Thursday, September 28, 2006

Amazing Bangladesh

the making of sweets, mixing, rolling, and cooking on the wood fire. below, the finished thing

jute, drying by the roadside
original paintings by jemal

a hindu woman of dhamrai village
the boatman of bangladesh

Saturday, July 29, 2006
amazing bangladesh

I just wanted to write a little note on how floored I am about how incredible this land is. I had a few assumptions before I come here, which is something I really try not to do. But, I assumed that Bangladesh was very poor and that I was going to experience intense poverty and that would be extreemly visible.

Another very important thing I have learned here is that this land is newly poor. This, just one hundred years ago was the wealthiest region of South Asia, and a money pot of the British empire. Colonialism of course weakened the power structure here in Bengal, but it was really the events of Indian Independance and the rein of Pakistan over Bangladesh from 1947-the Liberation War of 1971 that sent the people here into a spiral of poverty and helplessness. Prior to this there was not the picture of Bangldesh that all Americans got in the 1980's. This land took care of itself and provided for its population. Necessities were in abuldance. But faced with the colonial challenge to become capitalistic and be dominated while doing it has made this situation of extreme poverty.

How would I describe Bangladesh?

Deep, Lush, Seasoned, Multi-Layered, and Multi-Dimentional.

It is so clean and neat. Very well put-together and cosmopolitan. Resouceful and innovative. Accomodating, Caring, and Curious.

.....yes I will of course admit that this has been a sheltered experience, but what I am expressing and describing is not the obvious waves at the top of the ocean, but the subtle undercurrents below the surface.


At 4:16 AM, Blogger maung swe sein said...

nice blog..I am reading always.
To be Bangladeshi and to born as Bangladeshi is my pride and when i see this country with your eyes..i feel to say WOW....

major maung


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