Local traditions and culture in Bangladesh

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Most Viewed Local Customs in Bangladesh

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    Hindu women

    by Rupanworld Written Sep 11, 2007

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    At the streets of Dhaka, one thing that surprised me was the excessively large sindoor bindis that the Hindu women there were. I was surprised to see women wearing sindoor bindis of the size as large as one inch in diameter. Unbelievable!!

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    The crotch grip

    by Saagar Updated Jun 9, 2004

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    Unlike the Haimlich Grip the Bangldeshi crotch grip doesn't seem to have an immediate purpose.
    However, any idle man in pants or longy with a hand free will ascertain somehow that the valuables are in place. A nice and perhaps daringly dressed (no hijab?) and thus apparently eligible lady passing will be met with the same handshake. Is there a connection?The men do not seem to think of it as anything special. For visitors it is viewed in a spectre from amusing via confusing to disgusting. Take your ... pick.

    Not the Haimlich Grip
    Related to:
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    Appropriate dress for women.

    by Saagar Written Jun 7, 2004

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    Ok, ok, ok, for men, too - just see the longyi tip and avoid shorts and outrageous behaviour.
    For women, however, it is different. Life is generally though for local women, and not made easier by fairly strict dress and behavioural codes.
    As a visitor one needs to follow some stated, unstated and unsaid rules. If you do not observe such rules you will essentially be looked upon as very strange and perhaps even obscene. If you are careful to observe these rules and try to adopt local customs (within your comfort zone) you will be much more appreciated as a visitor and much more likely to be taken in as a confidance. In essence, you will be taken seriously.
    Essentially no bare shoulders, no shorts, no bare legs much above the ancles, and cover (or be prepaired to cover) your hair. No body-hugging clothes, except for the sari, which nearly always has a loose end to cover bust and one shoulder. The perfect dress for visitng women is the shalwar kameez. Go buy one!

    Good example
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    • Women's Travel
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    People will stare, stare and staaaaare...

    by Saagar Written May 6, 2004

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    Just face it, you as a traveller, will be the happening of the day, nearly wherever you go.
    I once ordered two curried eggs in a small roadside stall on Maheskhali Island. A whole assembly showed up to witness my eating the two eggs. I counted over two hundred people watching, and I was decently clad and all that cultural appropriateness thing.
    People are just very curious and do not have any sense of shame or intrusion when it comes to staring at the odd (or whatever they perceive as odd, then). So, just let them stare. Tourism with the table turned! Just try to cope with it, even if it can be somewhat ennerving.

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    • Women's Travel

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    You are the attraction !

    by janchan Updated Sep 18, 2003

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    Be prepared, when you get around, to be always surrounded by people staring at you... usually very insistently !
    At the beginning this habit can result a bit annoying, but when you get used... well... it is not a big deal, even because I've never felt unfriendly attitudes.
    During the shooting of the documentary we always ended up to be "assisted" by hundreds of curious people... :) ...sometimes that was funny ! :)

    Curious people... :)
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    Expect to be the attraction of the day...

    by Bonobo2005 Updated Jun 3, 2003

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    The Bangladeshi are extremely curious and they feel not ashamed for continuously staring at, or approaching you.

    In local restaurants people were usually settling themselves in such a way that they could enjoy watching me eating.

    Also people were following me on the streets, just to see where I went. If I didnÂ’t move for a while, a small crowd gathered around me, curious, but also to help me further enthusiastically, although many can't read the English alphabet and we couldn't communicate at all.

    Even in my hotelrooms, personnel and other guests, knocked on my door for a chat, a look in my room, a smoke or just to invite me for a cup of tea.

    As long as you're relaxed and fit, the attention is quite nice, but when you're exhausted it's a different story!

    If you want to avoid these things, you're better off staying and eating in business area's.

    market scene

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  • janchan's Profile Photo

    Using hands to eat

    by janchan Written Apr 17, 2003

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    This is the way to eat here, as in other countries too. It is not always easy for whom (like me) are used to eat with fork. But after a bit of practice, it works !!
    You are supposed to use exclusively your right hand to touch the food, since the left hand is considered "dirty". So you will use your left hand to take the glass for drinking.
    To avoid unpleasant consequences, never forget to wash your hands with clean water !!

    Breakfast at Hasena's house
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    left hand is considered not...

    by atri Written Aug 26, 2002

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    left hand is considered not pure by both muslims and hindus and all other bangladeshis in general. so be aware not to use it for eating or greetings, giving something to others.

    there r many other subtle things which must be described separately in details...

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  • Maline's Profile Photo

    Dress properly. For women, the...

    by Maline Written Aug 25, 2002

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    Dress properly. For women, the local Shalwar Kameez dress can be useful. Consists of pants, shirt and shawl and can be bought at marketplaces or in clothes stores.
    Bangladesh is a muslim country, but you don´t have to wear the pordah style, see pic.

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  • janchan's Profile Photo

    Simple life in villages

    by janchan Written Aug 24, 2002

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    The life is simple in the countryside villages...
    Women and children working outside their house. There are large courtyards in every small village, and that is the place where they use to make several works... for example preparing lunch...

    Cooking at the village...
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    Children's work

    by janchan Updated Sep 16, 2003

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    Legally speaking, children in Bangladesh can work from the age of 6.
    Sometimes you can see them under incredibly big and heavy loads, especially in the bricks factories.

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    The storytellers

    by janchan Updated Sep 16, 2003

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    Puthi are traditional stories in verse that the storytellers sing around the villages. We were lucky to have the possibility to film three of them. All the people of the village were there to listen.

    A 'puthi' reader, Bangladesh
    Related to:
    • Music
    • Arts and Culture

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    Another Little Helper

    by drolkar Updated Oct 1, 2002

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    Shahti Akter, Beauty's daughter, helping her mother with the cooking. (This is another one of the photos taken by Gianluca while I was filming!)

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  • Kartann's Profile Photo

    When I was walking on street,...

    by Kartann Written Sep 8, 2002

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    When I was walking on street, some villegers spoked me in Bangladeshi language. But this boy were scared by me, he should know I am not Bangladeshi.
    In Rangamati.

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    Muslim woman is so...

    by Kartann Written Sep 8, 2002

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    Muslim woman is so cool!
    Usually they are covering whole body with brack a cloth. I can't see their face, but I feel they give a smile to me and be nice even for foreigner.

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