has a history. The land, the rivers and the lives of the common people formed a rich heritage with marked differences from neighboring regions. It has evolved over the centuries and encompasses the cultural diversity of several social groups of Bangladesh . The culture of Bangladesh is composite and over centuries has assimilated influences of Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity. It is manifested in various forms, including music, dance and drama, art and craft; folklore and folktales, languages and literature, philosophy and religion, festivals and celebrations, as also in a distinct cuisine and culinary tradition. The music and dance styles of Bangladesh may be divided into three categories, classical, folk and modern. The classical style has been influenced by other prevalent classical forms of music and dances of the Indian subcontinent, and accordingly show some influences dance forms like Bharata Natyam and Kuchipudi. The folk and tribal music and dance forms of Bangladesh are of indigenous origin and rooted to the soil of Bangladesh . Several dancing styles in vogue in the north-eastern part of the Indian subcontinent, like Monipuri and Santal dances, are also practiced in Bangladesh, but Bangladesh has developed its own distinct dancing styles, for example Nitoshilpi. Bangladesh has a rich tradition of folk songs, with lyrics rooted into vibrant tradition and spirituality, mysticism and devotion. Such folk songs also revolve round several other themes, including love themes. Most prevalent of folk songs and music traditions include Bhatiali, Baul, Marfati, Murshidi and Bhawaiya. Lyricists like Lalon Shah, Hason Raja, Kangal Harinath, Romesh Shill, Abbas Uddin and many unknown anonymous lyrists have enriched the tradition of folk songs of Bangladesh . In relatively modern context, Rabindra Sangeet and Nazrul geeti form precious cultural heritage of Bangladesh . In recent time, western influences have given rise to several quality rock bands, particularly in urban centers like Bangladesh Dhaka. Several musical instruments, some of them of indigenous origin, are used in , and major musical instruments used are bamboo flute (bashe), drums (dole), a single stringed instrument named ektara, a four stringed instrument called dotara, a pair of metal bawls used for rhythm effect called mandira. Currently, several musical instruments of western origin like guitar, drums, and saxophone are also used, sometimes alongside the traditional instruments. Festivals and celebrations are integral part of the culture of Bangladesh . Prominent and widely celebrated festivals are Pohela Baishakh, Independence day, National Mourning Day, Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Azha, Muharram, Durga puja, Language Movement Day etc. Bangladesh
As the most important religious festival for the majority Muslims, the celebration of Eid ul-Fitr has become a part of the culture of
. The government of Bangladesh declares holiday for three days on Eid-ul Fitar. People living in towns having their families or parents in villages go to their country homes to meet relatives and celebrate the festival together. All outgoing public transport from the major cities become highly crowded and in many cases the fares tend to rise in spite of government restrictions. Adult Muslim males in Bangladesh assemble at the Eid Ghah (song) for prayer in the morning of the Eid day. On Eid day, Eid prayers are held all over the country, in open areas like fields or else inside mosques. In Bangladesh Dhaka, the largest Eid prayer is held at the national Eidgah. All major mosques including the Baitul Mukarram also holds prayers. The biggest congregation of is held at Sholakia in Kishoreganj, where about half a million people join the Eid prayer. After the Eid prayers, people return home, visit each other's home and eat sweet dishes called Shirni. Throughout the day gentlemen embrace each other. It is also customary for junior members of the society to touch the feet of the seniors, and seniors returning blessings. In the rural areas Eid festival is observed with great fanfare. In some areas Eid fares are arranged. Different types of games including boat race, kabbadi, other traditional Bangladeshi games as well as modern games like football and cricket are played on this occasion. In urban areas people play music, visit each other's houses and eat special food. Watching movies and television programs has also become an integral part of Eid celebration in urban areas. All local TV channels air special program for several days for this occasion. Bangladesh
The celebration of Eid ul-Azha is similar to Eid ul-Fitar in many ways. The only big difference is the Qurbani or sacrifice of domestic animals on Eid ul-Azha. Numerous temporary marketplaces of different sizes called Haat operate in the big cities for sale of Qurbani animals (usually cows and goats). In the morning on the Eid day, immediately after the prayer, affluent people slaughter their animal of choice. Less affluent people also take part in the festivity by visiting houses of the affluent who are taking part in qurbani. After the qurbani a large portion of the meat is given to the poor people. Although the religious doctrine allows the sacrifice anytime over a period of three days starting from the Eid day, most people prefer to perform the ritual on the first day of Eid. However, the public holiday spans over three to four days. Many people from the big cities go to their ancestral houses/homes in the villages to share the joy of the festival with friends and relatives.
