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Bangladesh (Read 20184 times)
leia
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Bangladesh
Sep 21st, 2003 at 11:55am
 
I think it’s wonderful to get to know more about the world around you, so here I am, sharing a little bit about what I know about the country I live in: Bangladesh.

Fashion:
There are two main types of fashion for the middle to upper class people in this country. The first type is called the salwar kameez (sal-WAR come-EASE), which consists of baggy pants, a dress, and a scarf. The fashion of the salwar kameez has changed over the years; at first, it was a long, baggy dress which came below the knees, and the dupatta (scarf) was draped over the head and chest. The change in fashion here is directly influenced by India, and many shops here have the latest Indian fashions, which come mainly from Mumbai and Kolkata.

Anyway, my favorite type of “stylish” salwar kameez was with a fitted kameez (dress) that came to about mid-thigh, and the dupatta draped around the neck. After that, the kameez was shortened to look like a shirt, which I didn’t quite like. Now the kameez is slightly longer, and the style of it varies. Many like a heavily embroidered bottom and heavily embroidered salwar (the baggy pants). I’ve tried to include pics, but I’m not sure if they will work or not.

...

...

...

...

...

Those are the most popular. The last one that you see is called a lengha, which is worn mainly for special occasions. I love lenghas  Grin

Anyhow, there are western fashions here too. The garments industry is huge here! This is because the labor is cheap. I’ll talk more about that when I write about culture. Most of the buyers come from Canada, the U.S., and Switzerland. If you work in garments in this part of the world, you will be VERY well off!!  Smiley

Because of the countries that the buyers are from, the western fashion here is the same as the western fashion there. Only here, halter tops, short skirts, and anything too exposing is not acceptable when you go out, because it offends the culture here. Women here are more conservative. The left over clothes go to the shops here and a huge bazaar (outdoor market) which is quite far away from where I live, but you can usually get good things there. I myself prefer to do my shopping in London  Smiley
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leia
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Re: Bangladesh
Reply #1 - Sep 21st, 2003 at 12:00pm
 
Some more pictures of salwar kameezes!

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Culture
Reply #2 - Sep 21st, 2003 at 12:27pm
 
Culture:
In the past, if husbands left their wives with children, the wife’s life would be shattered. Firstly no one would marry her because “there must be something wrong with you if your husband left you!” and they would also not be able to find work. (Assume that when I talk about things like this it will be concerning the lower class only and I will specify when I mean otherwise). Even a widowed wife would not have work or find a husband and therefore she and her child would starve to death.

These days, even though they don’t get paid very much, women are given jobs to work in garments factories. They earn enough to make a living and feed themselves and their families.

Also … child labor. Sometimes, children just HAVE to work to help support their families. Instead of trying to make it so that they don’t have any income, we have set up centers where working children can go to during the day to get education. These centers will allow them to come for 3-4 hours a day and gradually work up to a standard so that they can get into university and get better jobs when they are older. In my opinion, Bangladesh is steadily but surely improving.

Religion goes as follows:
75% Muslim
10% Hindu
10% Christian
5% Other

The independence was won in 1971. Bangladesh was known as East Pakistan and wanted its freedom from Pakistan; wanted a new nation. So India helped them in this war and helped them win their freedom.

In arranged marriages (again lower class), the men go the women’s homes to have a look at them. They look for cooking ability, family status, and long, thick, black hair, LOL! Most women get their noses pierced before marriage. I did mine when I was 12, just because … I felt like it and thought it would look nice! And also they use needles… I used a gun!!

