I took this photograph last October when my husband and I travelled with friends to Dhaka, Bangladesh. We were there during the Hindu Festival of Durga Puja and came across a young woman getting her hand painted with henna in honor of the celebration.
Dhaka stirs the full range of emotions. As one travels around and witnesses the searing poverty, he is reminded of Bangladesh’s recent history of famines, cyclones, and disequilibrium caused from its War of Liberation with Pakistan (and earlier partition with India). In old Dhaka, we found unpaved roads, few traffic signals, and many walking the streets barefoot. There are still an estimated 400,000 rickshaws in the city driving their fares in choking pollution along the major thoroughfares. Visitors are warned not to give money to beggars for fear of being overwhelmed by crowds when word gets out of their generosity.
Despite all this, I would venture to say that it is not poverty but rather Bangladeshi curiosity and friendliness that make the first and most enduring impression of this country. Everywhere we went, we attracted a small entourage of people asking questions about our life, beginning with our country of origin. They were so earnest and polite that one could not help but be charmed. As people asked whether we were visiting as tourists or on business, we witnessed their utter shock as we confirmed our status as the former. If you want to visit a country that is yet untouched by tourism, Bangladesh is your place.
You may see other great photos on DeliciousBaby’s Photo Friday.