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16:37, Friday October 31, 2014 (UTC) • 22:37, Friday October 31, 2014 (BST) • Kartik 16, 1421

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Flag of Bangladesh

Emblem of Bangladesh
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Bangladesh, officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia. It is bordered by India on three sides and Myanmar to the southeast; the Bay of Bengal forms the southern coastline. Together with the Indian state of West Bengal, it comprises the ethno-linguistic region of Bengal. The name Bangladesh means "The land of Bengal" and is written in Bengali as বাংলাদেশ and pronounced [ˈbaŋlad̪eʃ]. The exact origin of the word Bangla or Bengal is unknown.

The borders of Bangladesh were set by the Partition of India in 1947, when it became the eastern wing of Pakistan (East Pakistan), separated from the western wing by 1,600 km (1,000 miles). Despite their common religion, the ethnic and linguistic gulf between the two wings was compounded by an apathetic government based in West Pakistan. This resulted in the independence of Bangladesh in 1971 after a bloody war, supported by India. The years following independence have been marked by political turmoil, with thirteen different heads of government, and at least four military coups.

The population of Bangladesh ranks seventh in the world, but its area of approximately 144,000 km2 is ranked ninety-third. It is the third largest Muslim-majority nation, but has a slightly smaller Muslim population than the Muslim minority in India. It is also one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Geographically dominated by the fertile Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta, the country has annual monsoon floods, and cyclones are frequent. Bangladesh is one of the founding members of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), BIMSTEC, and a member of the OIC and the D-8.

Selected article


Bengali or Bangla (IPA: About this sound [ˈbaŋla] ) is an Indo-Aryan language of the eastern Indian subcontinent, evolved from the Magadhi Prakrit, Pāli and Sanskrit languages. Bengali is native to the region of eastern South Asia known as Bengal, which comprises present day Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal. With nearly 230 million total speakers, Bengali is one of the most widely spoken languages (ranking 5th or 6th in the world).

The Bengali language, with its long and rich literary tradition, serves to bind together a culturally diverse region. In 1952, when Bangladesh used to be East Pakistan, this strong sense of identity led to the Bengali Language Movement, in which several people braved bullets and died on February 21. This day has now been declared as the International Mother Language Day.

Bengali is native to the region of eastern South Asia known as Bengal, which comprises Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal. Around 98% of the total population of Bangladesh speak Bengali as a native language. There are also significant Bengali-speaking communities in immigrant populations in the Middle East, West and Malaysia. Bengali is the national and official language of Bangladesh and one of the 23 national languages recognised by the Republic of India. It is the official language of the state of West Bengal and the co-official language of the state of Tripura, Cachar,Karimganj and Hailakandi Districts of southern Assam and the union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Bengali speakers make the majority in Neil Island and Havelock Island. It was made an official language of Sierra Leone in order to honour the Bangladeshi peacekeeping force from the United Nations stationed there. The national anthems of both India and Bangladesh were written in Bengali by Rabindranath Tagore. (more...)

Bangladesh News


  • Apr 5: Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus loses his final appeal in the Supreme Court of Bangladesh against his dismissal from his own Grameen micro-finance bank; the bank thought him too old for the job. (BBC)

Archive of old items

Where in Bangladesh...


Mahasthangarh is the earliest urban archaeological site so far discovered in Bangladesh. The site contains the remains of an ancient city which was called Pundranagara or Paundravardhanapura in the territory of Pundravardhana. A limestone slab bearing six lines in Prakrit in Brahmi script, discovered in 1931, dates Mahasthangarh to at least the 3rd century BC. Do you know where in Bangladesh is Mahasthangarh?
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The village Mahasthan is located in Shibganj thana of Bogra District under Rajshahi Division, in the North-easter region of the country.

Selected picture


Asian Pied Starling (Sturnus contra) on Kapok (Ceiba pentandra) in Kolkata W IMG 4513.jpg
Asian Pied Starling (Sturnus contra) is one of the 12 species of sturnidae family birds that are resident in Bangladesh. Locally known as Myna (Bengali: ময়না) or Shalik (Bengali: শালিক ), these birds build their nests in holes or cavities in trees or buildings, or large globular structures of straw, twigs, etc. in trees.
Photo credit: J.M.Garg
Did you know...


Artistic saree weaving

  • ...that the haor located in north-eastern Bangladesh, is a bowl-shaped depression with such vast stretches of turbulent water that it is thought of as a sea during a monsoon?

Selected biography


Muhammad Yunus

Dr. Muhammad Yunus (Bengali: মুহাম্মদ ইউনুস, pronounced Muhammôd Iunus) (born June 28, 1940) is a Bangladeshi banker and economist. A former professor of economics, he is famous for his successful application of the concept of microcredit, the extension of small loans to entrepreneurs too poor to qualify for traditional bank loans. Yunus is also the founder of Grameen Bank, which specializes in providing credit to the poor.
The success of the Grameen model has inspired similar efforts throughout the developing world and even in industrialized nations, including the United States. The Grameen model of micro financing has been emulated in 23 countries. Many, but not all, microcredit projects also retain its emphasis on lending specifically to women. More than 96% of Grameen loans have gone to women, who suffer disproportionately from poverty and who are more likely than men to devote their earnings to their families.
In 2006, Yunus and the bank were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, "for their efforts to create economic and social development from below." Yunus himself has received several other international honors, including the ITU World Information Society Award, Ramon Magsaysay Award, the World Food Prize and the Sydney Peace Prize. He is the author of Banker to the Poor and a founding board member of Grameen Foundation. Yunus recently showed interest in launching a political party in Bangladesh, Nagorik Shakti (Citizen Power), but later discarded the plan. He is one of the founding members of Global Elders. (more...)