What else is there to tell you about culture … (my goodness this is turning into an essay!!) … oh yes, over here, many of the tribes, the women are depended upon to earn the living working in the fields and rice paddies. In Dhaka, where I live, the capital city of Bangladesh, it is not so. The man is more dominant over the woman. In fact, they don’t really like girls!  Angry

This is all I can think of for now. If any of you have any questions, make sure you let me know, and I will do my best to answer them!
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Re: Bangladesh
Reply #3 - Sep 21st, 2003 at 4:51pm
 
Hi Leia,

thanks for sharing pics and telling us from your culture. I like shalwar kameez very much and the pink/violet lengha choli is quite to die for Wink

E.
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Re: Bangladesh
Reply #4 - Sep 22nd, 2003 at 12:30am
 
Leia,

   Thanks so much for sharing this with us. I absolutely love Salwar Kameez. I have been searching on ebay for ages and just have never bought one. I do have several saris (sp?) though. I think this type of clothing is so beautiful and feminine. The fabrics and detail work is incredible. I work in a medical office and two of the MD's are from India, so we have quite a lot of Indian patients. I love it when the women wear their traditional dress, it is just so lovely. Thanks again Grin
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Re: Bangladesh
Reply #5 - Sep 22nd, 2003 at 6:31am
 
Leia,I have  enjoyed reading your post very much! Thanks for these very interesting insights,and the wonderful pics! Shocked
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Re: Bangladesh
Reply #6 - Sep 22nd, 2003 at 1:16pm
 
:: squeals with delight :: So glad you guys enjoyed that!

I love saris too... though I can't wear one myself! I will wear one a couple of times a year; once for UN day and once for Bengali New Year... my aunt always helps me put them on!  Grin

If there is anything else you would like me to write about... or post pictures of... just let me know!

Oh and I thought I'd add... it rained really heavily here after such a long time! One of the main roads that brings me home from piano class was a LAKE! Okay, not quite  Tongue! It was about 6-8" deep in water!
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Re: Bangladesh
Reply #7 - Sep 22nd, 2003 at 4:19pm
 
Leia, I find it odd that they think that showing too much skin is not a good thing, but they apparently don't think the belly qualifies.  Is belly buttton piercing as popular over there as it is here?

Gorgeous clothes, they remind me of saris of which I also have a bunch.  I bought them to make things out of but never got the courage to take scissors to them.  I will probably use them as window treatments or hang them over our iron pencil post canopy bed when we move but right now they are sitting in the big Chinese barrel that acts as an end table in my living room :/

Are women allowed to get an education in Bangladesh?
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Re: Bangladesh
Reply #8 - Sep 22nd, 2003 at 4:21pm
 
Quote:
I like shalwar kameez very much and the pink/violet lengha choli is quite to die for


If you mean the one that shows up lavender/aqua on my monitors, I agree!  Absolutely gorgeous!
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Re: Bangladesh
Reply #9 - Sep 23rd, 2003 at 12:14am
 
Quote:
I love saris too... though I can't wear one myself! I will wear one a couple of times a year; once for UN day and once for Bengali New Year... my aunt always helps me put them on! 


Why can't you wear one yourself? 

Thanks for the information.  It is very interesting to hear more about it.  As I remember from previous posts, you attend a private school.  Are most of the students there children of parents from other countries?  Are there public schools as well?  To what age do kids attend school?
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Re: Bangladesh
Reply #10 - Sep 23rd, 2003 at 9:25am
 
Hi there,

Quote:
Leia, I find it odd that they think that showing too much skin is not a good thing, but they apparently don't think the belly qualifies.  


that´s a thing I wanted to ask- the sari and lengha choli are usually NOT muslim dresses (to much skin!). I thought they were only worn by hindus and the muslim dress are shalwar kameez and lengha kameez?
Belly absolutely qualifies in Islam, if there are men around you are only allowed to show face and hands and if there are only women you have to cover the area between belly (including it ;)) and knees!

E.
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Re: Bangladesh
Reply #11 - Sep 23rd, 2003 at 12:15pm
 
Since there are a lot of questions I am going to try and answer them all separately and as best I can!

Quote:
Leia, I find it odd that they think that showing too much skin is not a good thing, but they apparently don't think the belly qualifies.  Is belly buttton piercing as popular over there as it is here?

