Children

Let’s get to know some Bangladeshi traditions, customs and traditions closely

We have often talked about the conditions in which the women and children of these areas live, but what are their traditions, habits and customs? How do they live in everyday life? Here are some interesting questions addressed to those who work in those regions to get to know Bangladesh closely, in particular the areas of the project that we try to help with distance adoptions, and where Arpita lives, the little girl I adopted with ActionAid.

How are baby names decided? Are they named after their parents?

It depends on the religion. Muslims usually take the family title like Hossain, Chowdhury, Khondokar and Syed etc. Religious titles such as Mohammad and Mossamat are used for men and women respectively. Hindus instead use names related to their caste such as Das, Gupt etc.

Are birthdays celebrated?

The government of Bangladesh has made birth registration compulsory but in many areas, especially rural ones, children are not registered. So often, even in adoptions, only the year of birth of the child is known and nothing else.

What are the most important holidays?

One of the biggest social events is the Bengali New Year enthusiastically celebrated by people of all religions. Women and girls dress in white Sari with red borders and men in white Panjabi (traditional clothing) and eat Panta (traditional Bengali rice). Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Azha are the two most important religious holidays for Muslims. Every year in October Hindus celebrate their biggest festival of Durga Puja amidst colorful fanfares. 

What is the traditional dress for men and women?

The common dress is for males it is a shirt with trousers while for females it is the Shari. However girls often wear kamij salware. Men and boys wear Panjabi on festive occasions (traditional shirt, created by local handicraft).

Do people own their own land? What do they produce? 

Most people (80-95%) do not have their own land. They generally produce rice, wheat, potatoes, mustard seeds, tomato, chilli, onion, turmeric and some verities of legumes. Whoever owns land is usually male and according to Muslim law a woman receives only half of what a son inherits from his father. According to Hindu law, however, the woman receives nothing. In any case, it is always the male who controls the financial side.

How are men and women employed at work?

The majority of the population depends on agriculture. The cultivation method is traditional and does not use new technology. The main workers in the areas where ActionAid works are farmers, fishermen and wage labourers. Some people are engaged in petty trade. The males usually work in the fields, many are involved in sharecropping (cultivating the land of others with their own means but getting only 50% of the total production). Some are employed as laborers for ploughing, weeding, irrigation, harvesting… The women are mostly housewives although some are employed as workers and earn 40-50 taka a day. In most parts of the country, women are responsible for raising livestock and poultry.

What household chores do the children take care of? 

The girls are responsible for household chores, such as fetching water, collecting dry wood, grazing the cattle, taking care of younger siblings. The boys have the task of working in the field, fishing, recovering water, buying rice, legumes, etc. from the small food shops that exist in their locality, but also helping their parents in agriculture.

What are the most common diseases among children, women and men? And what are the treatment methods?

Some of the most common diseases in the area are: diarrhea, dysentery, fever, scabies, jaundice, cough and cold, gout, malnutrition. Problems related to pregnancy and postpartum are also common in these areas. Many women and children suffer from different types of diseases such as skin disease due to the salinity of the water. Many laborers often fall ill, lose their eyesight and lose the physical ability to work in the salt water or mud fields due to hard work and lack of nutritious food. Healthcare facilities are virtually non-existent in some areas. In rural areas most of the villagers depend on quacks because government health centers are located in districts far away from their locality.

If you have any questions in particular for ActionAid operators, I will be happy to collect them and send them to them to get the answers you are looking for!

Kathryn Barlow is an OB/GYN doctor, which is the medical specialty that deals with the care of women's reproductive health, including pregnancy and childbirth.

Obstetricians provide care to women during pregnancy, labor, and delivery, while gynecologists focus on the health of the female reproductive system, including the ovaries, uterus, vagina, and breasts. OB/GYN doctors are trained to provide medical and surgical care for a wide range of conditions related to women's reproductive health.

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