General information about Bangladesh
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People's Republic of Bangladesh


Flag Emblem

Anthem:  
Amar Shonar Bangla
আমার সোনার বাংলা
My Golden/Beloved Bengal
0:00




.


Government Seal of Bangladesh[1]

Seal of Ministries and the Government of Bangladesh






Capital
and largest city Dhaka
23°42′N 90°21′E

Official languages
Bangla (Bengali)[2]

Other languages
English, Indigenous minority languages[3]
Ethnic groups (1998[4])
98% Bengali
2% other


Religion
Islam (official)[5]

Demonym
Bangladeshi

Government
Unitary parliamentary republic[6]
-  President Abdul Hamid
-  Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina
-  Speaker of the House Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury
-  Chief Justice Md. Muzammel Hossain

Legislature
Jatiyo Sangshad

Independence from Pakistan[7]

-  Declared 26 March 1971  
-  Recognized 16 December 1971  
-  Current constitution 4 November 1972  

Area

-  Total 147,570 km2 (94th)
56,977 sq mi
-  Water (%) 6.4

Population

-  March 2013 estimate 150,039,000[8] (8th)
-  Density 1,033.5/km2 (12th)
2,676.8/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2013 estimate
-  Total $324.628 billion[8] (43rd)
-  Per capita $2,083[8] (154th)
GDP (nominal) 2013 estimate
-  Total $153.58 billion[9] (43rd)
-  Per capita $1,044[8] (150th)
Gini (2010) 32.1[10]
medium
HDI (2013) Increase 0.515[11]
low · 145th

Currency
Taka (৳) (BDT)

Time zone
BST (UTC+6)

Date format

dd-mm-yyyy (dd-mm-yy)
Era দদ-মম-বববব (CE−594)


Drives on the
left

Calling code
+880

ISO 3166 code
BD

Internet TLD
.bd
.বাংলা

Bangladesh /ˈbɑːŋlədɛʃ/; Listeni/ˌbæŋɡləˈdɛʃ/ (Bengali: বাংলাদেশ, pronounced: [ˈbaŋlad̪eʃ] ( listen)), officially the
People's Republic of Bangladesh (Bengali: গণপ্রজাতন্ত্রী বাংলাদেশ Gônôprôjātôntrī Bāṅlādeś), is a country
in South Asia, located on the fertile Bengal delta. It is bordered by the Republic of India to its north, west and east, by
the Union of Myanmar (Burma) to its south-east and by the Bay of Bengal to its south. It is separated from the
Democratic Republic of Nepal and the Kingdom of Bhutan by the narrow Indian Siliguri Corridor. Together with the
neighbouring Indian state of West Bengal, it makes up the ethno-linguistic region of Bengal. The name Bangladesh
means "Country of Bengal" in the official Bengali language.

The borders of modern Bangladesh took shape during the Partition of Bengal and British India in 1947, when the
region became the eastern wing of the newly formed state of Pakistan. Following years of political exclusion, ethnic
and linguistic discrimination, and economic neglect by the politically dominant western wing, a surge of popular
agitation, nationalism and civil disobedience led in 1971 to the Bangladesh Liberation War, resulting in the separation
of the region from Pakistan and the formation of an independent Bangladesh. After independence, the new state
proclaimed a secular multiparty democracy. The country then endured decades of poverty, famine, political turmoil
and numerous military coups. Since the restoration of democracy in 1991, the country has experienced relative calm
and economic progress, though its main political parties remain polarized.

Bangladesh is a parliamentary republic with an elected parliament called the Jatiyo Sangshad. With a population of
more than 160 million people in a territory of 56,977 sq mi, Bangladesh is the world's eighth most populous
country, as well as one of the world's most densely populated countries. The Bengalis form the country's predominant
ethnic group, whereas the indigenous peoples in northern and southeastern districts form a significant and diverse
ethnic minority. The Bengal delta region has a rich and diverse cultural heritage. The four largest religions in the
country are Islam (89%), Hinduism (9%), Buddhism (1%) and Christianity (0.5%).

Bangladesh is identified as a Next Eleven economy. According to the United Nations in 2010, the country is making
major strides in human development, including significant progress in the areas of gender equity, universal primary
education, the empowerment of women, reducing population growth, food production, health and renewable energy.
[12][13][14] The poverty rate has declined considerably since independence, and per-capita income has
doubled from 1975 levels. Major cities such as Dhaka and Chittagong have been the driving forces behind much of
the recent growth. However, the country continues to face a number of major political and social challenges, including
endemic bureaucratic and political corruption, widespread poverty, political instability, overpopulation and vulnerability
to global climate change.

Bangladesh is a pioneer and founding member of SAARC. It is the world’s largest contributor to United Nations
peacekeeping operations. It is a founding member of the Developing 8 Countries and BIMSTEC and a member of the
Commonwealth of Nations, the OIC, the NAM and the G-77.




Contents
[hide] 1 History 1.1 Antiquity
1.2 20th century

2 Geography 2.1 Climate
2.2 Flora and fauna

3 Politics and law 3.1 Political system
3.2 Legal system

4 Foreign relations and military
5 Divisions 5.1 Principal cities

6 Economy 6.1 Agriculture
6.2 Manufacturing
6.3 Services

7 Demographics 7.1 Languages
7.2 Religion

8 Education
9 Health
10 Culture 10.1 Literature
10.2 Film industries
10.3 Music and arts
10.4 Media
10.5 Cuisine
10.6 Dress
10.7 Festivals
10.8 Architecture
10.9 Sports

11 See also
12 References
13 Bibliography
14 External links


History

Antiquity





Gangaridai in Ptolemy's map.




Ancient Somapura, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in northern Bangladesh




Emperor Akbar celebrating Mughal victory in Bengal.




The Sixty Dome Mosque, part of the medieval Mosque City of Bagerhat, is another UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Remnants of civilization in the greater Bengal region date back four thousand years to when the region was settled by
ancient Dravidian, Indo-Aryan, Tibeto-Burman and Austroasiatic peoples. The exact origin of the word "Bangla" or
"Bengal" is unclear, though it is believed to be derived from Bang/Vanga, the Dravidian-speaking tribe that settled in
the area around the year 1000 BCE.[15][16]

The region was known to the ancient Greek and Roman world as Gangaridai, or "Nation of Ganges". The early history
of Bengal featured the rise of numerous city states, or janapadas, including Vanga, Samatata and Pundravardhana.
The Mauryan Empire led by Ashoka conquered Bengal in the second century BC, and the region was absorbed into
the rule of successive Magadhan dynasties for several centuries. Following the collapse of the Magadhan empire, a
local ruler named Shashanka rose to power and founded an impresseive but short-lived kingdom. After a period of
anarchy, the Bengali Buddhist Pala dynasty ruled the region for four hundred years, followed by the Hindu Sena
Dynasty.

