About Bangladesh ~ Ofuran

About Bangladesh


Bangladesh, officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia. It is surrounded by India on all sides except for a small border with Myanmar to the far south-east and the Bay of Bengal to the south. The population of Bangladesh ranks seventh in the world, but its area of approximately 144,000 square kilometres (55,600 sq mi) is ranked ninety-fourth, making it one of the most densely populated countries in the world, or the most densely populated country if small island nations and city-states are not included. It is the third-largest Muslim-majority nation but has a slightly smaller Muslim population than the Muslim minority in India. Geographically dominated by the fertile Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta, the country has annual monsoon floods, and cyclones are frequent. Bangladesh is one of the founding members of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), BIMSTEC, and a member of the OIC and the D-8. Bangladesh achieved a decisive independence from Pakistan on 16 December 1971 after a bloody war of long nine months. Bangladesh is a parliamentary democracy. The Constitution of Bangladesh was written in 1972 and has undergone fourteen amendments. Bangladesh is divided into six administrative divisions, each named after their respective divisional headquarters: Barisal, Chittagong, Dhaka, Khulna, Rajshahi, and Sylhet. Divisions are subdivided into administrative units known as Zila (districts). There are sixty-four districts in Bangladesh, each further subdivided into thana ("police stations", formerly called Upazila or sub-districts). Dhaka is the capital and largest city of Bangladesh. Other major cities include Chittagong, Khulna, Rajshahi, Barisal and Sylhet. Bangladesh is located in the low-lying Ganges-Brahmaputra River Delta or Ganges Delta. Straddling the Tropic of Cancer, Bangladeshi climate is tropical with a mild winter from October to March, a hot, humid summer from March to June. Natural calamities, such as floods, tropical cyclones, tornadoes, and tidal bores occur almost every year, combined with the effects of deforestation, soil degradation and erosion. Despite sustained domestic and international efforts to improve economic and demographic prospects, Bangladesh remains an underdeveloped and overpopulated nation. Jute was once the economic engine of the country. Bangladesh grows significant quantities of rice, tea and mustard. Although two-thirds of Bangladeshis are farmers, more than three-quarters of Bangladesh’s export earnings come from the garment industry, which began attracting foreign investors in the 1980s due to cheap labour and low conversion cost. Obstacles to growth include frequent cyclones and floods, inefficient state-owned enterprises, mismanaged port facilities, a growth in the labour force that has outpaced jobs, inefficient use of energy resources (such as natural gas), insufficient power supplies, slow implementation of economic reforms, political infighting and corruption. 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. Recent estimates of Bangladesh's population range from 142 to 147 million, making it one of the ten most populous countries in the world. Bangladesh is ethnically homogeneous, with Bengalis comprising 98% of the population. The remainders are mostly Bihari migrants and indigenous tribal groups. Bangla is the official and the main language of Bangladesh. Two major religions practised in Bangladesh are Islam (83%) and Hinduism (16%). Other religious groups include Buddhists, Christians, and Animists. Health and education levels have recently improved as poverty levels have decreased. Most Bangladeshis are rural, living on subsistence farming. Health problems abound, ranging from surface water contamination to arsenic in the groundwater, and diseases including malaria, leptospirosis and dengue. The literacy rate in Bangladesh is approximately 41%. Literacy has gone up due to many programs introduced in the country. A new state for an old nation, Bangladesh has a culture that encompasses elements both old and new. The Bangla language boasts a rich literary heritage.Its greatest icons are the poets Rabindranath Tagore and Kazi Nazrul Islam. Bangladesh also has a long tradition in folk literature. The musical tradition of Bangladesh is lyrics-based, with minimal instrumental accompaniment. Around 200 dailies are published in Bangladesh, along with more than 1800 periodicals. The culinary tradition of Bangladesh has close relations to Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine as well as having many unique traits. Rice and fish are traditional favourites; leading to a common saying that "fish and rice make a Bengali". The sari (shaŗi) is by far the most widely worn dress by Bangladeshi women. The lungi, a kind of long skirt, is usually worn by Bangladesh men. The two Eids, Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha are the largest festivals in the Islamic calendar. Major Hindu festivals are Durga Puja and Saraswati Puja. Buddha Purnima, which marks the birth of Gautama Buddha, is one of the most important Buddhist festivals while Christmas, in Bangla, is celebrated by the minority Christian population. The most important secular festival is Pohela Boishakh or Bengali New Year, the beginning of the Bengali calendar. Other festivities include Nobanno, Poush Parbon (festival of Poush) and observance of national days like Shohid Dibosh. Cricket is one of the most popular sports in Bangladesh. Other popular sports include football (soccer), field hockey, tennis, badminton, handball, volleyball, chess, carom, and kabadi, which is the national sport of Bangladesh.