- Photo Essays
“Oh, I’ve heard India is amazing!”
This was a typical response when I first told people about my trip to Bangladesh.
It’s a little like how some non-North Americans don’t realise that Alaska is actually a state of the US, not it’s own country. I have had to break that news several times.
But, believe me when I tell you…Bangladesh is not India! To be fair, the only time Bangladesh really scores a mention in international media, is in relation to natural disasters, political unrest or, well…cricket!
I split my time between the capital, Dhaka, and the remote southern coastal region of the country prone to cyclones and flooding. It was two months after Cyclone Sidr had devastated most of the region.
The purpose of my trip was to produce photographs for a collaborative project on climate change, but it inevitably became much more than that.
And all these duly awaited me at the other end of my Singapore Airlines flight.
What I wasn’t prepared for was the vibrancy of Dhaka, the strange calm amidst the chaos, the beauty of the countryside, a richness of culture that I am yet to find anywhere else, and the generosity and hospitality of the Bangladeshi people.
I wasn’t prepared for the resilience of the Bangladeshis in the cyclone region who had quite literally had their lives ripped from underneath them.
I wasn’t prepared to be completely entranced by this tiny country that I had never even thought of travelling to before now. Bangladesh is not India. It is very much its own unique and intoxicating country: And one that I would love to revisit.