Islam was introduced to the Bengal region during the 7th century by Arab Muslim traders and Sufi missionaries, and
the subsequent Muslim conquest of Bengal in the 12th century lead to the rooting of Islam across the region.[17]
Bakhtiar Khilji, a Turkic general, defeated Lakshman Sen of the Sena dynasty and conquered large parts of Bengal in
the year 1204. The region was ruled by the Sultanate of Bengal and the Baro-Bhuiyan confederacy for the next few
hundred years. By the 16th century, the Mughal Empire controlled Bengal, and Dhaka became an
important provincial centre of Mughal administration.

Medieval European geographers located paradise at the mouth of the Ganges, and although this was overhopeful,
Bengal was probably the wealthiest part of the subcontinent until the 16th century. From 1517 onwards, Portuguese
traders from Goa were traversing the sea route to Bengal. Only in 1537 were they allowed to settle and open customs
houses at Chittagong. In 1577, the Mughal emperor Akbar permitted the Portuguese to build permanent settlements
and churches in Bengal.[18] The influence of European traders grew until the British East India Company gained
control of Bengal following the Battle of Plassey in 1757.[19] The bloody rebellion of 1857—known as the Sepoy
Mutiny—resulted in a transfer of authority to the crown with a British viceroy running the administration.[20] During
colonial rule, famine racked South Asia many times, including the war-induced Great Bengal famine of 1943 that
claimed 3 million lives.[21]

The Maratha Empire, a Hindu empire which overran the Mughals in the 18th century, also devastated the territories
controlled by the Nawab of Bengal between 1742 and 1751. In a series of raids on Bengal and Bihar, then ruled
by the Nawab, Maratha demolished much of the Bengali economy, which was unable to withstand the continuous
onslaught of Maratha for long. Nawab Ali Vardi Khan made peace with Maratha by ceding the whole of Orissa and
parts of Western Bengal to the empire. In addition, a tax – the Chauth, amounting to a quarter of total revenue – was
imposed on other parts of Bengal and Bihar. This tax amounted to twenty lakhs (of rupees?) for Bengal and 12 lakhs
for Bihar per year.[22][23] After Maratha's defeat in Panipat by a coalition of Muslim forces, the empire
returned under the Maratha general Madhoji Sindhia and raided Bengal again. The British Empire stopped payment
of the Chauth, invading the territory of Bengal in the 1760s. The raids continued until Maratha was finally defeated by
the British over the course of three Anglo-Maratha Wars lasting from 1777 to 1818.

20th century





Female students of Dhaka University marching on Language Movement Day, 21 February 1953




Bangladesh's founding father, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, delivering the 7th of March Speech on the eve of the
Liberation War in 1971
Between 1905 and 1911, an abortive attempt was made to divide the province of Bengal into two zones.[24] Following
the exit of the British Empire in 1947, Bengal was partitioned along religious lines, with the western part going to newly
created India and the eastern part (Muslim majority) joining Pakistan as a province called East Bengal (later renamed
East Pakistan), with Dhaka as its capital.[25] In 1950, land reform was accomplished in East Bengal with the
abolishment of the feudal zamindari system.[26] Despite the economic and demographic weight of the east, Pakistan's
government and military were largely dominated by the upper classes from the west. The Bengali Language
Movement of 1952 was the first sign of friction between the two wings of Pakistan.[27] Dissatisfaction with the central
government over economic and cultural issues continued to rise through the next decade, during which the Awami
League emerged as the political voice of the Bengali-speaking population. It agitated for autonomy in the 1960s, and
in 1966, its president, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (Mujib), was jailed; he was released in 1969 after an unprecedented
popular uprising. In 1970, a massive cyclone devastated the coast of East Pakistan, killing up to half a million people,
[28] and the central government's response was seen as poor. The anger of the Bengali population was compounded
when Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, whose Awami League had won a majority in Parliament in the 1970 elections,[29] was
blocked from taking office.

After staging compromise talks with Mujibur Rahman, President Yahya Khan and military officials launched Operation
Searchlight,[30] a sustained military assault on East Pakistan, and arrested Mujibur Rahman in the early hours of 26
March 1971. Yahya's methods were extremely bloody, and the violence of the war resulted in many civilian
deaths.[31] Yahya's chief targets included intellectuals and Hindus, and about one million refugees fled to
neighbouring India.[32] Estimates of those massacred throughout the war range from thirty thousand to three million.
[33] Mujibur Rahman was ultimately released on 8 January 1972 as a result of direct US intervention.[34]





General Ziaur Rahman assumed the country's leadership after the assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Awami League leaders set up a government-in-exile in Calcutta, India. The exile government formally took oath at
Meherpur, in the Kustia district of East Pakistan, on 17 April 1971, with Tajuddin Ahmad as the first Prime Minister and
Syed Nazrul Islam as the Acting President. The Bangladesh Liberation War lasted for nine months. The Bangladesh
Forces, formed within 11 sectors, led by General M.A.G. Osmani and consisting of Bengali Regular forces supported
by the Mukti Bahinis (Kader Bahini and Hemayet Bahini), conducted a massive guerilla war against the Pakistan
Forces. India provided substantial diplomatic, economic and military assistance to Bangladeshi nationalists, and Prime
Minister Indira Gandhi toured world capitals advocating the Bangladesh freedom cause. The war witnessed the 1971
Bangladesh genocide, in which the Pakistan Army and its allied religious militias carried out a wide-scale, systematic
elimination of Bengali civilians, intellectuals, youth, students, politicians, activists and religious minorities. By winter,
Bangladesh-India Allied Forces defeated the Pakistani army, culminating in the Liberation of Dhaka and
the Surrender of Pakistan on 16 December 1971.





Muhammad Yunus won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for his efforts in pioneering grassroots anti-poverty economic
development.
After independence, the Constitution of Bangladesh proclaimed a secular parliamentary democracy. In the 1973
general election, the Awami League gained an absolute majority in parliament. A nationwide famine occurred during
1973 and 1974,[21] and in early 1975, Mujib initiated a one-party socialist rule with his newly formed BAKSAL. On 15
August 1975, Mujib and most of his family members were assassinated by mid-level military officers.[35]
Vice President Khandaker Mushtaq Ahmed was sworn in as President with most of Mujib's cabinet intact. Two Army
uprisings on 3 November and 7 November 1975 led to a reorganised structure of power. A state of emergency was
declared to restore order and calm. Mushtaq resigned, and the country was placed under temporary martial law, with
three service chiefs serving as deputies to the new president, Justice Abu Satem, who also became the Chief Martial
Law Administrator. Lieutenant General Ziaur Rahman took over the presidency in 1977 when Justice Sayem resigned.
President Zia reinstated multi-party politics, introduced free markets, and founded the Bangladesh Nationalist Party
(BNP). Zia's rule ended when he was assassinated by elements of the military in 1981.[35]

Bangladesh's next major ruler was Lieutenant General Hossain Mohammad Ershad, who gained power in a coup on
24 March 1982, and ruled until 6 December 1990, when he was forced to resign after a revolt of all major political
parties and the public, along with pressure from Western donors (which was a major shift in international policy after
the fall of the Soviet Union). Since then, Bangladesh has reverted to a parliamentary democracy. Zia's
widow, Khaleda Zia, led the Bangladesh Nationalist Party to parliamentary victory at the general election in 1991 and
became the first female Prime Minister in Bangladeshi history. However, the Awami League, headed by Sheikh
Hasina, one of Mujib's surviving daughters, won the next election in 1996. The Awami League lost again to the
Bangladesh Nationalist Party in 2001.

