Bangladesh is a melting pot of races. She, therefore, has a mixed culture. The land, the rivers and the lives of the common people formed a rich heritage with marked differences from neighboring regions. Her deep rooted heritage is amply reflected in her culture, lifestyle, architecture, literature, dance, drama, music and painting. Bangladeshi culture is influenced by three great religions - Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam in successive order, with Islam having the most pervading and lasting impact.
With a unique communal harmony, Bangladesh emerged as an independent and sovereign country in the year 1971 following a nine month war of liberation. Jatiyo Sriti Soudho or National Martyrs' Memorial is a monument symbolizing of the velour and the sacrifice of those killed in the Bangladesh Liberation War that is located in Savar.
Jatiyo Sangsad Bhaban, the National Assembly, is the another symbol of our sovereignty, built by famous Louis I. Kahn and it has been named as one of the seven architectural wonders of the world by The Globe and Mail. The Aga Khan Foundation also awarded it.
The Shaheed Minar is the unique symbol of pride established to commemorate as a solemn and symbolic sculpture of those killed during the Language Movement demonstrations of 1952 on 21 February. Today, the Shaheed Minar is the centre of cultural activities in Dhaka. Ekushey Book Fair is a book fair arranged to mark this occasion every year. The fair has also become an integral part of the culture of Bangladesh.
Bangalees have a rich literary heritage. The earliest available specimen of Bengali literature is about a thousand years old. Bengali Literature developed considerably with the patronage of Muslim rulers. Chandi Das, Daulat Kazi and Alaol are some of the famous poets of the period. The era of modern Bengali Literature began in the late nineteenth century Rabindranath Tagore, the Nobel Laureate is a vital part of Bangalee culture. Kazi Nazrul Islam, Michael Madhusudan Datta. Sarat Chandra Chattopadhaya, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhaya, Mir Mosharraf Hossain and Kazi Ahdul Wadud are the pioneers of modern Bengali Literature.
Like a colorful montage, the cultural tradition of the country is a happy blending of many variants, unique in diversity but in essence greatly symmetrical.
Bangladesh is famous for its distinctive culinary tradition, and delicious food, snacks and savories. Boiled rice constitutes the staple food, and is served with a variety of vegetables, fried as well as curries, thick lentil soups, and fish and meat preparations of beef, mutton and chicken. Ilish (hilsa ilisha) is very popular among Bengalis, can be called an icon of Bengali cuisine.
Sweetmeats of Bangladesh are mostly milk based, and consist of several delights including Roshgulla, Sandesh, Rasamalai, Gulap Jamun, Kalo Jamun, Chom Chom. Several other sweet preparations are also available.
Bangladesh abounds with a large variety of most delicious and mouth watering tropical and sub-tropical fruits. The most widely cultivated fruits are mango, jackfruit, black berry, pineapple, banana, litchi, water melon, guava, papaya etc. etc.
Sari is the main dress of Bangladeshi women. Sari weaving is a traditional art in Bangladesh. Jamdani was once world famous for it's most artistic and expensive ornamental fabric. Moslin, a fine and artistic type of cloth was well-known worldwide. Naksi Kantha, embroidered quilted patchwork cloth produced by the village women, is still familiar in villages and towns simultaneously.
A series of festivals varying from race to race are observed here. Some of the Muslim rites are Eid-e-Miladunnabi, Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Azha, Muharram etc. Hindus observe Durga Puja, Saraswati Puja, Kali Puja and many other pujas. Christmas (popularly called Baradin in Bangla) is observed by Christians. Also there are some common festivities, which are observed countrywide by people irrespective of races - Pahela Baishakh (the first day of Bangla year) is such a festival.
Bengali New Year or Poyela Boishakh is the First day of the Bengali calendar, celebrated in both Bangladesh and West Bengal, and in Bengali communities in Assam and Tripura. In the Chittagong Hill Tracts three different ethnic minority groups come together to merge their observance with Pohela Baishakh - Boisuk of Tripura people, Sangrai of Marma people and Biju of Chakma people have come together as Boi-Sa-Bi, a day of a wide variety of festivities. Pohela Boishakh coincides with the New Years in many other Southern Asian calendars, including: Assamese Rongali Bihu, Burmese Thingyan, Khmer (Cambodia) Chol Chnam Thmey, Lao Songkan/Pi Mai Lao, Marathi Gudi Padwa, Malyali Vishu, Mahl Alathu Aharudhuvas, Oriya Maha Visuba Sankranthi, Nepali Bikram Samwat/Vaishak Ek, Sinhalese Aluth Avurudhu, Tamil Puthandu, Thai Songkran and Tuluva Bisu.
The architecture of Bangladesh bears a remarkable impact on the lifestyle, tradition and cultural life of our people. In modern context, Bangladeshi architecture has become more diversified comprising reflections of contemporary architectural attributes, aesthetic artistic and technologically advanced forms. Amongst many, Somapura Mahavira and Bangbandhu Jamuna Bridge are two examples from old and new ages.
Paharpur an important archaeological site in Bangladesh, situated in a village named Paharpur (Pahadpur) under the Badalgachhi Upazila of Naogaon district. According to the Bengali Vocabulatory, the name Paharpur (Pahar = hill, pur = locality) means a locality of hill. It is a village in Badalgachi Upazila of Naogaon District. The village contains the ruins of a Buddhist monastery which was called Somapura Mahavihara (the great monastery situated in the locality of moon) in the ancient Buddhist World. It is now a World Cultural Heritage (BGD. 292)
Bangabandhu Bridge, also called the Jamuna Multi-purpose Bridge, is a bridge opened in Bangladesh in June 1998 and is the 92nd longest bridge in the world and the 5th longest in South Asia. It was constructed over the Jamuna River, mightiest of the three major rivers of Bangladesh, and fifth largest in the world in terms of volumetric discharge. The bridge is located on the Asian Highway and the Trans-Asian Railway which, when fully developed, will provide uninterrupted international road and railway links from South-east Asia to North-west Europe.