Bangladesh: Rediscovering cultural roots, facing challenges and acknowledging successes

“How effectively a society is able to cope with the challenges it faces depend largely on its culture.”

Shahzaman Mazumder tries to find the cultural roots of Bangladesh and provides a good analysis on the Bangladeshis:

“Mostly fishermen, weavers, potters, and small farmers inhibited the territory that is today called Bangladesh, an extremely fertile delta. The many rivers and even more tributaries, marshes, and canals isolated communities and never allowed large indigenous political organization.

This isolation among apparently nearby communities is evident from the various dialects of Bangla. The fertile soil that allowed relatively easy living conditions was also an effective barrier assisting isolation-the people had no incentive to venture out.”

He then carries on to discuss the psychological traits of the Bangladeshis which include small horizon of thinking, non-aggressive, intellectual, social and submissive. The isolation in small communities had never helped develop complex institutions inside the region. Many Bangladeshi institutions, which are emulated from the West fail as they ignore these cultural properties and thus fail to succeed.

Being a populous country and limited resources are also the main drawbacks of the country. Utsay Dot Net lists the challenges average Bangladeshis face which definitely put them up for a record setting. And they still survive:

Can’t figure it out? Well this is a record we already hold, each and every one of us. The fact that we still survive and the population manages to grow everyday even though we consume so many toxic materials in our food everyday is a miracle. No other race of people can claim to stomach so many different types of poison and still live to tell about it. We rule…

Many Bangladeshis had the notion of looking down upon anything Bangladeshi. Dhaka explains:

When I was young (and it is quite far off and not as recent as I like to pretend), there was this distinct feeling in the air that “Made in Bangladesh” was somehow not good enough. Given two equally good choices between a Deshi and a bideshi (foreign) product, most of my generation would choose the bideshi one. Most of the time of course, we were given a choice between a far superior foreign product and a very mediocre MIB (Made in Bangladesh) product.

But now Bangladesh is pushing forward overcoming the hurdles and growing in confidence. From garments industry to personalized home pages, products made by Bangladeshis are setting their landmarks.

Bangladesh pretty much clothes the entire world (now). What we don't do is make Armani shirts. Maybe we do, but “they” put in the logo and reap the profits when our elites buy them.

…(Pageflakes) is a personalized home page, with different modules known as “flakes” allowing you to build it up from scratch and individualize it to your heart’s content.

What really got me interested is the fact that their Chief Technology Officer is (a) Bangladeshi. 3rd world view reports that 18 Bangladeshis currently work for it, while Patricia from Underdogs Fight Back tells us that 3 Bangladeshi engineers were the original core developers.

The blogger urges the Bangladeshi readers to consider Bangladeshi products over other foreign ones not only because they are competitive but also they make Bangladesh proud.

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