|WORLDCOOK'S TRAVELS - Daily life in Bangladesh (1)|
|Recipes from Bangladesh||Travel to Bangladesh||Travel to other countries|
most of the houses have no running water in rural areas, a major part of
life centers around the river. People wash themselves as well as their
clothes in the river or the pond. From the car, you see sometimes women,
completely covered in a sari, get into the water, and then suddenly you
see a head and a floating sari.
is a big issue in Bangladesh; its celebration is split up in several days
and takes about 5 days, and the dowries and costs are so high, that parents,
especially parents of the bride,
have to suffer for half a lifetime. This is one of the reasons girls still
are married out young; the older the girl, the higher the dowry that must be
paid. And in this country, 25 is already old for an unmarried girl. Even
though the law forbids marriage under 18, lots of girls still marry at their
On the first day, the Gaye Holud ceremony, the party given by the bride's parents, is held. Holud means turmeric, the yellow curry-like spice that is used in many Bangladeshi and Indian dishes. The turmeric is put on the face of the bride and the groom.
The bride is by tradition dressed in a beautiful red sari. In the middle of a room, two decorated chairs are put and on this day, she sits there all alone, and in most of the cases that we have attended, completely unsmiling. Rows of chairs are facing her, where the guest can take place to endlessly admire her timeless beauty. After the admiration, the guests receive a dinner as reward. Normally, huge numbers of guests are invited, ranging between a hundred and thousands. When one load of guests is having dinner, the next load is already waiting behind the chairs.
|The birth of a child is obviously also an important occasion. Minimally one week after its birth, the Akika (Aqiqah) is performed for Muslim children. Akika is the name-giving ceremony. A strand of hair is taken from the baby by the imam and in exchange it gets some honey. The father has to secretly bury that hair. Goats are to be slaughtered - two if it is a boy, one if it is a girl. Gender empowerment is still a minor issue here. Consequently, there will be an enormous party, where food has to be served for hundreds of guests. The food will be distributed evenly: one third for the poor, one third for distant relatives and one third for the parents and close relatives. Some poor families will be in deep financial trouble as a result of these kinds of ceremonies, but they find these expenses unavoidable for the well-being of their newly born.|
a public activity takes place, the streets will be flooded with policemen.
Especially if there is a hartal, a protest, or a visit of a high level
official from abroad, all police men are brought in from all over the
country. (A smart terrorist might grab his chances outside
days like these). But apart from the usual police, there is also the RAB
(Rapid Action Battalion). This RAB “elite anti-crime corps” was put into
life in 2003 by the government. Their members look very grim and dark and
are clad in the same black shirts, trousers, shoes, sunglasses and head
scarf. The battalion is extremely active: over 2005 about 600 people have
been killed “in crossfire” by them. Seemingly, the victims even fire back
when they are chained, and especially if they happen to be members of for
instance a forbidden political party.
Bangladesh, has six seasons, and as a
result, different varieties of rice are cultivated. There are three
different varieties, namely aus, aman and boro, and all grow under
different circumstances. The aman rice is sown in the rainy season and
needs no irrigation. Unfortunately, this year the amount of rain was
rather small and therefore, the aman harvest is insufficient. As the rice
supply normally just meets the demand, the gap will have to be bridged by
the production of boro rice. This variety however grows in winter and as
it hardly rains in that period, a considerable irrigation is needed, which
again puts a pressure on the electricity demand.