New York has Spiderman and Bangladesh has buas. Spiderman fights criminals while buas protect us from the much feared dust-bunnies. In the West buas don't exist, its inhabitants are independent (most of us shudder at the mere mention of this word). And this is what makes them unique to Bangladesh. But even after all the hard work they do, they are the most underrated beings on this side of the Earth. I can't live without my bua not because of her actual job but because she's so awesome. Seriously, did you ever listen to them talk about their gramer baris?
By Daneesha Khan
Pet Farm Animals Which
Always Get Eaten
A child goes to his Grandmother's place for the holidays and becomes fond of a particular chicken (note that this is only one out of a dozen fowls the Granny keeps). He even gives it a silly little name; however, the night before his departure, that particular chicken ends up in a morogpolao. Perhaps the elders confuse the love for an animal with the craving of having it for dinner, because this scenario (with some variations here and there) is very common in Bangladesh. We even have a story on this theme: remember Putu from Amar Boi in junior school?
Bangla Dubbing on BTV and the tale of the everlasting red couch
Once, when this writer was a wee kid waiting on the wonders of cable TV to hit his room, he saw a Bangla dubbed TV show that changed his life. Onscreen, a couple of spies were heading towards an island of doom when one of them commented “wow, ki thanda akta deep”. It took a couple of seconds but then this writer realised they had literally translated cool.
Then there's the eternally youthful (but slightly grimy) red couch that's used in every single talk show ever made on BTV. I love BTV because it made me cool.
By Shaer Reaz
Production houses turning out two movies per month, actresses who weigh twice as much as the actors and male superheroes wearing dresses, the signature bhhishueii and flying CNGs: that is Dhalliwood. It's a comedy house with style. Dhalliwood made the first Scary Movie; Hollywood just copied the idea off us and took the credit! Just because we don't have an Angelina Jolie they think they can… anyway, the point is that Dhalliwood signifies Bangladeshis in that we have the greatest sense of humour on the planet and we don't ever realise it. Dhalliwood produced Khoj: The Search and Machine Man. We rest our case.
By Professor Spork
“Birds of a feather, flock together.”
There's something endearing about Biman. Maybe it's the pride of having our own national carrier, and the comfort of knowing that the air hostess actually understands what you're asking for. Onboard Biman, the person sitting beside you isn't a passenger, he's your brother. He'll help you with your luggage, your visa, and even offer to calm down your screaming toddler. Whether it is our migrant brothers from the Middle East, or the annual Hajj flights, Biman flies our flag across the world, Bangali-style. And even when the planes crash, they never burn. Thank ye gods.
The World of UETs
The UETs are a group of five engineering universities in Bangladesh analogous to the IITs of our mighty neighbour. Add the name of Dhaka, Chittagong, Rajshahi and Khulna before UET and you get four universities. The most illustrious member of this UET bloc is BUET - the top ranked Bangladeshi university on the Webometrics ranking. Prestigious international competitions have become happy hunting grounds of BUET students and the university's alumni include distinguished engineers like FR Khan. The various departments of BUET are reputed not only because of their educational standard but also due to their commitment to the development of the nation.
By Nayeem Islam
Art on the Move
Our traditional pop-art, also known as 'Rickshaw Art', is a truly unique aspect of Bangladesh. We see it on Rickshaws, CNGs, Bangla Cinema Posters/Billboards and, more recently, on notebooks, sandals, trunks, walls etc. It's the Andy Warhol-esque art of our culture!
Scorned by the elite as being 'vulgar', this bold art form is a fine showcasing of the tastes and interest of the masses. It's commissioned by the owner of the rickshaw, a human-powered form of transport, to street artists and depicts everything from women, entertainment, and folklore to religion and politics.
The dazzling use of neon bright colours is what makes it so eye-catching! Since it is art-on-wheels, it has to be attention-grabbing. It's the art of our people, and a great way to show off our flamboyant cultural roots.
By Musarrat Rahman
Years of seasons
The clucking of a cuckoo in mid-noon and droplets of shining dew clinging to the long grass in green fields, these telltale signs startle you into believing that spring has pursued winter. It is summer when mango trees overflow with fat little green mangoes and rainy season when the rain falls in torrents and kodom flowers start blooming abundantly. Clear blue skies with cottony clouds drifting across it, streets littered with fallen leaves; these are conspicuous signs of autumn and late autumn. The nature of our country plays guest to the transition of the six seasons in ways you won't find anywhere else in this world.
By Shamsil B. M. Kamal
We Bangladeshis have many international events going on, of which Chobi Mela stands to be something we can be proud of. This festival of photography, organised mainly by Drik and Pathshala was the first in South Asia and is one of the most exciting endeavours showcasing international and local work. Thousands of people come to the festival that brings out everything this country aspires to be.
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