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Rabia Ijaz

L1F10MBAM1375 Social and cultural profile

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History Bangladesh Came into being as a nation state after separation from Pakistan in 1971 (Due to political rejection, ethnic and linguistic biasness and injustice, as well as economic abandonment; all these factors contributed the separation). Previous to the emergence of Pakistan in 1947, todays Bangladesh was part of sub-continent. The borders of existing Bangladesh were developed with the partition of Bengal and India in 1947, when the region became East Pakistan. After separation, she faced famine and poverty but after 1991 till now it is facing economic growth. Norms Older people are viewed as sensible and are respected a lot. The most senior male is expected to make decision. The seniority can be based on age or position. This norm is also valid in businesses. The decision making is centralized. Values & People are mostly given respect because of their age, status and position. Beliefs Smoking, misbehaving or talking loudly in front of heads and elders is seen as a rude behavior. At large rude behavior (any expression of anger or rage) is to be controlled. People always use their right hand to take or give anything. The food is also taken by right hand. The Muslim community is regarded to be cooperative to other religions, faiths and beliefs. Due to immense cultural diversity, hybridization of social traits and norms as well as cultural nurture, Bangladeshis cannot be labeled or commented very easily, except for the only fact that they are very strong in nature. Religion Around 90% of the population is Muslim. A small number of Hindus, Christians and Buddhists are also living in the country. Symbols (Flag)

Cricket is the most famous sport in Bangladesh, which is followed by Football. The national sport is Kabaddi. Cricket is a game which has an enormous following in Bangladesh. Law & Drinking is illegal and prohibited. It is punishable by prison sentence. Though, because of lack of Order enforcement of laws, many people do drink secretly. The lawful smoking age is 15 years but it is not enforced too. Many children at grades 6-7 smoke. Penalties for custody, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in are various, and offenders must bear long jail sentences and heavy fines. Education Educational paths in Bangladesh are not so established. Literacy rate is low and there is a significant inequality between female and male literacy rates. (But with constant awareness of government with the help of NGO's, literacy rate has been inclining) Etiquette Meeting & Greeting Greetings generally occur between members of the same gender. The firm hand shake is common. Women will rarely shake hands even in business context. The customary greeting for Muslims is Asalamu alaikum to which the reply is wa alaikum salam. In general, age commands how people are addressed. People are of the same age use first names. Gift Giving Etiquette Gifts are mainly given between family members at religious holidays, especially after Ramadan and Sports

Rabia Ijaz

L1F10MBAM1375

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Hajj. In cities, it is becoming more common for gifts to be given on birthdays that were not prevailing previously. In Bangladesh the importance of gifts is in the thought rather than the value. Part of the reason lies in the fact that gifts should be generally reciprocated and it would be considered rude to offer someone a gift that is difficult to reciprocate. When visiting a Bangladeshi's home, it is more common to bring pastries, sweets or good quality chocolates. If bringing flowers avoid frangipanis as they are used at funerals. Similarly white flowers indicate mourning. Do not give alcohol or products containing non-halal meat to Muslims. People never give money to each other as gift. It is considered bad form to open gifts in front of the giver. Gifts are given with two hands. Dining Etiquette If invited to a meal it is rude to flatly turn the invitation down. One should always use less direct language to suggest that it may be difficult such as "I will try." or "I will have to see". Meals both inside the house and outside will usually be same sex. Many people eat with their hands and it may be that you share food from a common dish. It would not be seen as impolite if you asked for utensils. Ensure you wash your hands before eating. Guests are generally served first then the oldest, continuing in order of seniority. Do not start eating until the oldest person at the table begins. You will constantly be urged to take more food. Simply saying "I'm full" will be taken as a polite gesture and not accepted at face value. It is therefore always best to pace yourself to allow for more servings. The left hand is considered unclean so only eat, pass dishes or drink with the right hand. Festivals A series of festivals different from race to race are seen. Some of the Muslim rituals are Eid-e& rituals Miladunnabi, Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Azha, Muharram etc. Hindus observe Durga Puja, Saraswati Puja, Kali Puja and many other pujas. Christmas is observed by Christians. Also there are some common festivities, which are observed countrywide by people irrespective of races. Pahela Baishakh (the first day of Bangla year) is such a festival. National festivals are Independence Day (26th March), 21st February (the National Mourning Day and World Mother Language Day), The Victory Day (16th December), Rabindra & Nazrul Jayanti etc. Bangladesh is known for its distinctive cooking tradition, and delightful food, snacks and savories. Food Boiled rice constitutes the main food, and is served with a variety of vegetables, fried as well with curry, thick lentil soups, and fish and meat preparations of mutton and chicken, and more rarely pork and beef by certain groups. Sweetmeats of Bangladesh are mostly milk based, and entailed of several delights including roshgulla, sandesh, rasamalai, gulab jamun, kalo jamun, and chom-chom. Several other sweet preparations are also available. Bengali cuisine is rich and varied with the use of many specialized spices and flavours. Fish is the dominant source of protein, cultivated in ponds and fished with nets in the fresh-water rivers of the Ganges delta. Bangladeshi people have exceptional dress preferences. Bangladeshi men wear kurta on religious and Dress cultural occasions, lungi as casual wear and shirt-pant on formal occasions. Shalwar Kameez and Saree are the main dresses of Bangladeshi women.