Gorgeous clothes, they remind me of saris of which I also have a bunch.  I bought them to make things out of but never got the courage to take scissors to them.  I will probably use them as window treatments or hang them over our iron pencil post canopy bed when we move but right now they are sitting in the big Chinese barrel that acts as an end table in my living room :/

Are women allowed to get an education in Bangladesh?  


Okay, well ... belly does qualify as too much skin showing, as E. mentioned. In Bangladesh you will never find any clothes showing the stomach. In a sari, the blouse only goes to the bottom of your ribs and the skirt bit starts below the belly button, but they always cover the middle. The ones that I showed are Indian made, and for special occasions it is acceptable there to show stomach, as long as you are wearing something like a salwar kameez or lengha. Sometimes I show my stomach here when I wear a lengha, but never out in public. Also, the Hindu-Muslim thing doesn't really have much to do with it; in both religions, covering of skin is essential for those who are truly and deeply devoted. In India, they are becoming more lenient with the "rules," but you won't see someone showing their stomach if they were out in public, say, walking to a shop. For a party or special occasion it is accepted. I hope I don't sound too vague  :-/ I tried to explain it as best I could!

Belly button piercing is not done here at all.

And yes, women are definitely allowed to get an education here! It's just that before, it would cost too much, or they would have to work, or stay at home and support their families. But now the education is free and most of the time the education centers are set up by foreigners who come here to help. It's not so much women now that get educated, but children, and because this has been going on for many years now, all the women are educated anyway  ;D. But say, if a woman wanted to go out and get an education, she would definitely be allowed.

I hope I answered your questions!
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Re: Bangladesh
Reply #12 - Sep 23rd, 2003 at 12:20pm
 
Quote:
Why can't you wear one yourself?  

Thanks for the information.  It is very interesting to hear more about it.  As I remember from previous posts, you attend a private school.  Are most of the students there children of parents from other countries?  Are there public schools as well?  To what age do kids attend school?


LOL, Bikerbraid, saris are *very* complicated to wrap! First you put on the blouse and long skirt, and then you wrap the long cloth around you. It's done by tucking it into the skirt, wrapping it around once, then folding I think 9 ( ???) times, and then tucking the folds in. Then you lift the rest and wrap it around your stomach and chest (and head if you want) and sometimes pin into place on your shoulder. Also, you have to wear shoes while you do it (the shoes you are going to wear when you wear the sari) so that the sari is definitely right above the floor! I can't wrap one myself but I would love to learn how!

I do go a private school, it's called American International School/Dhaka. It is very international, which I just love  Grin as I love learning about different countries and cultures! And also, children that travel to many countries are also less prejudiced and can be friends with anyone, regardless of race or color. Isn't that just great  Grin

By public school if you mean that the government pays for your schooling... well, yes and no. In some cases the children will get help in paying the fees, and sometimes don't have to pay at all if they just cannot afford it, but this is only in the villages. In the city all of the schools are private.

Again, your last question is hard to answer because it varies from village to city. In the villages I guess they just work until they get a basic education and go on from there... most of them have to work so they mostly don't do advanced education. Up to ages 10-12 I'd say they could leave school. In the city, school finishes around 17-18, and then university.
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Re: Bangladesh
Reply #13 - Sep 23rd, 2003 at 12:37pm
 
Quote:
LOL, Bikerbraid, saris are *very* complicated to wrap!


I totally agree  Grin I ´ve got a gorgous antique silk sari in a beautiful green with golden borders. Last christmas I wanted to wear it for the big family party. Ok, I put on a shirt and the underskirt and wrapped the sari as an indian woman had shown me. Fine...it looked great, and I wore it about 20 minutes...than I had enough from beeing dangerous while flipping the pallu (the piece you wear loosely on shoulder/head)  around and beeing trapped in my own dress Shocked Grin
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Re: Bangladesh
Reply #14 - Sep 23rd, 2003 at 2:35pm
 
I hear ya, E!  Wink

It is kind of hard to explain where me and my family is actually FROM. I just say Indian or South Asian because that's the best way to explain it.

