Wondering about Bangladesh and its neighboring countries? You’re not alone! Known for its rich history, lush greenery, and exquisite culture, Bangladesh shares borders with India to the west, north, and east, and Myanmar to the southeast.
This blog post will guide you on an adventure around this South Asian country‘s geographical neighborhood – diving into each border country’s relationship with Bangladesh. Get ready to embark on a journey where every page turn introduces intriguing facts about these historical lands.
- Bangladesh shares borders with India to the west, north, and east, and Myanmar to the southeast.
- The history of Bangladesh includes ancient Bengal, Islamic rule, colonialism by the British, partition from Pakistan in 1947 which led to its independence as a separate nation in 1971.
- Bangladesh has a diverse geography with low – lying plains, coastal areas along the northern littoral, and is vulnerable to climate change impacts such as rising sea levels and extreme weather events. It is known for its rich biodiversity but faces challenges due to dense population and human activities.
- Bangladesh follows a parliamentary democracy with eight administrative divisions. The military has had influence on politics in the past. Civil society plays an important role in addressing social issues and promoting human rights. Challenges related to corruption, political interference in legal system fairness, security forces’ violations of human rights, and violence against religious minorities exist.
History of Bangladesh
Bangladesh has a rich and complex history that spans ancient Bengal, Islamic rule, colonialism, the partition of Bengal in 1947, its union with Pakistan, the war of independence, and the formation of modern Bangladesh.
Long ago, around 1000 B.C., the Dravidian people made Bengal their home. They called it Gangaridai. This place had a lot of strong kingdoms before Islam came. It has ties with many parts of South Asia and Southeast Asia.
The history of ancient Bengal is part of a bigger story about these areas.
Muslim leaders started to rule Bengal around 1204. This period was known as the Islamic Bengal era. It is famous for its rich culture and strong forts.
The land saw a lot of change during this time. Big cities grew up and trading centers came alive with people and goods from many lands. Many beautiful buildings were built which are still standing today.
The British took over Bangladesh in the colonial period. This time started in 1757 and ended in 1947. The country was a part of British India. Some people think that even after the British left, their rule did not end completely.
This is because they had a strong impact on the area’s culture and government systems. No other time or ruler has changed Bangladesh as much as the British did during this period.
Partition of Bengal (1947)
The Partition of Bengal in 1947 split Bengal into two parts: West Bengal and East Bengal. East Bengal became a province of Pakistan after the partition, while West Bengal joined India.
This division caused a lot of people to move from one side to the other, leading to large-scale migration. The partition had a profound impact on the history and politics of Bangladesh, as it eventually sparked an independence movement based on ethnicity, language, and self-determination.
Kolkata, which was previously the capital of British India’s Bengal Province, became part of West Bengal in India after the partition.
Union with Pakistan
Bangladesh and Pakistan were once a part of the same country. This happened during the partition of the subcontinent in 1947. The union between Bangladesh, then known as East Bengal, and Pakistan was based on their shared religion, Islam.
However, over time, religion became a factor that separated the two countries. In 1971, Bangladesh fought for its independence in the Bangladesh Liberation War and became a separate nation from Pakistan.
Prior to that, both parts of Pakistan had limited connections and mainly shared a fear of Indian domination.
War of Independence
The War of Independence is an important part of the history of Bangladesh. It took place from December 3 to December 16, 1971. This war happened because people in East Pakistan wanted their own country called Bangladesh.
Religion also played a big role in this war since there was a divide between East and West Pakistan based on religion. India helped Bangladesh gain independence during this war, which was a crucial factor.
Overall, the War of Independence is seen as a significant chapter in the history of Bangladesh.
Modern Bangladesh emerged as a country in 1971 when it declared independence from Pakistan. Since then, it has experienced significant economic growth and development. The population of Bangladesh is around 166 million people, making it one of the most densely populated countries in the world.
