I’m embarrassed to admit that I had to look up Bangladesh on a map when I found out I was accepted to the program “Development and Community in Bangladesh.” Obviously, I knew very little about the country, it’s history, it’s economy, it’s political system, it’s religion, and it’s cultural practices. Though in the beginning this seemed to be a great disadvantage to me, it has provided me with a great opportunity to learn about Bangladesh and form my own opinions from my experiences rather than from preconceived stereotypes.
Bangladesh is located in Asia, surrounded by India on three sides and the Bay of Bengal on the other. It is on the tropic of cancer and thus is very lush. It is home to seven major rivers, including the Ganges, which flows into the Bay of Bengal, and two hundred minor rivers. Rivers are the most important geographical aspect of Bangladesh because it is such an agriculturally based society. They are also one of the most dangerous natural elements because of flooding in the monsoon season. Thousands of houses are destroyed each year because of flooding and other natural disasters. There are two hilly areas: the hills of Assam and the Chittagong Hill Tracks. Bangladesh is also home to vast rainforests, marshes, and swamps. It has six seasons: griishmo (summer), borsha (rainy), shorot (autumn), hemonto (harvesting), shiit (winter), and bosonto (spring.) Three seasons are truly discernable; the monsoon season, the cold season, and the hot season. The seasons are fairly self-explanatory, yet my mental image of each of the seasons was very different from reality. Coming from the mid-west of the United States I’m used to very cold winters and relatively warm summers, wit...
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...elopment around the World: Practice, Theory, Research, Training. Buffalo: University of Toronto Press, 1997.
Gardner, Katy. Songs at the River’s Edge. London: Pluto Press, 1997.
Murray, Jon. Newton, Alex. Plunkett, Richard. Wagenhauser, Betsy. Bangladesh. London: Lonely Planet Publications, 2000.
1990 Bangladesh Census Report
Chittagong is a district in Southeast Bangladesh.
The Bangladesh Nationalist Party takes a strong anti-India stance and is more nationalistic.
The Awami League is broader in its contingency. It represents more of the minorities.
A hartel is a strike.
A burqua is a “cape which covers the whole body, with a veil for the face; worn by women in Muslim countries to hide themselves in public.” (Gardner, 146.)
bari: “homestead, a collection of households at one site, which are usually all of the same lineage.” (Gardner, 145.)
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