Widespread political unrest followed the resignation of the BNP in late October 2006, but the caretaker government
worked to bring the parties to election within the required ninety days. At the last minute in early January, the Awami
League withdrew from the election scheduled for later that month. On 11 January 2007, the military intervened to
support both a state of emergency and a continuing but neutral caretaker government under a newly appointed Chief
Advisor, who was not a politician. The country had suffered for decades from extensive corruption,[36] disorder, and
political violence. The caretaker government worked to root out corruption from all levels of government. It
arrested on corruption charges more than 160 people, including politicians, civil servants, and businessmen, among
whom were both major party leaders, some of their senior staff, and two sons of Khaleda Zia.

After working to clean up the system, the caretaker government held what was described by observers as a largely
free and fair election on 29 December 2008.[37] The Awami League's Sheikh Hasina won with a two-thirds
landslide in the elections; she took the oath of Prime Minister on 6 January 2009.[38]

Geography

Main article: Geography of Bangladesh

See also: Flooding in Bangladesh and List of mountains of Bangladesh





Boats had long been a mode of transportation in Bangladesh, a floodplain with more than 700 rivers




A boat sails up the Padma river.




Saka Haphong.The highest mountain peak of Bangladesh
Bangladesh lies between latitudes 20° and 27°N, and longitudes 88° and 93°E. Bangladesh is in the low-
lying Ganges Delta. This delta is formed by the confluence of the Ganges (local name Padma or Pôdda),
Brahmaputra (Jamuna or Jomuna also known as "Yamuna"), and Meghna rivers and their respective tributaries. The
Ganges unites with the Jamuna (main channel of the Brahmaputra) and later joins the Meghna to eventually empty
into the Bay of Bengal. The alluvial soil deposited by these rivers has created some of the most fertile plains in the
world. Bangladesh has 57 trans-boundary rivers, making water issues politically complicated to resolve – in most
cases as the lower riparian state to India.[39]

Most parts of Bangladesh are less than 12 m (39.4 ft) above the sea level, and it is believed that about 10% of the
land would be flooded if the sea level were to rise by 1 m (3.28 ft).[40]

In southeast Bangladesh, experiments have been done since the 1960s to 'build with nature'. By implementing cross
dams, the natural accretion of silt has created new land. With Dutch funding, the Bangladeshi government began to
help develop this new land in the late 1970s. The effort has since become a multiagency operation building roads,
culverts, embankments, cyclone shelters, toilets and ponds, as well as distributing land to settlers. By fall 2010, the
program will have allotted some 27,000 acres (10,927 ha) to 21,000 families.[41]

The highest peak in Bangladesh is Saka Haphong in Mowdok range at 1,052 m (3,451 ft) in the Chittagong Hill Tracts
to the southeast of the country.[42] Cox's Bazar, south of the city of Chittagong, has a beach that stretches
uninterrupted over 120 km (75 mi).

Climate

Main article: Climate of Bangladesh





Satellite image presenting physical features of Bangladesh
Straddling the Tropic of Cancer, Bangladeshi climate is tropical with a mild winter from October to March, and a hot,
humid summer from March to June. The country has never frozen at any point on the ground, with a record low of 4.5°
C in the south west city of Jessore in the winter of 2011.[43] A warm and humid monsoon season lasts from June to
October and supplies most of the country's rainfall. Natural calamities, such as floods, tropical cyclones, tornadoes,
and tidal bores occur almost every year,[44] combined with the effects of deforestation, soil degradation and erosion.
The cyclones of 1970 and 1991 were particularly devastating. A cyclone that struck Bangladesh in 1991 killed some
140,000 people.[45]

In September 1998, Bangladesh saw the most severe flooding in modern world history. As the Brahmaputra, the
Ganges and Meghna spilt over and swallowed 300,000 houses, 9,700 km (6,000 mi) of road and 2,700 km (1,700 mi)
of embankment, 1,000 people were killed and 30 million more were made homeless, with 135,000 cattle killed, 50 km2
(19 sq mi) of land destroyed and 11,000 km (6,800 mi) of roads damaged or destroyed. Two-thirds of the country was
underwater. There were several reasons for the severity of the flooding. Firstly, there were unusually high monsoon
rains. Secondly, the Himalayas shed off an equally unusually high amount of melt water that year. Thirdly, trees that
usually would have intercepted rain water had been cut down for firewood or to make space for animals.[46]

Bangladesh is now widely recognised to be one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change. Natural hazards
that come from increased rainfall, rising sea levels, and tropical cyclones are expected to increase as climate
changes, each seriously affecting agriculture, water and food security, human health and shelter.[47] It is
believed that in the coming decades the rising sea level alone will create more than 20 million[48] climate refugees.
[49] Bangladeshi water is contaminated with arsenic frequently because of the high arsenic contents in the soil. Up to
77 million people are exposed to toxic arsenic from drinking water.[50][51] Bangladesh is among the countries most
prone to natural floods, tornados and cyclones.[52][53] Also, there is evidence that earthquakes pose a threat to the
country. Evidence shows that tectonics have caused rivers to shift course suddenly and dramatically. It has been
shown that rainy-season flooding in Bangladesh, on the world’s largest river delta, can push the underlying crust
down by as much as 6 centimetres, and possibly perturb faults.[54]

Flora and fauna

Main article: Fauna of Bangladesh





The Royal Bengal Tiger is the national animal of Bangladesh
A major part of the coastline is marshy jungle, the Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest in the world and home to
diverse flora and fauna, including the Royal Bengal Tiger. In 1997, this region was declared endangered.[55] The
Magpie Robin is the National Bird of Bangladesh and it is common and known as the Doyel or Doel (Bengali:
দোয়েল). It is a widely used symbol in Bangladesh, appearing on currency notes and a landmark in the city of
Dhaka is named as the Doyel Chatwar (meaning: Doyel Square). The national flower of the country is white-flowered
water lily, which is known as Shapla. The national fruit is jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus), which in Bengali
is known as Kathal. In late 2010, the Bangladeshi government selected the Mango tree as the national tree.[56]

Politics and law

Main article: Politics of Bangladesh

Political system





The Parliament of Bangladesh is one of the largest legislative complexes in the world.
Bangladesh is a unitary state and parliamentary democracy.[57] Direct elections in which all citizens, aged 18 or over,
can vote are held every five years for the unicameral parliament known as the Jatiyo Sangshad. Currently it has 350
members (including 50 reserved seats for women) elected from single-member constituencies. The Prime Minister, as
the head of government, forms the cabinet and runs the day-to-day affairs of state. While the Prime Minister is
formally appointed by the President, he or she must be a member of parliament who commands the confidence of the
majority.

