has a younger sister, Shumi, which is 19. Few years younger than Minu, Shumi grew when the garment industry blossom. Girls are less burdens to families (not saying they aren’t). Shumi has a boyfriend she loves. She hopes to marry her boyfriend instead of someone she does not know. This is so very reasonable. What is very surprising is Minu’s disapproval for him being a Hindu and their father does not like it. The oppressed become the oppressor. And Minu go on saying that when her own daughter grows up, she should make her own choice about who to marry.

Father of Minu and Shumi knows about Shumi’s boyfriend. Enraged by Shumi insistence to marry the one she chose, their father says that Shumi is not listening any other’s words. Shumi is following her own rules and living her life with her own decisions. If she goes on living her life like this, it is bad for her.

I cannot conceive why Minu, suffering in her own marriage and being unable to forgive her parents, would be in line with her parents to oppose Shumi from living her own life. I do feel sympathy for Shumi that her father is trying to ruin her life and at the same time thinks he is doing good for her. I sincerely hope that Shumi could win the battle against her father and sister. If she suffers, I hope it will be from her own decision.


Planet Money Episode 497: Love, Betrayal And The Planet Money T-Shirt


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