Bangladesh has made remarkable progress in sectors like agriculture, textiles, and pharmaceuticals. It is also known for its vibrant garment industry, which makes up a substantial part of the country’s economy.
In recent years, there has been a shift towards greater gender equality and women empowerment in Bangladesh.
Geography of Bangladesh
Bangladesh is a country with diverse geography, from its lush coastal plains to the towering Himalayas in the north. The unique landscape and climate of Bangladesh make it an intriguing destination worth exploring.
Read on to discover more about the stunning natural beauty of this country.
Land and relief
Bangladesh is a country in South Asia with a low-lying landscape. It has a coastline that stretches for 580 km along the northern littoral. The geography of Bangladesh is characterized by marshy environments found in tropical areas and river deltas.
This unique landform played a significant role during the liberation war of 1971, as it helped create natural boundaries for different sectors. The country is situated at the confluence of the Ganges and Brahmaputra River systems, forming a vast delta region.
Bangladesh has a warm and humid climate that is influenced by circulations before, during, and after the monsoon season. The country often experiences heavy rainfall, leading to floods and other weather-related disasters.
Due to its low-lying geography, Bangladesh is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, such as rising sea levels and extreme weather events. The southwestern coastal region is particularly at risk.
In fact, Bangladesh is considered one of the most climate-vulnerable countries in the world. Climate change has led to an increase in devastating floods, further worsening the country’s vulnerability.
Bangladesh is known for its rich biodiversity, with a wide range of plants and animals that are unique to the country. The hill ecosystems in Bangladesh cover about 12% of the land area and have a diverse array of genetic variations in both wild and domesticated species.
The forests in Bangladesh can be classified into three major types: hill forests, plain land Sal forests, and mangrove forests. Unfortunately, Bangladesh has experienced a decline in biodiversity due to its dense population and human activities.
For example, the Sundarbans, which is a famous mangrove forest in Bangladesh, has suffered significant loss because of freshwater diversion from the Farakka Barrage since 1975. To combat this issue, Bangladesh has implemented nature-based solutions such as community-based natural resource management and ecosystem-based adaptation to protect its biodiversity.
Politics and Government of Bangladesh
Bangladesh is divided into eight administrative divisions and follows a parliamentary democracy, with the Prime Minister as the head of government.
Bangladesh is divided into eight administrative divisions, which are Barishal, Chattogram, Dhaka, Khulna, Mymensingh, Rajshahi, Rangpur, and Sylhet. These divisions are further divided into a total of 64 districts.
Each division has its own capital city and their geographical locations vary throughout the country. The administrative divisions play an important role in governing and managing different areas of Bangladesh.
This division system helps in implementing various government policies effectively and efficiently at the local level.
The military in Bangladesh has had a significant influence on the country’s politics and government. In 1975, they overthrew the AL government through a coup. This event marked the beginning of the military’s involvement in governing Bangladesh.
During the Bangladesh Liberation War, which took place in 1971, an armed group called Mukti Bahini fought alongside Indian forces to gain independence from Pakistan. The military is associated with specific physical regions within Bangladesh and plays a crucial role in maintaining national security.
Bangladesh maintains friendly relationships with many countries around the world. It follows moderate foreign policies and actively takes part in international organizations like the United Nations and the Commonwealth of Nations.
Bangladesh also has strong ties with its neighboring countries, including India, Myanmar, and Bhutan. The United States is an important partner for Bangladesh, as they share membership in several international organizations and work together on various issues like trade and development.
However, there are some challenges too. For example, Bangladesh has long-standing border-related issues with India that have yet to be fully resolved. Despite these challenges, Bangladesh continues to build positive relationships with other nations to promote peace, development, and cooperation.
Civil society plays a significant role in the politics and government of Bangladesh. It consists of different organizations and groups that work independently from the government to address social issues, promote human rights, and advocate for democratic values.
These organizations include non-governmental organizations (NGOs), community-based organizations, trade unions, women’s groups, youth associations, and religious institutions. The potential of civil society in Bangladesh has not been fully realized yet.
