With the exception of micro-states such as Malta or the Principality of Monaco, Bangladesh is by far the most densely populated state in the world, with an average density of 1,099 residents / km², which causes enormous problems of employment and livelihood. an already very poor country. The population is made up almost entirely of Bengalis mostly of Muslim religion; in Chittagong there are different ethnic groups, mainly of the Buddhist faith. If the demographic growth rate has slowed relatively, also thanks to the policies to reduce the birth rate, the economic and socio-health conditions remain such as to produce one of the lowest life expectancies in the world. Significant differences persist between city and countryside, where, among other things, marriage is still widespread below the minimum age required by law (18 years). Given these premises, it is not surprising that for several million Bengalis the main relief valve is constituted by emigration abroad, often carried out clandestinely. Many Bangladeshis who have remained at home are economically dependent on remittances from migrant family members.
According to localtimezone, Bengali children are still largely exposed to discrimination, domestic violence and abuse; the exploitation of child labor is also particularly widespread. In 1993 the United States, scandalized by this practice, passed a law that boycotted the imports of clothes from Bangladesh (a sector in which child labor was mainly employed), but this pushed the 50 even more into misery. 000 children sacked to avoid the loss of the American market and on the way to jobs, often more tiring, in the informal sector. The situation resulted in an agreement between UNICEF, ILO (International Labor Organization), United States and Bangladeshi garment industrialists, supported by their government: children have been replaced in work by family members, schooled and professionally trained. For some years, UNICEF has been carrying out projects relating to the promotion of health and education, creating teaching centers for small urban workers: but the problem of the countryside, where their number is much greater, remains open. The human settlement has a distinctly rural character: three quarters of the residents live in villages structured according to the more traditional models of monsoon Asia, as a function of defense from annual floods. The dwellings have prevailing common characteristics: rectangular huts with mud walls and double-pitched stubble roofs, built inside a closed courtyard. The level of urbanization is very weak, despite the very serious economic crisis that occurred in the early 1970s (following the secession from Pakistan), which had led to a movement towards the cities of a large number of small landowners, reduced to misery.. The two main cities are Dhaka / Nārāyanganj (forming a single conurbation with a density of over 1,304 residents / km²) and Chittagong, a natural harbor at the mouth of the Karnafuli in the Bay of Bengal; followed, in decreasing demographic order, are Khulna, Sylhet, Barisal, Rangpur etc.
The long history of belonging to the Indian West Bengal is reflected in the cultural development of Bangladesh. The art of the Pala dynasty from the 8th – 12th centuries The 19th century marked a first period of prosperity. The Buddhist monastery complex of Paharpur dates from this time. With the Islamization from the 13th century, new structures emerged such as the mosque of Bagherhat (15th century) and the tomb of Bibi Pari (17th century) in Dhaka.
From the early 19th century, Bengal developed into a cultural center in British India. One of the most famous artists was the philosopher and poet R. Tagore , who created the text and melody of the national anthem of Bangladesh. The division of Bengal (1947) into an Indian and a Pakistani part marked a turning point in cultural development. Many artists emigrated to West Bengal, India. The capital Dhaka, where the Academy of Fine Arts and the National Museum are located, has developed into the leading cultural center in Bangladesh. (Bangladeshi art)
Poetry plays a central role in literature. The often tough everyday life is thematized in poems. Well-known representatives are the national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam (* 1899, † 1976) and the journalist and poet Shamsur Rahman (* 1929, † 2006). The writer T. Nasrin was persecuted in her homeland for her texts critical of Islam and now lives in India. The theater has a long tradition in Bangladesh. Jatra is the name of a popular folk theater in which myths and legendary heroic deeds with and without modern influences are performed on opera-air stages. Bangladesh shares its puppetry tradition with India, and the themes range from folk tales to contemporary variety shows.
The music is characterized by an extensive range of songs. Singing is an integral part of everyday life in Bangladesh. In the country there are still traveling groups of singers who distribute traditional folk songs, accompanied by a plucked lute, bamboo flute and drum. Western rock and pop music is also often played in the cities. The film industry is concentrated in Dhaka and primarily produces entertainment films that are strongly reminiscent of Indian film with their singing and dancing. High-quality auteur films are often banned from showing because of their criticism of Islam or their political content.
The most popular sports are soccer, field hockey, cricket, tennis and badminton. The national sport in Bangladesh is called Kabaddi. In this team sport, the attacking player has to hold his breath while trying to knock off as many opponents as possible.
World Heritage Sites in Bangladesh
World Heritage Sites (K) and World Natural Heritage (N)
- Old town with a large mosque in Bagherhat (K; 1985)
- Monastery ruins of Paharpur (K; 1985)
- Mangrove forests of the Sundarbans (N; 1997)