Rabia Ijaz

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Language The official language is Bangla, also known as Bengali. It is the first language of more than 98 percent of the population. It is written in its own script, derived from that of Sanskrit. Many people in Bangladesh also speak English and Urdu. Marriage A traditional wedding is arranged by Ghotoks (matchmakers), who are normally friends or relatives of the couple. The matchmakers start the introduction, and also help agree the amount of any settlement. Bengali weddings are traditionally in five parts: first it is the bride and groom's Mehendi Shondha, the bride's Gaye Holud, the groom's Gaye Holud, the Beeya, and the Bou Bhaat. These often take place on separate days. The first event in a wedding is an informal one: the groom presents the bride with a ring marking the "engagement" which is gaining popularity. For the mehendi shondha the bride's side apply henna to each other as well as the bride for the bride's Gaye Holud, the groom's family - except the groom himself - go in procession to the bride's home. Bride's friends and family apply turmeric paste to her body as a part of Gaye Hoof bride, and they are traditionally all in matching clothes, mostly orange in colour. The bride is seated on a dais, and the henna is used to decorate the bride's hands and feet with elaborate abstract designs. The sweets are then fed to the bride by all involved, piece by piece. The actual wedding ceremony "Biye" follows the Gaye Holud ceremonies. The wedding ceremony is arranged by the bride's family. On the day, the younger members of the bride's family barricade the entrance to the venue, and demand a sort of admission charge from the groom in return for allowing him to enter. The bride and groom are seated separately, and a Kazi (authorized person by the govt. to perform the wedding), accompanied by the parents and a Wakil (witness) from each side formally asks the bride for her consent to the union, and then the groom for his. The bride's side of the family tries to play some kind of practical joke on the groom such as stealing the groom's shoe. The reception, also known as Bou-Bhaat (reception), is a party given by the groom's family in return for the wedding party. It is typically a much more relaxed affair, with only the second-best wedding outfit being worn. The store of folk song abounds in spiritual lyrics of Lalan Shah, Hasan Raja, Romesh Shill and many Music anonymous lyricists. Bangla music arena is enriched with Jari, Shari, Bhatiali, Murshidi and other types of folk songs. Rabindra Sangeet and Nazrul Sangeet are Bangalees precious heritage. Modern music is also practiced widely. Contemporary patterns have more inclinations to west. Pop song and band groups are also coming up mainly in Dhaka City. Musical Instruments Bangladesh has a good number of musical instruments originally of her own. Originally country musical instruments include, Banshi (bamboo flute), Dhole (wooden drums), Ektara (a single stringed instrument), Dotara (a four stringed instrument), Mandira (a pair of metal bawls used as rhythm instrument), Khanjani, Sharinda etc. Now-a-days western instruments such as Guitar, Drums, Saxophone, and Synthesizer etc. are being used alongside country instruments. Business Communication Styles norms They tend to communicate in long, rich and contextualized sentences which only make sense when properly understood in relation to body language. Personal space is less of an issue in Bangladesh than many European cultures. Bengalis stand close when speaking to someone of the same gender. Meeting & Greeting Business etiquette in Bangladesh is reasonably formal. Proper behaviour is expected. Men greet each other with a handshake upon arriving and leaving. Foreign men should nod to a Bangladeshi woman unless she extends her hand. Businessmen should be addressed by the term "Bahadur" ("Sir"), while women may be addressed as "Begum" ("Madam"). This may be used with or without the surname. Wait until your counterpart moves to a first name basis before you do so.

Rabia Ijaz

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Global Marketing (A)

Business Card Etiquette Business cards are exchanged after the initial introduction. Educational qualifications are valued so include any university degrees. Present your business card with the right hand. Treat business cards given to you with respect. Merely glancing at it then throwing it on the table would be rude. Study it, comment on it and ideally place it into a business card holder. Business Meetings Meetings in Bangladesh are generally the place where decisions are disseminated rather than made. They will usually be led by the most senior present who sets the agenda, the content, and the pace of the activities. Meeting structures are not very linear in Bangladesh. There may be an agenda and a starting time, but they only serve as guidelines. Completing a meeting fully takes priority over time and may extend well past any scheduled end time. Meetings may commence with some small talk. Communication is formal and follows a hierarchical structure. Deference to the most senior person in the group is expected. This is especially true when dealing with government officials. One should never let their level of professionalism slip. Casual behaviour may be misinterpreted as a lack of respect. Never lose your temper or show emotion. This may lead to a loss of face which will mean a loss of dignity and respect. The need to avoid a loss of face is also reflected in communication styles. Rather than say no or disappoint people Bangladeshis will phrase sentiments in such as way that it is up to people to read between the lines to understand what is being implied. Phrases such as "we will try", "that may be difficult", or "we will have to give that some though" may really mean "this can't be done". Therefore, it is important to ask questions in several ways so you can be certain what was meant by a vague response. Silence is often used as a communication tool. Many people comment on the lack of smiles in Bangladesh. This has nothing to do with unfriendliness but rather related to the fact that a serious face is believed to demonstrate maturity. The majority of which will be family owned/run.