The President is the head of state, albeit mainly ceremonially in his/her elected post;[58] however, the President's
powers are substantially expanded during the tenure of a caretaker government, which is responsible for the conduct
of elections and transfer of power. The officers of the caretaker government must be non-partisan and are
given three months to complete their task. This transitional arrangement was pioneered by Bangladesh in its 1991
election and then institutionalised in 1996 through its 13th constitutional amendment.[59]

Major parties in Bangladesh include the Awami League, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), the Jatiya Party and
the Jamaat-e-Islami. Sheikh Hasina's Awami League aligns with more leftist parties, whereas Khaleda Zia's BNP has
politically been allied with Islamist parties like the Jamaat but practices secular politics. The former two have been
bitter, dominant political rivals for over 15 years; each is related to one of the leaders of the
independence movement. The Awami League-BNP rivalry has been punctuated by protests, violence and murder.
Student politics are particularly strong in Bangladesh, a legacy from the liberation movement era, as almost all parties
have highly active student wings, and student leaders have been elected to the Jatiyo Sangshad.

On 11 January 2007, following widespread political unrest, emergency law was declared and a caretaker government
was appointed to administer the next general election. The 22 January 2007 election was postponed indefinitely
as the Army-backed caretaker government of Fakhruddin Ahmed aimed to prepare a new voter list and crack down
on corruption. They also assisted the interim government of Bangladesh in a drive against corruption, which resulted
in Bangladesh's position in Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index changed from the very bottom,
where they had been for 3 years in a row, to 147th in just 1 year.[60] A large alliance led by the Bangladesh Awami
League won in a 29 December 2008 landslide victory, gaining 230 seats among 300 seats in the parliament.[61]

Legal system

Main article: Law of Bangladesh

Bangladeshi law is primarily in accordance with the English legal system, although since 1947 the legal scenario of
Bangladesh has significantly drifted from the West owing to differences in socio-cultural values and religious
guidelines. Laws are loosely based on English common law, but family laws such as marriage and inheritance are
based on religious scriptures, and therefore differ between religious communities. The Constitution of
Bangladesh was drafted in 1972 and has undergone 15 amendments.[59]

The highest judicial body is the Supreme Court, with justices appointed by the President. The judicial and law
enforcement institutions are comparatively weak.[62] On 1 November 2007, Bangladesh successfully separated the
Judiciary Branch from the Executive, but several black laws, including the Special Powers Act, still influence the rulers.
[63] It is expected that this separation will make the judiciary stronger and more impartial.

Foreign relations and military

Main articles: Foreign relations of Bangladesh and Bangladesh Armed Forces





Bangladesh's Minister of Foreign Affairs Dipu Moni with US Secretary of State John Kerry at the State Department in
2013.




Bangladesh is the largest contributor of peacekeeping forces to the United Nations.
Bangladesh pursues a moderate foreign policy which places heavy reliance on multinational diplomacy, especially at
the United Nations. In 1974, Bangladesh joined both the Commonwealth of Nations and the United Nations and has
since been elected to serve two terms on the Security Council – in 1978–1979 and 2000–2001. In the 1980s,
Bangladesh pioneered the creation of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), the first
regional intergovernmental body in South Asia. It is also a founding member of the Bay of Bengal Initiative and the
Developing 8 Countries.

Bangladesh's most important and complex foreign relationship is with neighbouring India. The relationship is
borne out of historical and cultural affinities, as well as India's alliance with Bangladeshi nationalists during the
liberation of Bangladesh in 1971. As such, the two countries are regarded to have a special relationship. However,
bilateral ties have gone through several hiccups in the last forty years. A major source of tension is water-sharing on
56 common rivers, as well as border security and India's barriers to trade and investments. Both countries have also
at times accused each other of harbouring insurgent groups.[64] Recognising the importance of good relations,
regional security and South Asian economic integration, the two countries have sought to revive relations in recent
years, and have formed strategic partnerships to develop regional connectivity, infrastructure, greater trade, mutual
access to markets, hydropower, energy, environmental protection and cultural projects. India's eastern states, as well
as Nepal and Bhutan, are keen to gain access to Bangladesh's Chittagong and Mongla ports.[65][66]

Bangladesh enjoys very warm ties with the People's Republic of China, and particularly in the last decade there has
been increased economic cooperation between them. Between 2006 and 2007, trade between the two nations
rose by 28.5% and there have been agreements to grant various Bangladeshi commodities tariff-free access to the
Chinese market. Cooperation between the Military of Bangladesh and the People's Liberation Army is also increasing,
with joint military agreements signed and Bangladesh purchasing Chinese arms which range from small arms to large
naval surface combat ships such as the Chinese Type 053H1 Missile Frigate.





Nelson Mandela, Yasser Arafat and Süleyman Demirel at the silver jubilee celebrations of
Bangladesh's independence in 1997.
Bangladesh is a major South Asian ally of the United States, with a relationship based on shared values of democracy
and human rights. Despite strained relations between Dhaka and the Nixon administration at the time of
independence, the US and Bangladesh have forged long-standing partnerships in trade, international development,
security, culture, education, health and the environment. American companies are the largest foreign investors in
Bangladesh, and the US is also the largest market for Bangladeshi exports. Bangladesh strongly supports the US-led
reconstruction of Afghanistan, where the Bangladeshi non-governmental agency BRAC is the largest development
organization working in the war-torn country. The US Military has assisted Bangladesh with massive relief and disaster
management operations in the aftermath of several natural disasters, such as the 1991 Bangladesh cyclone and
Cyclone Sidr.In 2010, President Barack Obama announced that America will devote $1 billion to Bangladesh from
2010-2015 in addressing challenges of food security, health and climate change.[66]

As of 2012, the current strength of the army is around 300,000 including reservists,[67] the air force 22,000,[68] and
navy 24,000.[69] In addition to traditional defence roles, the military has been called on to provide support to civil
authorities for disaster relief and internal security during periods of political unrest. Bangladesh is not currently active
in any ongoing war, but it contributed 2,300 troops during Operation Desert Storm in 1991, and is the world's largest
contributor (10,736) to UN peacekeeping forces. In May 2007, Bangladesh had major deployments in Democratic
Republic of Congo, Liberia, Sudan, Timor-Leste and Côte d'Ivoire.[70][71]

Divisions

Further information: Divisions of Bangladesh, Districts of Bangladesh, and Upazilas of Bangladesh



  A clickable map of Bangladesh exhibiting its divisions.
About this image


Bangladesh is divided into seven administrative divisions,[4][72] each named after their respective divisional
headquarters: Barisal, Chittagong, Dhaka, Khulna, Rajshahi, Sylhet and Rangpur.

