Bangladesh is one of the most interesting countries. Look at this: there is a 3rd order enclave of India inside Bangladesh. This means that there is a piece of land belonging to India inside Bangladesh. It doesn’t end there; the land resides inside a part of Bangladesh, occupying a portion of India, about 10 miles in Bangladesh. Yes, that’s interestingly confusing! Here are some more straightforward Bangladesh facts to make your day.
1. Bangladesh Is the Biggest Country By Population Without an Olympic Medal
Even though Bangladesh is among the top 10 most populous countries, it has never won an Olympic medal. The country has competed in every edition since 1984 but has yet to succeed. In 2008, Bangladesh’s Wali Ullah, the then head of the Olympic Association, stated the country’s massive corruption and dwindling economy were to blame for the poor sporting results.
2. During the Bangladesh Liberation War, Pakistan Aimed to Kill All Bangladeshi Intellectuals
Just before the end of the Bangladesh Liberation War, Pakistanis knew they were going to lose. So, their last order of business was to kill as many Bangladeshi intellectuals as possible; they kidnapped historians, mathematicians, and historians. This was to reduce the chances of Bangladesh establishing itself through its leaders.
3. Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar Beach Is Among the Longest Beaches in the World
Stretching over 120 kilometers (75 miles), Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar is the world’s longest natural sea beach. It is also among the top 5 longest beaches, along with Brazil’s Praia do Cassino and Australia’s Eighty Mile Beach.
4. It Is Referred to As the Land of Rivers
Bangladesh has more than 700 rivers, justifying why it is often referred to as “the land of rivers.” Three of Asia’s largest rivers, Meghna, Brahmaputra, and Ganges, pass through the region. Other notable ones include Raidak, Surma, Teesta, and Karnaphuli.
5. Bangladesh is one of the World’s Hardest Hit Countries by Climate Change
As the world seeks solutions to combat climate change, Bangladesh is among the worst-hit countries. Over the past years, millions of homes have been damaged and thousands of people displaced by floods. Because of the many rivers crisscrossing the country, residents constantly fear flooding.
6. Farmers in Bangladesh Prefer Rearing Ducks than Chicken
Because of the constant floods witnessed in the country, Bangladeshi farmers opted to rear ducks as opposed to chickens because of the former’s ability to float in water.
7. It Is Among the Most Densely Populated Countries
With a population of more than 170 million people occupying an area of 148,460 square kilometers, Bangladesh is among the most densely populated countries. It has about 25 million more people than Russia despite its size being not even one-hundredth of Russia by area.
8. Bangladeshis Consider the Left Hand Impure
Most people in Bangladesh consider the left hand impure. They don’t use it to serve food, eat, distribute business cards, or any other “significant” activity.
9. Dhaka Is the Capital City of Bangladesh
Previously known as Dacca, Dhaka is Bangladesh’s capital and largest city. With a population of more than 23 million people, it is among the world’s top 10 most densely populated cities. Dhaka serves as the country’s financial, cultural, and administrative center.
10. Bangladesh Gained its Independence in 1971
Now formally known as the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Bangladesh gained its independence from Pakistan in 1971, making it a relatively new country.
11. It Was Marred By Genocide
In 1971, an ethnic cleansing of Bengali Hindus in Bangladesh (East Pakistan at the time) happened. Famously known as the Bangladesh genocide, the event perpetrated by the Pakistan Armed Forces and the Razakars started in March and lasted all the way to December of the same year. While the exact number of people who died is not known, it is estimated that between 300,000 and 3 million lost their lives. Hundreds of thousands of Bengali women were raped.
12. Bangladesh Is Home to the Widely Adored Royal Bengal Tigers
Very few animals are as ruthless and fearless as the Royal Bengal Tigers; they are Bangladesh’s national animals. Because of their huge physicality, the animals fall under the charismatic megafauna category. Unfortunately, the tigers are threatened with extinction thanks to constant poaching and habitat fragmentation.
13. Bangladesh Got Its First President in 1991
Even though Bangladesh officially became a state in 1971, it didn’t have a democratic president until 1991; it was under military rule. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was the country’s first president, earning him the “Father of the Nation” tag.
14. It Is Home to the Historic Mosque City of Bagerhat
Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Mosque City of Bagerhat in Bagerhat District in Bangladesh is one of the most iconic places in the world. Built during the Bengal Sultanate in the 15th century, the site contains about 360 mosques, roads, water tanks, mausoleums, and public structures, among other infrastructure.
15. Bangladesh Is One of the Least Obese Countries
Bangladesh is one of the least obese countries. Medical experts attribute this to the manual work that most citizens do, high vegetable intake, and moderate meat consumption. Other countries on the list include Vietnam, Timor-Leste, and, wait for it… India.
16. Bengali Is the Official Language of Bangladesh
With over 98% of the Bangladeshis speaking Bengali, it’s unsurprising that it is the country’s official language. Other tribal languages in the region include Rakhine, Garo, and Kokborok. Bangladesh’s national anthem is “My Golden Bengal.” It was composed by Radindrath Tagore in 1905.
17. Most Bangladeshis Are Muslims
Islam was introduced in East Pakistan (modern-day Bangladesh) around the 9th century. However, the religion spread widely across the region between the 16th and 18th centuries. Today, over 90% of the people in Bangladesh identify as Muslims. The country’s legal system is a mixture of the English common law and Islamic Sharia.
18. The World’s Largest Mangrove Forest Is in Bangladesh
Covering an approximate area of 10,000 square kilometers, the Sundarban Reserve Forest (SRF) is the largest mangrove forest in the world. The UNESCO World Heritage Site lies on the Ganges, Meghna, and Brahmaputra river deltas.
19. Bangladesh’s “The Great Bhola Cyclone” Is the Deadliest Tropical Storm
In 1970, the Great Bhola Cyclone became the world’s deadliest tropical storm after it resulted in fatalities of about 500,000 people. The fact that about 35% of the affected area lies less than 6 meters (20 ft) above sea level didn’t help much.
20. Bangladeshis Once Wore Plastic Masks to Fool Tigers
To reduce attacks by tigers on humans living in the borders of forests in Bangladesh by tigers, plastic face masks were issued for individuals to wear at the back of their heads. The aim was to let the big cats think they were being watched. It worked!