Bangladesh History and Culture

Bangladesh History and Culture


After Prime Minister Hasina Wajed refused to accept the BNP’s demands in 2013 to reverse the controversial constitutional amendment of 2011 and to hand over government to a neutral transitional government 90 days before the due parliamentary elections, opposition leader Khaleda Zia called for an election boycott. Protests overshadowed by violent acts broke out in December 2013 after the execution of Abdul Kader Molla, who was sentenced to death by the ICT(* 1948), a leading politician from Jamaat-e-Islami, further escalated and claimed numerous lives. Nevertheless, the government had the elections held on 5.1.2014. Due to the election boycott of the main opposition parties, the Awami League was able to win 234 out of 300 seats in the polls overshadowed by unrest. The BNP lost its parliamentary representation through the election boycott. In the period that followed, the party tried unsuccessfully to force new elections through strike actions and traffic blockades. Islamist attacks also put a strain on the country’s domestic political climate. Several Internet activists critical of Islam became victims of extremist violence. On May 11, 2016, the death sentence imposed by the ICT in 2014 on Motiur Rahman Nizami (* 1943, † 2016), leader of Jamaat-e-Islami since 2000. In 2017, hundreds of thousands of Rohingya fled violence by the Myanmar army to Bangladesh.

In the presidential election on February 18, 2018, Abdul Hamid was confirmed in office for another five years. Prime Minister Hasina Wajed’s party won the parliamentary election on December 30, 2018. The Awami League (AL, Awami League , together with allied parties, won 288 out of 350 seats. Earlier, opposition leader Khaleda Zia had been sentenced to several years in prison in two corruption proceedings . The election campaign and election day were overshadowed by violence and bloody clashes from the long-standing hostility of the Awami League and the opposition party BNP. On 7.1.2019 Hasina Wajed was sworn in for another term of office.


The expression of Bangladeshi culture and customs must be inscribed in the broader Bengali tradition. The prevalence of the Muslim component on the territory has not completely obscured the ancient Buddhist and Hindu traditions, stronger in large urban centers and in some regions. This is demonstrated by the choice of UNESCO, which in 1985 declared both the historic city-mosque of Bāgerhāt, founded in the century, a World Heritage Site. XV at the intersection of Ganges and Brahmaputra, and the Ruins of the Buddhist Vihara in Paharpur, which testify to the presence of a renowned cultural center. The capital Dhaka hosts the most important university institutes; others are found in Chittagong, Mymensingh and Rājshāhi. See topschoolsintheusa for higher education in Bangladesh.


Due to its recent independence, Bangladesh is attentive to the preservation of traditional Bengali customs and traditions, useful on the one hand to strengthen national identity and on the other to safeguard regional specificity. Thus men usually wear the lungi and women the sari. Fish and rice are the basic ingredients of many Bengali dishes, along with beef, chicken, mutton and legumes. Typical sweets are milk-based. In the wedding breakfast it is usually served biryani, a dish of rice, lamb or beef seasoned with spices (cardamom, pepper, saffron, cloves, coriander). In folk music and dance, elements deriving from Islam and Hinduism blend, as in the songs of the baul. The influence of English culture, a legacy of the colonial past, and the ever wider relations with the rest of the world lead to a progressive modernization of customs, for now limited to the upper classes of the city. However, Bangladesh is a country where the contrast between tradition and innovation is evident; in the context of a strong policy of restricting women’s rights, the custom of disfiguring women persists, indeed increases: it is a practice that, according to UNICEF, since the beginning of the 21st century. it affected 200 women each year.


According to itypeauto, the literature of Bangladesh coincided until 1971 with that of Bengali. With independence, many authors have based their work on supporting Bengali culture and traditions; life in the countryside, the country’s political and social conflicts are the recurring themes in the works of novelists, poets, playwrights such as Shamsur Rahman (b.1929), Nirmalendu Goon (b.1945), Selina Hossain (b.1947), Humayun Ahmed (b.1948). The denunciation of the oppression of women in Islam and of the living conditions of Hindu minorities in Bangladesh are the main reasons for the work of Taslima Nasreen (b.1962), a Bengali doctor and writer in exile since 1994, after being accused of blasphemy and threatened with death by Islamic fundamentalists.


Among the artists a leading role played by Zainul Abedin (1914-1976), whose contribution is part of the Bengali art panorama; in fact he worked throughout the region, recounting the misery and suffering of his people. The artist also had a notable influence on other Bangladeshi painters, including Quamrul Hassan (1921-1988) and, later, Rafiqun Nabi or Ranabi (b.1943) known for giving life to the character called Tokai, a child of road through which a heated political and social satire of the country’s situation passes. The works of Shishir Bhattacharjee (b. 1960) also have a satirical background. Muzharul Islam (b.1923), a leading figure of Bengali architecture and, in particular, of independent Bangladesh, has been able to combine aspects of the environment and local tradition.

Bangladesh History and Culture