Divisions are subdivided into districts (zila). There are 64 districts in Bangladesh, each further subdivided into upazila
(subdistricts) or thana. The area within each police station, except for those in metropolitan areas, is divided into
several unions, with each union consisting of multiple villages. In the metropolitan areas, police stations are divided
into wards, which are further divided into mahallas. There are no elected officials at the divisional or district
levels, and the administration is composed only of government officials. Direct elections are held for each union (or
ward), electing a chairperson and a number of members. In 1997, a parliamentary act was passed to reserve three
seats (out of 12) in every union for female candidates.[73]

Dhaka is the capital and largest city of Bangladesh. The cities with a city corporation, having mayoral elections,
include Dhaka South, Dhaka North, Chittagong, Khulna, Sylhet, Rajshahi, Barisal, Rangpur, Comilla and Gazipur.
Other major cities, these and other municipalities electing a chairperson, include Mymensingh, Gopalganj, Jessore,
Bogra, Dinajpur, Saidapur, Narayanganj and Rangamati. Both the municipal heads are elected for a span of five
years.


Division

Bangla

2011 Census population[74]

Area (km2)[74]

Population density
2011 (people/km2)[74]

Largest city


Barisal বরিশাল 8,325,666 13,297 626 Barisal (328,278)
Chittagong চট্টগ্রাম 28,423,019 33,771 841 Chittagong (2,592,439)
Dhaka ঢাকা 47,424,418 31,120 1,523 Dhaka (7,033,075)
Khulna খুলনা 15,687,759 22,272 704 Khulna (663,342)
Rajshahi রাজশাহী 18,484,858 18,197 1,015 Rajshahi (449,756)
Rangpur রংপুর 15,787,758 16,317 960 Rangpur (343,122)
Sylhet সিলেট 9,910,219 12,596 780 Sylhet (479,837)
Bangladesh বাংলাদেশ 144,043,697 147,570 976 Dhaka (7,033,075)


Principal cities

Rank City Population (2011 Census)[74]
1 Dhaka 10,468,510
2 Chittagong 3,761,337
3 Khulna 1,448,975
4 Narayanganj 1,406,963
5 Sylhet 479,837
6 Tongi 476,350
7 Rajshahi 449,756
8 Bogra 350,397
9 Barisal 328,278
10 Comilla 326,386

[75]

Economy

Main article: Economy of Bangladesh





The Bangladesh Bank Buildings in Motijheel, Dhaka houses the headquarters of the country's central bank




The port of Chittagong plays a pivotal role in the Bangladeshi economy, handling over an estimated $60 billion in
trade each year.
Bangladesh is a developing nation.[76] However, the poverty rate has declined by 25% since 1990, and per-capita
GDP has doubled from 1975 levels.[77][78][79] Dhaka and Chittagong, the country's two largest cities, as well as
other urban centres, have been the driving force behind much of the recent growth. Goldman Sachs named it one of
the "Next Eleven".[80] Bangladesh gradually decreased its dependency on foreign grants and loans from 85% (In
1988)[81] to 2% (In 2010)[82] for its annual development budget. Its per capita income as of 2013 is US$1,044
compared to the world average of $8,985.[83] In December 2005, the Central Bank of Bangladesh projected GDP
growth around 6.5%.[84]

Bangladesh has seen a dramatic increase in foreign direct investment. In order to enhance economic growth, the
government set up several export processing zones to attract foreign investment. These are managed by the
Bangladesh Export Processing Zone Authority.

The insufficient power supply constitutes an obstacle to growth.[85] According to the World Bank, "among Bangladesh’
s most significant obstacles to growth are poor governance and weak public institutions."[86] In April 2010,
Standard & Poor's awarded Bangladesh a BB- for a long term in credit rating which is below India and well over
Pakistan and Sri Lanka.[87]

One significant contributor to the development of the economy has been the widespread propagation of
microcredit by Muhammad Yunus (awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006) through the Grameen Bank. By the late
1990s, Grameen Bank had 2.3 million members, along with 2.5 million members of other similar organisations.[88]

Bangladesh government is planning for construction of the largest deep sea port in South Asia at Sonadia Island. The
500 billion taka project will be completed in multiple phases and enable Bangladesh to service the whole region as a
maritime transport and logistics hub. India, China, Bhutan, Nepal and other neighbouring countries will be able to take
full advantage of the strategic location and the privileges given to Bangladesh because of its Least
developed country status, for exporting goods that are manufactured in Bangladesh.[89][90]

Furthermore, with $7.5 billion a new international airport will be constructed. The airport is being modelled on
Thailand’s Suvarnabhumi Airport in size and capacity.[91]

To ease the chaotic traffic congestion in the capital Dhaka the government plans to construct more expressways,
freeways, and flyovers.[92] There is a plan to build an overhead Rapid transit called Dhaka Metro, but the progress is
slow and controversial because of contracts and agreements.[93][94][95]

Recently the government of Bangladesh has launched high-speed modern DEMU trains[96] and is also going to
construct metro rail system[97][98] and high-speed electric powered inter city bullet rail network.[99][100] More
airports, bridge (such as the multi-billion Padma Bridge project) national highways are also being constructed to
facilitate trade and regional development.[101]

Agriculture

Main articles: Agriculture in Bangladesh and Fishing in Bangladesh





Workers in a paddy field – a common scene throughout Bangladesh. Two-thirds of the population works in the
agricultural sector.
According to FAOSTAT, Bangladesh is one of world's largest producers of:[102] fisheries[103] (5th), rice (4th), potato
(11th), mango (9th), pineapple (16th), tropical Fruit (5th), onion (16th), banana (17th), jute (2nd), tea (11th).

Jute was once the economic engine of the country. Its share of the world export market peaked in the Second World
War and the late 1940s at 80%[104] and even in the early 1970s accounted for 70% of its export earnings. However,
polypropylene products began to substitute for jute products worldwide and the jute industry started to decline.
Bangladesh grows very significant quantities of rice, tea, potato, mango, onion and mustard.

Manufacturing

See also: Bangladesh textile industry





A Bangladeshi garments factory
More than three-quarters of Bangladesh’s export earnings come from the garment industry[105] in 2005. The industry
began attracting foreign investors in the 1980s because of cheap labour and low conversion cost. In 2011–12 fiscal
year the industry exported US$18 billion[106] worth of products where in 2002 the exported amount was US$5 billion.
Bangladesh has been ranked as the 4th[107] largest clothing exporter by the WTO (The World Trade Organization) .
[108] whereas, according to The Economist Bangladesh is the world’s third-largest clothes-export industry.[109] The
industry now employs more than 3 million workers, 90% of whom are women.[110]

There has also been a significant growth to Bangladesh's ship building industry in the last few years. The required
ships and vessels in the country are being produced by the local shipbuilders. Furthermore, they have
already started taking orders and executing them perfectly for foreign companies from Germany, Denmark and other
European countries who prefer the cheap market of Bangladesh over their local market. The Khulna Shipyard have
successfully completed building a Khulna Class LPC(Large Patrol Craft) and a LCVP(Landing Craft, Vehicle,
Personnel) for the Bangladesh Navy and Bangladesh Army respectively, the cost being almost half of their import
price. They are to build 5 more LPCs of the same class in the coming year.

