The video above captures a stitched glimpse of our encounters in Bangladesh. Just a glimpse. I never knew I'd say this, but Bangladesh you make me feel at home.
The past week we've been waking up from dawn, setting up for travel by 6:00 and traveling all around Bangladesh for charity, photography, you name it. A cocktail of events. I was invited by a dear friend to the family to join alongside my brother for a week of charity work in Bangladesh.
It included things like giving out meat to orphanages, visiting hospitals that were giving free of charge open heart operation on behalf of the organisation we are with. We had the honour of meeting orphans that had memorised the entire Quran MashaAllah, and my favourite part, was witnessing the marriage aid of 20 couples in Jussore. It was Beyond Beautiful.
We stayed in Dhaka, and went by car to cities like Jussore, Jamalpur, and Ottawa. We were able to merge with the local people, eat at their homes, and truly experience the hospitality of a bengali family. It blew me away, the hospitality, the generosity, and the care they would give to a guest. I would be sitting down and suddenly a spoonful of ras malai would get stuffed into my mouth by force.. "Eat, eat!" they would say. I also got a glimpse on how Pan was made and delightfully refused.
We would end up hugging each other for hours not wishing for that final goodbye, since goodbye means going back, and coming back to Bangladesh is not a certainty. My parents actually lived in Bangladesh for around a year a long time ago for work, I wasn't born, but perhaps that little Bangladesh came to me, who knows.
When it comes to food, one very new aspect I noticed was that we dined on bed. A member would place a fabric cloth on bed and place the meal dishes and boom we would sit on bed and eat. I'd get scolded for that at home I would tell them.
Below is a feature the organisation got in local bengali newspapers.
We would always get greeted by the most beautiful assorted of food, it'll be for breakfast, after lunch, or an afternoon snack. Delicious.
Bengali Food might be wider than what I saw, but I noticed a repetitive pattern throughout the week we stayed, it consists of a light beef biryani, lots of freshly sliced cucumber, a chicken stew, and sometimes a prawn curry called chingri maacher malai which I loved. And lots and lots of fried fish. Which is a very gulf dish to be honest.
We would have lots of freshly sliced coconut throughout the day, alongside fresh coconut water, slices of mango ("Am" in bengali), and sometimes jackfruit. All with a delicious cup of Masala tea of course.
To conclude, I would say that this was indeed a deep dip into a culture I never truly explored, I really got a glimpse of their tradition, their culture, and their food of course. To many more trips like this inshaAllah.
Till next time Bangladesh.
Lots of love.