However, it has been instrumental in promoting transparency, accountability, and good governance. Civil society actors have actively engaged with policymakers, advocated for policy reforms, conducted research on various issues affecting society, and provided services in areas such as education and healthcare.
The government of Bangladesh has been criticized for not fully protecting people’s rights. Corruption and political interference can affect the fairness of the legal system. Security forces sometimes violate human rights without being punished.
There is also violence and unfair treatment against religious minorities in Bangladesh. Organizations like Amnesty International provide information on human rights issues in the country to help raise awareness and advocate for change.
The State of Bangladesh also plays a role in healthcare, as they provide necessary resources like food, sanitation, and medical services in island jails. Efforts are ongoing to improve these situations, including discussions with neighboring countries like India to resolve border issues between them.
Corruption is a significant issue in Bangladesh, with the country consistently being ranked as one of the most corrupt in the world. This corruption has implications for various aspects of society, including urbanization patterns and public services.
Acquiring public services often involves a high risk of bribery and corruption. Additionally, the independence of the judiciary is compromised due to corruption and political interference.
Despite efforts by the government to combat corruption and improve the political system, it remains endemic in Bangladesh. Many high-profile political actors are frequently involved in corruption cases.
Economy of Bangladesh
The economy of Bangladesh is driven by a strong private sector, with investment and entrepreneurship playing key roles in its growth.
The private sector is very important for the economy of Bangladesh. It helps to drive economic growth and create jobs. One key area in the private sector is the Ready-made Garments (RMG) industry, which plays a big role in the country’s exports.
However, the private sector does face challenges, such as exposure to external shocks and risks. The government has taken steps to attract foreign investment and promote private investment through laws and regulations.
Despite this, there have been criticisms that the government hinders economic development in some ways. Overall, the private sector is closely linked to Bangladesh’s overall economy and its success is crucial for the country’s growth.
Infrastructure in Bangladesh has been a challenge for economic development. The country faces bottlenecks that hinder growth, with the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry recognizing these limitations.
The World Bank estimates that $7.4 billion investment is needed to overcome these obstacles. Efforts are being made to develop the Bangladesh Economic Corridor, which aims to improve infrastructure.
Modern reforms in the late 1970s and 1990s have promoted free markets and foreign direct investment, but more needs to be done to address infrastructure issues. The government has been working towards establishing democratic rule since December 2008.
Tourism in Bangladesh is primarily focused on nature-based attractions. The country boasts beautiful forests, mountains, and rivers that attract visitors who appreciate outdoor activities such as hiking, wildlife-watching, and river cruises.
Bangladesh is home to the world’s largest mangrove forest, the Sundarbans, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular destination for eco-tourists. Other natural attractions include Cox’s Bazar beach, known for being one of the longest beaches in the world, and various national parks with diverse wildlife.
However, cultural tourism has not yet flourished significantly in Bangladesh compared to other countries in the region.
Despite its rich history and vibrant culture, Bangladesh still has untapped potential when it comes to promoting its historical sites, traditional arts and crafts, and unique cultural experiences.
With its many ancient ruins like Mahasthangarh or Paharpur Buddhist Vihara Complexes along with traditional music forms like Baul songs or colorful festivals like Bengali New Year (Pohela Boishakh), there are plenty of opportunities for cultural tourism development.
Energy and electricity
In Bangladesh, the government is making efforts to increase power generation because it helps the country’s export-oriented economy. Currently, around 80% of the population has access to electricity, which is a significant improvement from just 20% in 2000.
The primary source of electricity generation in Bangladesh is gas. However, the challenge lies in ensuring sustainable energy transition due to inadequate fossil fuel supplies. Despite this challenge, energy consumption in Bangladesh has been growing at a rate of 6.4%.
From 2000 to 2014, there was a significant increase in electricity consumption with a growth rate of 206%.
