You are on page 1of 44

Executive Summary

Tourism is flourishing sector in any country. Its not different in the Bangladesh also. But
countrys tourism is influenced by the culture of its particular country. Folk culture is a
main and critical element of culture. So as a result we can say easily Tourism, culture and
folk culture are interlinked together. That means improvement or preservation of folk
culture means promotion and development of tourism.

We see Tourism is mostly based on seasonal product. But one thing is, folk culture is not
a seasonal product. As a result to ensure the flow of tourist all over the year, folk culture
is the best way to attract the tourist. To involve the community(community based tourism)
is a best way to improve the folk culture of our country. But to make tourism as a
community based tourism there are some problems. Poor infrastructure and superstructure
are the main problem to improve the rural tourism. Loss of traditional values, Foreign
media imperialism, Change of culture, Placessness, Environmental threats, the overtake of
more popular customs, The influence of political and ideological transformations on folk
culture, Social and economic transformation as a threat to folk culture, Civilization
threats to folk culture, The impact of globalization on folk culture, transmitted more
slowly and on a smaller scale than popular culture these are the main problems. The
government and private organization can come forward to solve these problem. The
solutions are Tapping of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) models for sustenance of
Arts and Crafts, Greater involvement of universities in schemes promoting arts and
culture as well as inclusion of Fine Arts as a subject in universities, Promoting Bangla and
getting it recognized as a UN language, Protection of monuments, Preserving and
properly promoting Bangladeshis rich intangible cultural heritage by inventorying and
documenting oral traditions, indigenous knowledge systems, folklores and tribal and oral
traditions and also extending patronage to various dance forms and other folk dances
besides classical forms, Setting up at least one museum in each district with different
chambers for visual and other forms of art, architecture, science, history and geography
with regional flavor, Enhancing assimilative capabilities in order to adapt to emergent
challenges of globalization and technological innovations, Promoting regional languages,
Making cultural and creative industries work in tandem for growth and employment,
Generating demand for cultural goods and services as a matter of sustenance rather than
patronage, thus bringing out the art and culture sector in the public domain, The
promotion of export of folk cultural goods and services for taking the country in the list of
first 30 countries ranked by UNESCO for export of culture, Recognizing cultural
heritage tourism as an upcoming industry by building cultural resources with an
adaptation of scientific and technological knowledge to local circumstances as well as
forming partnerships between local and global bodies, Making possible the infusion of
knowledge capital in cultural institutions by flexible engagement.
Chapter 01
1.1 Introduction

Bangladesh for centuries has been an rural society and still majority population live on
land. Obviously, its ways of thinking and activities are heavily drawn from the rituals and
seasonal rhythms of rural life. Despite the present trends of urbanization and
globalization, the underlying culture, in both urban and rural communities is folk
oriented. Interestingly, there are remarkable similarities in the folk cultures of the
societies of all parts of the world. The 6-volume Motif Index prepared by the folklorist
Smith Thomson indicates how folk peoples of different countries show the tendencies of
likeness in so many ways. Thus, the peasants of Bengal hang from their roofs a sheaf of
harvested paddy as a symbol of good luck. The peasants of many other countries do the

There are nearly 50 different types of folksongs in Bangladesh like jari, sari, bhatiyali,
bhawaiya, murshidi, marfati, baul, gambhira, kirtan, ghatu, jhumur, bolan, alkap, leto,
gajan, baronmasi, dhamali, patua, sapudekhemta etc. performing arts include jatra, baul,
gambhiraetc presented through singing, dancing and play-acting. Jari dance, sari dance,
lathi (stick) dance, khemta dance and ghatu dance are part of jari songs, sari songs, stick
plays, khemta songs and ghatu songs respectively. All classes of people enjoy these songs
and dances.

There are a number of folk games played indoors and outdoors, some involve heavy
exercise, others are only for relaxation. Ha-do-do is a popular sport and is now recognised
as a international competitive event. People from different social strata enjoy balikhela,
boat race, bauchhi, dariyabandha, gollachhut, nunta, chikka, dangguli, solaghunti, mogal-
pathan, ekkadokka, baurani, kadikhela, ghuntikhela, kanamachhi, kite flying, pigeon
flying, cockfight and bullfight. In some areas of the country, boat race, balikhela and bull-
fight are organised with a great deal of fanfare and music.

1.2 Objectives:
There is a specific objective behind every action. The objective of preparing this
Dissertation paper is to explore the culture of Bangladesh-

1. To know the different aspects of the folk culture in of Bangladesh

2. To reflect know background cultural heritage of Bangladesh
3. To see the influence of culture in our personal, social and national life.
4. To look in to conservation of our folk Culture.
5. To explore and analyze the status of various forms of tribal and folk art & culture;
6. To ascertain the influence of tribal and folk art & culture on the socio-economic
conditions of the subjects covered under survey;
7. To study the intensity of acceptance and popularity of the folk songs and folklores
within the area of operation as well as the adjoining areas;
8. To study the demographic features of the practitioners of tribal and folk art &
culture within the area covered under survey;
9. To study the existing opportunities facilitating the preservation, promotion and
dissemination of tribal and folk art & culture;
10. To trace out the micro as well as macro socio-cultural and socio-economic factors
which are hindering the promotion of tribal and folk art & culture.
11. To examine the role of Government Schemes and Programs, Institutions in
Preservation, Promotion and Dissemination of all forms of Tribal and folk art &
12. To predict logical and strategic mechanism for enhancing the skill of the
practitioners of traditional art & culture;
13. To suggest tenable strategies for enshrining, promoting and propagating tribal and
folk art & culture

1.3 Research Questions

There have been included many questionnaire that used to find out the major answers that
needed for this research.

