Art & Culture of Bangladesh

Bengali Art
Bengali Art

Bangladesh is rich in their own culture and heritage. In general, it has a mixed culture with the impact of different religions and tradition. Mainly, the art and culture of Bangladesh have built with the combination of Islamic, Hinduism and Buddhism culture. She has kept enriching contribution in the variants culture including literature, music, architecture, music, drama, painting and dance. The impact of time and order, the generation has kept the culture of their own.


The religions mainly influence the festivals of Bangladesh. For example, the Muslim celebrates the Eid (Eid-ul-Fitr, and Eid-ul-Azha) as well as Muharram and Eid-e-Miladunnabi. At the same time, the Hindus observe different festivals (Puja) including Durga Puja, Krishna Janmashtami, Kali Puja, Diwali, Saraswati Puja, and many more pujas. Similarly, the Christians observe the Christmas Day (Also known as Baradin in Bengali) and Buddhist celebrate the festivals including Vesak (Also known as Buddha Purnima in Bengali). On the other hand, the Bengali observe some traditional and historical festivals from the countrywide forgetting the religions, caste, and color. For example, Pahela Baishakh (Reason: the first day of Bangla Calendar year), Independence Day (26th March), 21st February (International Mother Language Day), The Victory Day (16th December), Lalon, Rabindra & Nazrul Jayanti, etc.


Bangladesh is very rich in literary heritage. Before the thousand years and during the medieval period Bengali literature starts to blossom and keeps the footprint. When the Muslim rulers were in this subcontinent, the literature developed continuously. We see the famous poet  Chandi Das, Alaol, and Daulat Kazi. Then the advent of Michael Madhusudan Dutt, Lalon, Rabindranath Tagore, and Nazrul Islam have made the literature of Bangla more widespread. We can’t deny the contribution of Bankim Chandra Chattopadhaya, Sarat Chandra Chattopadhaya, and Syed Mujtaba Ali. Thus a lot of pioneers in Bangladesh literature, Bangla get the recognition as the exuberant language.


Tradition Musical Instrument – Dhol

If you want to know about the Art and culture of Bangladesh, you should know its the traditional music. Mainly, the impact of the Indian subcontinent is noteworthy. In general, it has three types of music in Bengal including Classical, folk and modern music. The vocal of instrumental of classical music has acquired from the Indian Sub-continent. In classical instrumental music, Ustad Ayet Ali Khan and Ustad Alauddin Khan is widely known and has the international recognition.

The folk song of Bangladesh is noticeable. The spiritual view on the lyrics and the philosophical concept has made them immortal. The lyrics of Lalan Fakir, Hasan Raja, and many of the anonymous lyricist has enriched the folk and spiritual song. We see the arena of folk music including Jari, Shari, Murshidi, Bhatiali and similar types of folk music in Bangla. The impact of Rabindra Sangeet and Nazrul Sangeet is splendid in Bangla song. It is considered as the precious heritage in the Bangla Music industry. On the other hand, the impact of the western song including pop song has increased a lot with the contribution of the different popular band groups.

The use of Bangladeshi musical instruments is noticeable, and it is also a part of our culture. For example, Banshi (The flute made with bamboo), Dhole (Drums made of wood), Ektara (Musical Instrument with a single-stringed), Dotara (Musical Instrument with a four-stringed), Mandira (A rhythm instrument made of a pair of metal bawls) and many more. Nowadays, the use of western instruments is also increasing alongside country instruments. For example, the use of Guitar, Drums, synthesizer, and Saxophone.


'Sangram' (Struggle) by Zainul Abedin
‘Sangram’ (Struggle), oil paint by Zainul Abedin, 1976

Zainul Abedin pioneered the modern painting in Bangladesh. At the same time, the continuous going forward has made it outstanding among the world. The contributions of SM Sultan, Kamrul Hassan, Shafiuddin Ahmed, and Anwarul Haque is impressive. In 1943 the sketches on famine of Zainal Abedin brought the international popularity of Bangladeshi painting. The painting focused on the culture and tradition of Bangladesh. In the present time, the artists are also participating in the international stage including Abdur Razzak,  Murtaza Baseer, Debdas Chakraborty, and Qayyum Chowdhury. 

Drama is performance-based fiction, and Bangladesh practiced the culture for many days. In general, the drama of in Bangladesh is written by the local writers as well as they are adopting the story from the famous writer around the world. In Dhaka, you will find dozens of theater groups who are staging drama regularly. The most popular and active theatre groups in Dhaka are Dhaka Theatre, Nagorik Natya Sampradaya and Theatre (Baily Road). A place in Dhaka City named Baily Road which is known as “Natok Para” for staging Drama regularly. For cultural shows and creative program the Public library Auditorium, TSC, or Museum Auditorium are very popular. For participating cultural shows or activities, Dhaka University areas are famous and pivotal part in Bangladesh.


Bengali Folk Dance

Bangladeshi dance is formed with the similarity of classical forms of the Indian sub-continent. Other types of dancing we have the folk, Middle Eastern and tribal. The common tribal dances are Monipuri and Santal, and it is also very famous. In the rural areas in Bangladesh also practice dances, but they don’t follow any exact format or rules. The song of Jari or Shari also presented with the local traditional group. Though the impact of Western Dance is also seen in the Bengali culture.


Jatra which is the form of Folk Drama – the ancient culture of Bangladesh. At the rural level, it is presented on a regular basis as a form of entertainment. In general, it focuses on the love and tragedy from mythological episodes. The rural people love the Jatra as the most significant part of the show. Though the impact of Western Culture has decreased the participants and staging of Jatra. Still now in the occasion or festivals, we see the popularity of Jatra.

Traditional Transportation Means:

Some unique types of the transportation system are seen in Bangladesh, and it is also our heritage. For example, the use of TomToms (Transportation with Horse) is used in the old Dhaka. At the same time, the BiCycle and Rickshaws are found in the rural and urban areas all over Bangladesh. The use of Palki occasionally is also a heritage of our land. It is a box-like vehicle which is carried by the shoulders of the six men. In general, it is used in the wedding celebrations.

On the other hand, the use of the boat in the river (Nawka) of Bangladesh is very common. It is one of the popular means of communication in Bangladesh. At the same time, VAN another types of vehicle are used in the rural areas or carrying the goods in urban areas.


Bengali Clothing
Bengali Clothing

In Bangladesh, the women wear Sarees and the Men Panjabi, Pajama, Fotua, and Pajamas. Jamdani was very famous all over the world for its artistic design and it was very expensive as well. Moslin – another artistically amazing cloth for the women was very popular worldwide. Naksi Kantha which is produced with the handwork by the village women in Bangladesh and still very familiar in Bangladesh. A very common hairstyle in Bangladesh is Beni which is done by the Bangalee Women. The use of the Lungi of the Men is huge. At the same time, the Hindus use Dhuti – another type of cloth which is used for the religious purposes. Nowadays, the use of Shirts and Pants for Men and Salwar and Kameez for the Women and girls are increasing. Though the use of Western Cloth is also increasing day by day.

Cultural Institute: 

A lot of Government and Non-government organization are working for enriching Bangladeshi art and culture. For example, Bangla Academy, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Nazrul Institute, Fine arts Institute, and Chhayanat. They are working in every sector of saving and enriching Bangladesh tradition and culture including Music, Literature, Drama, Recitation, Art, Dance, etc.