People & Culture
Bangladesh is a land of festivity. Muslims celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Azha, Eid-e-Miladunnabi, Muharram etc. Hindus observe Durga Puja, Kali Puja, and Sarashwati Puja among others Buddha Purnima is the biggest festival for Bangali Buddhists, and Borodin (Christmas) is celebrated by the Christians. People from several tribal communities also have their respective festival as well as Chakma, Marma and Bopbm tribe celebrated BOIO BOYSHOBI, BIZU, BOYSHNOBI.
Apart from these religious and tribal celebrations we also have several secular festivals. Pohela Boishakh (Bangla New Year) is the biggest among all the festivals in Bangladesh. This day People get into their best attires, go out with friends or family, business men open their new book of records and send sweets & fruits to their regular clients, cultural organizations organize cultural programmers students bring morning processions called Probhat Ferry. Nobanno (New Rice) is another of our festivals, which is strongly based in the rural Bangladesh. When the farmers get new rice, they observe this day with Rice flour and sugar mixed in water and Puffed rice.
We also observe 21st February as Shahid Dibash (as observed worldwide as International Mother Language Day), 26th March as Independence Day, and 16th December as Victory Day.
Food: Bangladesh is famous for its distinctive culinary tradition, and delicious food, snacks and savories. Bangladeshi food has a close relation to Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine as well as having many unique traits. Boiled rice constitutes the staple food, and is served with a variety of vegetables, fried as well as curries, lentil soups, and fish and meat preparations of beef, mutton and chicken. Sweetmeats of Bangladesh are mostly milk based, and consist of several delights including Roshgulla, Sandesh, Rasamalai, Gulap Jamun, Kalo Jamun, Chom Chom. Bengali cuisine is rich and varied with the use of many specialized spices and flavors.Bangladesh abounds with a large variety of tropical and sub-tropical fruits. The most widely cultivated fruits are mango, jackfruit, pineapple, banana, litchi, lemon, guava, custard apple, wood apple, papaya, tamarind, watermelon, cashew nut, pomegranate and Indian olive. May, June and July are specially treated as fruit festival months in Bangladesh when almost all fruits are matured and available. A few fruits including papaya, coconut and banana are available throughout the year.
Dress: Women usually wear Sari, but younger ladies wear Salwar Kamij. Jewelry of gold and silver is very popular among ladies of all ages. Ladies keep long hair. A special twisted bun, called Beni, is popular a hair style among young girls, while ladies prefer Khopa (kind of tying the hair mass at the back of head) in general. Males casually wear Lungi or Pajamas with or without under shirt, Panjabi or Fatua. In formal occasions or in offices men wear western shirt and pants. In general, people love to wear colorful dresses.
Family Life Style: People in Bangladesh are still family oriented. We either live together as an extended family or frequently visit our parents and relatives in vacations and weekends. Respecting elders is a norm here. In every major occasion of our lives we have our parents and relatives playing a major role. Arranged marriage is still a common sight, even when people chose their partner they proceed through their respective families to arrange the wedding.
Traditional music in Bangladesh shares the perspectives of that of the Indian sub-continent. Music in Bangladesh can be divided into three distinct categories -classical, folk and modern. Ustad Alauddin Khan and Ustad Ayet Ali Khan are two names in classical instrumental music who are internationally recognized.
The store of folk song abounds in spiritual lyrics of Lalan Shah, Hasan Raja, Romesh Shill and many anonymous lyricists. Bangla music arena is enriched with Jari, Shari, Bhatiali, Murshidi Baul, Marfati, and other types of folk songs. Rabindra Sangeet and Nazrul Sangeet are our precious heritage. Modern music is also practiced widely. Contemporary patterns have more inclinations to west. Pop song and band groups are also coming up mainly in big cities.
Bangladesh has a good number of musical instruments of her own. Original musical instruments include Banshi (bamboo flute), Dhole (wooden drums), Ektara (a single stringed instrument), Dotara (a two stringed instrument), Mandira (a pair of metal bawls used as rhythm instrument), Khanjani, Sharinda etc. Now-a-days western instruments such as Guitar, Drums, Saxophone, and Synthesizer etc. are being used alongside country instruments.
Classical forms of the sub-continent predominate in Bangladeshi dance. The folk, tribal and Middle Eastern traits are also common. Among the tribal dances, particularly popular are Monipuri and Santal. Rural girls are in the habit of dancing that does not require any grammar or regulations. Bangla songs like jari and shari are presented accompanied with dance of both male and female performers.
Jatra (Folk Drama) is another vital chapter of Bangalee culture. It depicts mythological episodes of love and tragedy. Legendary plays of heroism are also popular, particularly in the rural areas. In near past jatra was the biggest entertainment means for the rural Bangalees. Gradually western culture is occupying the place of traditional culture like jatra.
The era of modern Bengali literature matured in the nineteenth century. Rabindranath Tagore, Nobel Laureate is a vital part of Bengali culture. Kazi Nazrul Islam, Michael Madhusudan Datta, Sharat Chandra Chattapadhaya, Bankim Chandra Chattapadhaya, Mir Mosharraf Hossain and Kazi Ahdul Wadud are the pioneers of modern Bengali literature. Bangladesh also has a long tradition in folk literature, evidenced by Maimansingha Githika, Thakurmar Jhuli and stories related to Gopal Bhar.