Demographics of Bangladesh
Bangladesh has several bustling urban centers, with Dhaka being the largest and most populous city in the country.
Bangladesh is seeing an unprecedented growth in its urban centers due to the phenomenon of rural-urban migration. The Agglomeration Index shows a significant part of the population residing in these urban hubs. While population density in Bangladesh is already high, with approximately 170 million people in a small geographical area, the expansion of urban centers is noteworthy. Environmental degradation is a challenge, brought on by this rapid urbanization, growth in population, and industrial expansion. Small cities are not to be overlooked, with places like Mongla and Noapara hosting populations of 106,000 and 170,000 respectively.
|Capital and largest city of Bangladesh
|Second-largest city, important port city
|Industrial hub and third-largest city
|Significant education and tourism center
|Known for its port and shrimp processing
|Important for jute trade and manufacturing
Bangladesh has its own national language called Bangla, which is also the official language of the country. Bangla, also known as Bengali, is closely related to the languages spoken in neighboring countries like West Bengal in India.
In fact, 98% of the population in Bangladesh speaks Bengali. Despite this linguistic unity, colorism is a social issue in Bangladeshi society. It’s important to note that Bangladesh’s language-in-education policy promotes the use of Bangla among its indigenous population in order to preserve and promote their cultural identity.
Bangladesh is a highly religious country, with the majority of its population identifying as Muslim. In fact, over 91% of the people in Bangladesh are Muslims. Hinduism is the second largest religion in the country, followed by Christianity and Theravada-Hinayana Buddhism.
It’s interesting to note that less than 0.2% of the population considers themselves not religious. Religion plays a significant role in shaping the culture and traditions of Bangladesh, making it an important aspect of daily life for many people.
The education system in Bangladesh has made great progress in recent years. The government has worked hard to improve access and educational attainment rates. In fact, nearly 98 percent of children of primary school age are enrolled in school.
Education is divided into three levels: primary, secondary, and higher education. Both primary and secondary education are compulsory in Bangladesh, ensuring that all children have the opportunity to learn.
However, there are still challenges when it comes to providing basic education for Rohingya children who have sought refuge in Bangladesh. Discrimination exists as the national curriculum and language restrictions are imposed on them.
Despite these challenges, efforts are being made to provide quality education for all children in Bangladesh.
The health situation in Bangladesh has seen improvements over the years. There is a high prevalence of risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, but health indicators have gotten better in the past five decades.
The average lifespan of a Bangladeshi has increased, which is good news. However, there are still challenges when it comes to healthcare access for indigenous individuals in the Chittagong Hill Tracts region.
Bangladesh also has relatively low total healthcare expenditure compared to other countries. It’s worth noting that issues and challenges with population distribution tend to be concentrated in urban centers, where residents are more likely to have health-related problems.
Culture of Bangladesh
Bangladesh boasts a rich and vibrant culture that encompasses visual arts, literature, architecture, cuisine, festivals, sports, and much more.
Visual arts and crafts
Bangladesh has a rich tradition of visual arts and crafts. Throughout its history, various forms of art have been practiced in the region. Painting as an independent art form is relatively new in Bangladesh, but it has grown rapidly in recent years.
A notable figure behind the art movement in Bangladesh is Zainul Abedin. One significant art form in Bangladesh is Jamdani, a handloom technique that produces stunning textiles. The country is known for its vibrant cultural heritage and exquisite arts and crafts.
In the past two decades, there has been a growing contemporary arts scene in Bangladesh.
Bangladeshi literature, especially in English, has made great progress over the years. Since the colonial period, there has been a significant increase in the production of literary works in Bangladesh.
The Bengali language and its rich literature have influenced various traditions of music and poetry in the country. This cultural influence can be seen through the diverse range of themes explored by Bangladeshi writers, including social issues, love stories, historical events, and political commentary.
With its unique perspectives and storytelling techniques, Bangladeshi literature continues to captivate readers both locally and internationally.
