The traditional music in Bangladesh shares the perspectives of that of the Indian sub-continent. Music in Bangladesh can be divided into three distinct categories -classical, folk and modern. The classical music, both vocal and instrumental is rooted in the remote past of the sub-continent. Ustad Alauddin Khan and Ustad Ayet Ali Khan are two names in classical instrumental music who are internationally known.

The store of folk song abounds in spiritual lyrics of Lalan Shah, Hasan Raja, Romesh Shill and many anonymous lyricists. Bangla music arena is enriched with Jari, Shari, Bhatiali, Murshidi and other types of folk songs. Rabindra Sangeet and Nazrul Sangeet are  Bangalees’ precious heritage. Modern music is also practiced widely. Contemporary patterns have more inclinations to west. Pop song and band groups are also coming up mainly in Dhaka City.                    

Musical Instruments

Bangladesh has a good number of musical instruments originally of  her own. Originally country musical instruments include, Banshi (bamboo flute), Dhole (wooden drums), Ektara (a single stringed instrument), Dotara (a four stringed instrument), Mandira (a pair of metal bawls used as rhythm instrument), Khanjani, Sharinda etc. Now-a-days western instruments such as Guitar, Drums, Saxophone, Synthesizer etc. are being  used alongside country instruments.  

Traditional Transport Means

There are some transportation means that are parts of culture of Bangladesh. In rural areas bullock carts, buffalo carts and tomtoms (horse carts) are commonly used. In old Dhaka once tomtom was  a common vehicle and still it is found, though rare. Bicycles are used both in rural and urban areas. Palki (a box-like vehicle carried on shoulders by six men) is a wedding transportation means. Brides are carried to the bridegrooms’ places by Palki. Being a land crisscrossed by rivers, Bangladesh has a wide-ranged tradition of ferry transport. Wooden boat popularly called nawka is a vital means of rural communication. Rickshaw is a very common vehicle to Bangladeshis.

Art & Culture

Bangladesh is a melting pot of races. She, therefore, has a mixed culture. Her deep rooted heritage is amply reflected in her architecture, literature, dance, drama, music and painting. Bangladeshi culture is influenced by three great religions- Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam in successive order, with Islam having the most pervading and lasting impact. Like a colorful montage, the cultural tradition of the country is a happy blending of many variants, unique in diversity but in essence greatly symmetrical.


A series of festivals varying from race to race are observed here. Some of the Muslim rites are Eid-e-Miladunnabi, Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Azha, Muharram etc. Hindus observe Durga Puja, Saraswati Puja, Kali Puja and many other pujas.  Christmas ( popularly called Baradin in Bangla ) is observed by Christians. Also there are some common festivities, which are observed countrywide  by people irrespective of races.pahela baishakh (the first day of Bangla year) is such a festival. National festivals are Independence Day (26th March), 21st February (the National Mourning Day and World Mother Language Day), The Victory Day (16th December), Rabindra & Nazrul Jayanti etc.


National Holidays : 

National days marking events of special interest to the nation.

Traditional Holidays And Festivals

Traditional holidays such as Bengali New Year’s. Information about the Bangla Calendar.

Relegious Holidays & Festivals

Holidays celebrated by people of various religion in Bangladesh.

Bangladeshi women habitually wear Sarees. Jamdani was once world famous for it’s most artistic and expensive ornamental fabric. Moslin, a fine and artistic type of cloth was well-known worldwide. Naksi Kantha, embroidered quilted patchwork cloth produced by the village women, is still familiar in villages and towns simultaneously. A common hairstyle is Beni (twisted bun) that Bangalee women are fond of. Traditionally males wear Panjabis, Fatuas and Pajamas. Hindus wear Dhuty for religious purposes. Now-a-days common dresses of males are shirts and pants.

Government and non-government organizations like Bngla Academy, Nazrul Institute, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Fine arts Institute, Chhayanat etc. play significant role to flourish Bangladeshi art and culture  providing encouragement in music, drama, dance, recitation, art etc. Many other cultural organizations are also popularizing Bangladeshi art and culture.




This word is derived “Ksheer” which means “Milk’

It is an essential dish in many Hindu and Muslim feasts and celebrations. It is traditionally made with rice. It is sprinkled with cashews and raisins, served in most festive occassions, such as Weddings, Eid’s, Puja’s, etc. Although while sugar is commonly used, adding “gur” makes it tasty too.

A similar dessert is called “Pheerni”.



The word biryani is derived from a Persian word which means “fried” or “roasted”. There are many kinds of biryanis and each has a uniqueness about it. This dish is made from a mixture of spices, rice, meat or vegetable and yogurt. The spices used in this food are what contributes to the taste. Theres  a saying “only few poeple can make this difficult dish”.

Weddings in Dhaka are incomplete  without this meal.

Bangladeshi biryani is the most well known biriyani in countries outside Asia.

The Triangular Piece Of Magic Samosa


Street pushcarts and roadside vendors sell their delicious “samosa” to passerby who enjoy immediate gratification from these statisfying snacks. As its cheap..anyone can grab one whenever hungry. Samosa’s are fried, traingular in shape filled with meat, vegetables, potaoes and cheese. Each and every house in Bangladesh knows how to make it…as its a good snack to serve guests in the evening.

It is a perfect companion to a cup of “cha” (tea)….thats what my dad says🙂 It is served with chutneys or sauce.



Different regions make different styles of “achar’. Depending on the region and the intended use, achar can be sweet and spicy (I prefer the spicy ones!). It is enjoyed with curries, breads and other dishes to add a new dimension of flavour.

Common choices of ingedient include lemon, ginger, onion, garlic, etc. Often mixed pickle with several vegetables or fruit indredients is also made.

My favourite is mango pickle..i love it with “polao” or “paratha’.




My Favourite!! The most popular snack among the urban people of Bangladesh. There’s not a single peron who didn’t like the taste of this crispy, spicy ummmm….snack….i guess.

Nowadays we get fuchka’s in alot of fast food shops…but we still get the best ones from the “push-cart sellers”. I still enjoy standing next to a fuchka “walla” waiting for my turn to come…with half a dozen customers.

Nowadays, fuchka’s are also served in “Gaye Holud’s” is considered as a “classy” item in these occassions. Best part is available throughout the year!!

Bangladeshi biryani is the most well known biriyani in countries outside Asia



Paan is a South, South East Asian tradition which consists of chewing betel leaf combined with areca nut. There are many regional variations.

In Bangladesh, paan is chewed all over the country by all classes of people. Paan is offered to the guests and festivals irrespective of all religion. The sweet paan of the Khasi tribe is famous for its special quality. Paan is also used in hindu puja, wedding festivals (especially “gaye holuds”) and to visit relatives. It has become a ritual, tradition and culture of our society. Mostly adults are seen enjoying paan with friends and relatives!!

Panta Illish

Panta Illish ~ a traditional Bengali platter of stale rice (in soup) with fried Hilsa slice, supplemented with dried fish (Shutki), pickles (Achar), dal, green chillies and onion- is a popular serving for “Pohela Boishakh” festival in Bangladesh.

Main Dish In Bangladesh

Many people mistake Bangladeshi food as being the same as Indian food. Bangladeshi food has its distinct taste and character. Especially the variety of our curry dishes. The cuisine of bangladesh has considerable regional variations.

A staple across the country however is rice and various kinds of lentil, which is locally known as “daal’ and fish. Fish features as the major source of protein in Bangladeshi diet. There is also a saying which goes, “Mach-e-Bhat-e-Bangali”, fish and rice make a Bengali!!

37 thoughts on “Bangladesh

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