Life in Bangladesh village
If you ever go to Bangladesh exploring local life is the most important "thing to do" on your list. It's because there isn't that much to see as far as touristic stuff goes but experiencing local life is an adventure in itself.
I have been to at least 4 different Bengali villages where visitors don't come simply because they are out of reach and not much to see there but we were visiting Kafhs relatives so I had a privilege to get to know little bit more about the most authentic way of life. I hope you enjoy reading it!
Village people don't have much but they will give you everything they have
Village people are not greedy and if you ask they wouldn't even doubt but give you everything best they have. I recall the evening we arrived to the village, local ladies gathered in their sheltered tent which they call "kitchen" with minimal appliances if any at all and cooked me some traditional sweets.
Ladies made me traditional "Pitha" . Closest description would be - steamed bun with date sugar. They even made date sugar from scratch. Another sweet was deep fried pastry with fresh coconut filling (pictured below). Process of making them pastries seemed to be very long and rather complicated in poor conditions that they have. I was blown away how much time and effort these women have put into cooking so that I can try some of the authentic desserts.
Bengali village is a collective community
In Bengali village everyone knows everyone and there is no such thing as a stranger. People live literally open door lifestyle where you can just come in, say hello and you will be treated like their family member and of course fed.
People who have no bloodline connection, call each other brothers and sisters and again it just goes to show how strong brotherhood relations in Bangladesh are.
Don't get surprised if someone calls you sister even if you are not their sister, it's just the tradition. In Bangladesh people address you by statuses or relationships and not by the names which is a main difference from Europe where we call each other by names.
Using natural resources
Whilst Bangladesh is without a doubt one of the most polluted countries I have ever seen, I also saw a cleaner and different side to Bangladesh when I left the city and went to the village.
Village people use sources from nature when it comes to building their houses and cooking. Traditional village houses are made tin roofed and walls are made of clay. Clay is their soil. For cooking, kitchen the way we understand it doesn't exist such village housing but rather sheltered outside areas with self made "mud ovens" ("Chula" in Bengali language) and to heat those villagers use dry leaves and cow dung.
Important to mention that agriculture and rice production is vital. Bengali person has rice as a main course 3-5 times a day and same everyday. Never gets tired of rice!
Rice and Fish makes you Bengali
""Mache Vate Bengali"
Kafh translated this expression to something like "fish and rice runs through Bengali veins" and I think it is a fair representation because that's what Bengali people love to eat the most. I find it amazing how many different types of rice and fish and vegetable there are in Bangladesh but all are cooked in a similar way. Deep fried in oil, spices, chillies, turmeric, onion and garlic. Flavours are very difficult to describe, you need to go and see it for yourself!
"Plant based" paradise
If you are vegan or vegetarian and wondering what you could possibly eat when in Bangladesh, stay calm, there is loads. I would go as far as to say every possible vegetable is found and grown in Bangladesh that you can think of. From 5 different types of aubergines to black chillies, from fruits that taste something like mango and jack fruit mix to the smallest size bananas you will ever see. As a vegan you will be able to choose from varieties of rice and not so much of potatoes (me being Lithuanian I had to make a note of that :)
My top recommendations for trying: Bel fruit, Sofeda(english Noseberry, Mudapple), mango, jackfruit, fuska(street food snack with chickpeas and veggies served in a corn flour basket).