Bangladesh at a glance

Background

Situated between Burma and India, with the Bay of Bengal in the South, is the small country of Bangladesh. Originally part of India, it gained independence from Britain in 1947, becoming East Pakistan. On 16 December, 1971, Bangladesh achieved its sovereign independence, under the leadership of Bangabondhu Sheik Mujibur Rahman, after a bloody liberation war against the  Pakistani Army from 26 March in the same year

People of Bangladesh 03People of Bangladesh 1People of Bangladesh 04People of Bangladesh 2

Population

Bangladesh is a low lying country with a total population of about 142 million with a distribution of 80% rural dwellers with 20% living in urban areas.  It is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, with nearly 3,000 persons per square mile. (about 1000 persons per square kilometre). It is 143,998 square kilometers (55,598 square miles) in size.

Praying Hand Of An Old WomanThe major religions represented are –

Muslims 86.6%, Hindus 12.1%, Buddhists 0.6% and others 0.3%. The Christian community is a very small minority, comprising about 0.3% of the population, which is approximately a little over 500,000 people.

Language

The official and main language is Bangla, but there are many small tribal language groups. English is not widely known or used except in business or international dealings.

Economy

Bangladesh is mainly an agriculture based country as 64% of the total population is engaged in agriculture. 32% of the G.D.P comes from this sector. There is a strong and growing pisciculture and garments industry. Oil and gas are the other resources that still need development. The economy has struggled as the large resource of people lack skills and are illiterate. The frequent natural calamities create a lot of pressure on the existing infrastructure and agricultural sector.

The origin of the Bengali Calender

Pohela Boishakh
Celebration of Bengali New Year in Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Dhaka

There are different views about the origin of  the Bengali Calendar. The most popular view which is supported by evidence is the following.

During the reign of Mughol Emperor Akbar, there were difficulties in raising the revenue from the peasants in Bengal. At that time Raja Todormol put forward revenue reforms in Bengal.  It was felt that the transformation of the Hijri calendar, i.e. the lunar calendar, to a new solar calendar would be helpful. The new calendar was called the Bengali Calendar. There are some views which suggest that Fateh Ullah Shiraji, who was the Land and Defense Minister in Akbar’s Council of Ministers and also his personal physician, was the proponent of the Bengali Calendar. Baishak is the first month and 1st Baishak is the first day of the Bangla calendar. It corrersponds to the 14th or 15th April, varying according to the leap year. All over the world the Bangalis observe 1st Baishak as the New Year Day in a very traditional way.

Seasons :

We have six seasons in Bangali calender.
These are as follows :
The Summer, Rainy Season, Autumn (Sarat), Late Autumn (Hemonto), Winter and Spring.

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