Services

See also: Tourism in Bangladesh





Biman Bangladesh Airlines, the national airline.
The tourism sector in Bangladesh has experienced massive growth in recent years. The majority of growth is
contributed by local tourists. It is believed to be a major tourist destination if properly advertised. Nonetheless, few
government and private initiatives have been taken to attract foreign tourists.

Though small in area, Bangladesh is quite rich in heritage with numerous historical and archeological sites. It has the
longest natural unbroken sea beach and five World Heritage Sites. Among those are famous eighty one domed Shat
Gombuj Mosque in Bagerhat, made by great Muslim saint Khan Jahan Ali in the 15th century; world's largest
Mangrove forest Sundarbans which is also renowned for its world famous Royal Bengal Tiger.

There are several exotic archaeological sites in the northern parts of Bangladesh, including the temple city Puthia in
Rajshahi; the largest and most ancient archaeological site, Mahasthangarh in Bogra; Among the best known Buddhist
viharas in the Indian Subcontinent and one of the most important archaeological sites in the country, Paharpur in
Naogaon, declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985; Kantaji Temple, the most ornamental terracota Hindu
temple in Bangladesh and many rajbaris or palaces of old zamindars. There are historic mosques too with vast
architectural beauty like Shona Mosque built in 1493, Bagha Mosque, in 1523, Sixty Dome Mosque in 1459, etc.

Bangladesh has the largest shopping mall in South Asia, which is 13th largest in the world. It is Bashundhara City
Shopping Mall which is situated at Karwan Bazar in Dhaka.

Demographics

Main article: Demographics of Bangladesh





Dhaka had a population of over 15 million in 2010, making it the largest metropolitan area in Bangladesh.

Historical populations in millions


Year

Pop.  

±% p.a.  


1971
67.8 —     

1980
80.6 +1.94%

1990
105.3 +2.71%

2000
129.6 +2.10%

2010
148.7 +1.38%

2012
161.1 +4.09%
Source: OECD/World Bank[111]

The population of Bangladesh as of 15 March 2011 is 142.3 million (census 2011 results; this is a preliminary figure
which has been disputed by the UN and now by Bangladeshis themselves),[112] much less than recent (2007–2010)
estimates of Bangladesh's population ranging from 150 to 170 million and it is the 8th most populous nation in the
world. In 1951, the population was 44 million.[113] It is also the most densely populated large country in the
world, and it ranks 11th in population density, when very small countries and city-states are included.[114]

Bangladesh's population growth rate was among the highest in the world in the 1960s and 1970s, when the country
swelled from 65 to 110 million. With the promotion of birth control in the 1980s, the growth rate began to slow.The
fertility rate now stands at 2.55, lower than India (2.58) and Pakistan (3.07) The population is relatively young, with
34% aged 15 or younger and 5% 65 or older. Life expectancy at birth is estimated to be 70 years for both males and
females in 2012.[4] Despite the rapid economic growth, about 26% of the country still lives below the international
poverty line which means living on less than $1.25 per day.[115]





Friday prayer for Muslims in Dhaka
The overwhelming majority of Bangladeshis are Bengali, constituting 98% of the population.[116] The remainder are
mostly Biharis and indigenous tribal groups. There is also a small but growing population of Rohingya refugees from
Burma around Cox's Bazaar, which Bangladesh seeks to repatriate to Burma. The tribal peoples are concentrated in
the Chittagong Hill Tracts in the southeast. There are 45 tribal groups located in this region, the largest being the
Chakma. The Hill Tracts region has been a source of unrest and separatism since and before the inception of
Bangladesh.[117] Outside the Hill Tracts, the largest tribal groups are the Santhals and Garos (Achiks), while smaller
groups include the Kaibarta, Meitei, Mundas, Oraons, and Zomi.

Languages

Main article: Languages of Bangladesh

More than 98% of Bangladeshis speak Bengali as their mother tongue as it is the official language.[118][119] It is an
Eastern Indo-Aryan language with its own script. English is used as a second language among the middle and upper
classes.[120] English is also widely used in higher education and the legal system. Historically, laws were written in
English and were not translated into Bengali until 1987 when the procedure was reversed. Bangladesh's Constitution
and all laws now both are in English and Bengali.[121] Some Dhakaiyas (Locales of Dhaka) and the Bihari population
speak Urdu, which was also the language associated with the government prior to separation from Pakistan.

Religion

Main article: Religion in Bangladesh

See also: Secularism in Bangladesh

Islam is the largest religion of Bangladesh; Islam contributing 89% of population, Hinduism contributing 8% of the
population, Buddhism contributing 1% of the population, Christianity with 0.5% and Animists of 1.5% of the population.
The majority of Muslims are Sunni, roughly 4% are non-denominational Muslims[122] and a small number are Shia.
[123] Bangladesh has the fourth largest Muslim population after Indonesia, Pakistan and India.[124]

After Bangladesh gained independence from Pakistan, Secularism was included in the original Constitution of
Bangladesh in 1972 as one of the Four State Principles, the others being Democracy, Nationalism and Socialism. In
2010, the High Court upheld the secular principles of the 1972 constitution. Bangladesh follows secular government
system in democratic state. However, Bangladesh also follows combined system of state laws and individual religious
laws applicable to people of respective religious group.[125]

Some people in Bangladesh practice Sufism, as historically Islam was brought to the region by Sufi saints. Sufi
influences in the region go back many centuries.[126] The largest gathering of Muslims in the country is the Bishwa
Ijtema, held annually by the Tablighi Jamaat. The Ijtema is the second largest Muslim congregation in the world after
the Hajj.

Education

Main article: Education in Bangladesh





East West University, one of the private universities in Bangladesh.




Curzon Hall of the University of Dhaka




Civil Engineering Building of BUET
Bangladesh has a low literacy rate, estimated at 61.3% for males and 52.2% for females in 2010.[4] The educational
system in Bangladesh is three-tiered and highly subsidized. The government of Bangladesh operates many
schools in the primary, secondary, and higher secondary levels. It also subsidises parts of the funding for many
private schools. In the tertiary education sector, the government also funds more than 15 state universities through
the University Grants Commission.

