Friday, December 06, 2013

11 Questions Bangladeshis Are Sick of Hearing

So I was reading an article on questions that Indians are sick of hearing, and I thought what are the questions that we Bangladeshis get asked all the time that royally piss us off. So, without too much thinking, here's my list.

1. Tomar bari koi?

Literally translated as "where's your house" but what it really means is which part of Bangladesh are you from. Because, God forbid we are one of the smallest nations on earth, but the north of Bangladesh can't get along with the south of Bangladesh which doesn't jive with the east of Bangladesh. Somehow, my opinion of you will be based on where you are from, even if you have never lived or been there ever.

2. Bangladesh? Where's that?

This is for the geographically challenged non-Bangladeshi folks (also known as Americans). Seriously, get a world map.

3. Oh yeah, I saw the news. Too bad about the garment workers. Hope your family is OK.

Because, you know, the whole 144 million of us work in garments. And you only hear of us when there's a flood or a building collapse. But, nice of you to be sympathetic anyways. Right before you rush off and buy the sweater on sale at Walmart.

4. So, do you like fish?


Yes. And roshogolla.

5. I love people from India.

I am sure they are very nice people. They did help us out during our independence war. And they always manage to conveniently lose to us in cricket matches recently. But why are you telling me this?

6. I knew this Bangladeshi guy once. His name was Akram. Or was it Aslam? Do you know him?

Sure. We shared a rickshaw together from Dhaka to Toronto.

7. Why are you not married? Or why are you not having kids yet?

Yes, uncle. I am sure if I am not married, I am going to discuss the pros and cons of the situation with you. And I am married, I am going to discuss the minute details of our family planning with you.

8. Beta, news ta lagao to dekhi. Bangladesh-e ajke ki holo.

"Boy, can you put on the news. I want to see what happened today in Bangladesh."


First of all, does ATN Bangla do anything other than show off the latest music video of the channel owner's wife, or news every hour?

And second, it's the same news every day! You could watch a news from last year or yesterday and it would be the same.

Today, in a hartal, the police did a lathi charge. Three men were killed, and twenty has been admitted to Dhaka PG Hospital. Four cars and three buses were set on fire. The Opposition has lambasted the government for heavy handed tactics. The government maintained the Opposition has engaged in looting and arson and their protest was illegal.

On to sports ...

I think I speak for everyone in Bangladesh when our politicians take those expensive foreign trips, "Can you please STAY there? Don't come back, ever!"

And the uncles always discuss politics (as if they are going to bring about some change). If you had to summarize that discussion, it would be:

Haseena = Indiar chamcha
Khaleda = kichu parena

9. I don't know why you guys separated from us Pakistanis. We are the same people. You are just like us.
Too bad Bhutto and Yahya Khan didn't think so.

10. You guys love books. I heard Bengalis love books. And rice. Right?

So? What's wrong with that? Also, see #4. What Bengalis think today, and all that.

11. You are Muslim? Oh, I LOVE shawarma.

Allah sent down the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, so mankind could be guided. That's my belief. Notice the absence of any culinary product on that statement.


Yawar Amin said...

Not a question but I frequently get told my English is 'really good' for a Bangladeshi and it can be pretty irritating. I've decided to tell the next person who tells me that, that my English is actually better than most born and bred Canadians'.

mezba said...

Yawar, I also actually think many of us in the west who are immigrants have a larger vocabulary and speak English better than many born Canadians.

Anonymous said...

I love this! I am still learning a lot about Bangladeshi culture and I don't get the whole how people from certain areas don't get along with each other... :S

But seriously "Tomar bari koi?".

And also - 2,5,6 and 7 are so applicable to Sri Lankans as well! :)

I forgot how much I enjoy reading you!:)

mezba said...

Musings, hope you get back to reading me!