Pohela Boishakh is the first day of the Bangla Calendar. It is usually celebrated on the 14th of April. Pohela Boishakh marks the start day of the crop season. Usually on Pohela Boishakh, the home is thoroughly scrubbed and cleaned; people bathe early in the morning and dress in fine clothes. They spend much of the day visiting relatives, friends, and neighbours and going to fair. Fairs are arranged in many parts of the country where various agricultural products, traditional handicrafts, toys, cosmetics, as well as various kinds of food and sweets are sold. The fairs also provide entertainment, with singers, dancers and traditional plays and songs. Horse races, bull races, bullfights, cockfights, flying pigeons, boat racing were once popular. All gatherings and fairs consist a wide spread of Bengali food and sweets.
Bangladeshi people have unique dress preferences. Bangladeshi men wear panjabi on religious and cultural occasions, lungi as casual wear and shirt-pan,cot,-ti on formal occasions. Saree is the main dress of Bangladeshi women. Sari weaving is a traditional art in
. Salwar kameez, maxci is quite popular, especially among younger women. Some women in urban areas also wear pants, skirts and tops. Bangladesh
21 February (International mother Language day), also called Shaheed Dibash, is the National Day of Martyrs commemorating those who died defending the Bangla language in 1952. Political speeches are held, and a memorial service takes place at the Shaheed Minar (Martyr's Monument) in
Shadheenata Dibash, or Independence Day (26 March), marks the day when
declared itself separate from Bangladesh . The event is marked with military parades and political speeches. Pakistan
Bijoy Dibosh, (Victory Day , 16 December), commemorates the day in 1971 when Pakistani forces surrendered to a joint Bangladeshi–Indian force. Cultural and political events are held.
Food in Daily Life. Rice and fish are the foundation of the diet; a day without a meal with rice is nearly inconceivable. Fish, meats, poultry, and vegetables are cooked in spicy curry ( torkari ) sauces that incorporate cumin, coriander, cloves, cinnamon, garlic, and other spices. Muslims do not consume pork and Hindus do not consume beef. Increasingly common is the preparation of ruti, a whole wheat circular flatbread, in the morning, which is eaten with curries from the night before. Also important to the diet is dal, a thin soup based on ground lentils, chickpeas, or other legumes that is poured over rice. A sweet homemade yogurt commonly finishes a meal. A typical meal consists of a large bowl of rice to which is added small portions of fish and vegetable curries. Breakfast is the meal that varies the most, being rice- or bread-based. A favorite breakfast dish is panthabhat, leftover cold rice in water or milk mixed with gur (date palm sugar). Food is eaten with the right hand by mixing the curry into the rice and then gathering portions with the fingertips. In city restaurants that cater to foreigners, people may use silverware.Three meals are consumed daily. Water is the most common beverage. Before the meal, the right hand is washed with water above the eating bowl. With the clean knuckles of the right hand the interior of the bowl is rubbed, the water is discarded, and the bowl is filled with food. After the meal, one washes the right hand again, holding it over the emptied bowl. Snacks include fruits such as banana, mango, and jackfruit, as well as puffed rice and small fried food items. For many men, especially in urbanized regions and bazaars, no day is complete without a cup of sweet tea with milk at a small tea stall, sometimes accompanied by confections. Food Customs at Ceremonial And Other Occasions. At weddings and on important holidays, food plays an important role. At holiday or formal functions, guests are encouraged to eat to their capacity. At weddings, a common food is biryani, a rice dish with lamb or beef and a blend of spices, particularly saffron. On special occasions, the rice used is one of the finer, thinner-grained types. If biryani is not eaten, a complete multicourse meal is served: foods are brought out sequentially and added to one's rice bowl after the previous course is finished. A complete dinner may include chicken, fish, vegetable, goat, or beef curries and dal. The final bit of rice is finished with yogurt ( doi ). On other important occasions, such as the Eid holidays, a goat or cow is slaughtered on the premises and curries are prepared from the fresh meat. Some of the meat is given to relatives and to the poor.