Social Life in Bangladesh
How most Bangladeshis behave and the expectations for how foreigners must behave
is deeply rooted in the people's Islamic faith. For women traveling to
Bangladesh, it is easiest to travel with their husband, father, or brother.
Single women travelers are looked at oddly and traveling with a man who is not related
or married to you may be considered inappropriate by strict Muslims, but few people
are extremely conservative in Bangladesh. It is also improper for a man to touch
a woman, even holding your spouse's hand or offering to shake the hand of a
person who is of the opposite sex can be considered inappropriate to a conservative
Muslim, but again few Muslims in Bangladesh will take offense to these actions.
Another important issue to be aware of is that Islamic law forbids pork products
and alcohol, however there is little worry about adhering to these rules since neither
is widely available anywhere in Bangladesh. If among
Hindus be sure to avoid eating beef as cattle are considered sacred by the Hindu
faith. Also, when eating be sure to only use your right hand as the left hand is
considered unclean. For more information on dining etiquette in Bangladesh, read
our Bangladesh Food & Drinks Page.
Additionally, avoid sensitive conversation topics, such as politics, finances, religion,
and business unless initiated by your local counterpart. Also try to avoid being
loud, rude, or showing off wealth.