Bangladesh – Land of the Tiger
Bangladesh is one of the world’s poorest, most populous and most densely populated countries. This is due in part to the great fertility of the land, well-watered as it is by three great rivers: the Brahmaputra, the Meghna and the Ganges. Most of the area of Bangladesh consists of a wide, flat flood plain and river delta where the three rivers combine and drain into the Bay of Bengal. The climate is hot, humid and extremely rainy in the summer Monsoon season. Bangladesh is located in the northeastern part of the Indian subcontinent and it is almost completely surrounded by India itself. The capital city of Bangladesh is Dhaka, a metropolis of 12.5 million that has become a global high tech dynamo.
Ethnic Bengali people have settled the land now known as Bangladesh for nearly five thousand years. Bangladesh was part of British India until the granting of Indian independence by Great Britain in 1947. The partition of India into Hindu and Muslim states saw the establishment of West and East Pakistan, a somewhat rickety nation divided by the width of India – over 1,000 miles. Supported by India, who saw a chance to weaken her rival, East Pakistan achieved independence in 1971 and took the new name Bangladesh.
Although Bangladesh has made great strides economically in recent years, the country struggles to feed an expanding population of 146 million whose income averages less than US$500 per year. Even so, Bangladesh’s people are renowned for their strong work ethic and the country has lately become a global center of the textile industry.