People’s Republic of Bangladesh is the eighth most populated country of the world with an emerging economy located in South Asia. Most of the territories are being dominated by the low-lying Ganges Delta. Commonly known as Bangladesh, has thousands of years old civilization, when the region was inhabited by the ancient Dravidian, Indo-Aryan, Tibeto-Burman and Austro-Asiatic peoples. This region was also known to the then progressive Greeks and Romans and they called it as Gangaridal (Nation of Ganges). The Bengali people rapidly started to accept Islam in the seventh century when Arab merchants and preachers stepped in the region. Bengal was once considered as the richest region of the Indian subcontinent till the16th century.
In the eighteenth century when British East India Company was founded in the Indian Sub-continent, the region also passed through the European cultural influences, particularly of the British. In 1947, when partition of India took place, the eastern part of Bengal having Muslim majority became the part of Pakistan and it was named East Pakistan. In 1971, a resistance movement against Pakistan was started and the country gained independence from Pakistan on 16 December 1971. The purpose of describing all this in a very short prolegomenon is to make you understand that Bangladesh has a rich, diverse and glorious cultural heritage having so many historic influences.
Bangladesh is a land of rivers and streams along the famous Bay of Bengal and the Bangladeshis speak the official language “Bangla”, known as Bengali. This language is the identical symbol of Bangladeshi heritage and the main social divide prevailing in the country is between Muslims and Hindus.
Most of the people have rural background and the countryside factor dominates the culture of Bangladesh. Rice and fish are the compulsory items of the daily food of Bangladeshis.
The most famous festivals of Bangladesh are Eids, Shab-e-Qadr (the night of power), Eid Milad un-Nabi (birth date of the Prophet Mohammad S.A.W) and Shab-e-Barat (the night of fortune). The Hindu community in Bangladesh also eulogizes their festivals like Durga Puja and Kali Puja (community worshipping of Goddess Durga and Kali). Other minorities also passionately observe their respective religious occasions and festivities.
Traditional dress of Bangladesh is awesome in its nature and kind and somehow it is also unique as compare to other neighboring countries. Bangladeshi men are normally seen in traditional Kurta, Fatua and Shalwar Kameez in formal wear. In the rural areas, the Bangladeshi men love to wear traditional Lungi or Dhoti (dhuti) as casual attire. Along the other side, the Bangladeshi women have trend to dress up in the traditional Sharee (Sari or Saree) or Shalwar Kamees.
Sari or Saree is the most popular dress for the Bangladeshi women. The usual length of Sari is about 4 to 9 meters and it is dressed up with a blouse or pullover which is locally known as Choli. Usually, one side of Saree has beautiful border decorated with embroidery which is draped around the shoulder. The other side is adorned around the blouse or Choli. In the ancient times Sarees were decorated with gold or silver embroideries and in the modern times Sarees are prepared with artificial and automated designs, patterns and silk threads.
Shalwar Kameez or Shalwar Qameez is a long outfit which normally goes below the knees and is equally popular in Bangladeshi women. Shalwar Kameez is generally considered as an easy and comfortable costume comparing to Sari or Saree. The Shalwar is comparatively easier to carry out so this dress is preferred and is a favorite among the younger generation. On the festive occasions, Bangladeshi women love to wear Shalwar Kameez that are often enriched with beads, threads and zari work.
Wedding in Bangladesh is an event full of rituals and festivities which sometimes may last for several days. Different types of formal dresses are prepared with zeal and enthusiast by the Bangladeshi women for the participation in the marriage ceremonies.
Usually on the first day of wedding “Gaye Haloud” ceremony takes place. Special yellow colored costumes are prepared for this event. On this day, the bride, her family, and the groom’s family all gather together and celebrate the bride. The turmeric paste is applied to the bride’s skin to soften her skin and also to colorize her in the distinctive yellow hue that gives its name to this ceremony. Some families also celebrate mehendi “a henna decoration ceremony” in which typical Mehndi outfits are worn by bride and other women.
On the wedding day, the Bangladeshi bride is dressed up in a bright, colorful and traditionally red costume along with magnificent jewelry. On the other side, the groom also wears a unique but elegant dress along with a turban-style hat. One popular trend right now is the bridal katan, which is a very traditional wedding saree. Katan sarees have a silky base with gold or silver zari work all over the saree. Brides often wear multiple heavy gold necklaces, big earrings, head jewelry, and lots of gold bangles.
Some Bangladeshi brides prefer to wear Lehenga Choli or Ghagra Choli on their wedding day which is normally available in different reddish shade. The blouse which is used with Lehenga Choli is normally having a deep “V” cut neck and another connected outfit is known as “Dubatta” which is prepared with netted embellishments. Lehenga Choli or Ghagra Choli is normally prepared with heavy embroideries and spectacular designs. This costume is not only worn by the bride but some female wedding guests are also dressed up in this formal outfit.
The bride’s family then gifts the groom with the wedding attire, which includes a ‘jore’ (silk shawl), ‘dhoti’ and ‘topor’, a headdress made of pith and zari. The groom must wear these items for the duration of the wedding rituals.
Ful shôjja or Phul Shujja is the celebration of consummation night in which the bed is prepared with lots of flowers. The bride wears a lot of floral ornaments that add the beauty in her appearance in a pure traditional style.
As the heat and humidity are permanent features of Bangladeshi climate, a light fabric known as “Lungi” is the favorite choice of Bangladeshi men which is normally sewn into a tube shape like a skirt. As mentioned earlier, spectacular tartan cotton, batik, or silk lungis are also often presented as wedding gifts to the groom in a Bangladeshi wedding.
