Bangladesh is located on the northern edge of the Bay of Bengal, is bordered on three sides by India and shares a small border with Burma. Approximately 150 million people inhabit Bangladesh, which has a land area of 55,598 square miles, slightly smaller than the size of Iowa. This seventh most populous nation is one of the most crowded countries in the world, ranked fifth in population density.
Bangladesh consists primarily of low-lying deltaic plains. The Ganges and Brahmaputra Rivers (known as the Padma and Jamuna in Bangladesh) and countless smaller tributaries criss-cross the country. The capital, Dhaka, is fewer than 25 feet above sea level. During the monsoon season from June to October, between 30% and 70% of the country is under water due to flooding of rivers. Heavy rainfall is characteristic of Bangladesh, with most parts of the country receiving about 200 centimeters (80 inches) of rainfall per year. Annual cyclones can cause extreme flooding and have led to great losses of life and property damage. Bangladesh is a parliamentary democracy with a unicameral legislature. The nation remains a developing country with severe infrastructure shortcomings. Tourist facilities are minimal as are capacities to deal with emergency situations. Read the Department of State’s Background Notes on Bangladesh for additional information.
Though by almost any gauge Bangladesh remains a developing country, the impact of two decades of nearly six percent annual growth is visible throughout the country, in particular in Dhaka. Meanwhile, the partnership between Bangladesh and its development partners has placed the country on track to meet many of its Millennium Development Goals, according to a 2011 Progress Report by the United Nations Development Program. Bangladeshis now can expect to live longer, infant and maternal mortality have been dramatically reduced at a rate with few parallels in human history, and the living standards and opportunities afforded to women and children have noticeably improved. Moreover, both rural and urban incomes have increased and food production satisfies Bangladesh’s domestic needs.
Modern Bangladesh emerged as an independent nation in 1971 after achieving independence from Pakistan in the Bangladesh Liberation War.
The country forms part of the ancient and historic region of Bengal in the eastern Indian subcontinent, where civilization dates back over four millennia, to the Copper Age.
The history of the region is closely intertwined with the history of Bengal and the history of India. The borders of modern Bangladesh were established with the partition of Bengal and India in 1947, when the region became East Pakistan, part of the newly formed State of Pakistan. However, it was separated from West Pakistan by 1,600 km (994 mi) of Indian territory.
Due to political exclusion, ethnic and linguistic discrimination, as well as economic neglect by the politically dominant westerin-wing, popular agitation and civil disobedience led to the war of independence in 1971. After independence, the new state endured famine, natural disasters and widespread poverty, as well as political turmoil and military coups.
The restoration of democracy in 1991 has been followed by relative calm and economic progress. From Wikipedia.
Present day Bangladesh has a long history in its cultures. The land, the rivers, and the lives of the Bengali people formed a rich heritage with marked differences from neighbouring regions. It has evolved over the centuries and encompasses the cultural diversity of several social groups of Bangladesh.
The Bengal Renaissance of the 19th and early 20th centuries, noted Bengali writers, saints, authors, scientists, researchers, thinkers, music composers, painters, and film-makers have played a significant role in the development of Bengali culture. The Bengal Renaissance contained the seeds of a nascent political Indian nationalism and was the precursor in many ways to modern Indian artistic and cultural expression. The culture of Bangladesh is composite and over the centuries has assimilated influences of Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity.
It is manifested in various forms, including music, dance, and drama; art and craft; folklore and folktale; languages and literature; philosophy and religion; festivals and celebrations; as well as in a distinct cuisine and culinary tradition.