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"Does Indian culture pose a threat to Bangladesh?"
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"Does Indian culture pose a threat to Bangladesh?"

phpEdYY27AMThe popularity of Indian television and fashion is having an impact on Bangladesh’s language, film industry and even cultural celebrations, writes Abdullah Al Hasan, 23, a Correspondent from Dhaka in Bangladesh, who argues that response is in the hands of Bangladesh’s consumers.

Globalization has opened many ways to explore extraneous cultures, and gives Bangladesh an amazing opportunity to know about foreign cultures. Bangladeshi people used to follow Western culture, but as of now they are very keen on learning and practising Indian culture.

Indian TV such as Star Plus, Sony, Zee Bangla, and Star Jalsha is the main way through which the Indian culture is affecting Bangladeshi people and culture. The major programs on those channels are movies, serials, dramas, crime programs, music programs and reality shows.

The impact is extensive. Bangladeshi people have their own culture and customs, but their TV channels are not making or trying to make quality programs. As a result they are becoming very fond of Indian programs.

It appears they have started following Indian culture too. They are imitating Indian language, lifestyle, dress, behaviour, movies and music. Bangladesh witnessed a cultural shift during the time of some biggest festivals like Eid and Puja  this year. Bangladeshi markets got encircled by the Indian dresses and people were really passionate to buy them.

Bangladeshi girls and women were the buyers of those dresses, and those dresses were designed according to the outfits of the actresses from the Indian programs. Since girls and women watch the programs early and late, they found the dresses pretty engaging.  Pakhi dress, Karina, Katrina, and Deepika are among the names that covered Bangladeshi markets.

Some marketers brought those dresses from India and sold them in Bangladesh, others just designed the dresses according to the models. Bangladeshi core dresses and designers faced the problem with professionalism, but it was a loss for them. It is discouraging to continue working on a thing which has no current market.

The language is also a major thing, with ‘Hindi’ is now being learnt and practiced by Bangladeshi people. Again, the TV channels have an influence. People watching Indian channels are trying Hindi sometimes both consciously and subconsciously. It is conceivable when a language is at the heart of your entertainment, you will acquire it.

Bangladesh has a great history regarding its mother tongue; Bangla. Many people sacrificed their lives for it. But nowadays, Hindi is literally devaluing the importance of Bangla and the young generation is discouraged about knowing and giving priority to their language.

Once upon a time, Bangladesh was well-acquainted with making good movies. Films like Jibon Theke Neya, Abar Tora Manush Ho, Aguner Poroshmoni, Hangor Nodi Grenade, and Stop Genocide were way ahead of Indian Bangla movies. As time passes by, Bangladeshi people now prefer Hindi and Indian Bangla movies. As a result, Bangladeshi producers and directors are trying to make movies emulating Hindi, Indian Bangla, Tamil and Telegu films’ concepts. But because of budgets and inexpert actors and actresses they fall short of success. People now know how to compare and choose the best film to watch. That doesn’t stop there; the Bangladeshi cinema industry is at stake. They are not only losing their individuality and identity, but also losing their target markets.

Every Bangladeshi event has its traditional shape. This is now changing. For example, in today’s Bangladesh, every wedding program consists of some sub-programs which actually belong to Indian culture, and these programs last up to ten days! Most of the songs played in every program are Hindi. People now prefer musical performance at the wedding day, which is an Indian tradition.

Bangladeshi traditions, customs and music are getting lost, because the influence is perilously on women, children and the young generation. Bangladeshi people love to follow, love to imitate. But they are not cognizant of the fact that they are pushing their own culture aside; they are losing their own identity and customs.

Just like other cultures, Bangladeshi culture has many things to offer, but if the people of Bangladesh keep on following Indian culture so vigorously, one day they will not have any single thing to be proud of. The future generation will be sprouting up without having a genuine culture.

Will you blame India for this? India is just selling its products. It is you; the Bangladeshi people who will decide whether you will adopt this foreign custom, forgetting your own culture, or not.

Indian culture is not a threat to Bangladesh. Bangladeshi people being indifferent to their own culture is a threat; a big threat.

photo credit: Asian Development Bank via photopin cc
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About me:

Hi I’m from Bangladesh; the green land. Currently I’m studying marketing at North South University, Dhaka. I love to explore human minds. Writing is my favourite pastime. I always try to do research about people, politics, metaphysics, English and marketing.

I’m just an ordinary guy with some extra-ordinary dreams to be fulfilled. I believe a moment staying with family is just worth living. Friends are my oxygen.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?

To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/

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