The education system is divided into 5 levels: Primary (from grades 1 to 5), Junior Secondary (from grades 6 to 8),
Secondary (from grades 9 to 10), Higher Secondary (from grades 11 to 12) and tertiary.[127] The five years of lower
secondary education concludes with a Secondary School Certificate (SSC) Examination but since 2009 it concludes
with a Primary Education Closing (PEC) Examination. Also earlier Students who pass this examination proceed to four
years Secondary or matriculation training, which culminate in a Secondary School Certificate (SSC) Examination but
since 2010 the Primary Education Closing (PEC) passed examinees proceed to three years Junior Secondary, which
culminate in a Junior School Certificate (JSC) Examination. Then students who pass this examination proceed to two
years Secondary or matriculation training, which culminate in a Secondary School Certificate (SSC) Examination.
Students who pass this examination proceed to two years of Higher Secondary or intermediate training, which
culminate in a Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSC) Examination.[127] Education is mainly offered in Bengali,
but English is also commonly taught and used. A large number of Muslim families send their children to attend part-
time courses or even to pursue full-time religious education, which is imparted in Bengali and Arabic in madrasahs.
[127]

Bangladesh conforms fully to the Education For All (EFA) objectives, the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and
international declarations. Article 17 of the Bangladesh Constitution provides that all children between the ages of six
and ten years receive a basic education free of charge.

Universities in Bangladesh are mainly categorised into three different types: public university (government owned and
subsidized), private university (private sector owned universities) and international university (operated and
funded by international organizations). Bangladesh has some thirty-four public, sixty-four private and two international
universities. National University has the largest enrolment amongst them and University of Dhaka (established
1921) is the oldest university of the country. Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) is the
oldest and prominent engineering university in Bangladesh. The most famous engineering universities of Bangladesh
are Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Dhaka University of Engineering and Technology
(DUET), Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology (CUET), Khulna University of Engineering and
Technology (KUET), Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology (RUET). Shahjalal University of Science and
Technology is the first specialized science and technology university of the country. Now Bangladesh has eight
science and technology universities. Islamic University of Technology, commonly known as IUT is a subsidiary
organ of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC), representing fifty seven member countries from Asia,
Africa, Europe and South America.[128] Students from OIC member states mainly Pakistan, Yemen, Afghanistan,
Nigeria, Palestine, Jordan, Cameroon, Sudan, Egypt, Somalia come to IUT each year for engineering education.[129]
East West University, North South University, BRAC University, Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology,
American International University-Bangladesh are some renowned private universities in this region. Some other
Universities are also well known such as Jagannath University (JnU), Rajshahi University, Chittagong University,
Jahangirnagar University, Khulna University, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Bangladesh Agricultural
University etc. Bangladeshi universities are accredited by and affiliated with the University Grants Commission (UGC),
a commission created according to the Presidential Order (P.O. No 10 of 1973) of the Government of the People's
Republic of Bangladesh.[130]

Health

Main article: Health in Bangladesh





Block B of the BSMMU Hospital in Dhaka
Health and education levels remain relatively low, although they have improved recently as poverty (26% at 2012
[131]) levels have decreased. For those in rural areas, village doctors with little or no formal training constitute 62% of
the healthcare providers practising modern medicine and the formally trained providers are occupying a mere 4% of
the total health workforce. A survey conducted by Future Health Systems revealed significant deficiencies
in treatment practices of village doctors, with a wide prevalence of harmful and inappropriate drug prescriptions.[132]
There are market incentives for accessing health care through informal providers and it is important to understand
these markets in order to facilitate collaboration across actors and institutions in order to provide incentives for better
performance.[133]

A 2007 study of 1000 households in rural Bangladesh found that direct costs (payment to formal and informal health
care providers) and indirect costs (loss of earnings associated with workdays lost because of illness) associated with
illness were important deterrents to accessing health care from qualified healthcare providers.[132] A community
survey with 6183 individuals in rural Bangladesh found a clear gender difference in treatment-seeking behaviour, with
women less likely to seek treatment compared to men.[134] The use of skilled birth attendants, however, has risen
between 2005 and 2007 by women in all wealth quintiles except the highest quintile.[135] A pilot community
empowerment tool, called a health watch, was successfully developed and implemented in south-eastern Bangladesh
in order to improve uptake and monitoring of public health services.[136]

The poor health conditions in Bangladesh is attributed by the lack of healthcare and services provision by the
government. The total expenditure on healthcare as a percentage of their GDP was only 3.35% in 2009, according to
a World Bank report published in 2010.[137] The number of hospital beds per 10 000 population is 4.[138] The
General government expenditure on healthcare as a percentage of total government expenditure was only 7.9% as of
2009 and the citizens pay most of their health care bills as the out-of-pocket expenditure as a percentage of private
expenditure on health is 96.5%.[137]

Malnutrition has been a persistent problem for the poverty-stricken country. The World Bank estimates that
Bangladesh is ranked 1st in the world of the number of children suffering from malnutrition[139][140] In Bangladesh,
26% of the population are undernourished[141] and 46% of the children suffers from moderate to severe underweight
problem.[142] 43% of children under 5 years old are stunted. One in five preschool age children are vitamin A
deficient and one in two are anemic.[143] Child malnutrition in Bangladesh is amongst the highest in the world. Two-
thirds of the children, under the age of five, are under-nourished and about 60% of them, who are under six, are
stunted.[144] More than 45 percent of rural families and 76 percent of urban families were below the acceptable
caloric intake level.[145]

Culture

Main articles: Culture of Bangladesh and Culture of Bengal

Reflecting the long history of the region, Bangladesh has a culture that encompasses elements both old and new.

Literature

See also: Bengali literature





Poets Rabindranath Tagore and Kazi Nazrul Islam. Bengali culture is renowned for its literature, poetry, music and art.
The Bengali language boasts a rich literary heritage, which Bangladesh shares with the Indian state of West Bengal.
The earliest literary text in Bengali is the 8th century Charyapada. Medieval Bengali literature was often either
religious (for example, Chandidas), or adapted from other languages (for example, Alaol). Bengali literature reached
its full expression in the 19th century, with its greatest icons being poets, the national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam,
Rabindranath Tagore, Sarat Chandra, Jasim Uddin, Jibanananda Das, Shamsur Rahman, Al Mahmud, Sukanta
Bhattacharya, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Michael Madhusudan Dutt and present day Humayun Ahmed, Muhammed
Zafar Iqbal. Bangladesh also has a long tradition in folk literature, for example Maimansingha Gitika, Thakurmar Jhuli
and stories related to Gopal Bhar, Birbal and Molla Nasiruddin.