The combination of the traditional male lungi and kurta is also called Punjabi or Panjabi. Men also wear the Fanjabi, or ‘Kabuli‘ which is a name that refers to the Salwar Kameez. A shorter version of Kurta is known as Fatua which is also in fashion in Bangladesh, particularly in the youth.
In some regions of Bangladesh, Dhoti or Dhuti is equally popular in men, which is usually white or cream in colour. This garment is worn at all cultural occasions and traditional ceremonies. Cotton dhotis suit the climatic conditions in the country for daily usage.
In the nutshell, traditional dress of Bangladesh which is indeed so awesome in its nature and kind is a phenomenal part of Bangladeshi culture and heritage. It overall reflexes the assimilated influences of different civilizations, religions and customs.
For more interesting posts with the same subject on the Lovely Planet Website, please click the following links;1- Algerian Traditional Dress 2- Traditional Dress Of Serbia 3- Traditional Dress Of Kosovo 4- Traditional Dress Of Libya 5- Traditional Dress Of Morocco 6- Traditional Dress Of Albania 7- Traditional Dress Of Tunisia 8- Traditional Dress Of Lebanon 9- Traditional Dress Of Bosnia And Herzegovina 10- Traditional Dress Of Azerbaijan 11- Traditional Dress Of Turkmenistan 12- Traditional Dress Of Kazakhstan 13- Traditional Dress Of Kyrgyzstan 14- Traditional Dress Of Uzbekistan 15- Traditional Dress Of Tajikistan 16- The Traditional Dress Of Laos 17- The Traditional Dress Of Vietnam 18- Traditional Dresses Of The World – 1 19- Traditional Dress Of Jammu & Kashmir 20- Ottoman Dresses From Turkey 21- Colors Of Cholistan 22- Cultural Dresses Of Balochistan 23- Lehenga Choli Or Ghagra Choli 24- Sari Or Saree : Traditional Dress Of Women In South Asia 25- Ajrak , The Traditional Attire From Sindh , Pakistan 26- The Traditional Tais Of East Timor 27- Shalwar Kameez: The Popular Dress Of South Asia 28- Churidar Pajama: The Favorite South Asian Attire 29- Pakistani Bridal Dress 30- Rilli, Sindhi Quilt Art 31- Fantastic, Alluring Khussa Shoes 32- Customs And Traditions Of Kalash Tribe 33- Hanfu, The Classical Chinese Dress 34- London Fashion Week 35- Fashion Week Milan: The Glamorous Event Of Italy 36- New York Fashion Week 37- Paris Fashion Week 38- Traditional Dress Of Jordan 39- Traditional Dress Of Syria 40- Traditional Dress Of Afghanistan 41- Traditional Dress Of Palestine 42- Traditional Dress Of Oman 43-Traditional Dress Of Nigeria 44- Traditional Dress Of Hungary 45-Traditional Dress Of Ukraine 46- Malaysian Traditional Dress 47- Traditional Dress Of Kenya 48- Traditional Eastern Brides 49- Traditional Dress Of Bulgaria 50- Traditional dress of Uganda 51- Traditional Dress of Iceland 52- Traditional Dress of Croatia 53- traditional dress of Norway 54- Traditional dress of Finland 55- Traditional Dress of Philippines 56- Traditional dress of Denmark 57- Traditional dress of Belarus 58- Traditional Dress of Puerto Rico 59- Traditional Dress of Nicaragua: Marvelous and colorful 60 – Traditional Dress of Nepal: Whimsical but charming 61- Brilliant Colors of Dagestan: Really fanciful and imaginative 62- Kabuki: A classical and traditional Japanese theater 63- Boogie-woogie: A famous Swing Dance 64- Colors of Samba Dance from Brazil: So lively so amazing 65- Ho Jamalo: The favorite folk dance of Sindh 66- Odissi from the Eastern India: A historic ritual dance 67- Sattriya from Assam: A classical Indian dance 68- Fandango: A famous couple dance from Spain 69- Maypole from Europe: A fabulous circle folk dance 70- Cueca: The national dance of Chile 71- Traditional dress of Belgium: A charming European attire 72- Traditional dress of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 73- Colors of Kalash: 5 lovely images of beautiful Kalash girls 74- Traditional dress of Georgia: The fantastic Chokha 75- Traditional dress of Argentina: The warrior Gaucho costume 76- Traditional dress of Venezuela: Not complicated but decorated 77- Traditional dress of Latvia: Made with the Linen fabric 78- Traditional dress of Romania: So captivating and graceful 79- Traditional dress of Estonia: So classy and versatile 80- Traditional dress of Armenia: So colorful and diversified 81- Traditional dress of Angola: A symbol of the ethnic culture 82- Traditional dress of Austria: Dirndl, Lederhosen and Tracht 83-Traditional dress of Namibia: Far from the modernizations 84- Traditional dress of Zambia: Rare but unique in nature 85- Traditional dress of Slovakia: Kroje , decorated and cultural 86. Traditional dress of Qatar: Pure Arabian endowment 87. Traditional dress of Brazil: So bright and colorful in nature 88. Traditional dress of Colombia: So iconic in Latin America 89. Traditional dress of Chile: So artistic and cultural 90. Traditional dress of Mexico: Blend of indigenous and imported cultures 91- Traditional dress of Panama: The exotic Mola and La Pollera 92- Traditional dress of Cuba: A product of multi-cultural effects 93- Traditional dress of Portugal: A gift of centuries old civilization