Villages and rivers constitute the backbone of Bangladesh. There are approximately 87,000 villages in the country, comprising some 75 % of the population. Most villages are located in lowlands, off the main roads, surrounded by rivers and fields. Villages in the mountain ranges near the eastern border with Burma and India are an exception to the rule. Rural life has its own peaceful pace. Most people work in agriculture or fishing. There are also other professions, often associated with the are. Potters, blacksmiths, carpenters, carvers, brick makers, weavers etc. Europeans are always amazed by snake charmers and workers who cut large blocks of mud, used for reinforcement of embankments and dykes.
People live in houses of clay, bamboo, wood, tin or reed. The roofs are made of traditional natural materials, galvanized corrugated metal and, in certain parts of the country, of baked clay. They keep people safe at night and protect them from rain during monsoon seasons. The houses are usually surrounded by trees, mostly banana trees, coconut and date palms, jackfruit trees, mango trees and papaya trees. Bamboos and eucalyptuses are also to be found.
Villagers live mainly on crops from the fields they work on. Some of them have their own fields, others have to rent them in exchange for a part of the harvest. Apart from working on fields, people in villages breed animals (cows, goats, chickens, ducks and pigeons) for meat, milk and eggs production and for work: plowing and drawing carts on which rice, wheat, potatoes and other crops are transported. Fishing is another important source of food.
Traditional clothing is to be found in rural areas: women wear traditional clothing: women wear saris or three-pieces, men wear lungis, traditional long skirts. Closes are washed in rivers and ponds where people also take baths. Drinking water comes from wells.
Culture life in villages is characterized by various religious and public feasts, such as Ramadan, Eid al-Fitr (end of the fast), Eid al-Adha (feast of the sacrifice), Bengali New Year, Independence Day and Victory Day.
People in villages are very hardworking, skilful, humble, respectful and, being in constant contact with nature, also exceptionally soulful. There are of course many problems regarding the rural areas of Bangladesh. We have, however, decided, to present a positive insight into Bangladeshi rural life.