Women in Bangladesh have seen significant progress in recent years, holding positions of power and influence, particularly in rural areas. The prevailing ideology governing gender relations in the country is influenced by Islam but differs from Western countries.
However, colorism, a form of discrimination based on skin color, exists within Bangladeshi society, with a preference for lighter-skinned individuals. Climate change poses additional challenges for women in Bangladesh due to their multiple roles within the family and society.
Religiosity is associated with larger social networks among women in Bangladesh, characterized by greater size, kin density, and geographic dispersal.
The architecture of Bangladesh is influenced by its cultural, religious, and historical roots. It combines modernist ideals with a rich heritage. In the capital city of Dhaka, you can find various architectural projects that showcase this blend, such as the Sufia Khatun building designed by Marina Tabassum.
The evolution of architecture in Bangladesh reflects the country’s cultural and historical influences. One important aspect is the village or “gram,” which holds significant cultural and spatial importance in Bangladesh’s primarily rural culture.
Furthermore, Bangladesh’s architecture takes inspiration from its neighboring countries and their distinct architectural styles.
Traditional performing arts play an important role in Bangladesh’s cultural scene. Jatra, Baulsong, and Gombhira are some of the traditional forms of performing arts that have been passed down through generations.
These art forms often involve singing, dancing, and storytelling to entertain audiences. In addition to traditional performances, Bangladesh also has a vibrant contemporary arts scene that emerged about 20 years after gaining independence from Pakistan in 1971.
The country showcases a diverse range of cultural performances including drama, pantomime, puppet shows, theater, caricature, acrobatics, and circuses. Bengali music is a significant part of the performing arts landscape in Bangladesh as well – it often reflects the country’s poetry and uses instruments such as the harmonium.
Bangladesh has a thriving textiles industry that is vital to its economy. The country produces a wide range of textiles, including cotton and synthetic fabrics. In fact, Bangladesh is the second-largest manufacturer and exporter of ready-made garments in the world.
Its textile industry plays a significant role in the global market, especially for ready-to-wear garments. Many leading global brands rely on Bangladesh for their clothing production.
The culture of Bangladesh is closely connected to its textiles industry, with a focus on rural areas and villages where traditional weaving and handiwork are practiced.
Bangladeshi cuisine is known for its delicious and flavorful dishes. One of the key staples in Bangladeshi cuisine is fish, which holds a special place in their culture. It is often said that “Fish and rice make a Bengali,” highlighting the importance of these two ingredients in their meals.
Interestingly, fish from rivers are considered to be more flavorsome than those from the ocean. Rice also plays a significant role in Bangladeshi cuisine as it has historical and cultural connections with the country.
The production and consumption of rice have shaped their traditions throughout history. With such rich culinary heritage, Bangladesh offers a delightful gastronomic experience for food enthusiasts around the world.
Festivals in Bangladesh are diverse and vibrant, reflecting the country’s rich cultural heritage. These festivals can be categorized into religious, national, cultural, and tribal events.
One of the biggest festivals celebrated by the Hindu community is Durga Puja. During this time, beautifully adorned idols of Goddess Durga are worshipped with great fervor and enthusiasm.
It is a time when people come together to celebrate and enjoy traditional music, dance performances, and delicious food.
Apart from religious festivals, Bangladesh also celebrates numerous secular holidays that are rooted in its history and culture. Some popular national festivals include Independence Day on March 26th and Victory Day on December 16th.
These events commemorate significant milestones in the country’s fight for independence.
Cultural tourism in Bangladesh offers visitors a chance to experience these colorful festivals firsthand. From literary celebrations like Ekushey Book Fair to music festivals such as Pohela Boishakh (Bengali New Year), there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
These events not only showcase the rich traditions of Bangladesh but also highlight influences from neighboring countries like India and Myanmar along with Western cultures.
