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3. The people of Bangladesh


Academic year: 2021

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The people of Bangladesh

What do people wear in Bangladesh?

Babies often wear nothing! Boys and girls wear t-shirts, shorts, dresses or small versions of grown up clothes.

Ladies wear the saree or a shalwar chemise, which is a pair of loose trousers covered with a long tunic and worn with an ulna – a long scarf draped over the shoulders.

In towns men may wear trousers and shirts. In the country they wear a cotton

lungi which is a length of cotton material wrapped around the waist like a skirt


Worksheet 3.1: Bangladeshi clothes

Look at the pictures below. Mark on each person in the picture which of these you think they are wearing:

saree salwar chemise western clothes ulna lungi


Worksheet 3.2: Bangladeshi clothes 2

Clothes in Bangladesh are different to Western clothes. Why do you think this is? Give four reasons below.

The clothes in Bangladesh are very traditional. Does your family wear

traditional clothes at home or at celebrations, on religious days, or going to events like a football match?

Describe what they wear and the reason they wear it.

If you were in Bangladesh what would you wear? Remember it is a hot

country. Draw a picture of yourself wearing your clothes, and explain to your class why you chose them.

Go to http://www.sreepurvillage.org/teachersresources for resources and links to help with this activity.


What do people eat and drink in Bangladesh?

Rice is the main food plus vegetables and fish with sometimes a little meat. Food is cooked in great big dishes over a fire or gas ring. People eat with their hands out of bowls – less washing up!

Vegetables are things like white pumpkin, spinach, cauliflower. In the country there can be small fish to eat, and there are cows for milk. There are fruit like water melon, mangoes, bananas, lichi, dates and pineapples. People eat stale rice soaked overnight for breakfast – this is called pantha.

Fruit and vegetables are seasonal and everybody only eats whatever is in season.

Things in bottles like Coca Cola and 7Up are very expensive. People can drink boiled water, as boiling water kills off germs. You can drink the fluid inside a green coconut. The top of the coconut is cut off and the clear fluid poured out or drunk through a straw.

At Sreepur Village there is a large dining room where two sittings are held for each meal. Vegetables, rice and chapatis are served daily, fish three times a week and meat once a month. There is huge excitement on “meat” day!


Worksheet 3.3: Food and drink

The main food in Bangladesh is rice with some vegetables and a little fish or meat. What do you eat during the day? Write down what you usually eat for breakfast, lunch and supper, plus any snacks.

Do you think you eat similar or different foods to the children in Bangladesh? Make a list of things you both eat and a list of the things you think they don’t have.

Things I eat that are the same as people in Bangladesh

Things I eat that are different to people in Bangladesh

What dishes usually have rice with them?

What foods use rice in them? (Hint: think about breakfast and puddings) See how many you can list.

Go to http://www.sreepurvillage.org/teachersresources for resources and links to help with this activity.


How do people get around in Bangladesh? In towns there are rickshaws - a

three-wheeler or tricycle with a covered seat. They are very colourful. The rickshaw man pedals to provide power. It is very hard work! There are also baby taxis – like a rickshaw but instead of a bicycle it is a motor scooter. There are car taxis too but they are much more expensive. People use bamboo carts to push their belongings.

Bigger boats are called dhows – they have a high square back and pointed high prows. But there are many designs of boats as the Bangladeshi people use the rivers a lot for transport.


Worksheet 3.4: Getting around

How many different types of transport can you see in the pictures below? Make a list of as many as you can in the box at the bottom of the page.

Write in here:

Go to http://www.sreepurvillage.org/teachersresources for resources and links to help with this activity.


What diseases are common in Bangladesh?

Malaria: In hot countries where there is a lot of water mosquitos breed, and some of these mosquitos carry malaria. The adult mosquito looks like a gnat. The females bite and drink blood, and when they bite they may pass a tiny little parasite into your blood which causes malaria.

It is the anpheles mosquito which spreads malaria. There are four different kinds of malaria, and people take pills to kill off this little animal.

