Bangladesh is Not India: In Photos

 

“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!

It’s not a popular travel destination so one could be forgiven for thinking that these few things are all this tiny country that lies adjacent to India has to offer.

But you’d be oh-so-wrong.

 

I first visited Bangladesh in January 2008 and was privileged enough to work with a group of amazing photographers from Pathshala Media Academy and Drik Picture Agency.

 

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.

 

I was prepared for the chaos, the poverty, the traffic jams, the pollution, the long bus journeys, the queues and the delays.

 

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.

 

buriganga boat trip dhaka

Buriganga River boat trip, Dhaka

 

 

buriganga boat trip dhaka

 

 

Dhaka

Dhaka

 

 

Daily life near the Pink Palace in Old Dhaka

Daily life near the Pink Palace in Old Dhaka

 

 

Peak hour rickshaw ride to Dhaka University Music Festival

Peak hour rickshaw ride to Dhaka University Music Festival

 

 

Gathering water from the river, Sharonkola

Gathering water from the river, Sharonkola

 

 

Kite flying with home made kites, Kodomtola

Kite flying with home made kites, Kodomtola

 

Mirpur Road near New Market, Dhaka

Mirpur Road near New Market, Dhaka

 

 


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