My mother's family is a direct descendent of the Turks who came to India during the time of the Moghul (?) Empire. Her grandfather was a prince in India, as there were many small regions that were ruled by monarchs. When the English came, they refused to recognize anyone as monarchs and took away their titles.

This was also around the time when Pakistan was coming into being. As they were Muslims, they moved to Pakistan to avoid the conflict. My mother was born in Karachi and moved around quite often; she has lived in south India, north India, Pakistan, and then London from the time she was 14 till about 26. That's when she got married and that's why it was a huge culture shock when she came here. But technically, she's Pakistani  Cheesy.

My dad is not Bangladeshi, although he has sort of "become" it. His parents lived in India and my grandfather used to sell... iron or something for a living. It was something that really shocked me when my father told me, because I look at our family now and can't believe how small we started. Anyway, Daddy's parents moved here because of the conflict between Muslims and Hindus. All three of the older children (Daddy is the youngest) were born in India, while Daddy was born here. He went to school here, and then did further studies in Switzerland. Then he came back here and joined in the family business. Because everything originated in India, I call myself Indian.

The primary industry over here would probably have to be garments, because the quality is good and the labor is cheap. There are definitely large businesses and factories, including the ones that my family owns. We own biscuit factories, battery factories, pen factories, oil factories, and candy factories. Most of this stuff sells cheap (especially the candy which is a popular favorite among those who cannot afford much) but the income is great because they know who to aim their business towards.

The primary places of employment... that is a hard question. There are just so many jobs, lol! Although garments is a huge industry, there aren't that many garments factories. I guess most of the city jobs are office jobs... I'm not quite sure, really!
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Re: Bangladesh
Reply #15 - Sep 23rd, 2003 at 4:14pm
 
Absolutely fascinating!  Thank you Leia!

Have you ever been to the U.S.?
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Reply #16 - Sep 23rd, 2003 at 4:27pm
 
Wow Leia, your family history is more exiting than a novel, cant´get enough of it  Grin I love reading stories from the other side  of the world so I can feel a little bit if I had been there!
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Re: Bangladesh
Reply #17 - Sep 24th, 2003 at 1:17am
 
Thank you for all that wonderful information!  It is very interesting. 

What are your plans for the future?  Would you become involved in any of the family businesses?
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Reply #18 - Sep 24th, 2003 at 8:46am
 
I haven't actually ever been to the U.S., the only place in North America that I've been to is Vancouver!

LOL, yes, our family history is a bit complicated!

Bikerbraid, I choose not to become involved in any of the family business. My brothers will, though, once they return from university. I would like to be a music teacher for little kids (after April, I can start working to get my diploma for teaching!), and this is a profession that can be done anywhere in the world that I choose to live. There are many things I am interested in (excluding business, LOL!), and I would love to be a novelist, or a doctor, or a mathematician... but I am best at music and I simply love children, so I think this would be best for me!   Cheesy
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Reply #19 - Sep 24th, 2003 at 11:01am
 
Persuing a music career is wonderful.  What instrument(s) do you play?  You are right, music would give you opportunities all around the world.
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Reply #20 - Sep 24th, 2003 at 11:15am
 
I play four instruments: piano, violin, clarinet, and voice. I played guitar for a while too, but it didn't suit my tastes.  Cheesy
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Reply #21 - Sep 24th, 2003 at 1:07pm
 
Oh wow!  I just started learning how to play the piano/keyboards.  And I mean *just*... last week!  I always wanted to learn and I desperately need something creative in my life other than LongLocks.  Since my hubby is a musician I managed to talk him into buying a really nice 76-key keyboard (it's way kewl, I can make it sound like anything from a grand piano to a harpsichord to a cello!).  The only problem is that he's more into underground music and I tend to lean more toward the Mozart/Nora Jones end of the scale (no pun intended), so I don't know how much playing we'll do *together*.  But hey, I can already play "Joy to the World", LOL!  Probably the easiest song of all time but I've even mastered the chords, woohoo!