Cholera: Water also carries a little germ which, if you get it in your stomach, causes cholera – diarrhoea, muscle cramp and feeling very ill. You can be given an injection which will kill the germ if it gets into you. A better way is not to drink unboiled water – Bangladesh is working hard to get clean water but there are still thousands of people each year who catch cholera from dirty water. Scabies: A little female mite burrows under your skin and lays her eggs, mostly between the fingers and toes. It itches a great deal. If you sleep closely with lots of other people and one has scabies the mites can quickly spread. It can be cured by using a lotion all over your body.

Head Lice: They also have head lice in Bangladesh. If children catch these and have scabies too, then they will shave off their hair completely if the itching gets unbearable in the hot season.

Worms: Some of the children in Bangladesh have very fat tummies – this can mean that they have some kind of worm living in their gut. They have eaten the egg which has hatched out in them and it feeds off the food they eat. Special medicines can be swallowed to kill off these worms.

Washing and Toilets: Often people bathe in the rivers as water can be in short supply. They do have toilets, but because of the lack of water our type of toilet can’t be used. So, like in most countries in Asia, there is a hole in the ground with two planks on which to put your feet. And there are lots of potty chairs for the toddlers.

There are a lot of flies around too. People spend a lot of time swatting them away. Flies can spread disease if they walk over uncovered food.


In Sreepur Village there is on-site clinic staffed by nurses who handle all minor injuries and infections. New families stay in the clinic for a minimum of two weeks to ensure that they do not introduce any infectious diseases into the village. There is a hospital with good doctors (but not much equipment!) less than a mile away. More serious injuries are handled by a wide range of specialists and hospitals in Dhaka.


Worksheet 3.5: Diseases

Put a circle round all the answers that you think are correct: 1. Malaria is caused by:

dirty water germs mosquitoes bad food

2. You have to boil water before you drink it, otherwise you might get: scabies cholera malaria worms head lice

3. These can help spread diseases:

mosquitoes flies mites germs worms lice

4. Before eating and drinking you should:

wash your hands shave off your hair boil water wash plates

5. Some children in Bangladesh may look as though they have fat tummies because:

they eat too much they have head lice they have worms If you were going to visit Bangladesh, what would you do to make sure you stayed healthy? Write THREE things in this box:


What do people believe in Bangladesh?

85 out of every 100 people in Bangladesh are Muslims. The others are Christians, Hindus and Buddhists.

Muslims believe in the holy book of Islam – the Qur’an and their wish to follow the example of Muhammed its prophet.

They accept five “pillars of faith”:

Shahadah – to confess their belief – “I witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammed is the Prophet of Allah”.

Salat – to pray five times a day Zakat – to give alms for the needy

Saum – to fast in the month of Ramadan

Haji – to make a pilgrimage to Mecca for the men

The mosque is the holy place, like a Christian church. In Sreepur Village, The mosque was donated by a Bangladeshi patron, Kamal Islam, whose company built the project in 1988 taking no profit. It is now used by staff, beneficiaries and the local residents. All religious beliefs are respected and there is also a quiet room elsewhere in the village where people of other religions can pray.

Islam means ‘peace’. Muslims greet each other by saying “Peace be upon you”:

As-salaamu alaykum

The Qur’an is written in Arabic.


Friday is the holy day of Islam.

At the end of Ramadan Muslims celebrate the feast Eid ul-Fitr. They visit relatives, friends and give children presents. Eid ul-Adna is another festival later in the year.


Worksheet 3.6: Belief

How many different religions can you name?

Different religions have different names for the places where they meet to pray. Do you know who prays in the following places? Write the name of the religion in the table.

Hint: some religions have the same name for their place of worship.

Place of worship Religion

Mosque Church Temple Chapel Synagogue

In Islam the Imam stands in one of the mosque’s minarets or towers and calls the people to prayer. Nowadays they often use a loudspeaker so more people can hear. You can hear clips of the ‘call to prayer’ on YouTube, or you may live in an area with a mosque and have heard the sound regularly.

In Bangladesh there are Muslims, Christians, Hindus and Buddhists. Look at these religious symbols and write down which religion they belong to: Symbol


Go to http://www.sreepurvillage.org/teachersresources for resources and links to help with this activity.


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