I have enjoyed my six month stay in Britain and I am certainly going to miss many people and places when (IF) we go back to Bangladesh. But I will not miss S.A.D.
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a phenomenon that is still disputed by scientists although it is largely coming to be accepted. The claim is that in winter time when there is little light, people become down, anxious etc and it can lead to quite some serious health issues (not eating properly, depression etc.).
Now I can’t claim scientific reliability but I can tell you I am quite convinced S.A.D exists because I was describing it long before it became popular and was given a name. I noticed it happening to me and my students and then realised it was happening to others in the school too. The problem was that in winter in the UK we wake up in the dark, go to work in the dark, work rooms with unnatural lighting(when the sun actually comes out) and then get out of school just in time for the sun to go down and we go back home again in the dark. This goes on for many weeks and even months before the sun finally starts rising in the mornings and Spring is here again.
The result is that everyone gets irritable, grumpy, angry, sad etc. Teachers have less patience and students work less and get into more trouble. It’s a horrible time and every year I hate it. When term ends before Christmas, it is with a sigh of relief that the teachers and students go home having had enough of everything and everyone. Very different to the end of the summer term when there is a looking forward to the summer holidays and gentle sadness saying goodbye to students who have grown up and leaving. There is nothing much that is nice about school time before Christmas and that feeling carries on in January until Spring when everyone’s mood lightens (literally)
Thank goodness, that Bangladesh is nearer the equator than countries like Finland and the UK which suffer a lot from SAD and has much more light. Although the night time is longer in the winter season and we may well wake up in the dark, it soon becomes light and we never leave the house in the dark. The sun manages to break through except for just a couple of weeks of the year when the fog is too dense, and it doesn’t go down until long after school finishes.
If, like me, you hate the cold and dark but can cope with excessive heat, Bangladesh is definitely for you! It may get stupidly hot for several months of the year, but there is no S.A.D. and winter is soon just a bad memory. If only, for those short few weeks we could transport the British snow over there I don’t think I would come back to the UK for the wintertime at all!