Film industries

Main article: Cinema of Bangladesh

The Bangladeshi film industry has been based in Bangladesh's capital, Dhaka, since 1956. As of 2004, it produced
approximately 100 movies a year, with an average movie budget of about 20,000,000 Bangladeshi taka. The film
industry is known as Dhallywood, a portmanteau of the words Dhaka and Hollywood. Bangladesh produces about 80
films a year.[146] Mainstream Hindi films are also quite popular.[147]

Music and arts

Main articles: Music of Bangladesh and Bangladeshi art

The musical tradition of Bangladesh is lyrics-based (Baniprodhan), with minimal instrumental accompaniment.
Numerous musical traditions exist including Gombhira, Bhatiali and Bhawaiya, varying from one region to the
next. Folk music is accompanied by the ektara, an instrument with only one string. Other instruments include the
dotara, dhol, flute, and tabla. Bangladesh also has an active heritage in North Indian classical music. Similarly,
Bangladeshi dance forms draw from folk traditions, especially those of the tribal groups, as well as the broader Indian
dance tradition.[148]

Media

Main article: Media of Bangladesh

See also: List of Bangladeshi television and radio channels

Around 200 daily newspapers are published in Bangladesh, along with more than 500 periodicals. However, regular
readership is low at just under 15% of the population.[149] Bangladeshis listen to a variety of local and national radio
programs like Bangladesh Betar. Several private FM radio stations (Radio Foorti, ABC Radio, Radio Today, Radio
Amar etc.) are popular among urban youths. International Bengali-language broadcasts include BBC Bangla and
Voice of America. The dominant television channel is the state-owned Bangladesh Television, but in the last few
years, privately owned channels have developed considerably. Some popular privately owned TV channels are ATN
Bangla, Channel i, NTV, Ekushey Television, Desh TV, RTV, Banglavision, Islamic TV, Boishakhi TV, Mohona
TV, ATN News, Somoy TV, Independent TV, Channel 9 Bangladesh etc.

Cuisine

Main article: Bangladeshi cuisine





Bengali spices are an important part of the local cuisine
The culinary tradition of Bangladesh has close relations to surrounding Bengali and North-East Indian cuisine as well
as having its own unique traits. Rice and fish are traditional favourites. With an emphasis on fish, vegetables and
lentils served with rice as a staple diet. Biryani is a favourite dish of Bangladesh and this includes egg biryani, mutton
biryani and beef biryani. Bengaladeshi cuisine is known for its subtle (yet sometimes fiery) flavours, and its huge
spread of confectioneries and desserts. Bangladeshis make distinctive sweetmeats from milk products, some common
ones being Rôshogolla, Rasmalai, Rôshomalai, chômchôm and kalojam. It also has the only traditionally developed
multi-course tradition from the Indian subcontinent that is analogous in structure to the modern service à la
russe style of French cuisine, with food served course-wise rather than all at once.

Dress

The Sari (শাড়ি shaŗi) is by far the most widely worn dress by Bangladeshi women. A guild of weavers in Dhaka is
renowned for producing saris from exquisite Jamdani muslin. The salwar kameez (shaloar kamiz) is also quite popular,
especially among the younger females, and in urban areas some women wear western attire. Among men, western
attire is more widely adopted. Men also wear the kurta-paejama combination, often on special occasions, and the
lungi, a kind of long skirt for men.

Festivals

Main article: Public holidays in Bangladesh





Celebrations of the Pohela Boishakh (Bengali new year) in Dhaka.
The Muslim holidays of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, the Bengali New Year, Independence day, and Durga Puja by the
significant Hindu community of Bangladesh, see the most widespread celebrations in the country. Other major Hindu
festivals are Kali Puja, Saraswati Puja, and Krishna Janmashtami; alongside the Buddhist festival of Buddha Purnima,
which marks the birth of Gautama Buddha, and Christmas, called Borodin ("Great day"), are all (except Saraswati and
Kali Puja) national holidays.

Pohela Boishakh, the Bengali new year, is the major festival of Bengali culture and sees widespread festivities. Of the
major holidays celebrated in Bangladesh, only Pohela Boishakh comes without any preexisting expectations (specific
religious identity, culture of gift-giving, etc.). Unlike holidays like Eid al-Fitr, where dressing up in lavish clothes has
become a norm, or Christmas where exchanging gifts has become an integral part of the holiday, Pohela Boishakh is
really about celebrating the simpler, rural roots of the Bengal. As a result, more people can participate in
the festivities together without the burden of having to reveal one's class, religion, or financial capacity. Other cultural
festivals include Nabonno, and Poush porbon (festival of Poush), both Bengali harvest festivals.

Alongside these are national days like the remembrance of 21 February 1952 Language Movement
Day (International Mother Language Day), Independence Day and Victory Day. On Language Movement Day, people
congregate at the Shaheed Minar in Dhaka to remember the national heroes of the Bengali Language
Movement, and at the Jatiyo Smriti Soudho on Independence Day and Victory Day to remember the national heroes
of the Bangladesh Liberation War. These occasions are observed with public ceremonies, parades, rallies by citizens,
political speeches, fairs, concerts, and various other public and private events celebrating the history and traditions of
Bangladesh. TV and radio stations broadcast special programs and patriotic songs. And many schools and colleges
organise fairs, festivals, and concerts in which citizens from all levels of society can participate.

Architecture

Main article: Architecture of Bangladesh

Bangladesh has appealing architecture from historic treasures to contemporary landmarks.The architecture of
Bangladesh has a long history and is rooted in Bangladesh's culture, religion and history.[150] It has evolved over
centuries and assimilated influences from social, religious and exotic communities. The architecture of Bangladesh
bears a remarkable impact on the lifestyle, tradition and cultural life of Bangladeshi people. Bangladesh has many
architectural relics and monuments dating back thousands of years.

Sports

Main article: Sports in Bangladesh

Members of the Bangladesh national cricket team at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka. Bangladesh
is one of the ten Test playing nations in international cricket.
Cricket is one of the most popular sports in Bangladesh, followed by football. The national cricket team participated in
their first Cricket World Cup in 1999, and the following year was granted elite Test cricket status. But they have
struggled to date, recording only three Test match victories: one against Zimbabwe in 2005, the other two in a series
win of 2–0 against the West Indies in 2009.[151] The team has been more successful in One Day
International cricket. In July 2010, they celebrated their first ever win over England in any form of match. Later in
2010, they managed to beat New Zealand for the first time in history. In late 2012, they won a five-match home ODI
series 3-2 against a full-strength West Indies National team. In 2011, Bangladesh successfully co-hosted the ICC
Cricket World Cup 2011 with India and Sri Lanka. In 2012, the country hosted the Asia Cup. The team beat India and
Sri Lanka but failed to keep the reputation in the final game against Pakistan. However, it was the first time
Bangladesh had advanced to the final of any major cricket tournament.

They participated at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, defeating Afghanistan to claim their Gold Medal in the first
ever cricket tournament held in the Asian Games. Kabaddi is a very popular game in Bangladesh, especially in the
villages. Often called the 'game of rural Bengal', it is now the National Game of Bangladesh. In some areas Kabaddi is
still known as [Ha-Du-Du], but Ha-Du-Du had no definite rules and was played with different rules in different areas.
[Ha-Du-Du] was renamed Kabaddi and given the status of the National Game in 1972. Other popular sports include
field hockey, tennis, badminton, handball, basketball, volleyball, chess, shooting, angling. The Bangladesh Sports
Control Board regulates 29 different sporting federations.

Bangladesh have 5 grand masters in chess. Among them, Niaz Murshed was the first grand master in South Asia.

In another remarkable achievement, A Bangladeshi origin Russian Margarita Mamun become worlds number one
rhythmic gymnast of 2013.[152]
Economy
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