Sports in Bangladesh hold significant importance and are deeply ingrained in the country’s culture. The most popular sport in Bangladesh is cricket, which draws immense passion from the people.
It has gained a massive following over the years, with many talented players emerging from the country. Another traditional sport enjoyed by many is Kabaddi, which showcases physical prowess and strategic thinking.
These sports are not only a means of entertainment but also play an integral role in daily life, fostering unity and creating a sense of national pride for Bangladeshis.
Media and cinema
The media and cinema play an important role in Bangladesh, showcasing its culture and society to the world. The country’s cinema industry dates back to 1898, making it one of the oldest in the region.
In fact, the first bioscope in the entire subcontinent was established here. Bangla Cinema serves as a representation of Bangladesh’s rich cultural heritage, with films often highlighting social issues and historical events.
Through these films, audiences around the globe can learn more about Bangladesh’s traditions, customs, and way of life. The power of media is evident in how it shapes perceptions and influences people’s understanding of different cultures.
Museums and libraries
The museums and libraries in Bangladesh offer a rich cultural experience. The National Museum, located in Dhaka, has an extensive collection of artifacts and exhibits spanning the country’s history.
It also houses a library with around 30,000 books. The museum covers a large area of land and features 44 galleries for visitors to explore. In addition to the National Museum, there are several other museums throughout the country that showcase different aspects of Bangladeshi culture and heritage.
These museums provide a window into the past and serve as important educational resources for both locals and tourists alike.
Neighboring Countries of Bangladesh
Bangladesh shares its borders with two countries: India and Myanmar.
India is one of the neighboring countries of Bangladesh, sharing a 4,096-kilometer-long international border. This makes it the fifth-longest land border in the world. Over the years, India and Bangladesh have had some disagreements over their land boundary, but they have now reached a comprehensive settlement.
Both countries are members of various regional organizations like SAARC and BIMSTEC, showcasing their shared interests and cultural ties. Bilateral trade between India and Bangladesh has shown significant growth, with several agreements signed to facilitate trade.
Road and rail connectivity between the two nations has played a vital role in boosting relations. Additionally, settling maritime boundary disputes between India and Bangladesh has set an example for other countries facing similar issues when it comes to peaceful resolutions.
Myanmar is one of the neighboring countries of Bangladesh, sandwiched between China and India. Before World War II, many people from Bangladesh used to travel to Myanmar. However, the relationship between Bangladesh and Myanmar was not good under the Burmese military junta.
Myanmar shares its borders with the Chittagong Division of Bangladesh as well as several Indian states. Tensions between Myanmar and Bangladesh have been centered around Rohingya Muslims fleeing to Bangladesh.
It’s important to note that Myanmar has a diverse population, with Burmans being the largest ethnic group.
Border Relations Between Bangladesh and Neighboring Countries
Bangladesh shares land borders with India and Myanmar. The border between India and Bangladesh has been a topic of dispute for many years. There have been disagreements over where exactly the border should be drawn, leading to tensions between the two countries.
On the other hand, there has also been a maritime boundary dispute between Bangladesh and Myanmar. These disputes have affected the relationship between these countries and have required diplomatic efforts to find peaceful resolutions.
Despite these challenges, Bangladesh continues to work towards maintaining good relations with its neighboring countries.
In conclusion, Bangladesh shares land borders with India and Myanmar. Its neighbors play a significant role in its history, politics, economy, and culture. Understanding the geographical proximity of these countries helps to appreciate the interconnectedness between Bangladesh and its neighboring nations.
1. What are the countries near Bangladesh?
The countries that are near Bangladesh are India and Myanmar.
2. Are there only two countries near Bangladesh?
Yes, there are just two nations sharing their borders with Bangladesh, which include India and Myanmar.
3. Which country is closest to Bangladesh?
India shares the longest border with Bangladesh making it the closest neighbor.
4. Can I visit these nearby countries from Bangladesh easily?
Yes, travel between these neighboring countries happens often by road or air transit.