I played the flute for years when I was a kid, but I never was very good.  I can already tell I'll be much better at piano.  Course, I *want* to learn now, which makes all the difference in the world.  It's amazing how fast things like reading music are coming back to me though, it's been almost thirty years!

What kind of music do you play Leia?  And how long will it take you to become certified as a teacher?
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Re: Bangladesh
Reply #22 - Sep 24th, 2003 at 7:13pm
 
I would really love to play violine but my mum forced my to learn piano Sad I do like the piano but I ever dreamed of violine playing  Cry Maybe when I am grandma and have enough time  Grin
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Reply #23 - Sep 24th, 2003 at 10:04pm
 
Trust me, if you wait until you have enough time, you will *never* do it!  I don't have any time but just a few minutes of practicing a day is already paying off.
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Reply #24 - Sep 25th, 2003 at 9:29am
 
I'm glad you've started to play the piano, Rapunzel! I've been playing for six years and I love it!

My diploma exam preparation can take anywhere from 1-3 years. After I take that exam I will be certified as a teacher  Grin

I love actual MUSIC music. Not like pop/rock/rap etc... I will listen to everything but I don't like to play everything. The occasional jazz is nice, though, especially on clarinet  Smiley! I guess what I like is more commonly known as "classical" music although I don't like to use that term because to me, that means music from the Classical Era, whereas I like music from the Baroque and Romantic too! (Okay, and some modern composers are great too, such as Debussy... love his music!)
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Re: Bangladesh
Reply #25 - Sep 25th, 2003 at 11:21am
 
Quote:
I would really love to play violine but my mum forced my to learn piano Sad I do like the piano but I ever dreamed of violine playing  Cry Maybe when I am grandma and have enough time  Grin


Piano is an excellent learning instrument and is frequently the first exposure to music.  I started on the piano when I was 6, and although I "hated it", I am very greatful that I have that knowledge to fall back on now.  My piano experience allowed me to become a percussionist in school, which was a ton of fun.  I loved playing all the different instruments with all the different types of music (marching band, orchestra, jazz, concert).  If you really want to play the violin, you will probably find a way to pick it up and it will be much easier because of your piano background. 
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Reply #26 - Sep 25th, 2003 at 5:02pm
 
Quote:
I love actual MUSIC music. Not like pop/rock/rap etc... I will listen to everything but I don't like to play everything. The occasional jazz is nice, though, especially on clarinet  Smiley! I guess what I like is more commonly known as "classical" music although I don't like to use that term because to me, that means music from the Classical Era, whereas I like music from the Baroque and Romantic too! (Okay, and some modern composers are great too, such as Debussy... love his music!)


I'm with you Leia!  Though my husband scorns at me every time I call classical music "real" music, LOL!
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Dhaka, Bangladesh
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Re: Bangladesh
Reply #27 - Sep 26th, 2003 at 2:07am
 
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If you really want to play the violin, you will probably find a way to pick it up and it will be much easier because of your piano background.  


I totally agree. Each instrument helped me learn the other, and since piano was my first, it helped the most! Oh and a little world of caution - when I started out on violin I was very nervous, therefore had tension in my body, and sounded AWFUL and scratchy! But my mother and my teacher never gave up on me, and one day I picked up my violin and out came a beautiful sound!  Cheesy So don't worry if it takes a while!!
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leia
Diamond
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Re: Bangladesh
Reply #28 - Sep 26th, 2003 at 2:08am
 
Well, Rapunzel, make sure you don't tell him I agree with you!  Wink
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