Culture and our people

The population is ethnically fairly homogeneous although there are 47 minority groups with their own customs, culture, language & practices. People here practice various religions – Islam, Hinduism, Christianity and Buddhism, but the majority practice Islam. The religion (Islam) constitutes a strong social force and the mixture of Islamic ethos and the indigenous traditional culture of Bengal have gone into the shaping of a cultural heritage that is unique to Bangladesh. The literacy rate is 42%. People mostly speak Bangla but in urban areas English is widely understood. With the introduction of Cable Television Network across the country, Hindi is also widely understood nowadays.

People mostly use their right hand, as that is the norm in Bangladesh. For passing on or accepting things right hand should always be used and left hand in this context should always be avoided. People in Bangladesh mostly use their right hand while eating. However, if you have an impairment in your right hand, your limitations in this area will be readily accepted by all.

Our people are very warm and hospitable. They take especial interest in somebody who is a foreigner. Please do not feel uncomfortable if you feel people are watching you. It is only because they understand you are new to the culture and so are on their feet to come to your aid. Did you know that, if you warm up to them or smile back, for them it could well be a day to remember!

Bangladesh is rich for its traditional and cultural festivities that go on round the year – with predominance in the winter. The year starts with a month-long international trade fair in January. This is followed by a month-long book-fair in February encompassing the Language Martyrs Day on 21st February commemorating the brave countrymen who laid their lives to establish Bangla as the State Language in 1952. UNESCO has now declared this day, as the International Mother Language Day. March 26 is celebrated nationally as the Independence Day. April hosts a weeklong festival to celebrate the Bangla New Year on April 14. December 16 is also celebrated nationally as the Victory Day.

In between, religious, traditional and cultural festivities add color and spices to the lives of Bangladeshi people.