Whether they are used to vent our feelings over certain socio-political issues, or to reinforce our obsessions with prominent celebrities, memes are an easy and funny way for us to communicate with our peers. Over the years, memes have taken over our news feeds and even invaded our offline realities through quirky T-shirts and amusing party games, becoming part of the fabric of the humour in Bangladesh's culture. Bearing that in mind, Earki, a satire platform that provides a light-hearted lens on current affairs and local news, introduced yet another product to make us chuckle - a desk calendar of twelve Bangladeshi viral sensations from the last few years, presented in the form of caricatures.
Team Earki is inspired by Know Your Meme, a website that documents internet memes and viral phenomena. In recent years, various individuals in Bangladesh have become the talk of the town, owing to their amusing stories, opinions and characteristics, both online and offline. While this lot of viral sensations includes prominent politicians, models and journalists, it also has ordinary citizens, who have found a place in our everyday conversations, social media statuses, comments and internet memes. The calendar provides brief histories of the different memes used for the twelve months. Under the tagline, Rongobhora Bongodesh, it features Sefat Ullah's “Ki, Hingshe Hoi? Amar Moto Hoto Chao?”, Abdul Hai's “Naam Bolle Chakri Thakbe Na,” Shamim Osman's “Khela Hobe!” and several others.
For a long time, no one was cataloging where these jokes came from, or how they spread, or the permutations they went through before ending up on everyone's social media accounts. Team Earki has done a commendable job in portraying the different characters that make our nation so humorously colourful. The calendar is the brainchid of Simu Naser. It is researched by Paean Mugdha Nabi, designed by Shalim Hossain Saju and Manik N Ratan, and illustrated by Morshed Mishu.
While there is debate going around about the impacts that memes will have on our literature and interpersonal relationships as we move forward in the digital age, Earki's desk calendar sheds light on the brighter side of things. It showcases that at the end of the day, memes are nothing more than a wonderful example of people using humour as a way of coping with the 'challenging times' of life!