1. Is the Bengali folk culture surviving in Bangladesh?

2. Why are Bengalis so proud of their culture?

3. How will Bangladeshi folk culture attract the tourist?

4. How will Bangladeshi folk culture develop the tourism sectors?

5. Is Bangladeshi folk culture contributing to promotion of tourist sectors?

6. What are the most popular Bangladeshi traditions?

7. What are the major differences between Bangladeshi folk cultures and our tribal


8. What are the commonalities in Bangladeshi folk cultures?

9. What are some aspects of bangladeshi culture that have been adopted by non-


10. Why do many Bangladeshi women completely disregard the good aspects of folk

cultures, to blindly support all aspects of Bangladeshi folk cultures and tradition..?

11. Are Bangladeshi forgetting their culture?

12. What are the things that make a Bengali happy?

13. Why is the Bangladeshi media against the government?

14. Why do Westerners respect bangladeshi culture more?

15. Can the Bengali language and culture survive in Bangladesh?

16. How have Leviathans been depicted in popular culture?

1.4 Literature Review:
The abundant folklore of present-day Bangladesh, therefore, contains a variety of elements,
which is partly to be explained by historical forces. From the third century A.D. on, the Mouryas,
the Guptas, the Palas, the Senas and the Muslims came one after another to rule the land and they
grafted their ways of life and culture traits on the indigenous population. Subsequently
Portuguese, French and English ships anchored in the harbors of Bengal, and left not only their
merchandise but also their customs. Among these foreign traders, The British became most
powerful and were able to consolidate their authority at the expense of the fading empire of the
Mughal rulers. The battle of Plassey in 1757 ended with the defeat of the Nawab of Bengal.1
This British victory ensured the supremacy of the British East India Company over the entire
Sub-continent including Bengal for nearly two hundred years. As a result the folklore of
Bangladesh will present an interesting variety both anthropological and sociological.

There is no denying the fact that the first phase of folklore collecting was started by the British
rulers of India, though the purpose behind it was obviously political and administrative. As soon
as the British East India Company became ruler of Bengal, it requested the British civil officers
to learn about the people of the land through their traditions and customs. Consequently under
the directives of the company, scholars like William Jones (1746-1794), a judge of the old
Supreme Court, Calcutta, established the Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal in the year 1784. This
Society promoted the study of the humanities, including materials later recognized as folklore,
which were published in the journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal.

Under the British initiative, the study of folklore was advanced primarily by British civil officers
and European missionaries. In order to present the folklore activities of this period, the writer of
this book will discuss these two groups separately.

After the Sepoy Revolution of 1857, we find a more congenial atmosphere in which to
investigate folklore. In 1848. By the proclamation of Queen Victoria, the administration was
transferred from the East India Company to a Viceroy, the representative of the Queen of
England. From then on, the English officials, before leaving England, were instructed to mix
with the Indian people, to try to gain their confidence, and also to respect their religion, culture
and customs. The officers who came to India were clearly familiar with the importance of
anthropology, ethnology and folklore. Such journals and serials were founded as : Indian
Antiquary (Bombay, 1872-1933), The Journal of the Anthropological Society of Bombay
(Calcutta, 1886-1936), North Indian Notes and Queries (1891-1896), the Imperial Gazetteers (26
vols., London, 1892, 1907-9), the District Gazetteers, Journal and Proceedings, Asiatic Society
of Bengal (Calcutta, 1905-) and Man in India (Ranchi, 1942-) etc. All of these publications
recorded an enormous quantity of folkloristic, ethnological and anthropological material.
Additional data on Indian folklore also appeared in non-Indian journals such as Folk-Lore
(London, 1890-), Journal of the American Oriental Society (1843-), American Journal of
Philology, (Baltimore, 1888-), and journal of American Folklore (Bostan, 1888-) many other
native journals. Scholars must examine all these volumes and other journals in local languages
very carefully.

Because of space limitations, we wish to mention here only the contributions of prominent civil
servants and some other important scholars. William Wilson Hunter, then a Commissioner at
Dacca, published his Annals of Rural Bengal in 1868 in London. He was the first scholar to
collect and publish Santal legends. His collection has proved to be of immense anthropological
importance. The Santals, a tribe found in Bangladesh and in the north-east section of India,
engaged such active British ethnologists as Dr. A. Campbell (Santal Folk-tales, Manbhum,
1891), C.H. Bompoas (Folk-lore of SantalParganas, London, 1909), P.O. Bodding (A Chapter of
Santal Folklore, Kristiania, 1924); and (Santal Folk-tales, 3 vols., Oslo, 1925-29). The
importance of the Santals in the study of primitive races is now firmly recognized.

Thomas Herbert Lewin, Deputy Commissioner at Chittagong Hill Tracts, offered an authentic
ethnological survey of tribal people in his The Hill Tracts in Chittagong and the Dwellers
Therein (1869) and the Wild Races of South-Eastern India (London, 1870). He recorded some
myths, creation stories, customs and superstitions directly taken from oral tradition. He
supported his comments with documentary notes and pictures.

D.T. Dalton, Colonel, Bengal Staff Corps and Commissioner at Chuto-Nagpur, published his
Descriptive Ethnology of Bengal under the direction of the Council of the Asiatic Society of
Bengal in 1872. He studied the people of Bengal and presented a number of widespread folktales
and legends. He was the first scholar to publish a comprehensive ethnological history of Bengali

G.H. Damant, another Britisher, who was a Deputy Commissioner in Rangpur, contributed a
series of folktales, legends, charms and myths to the Indian Antiquary. The very first volume of
this journal (1872) contains some well-known tales of North Bengal (Dinajpur) which he
collected. His harvest of twenty-two tales makes him the first major collector of Bengali tales
from Bangladesh. Sir Georgn Grierson (1851-1941) whose love and deep interest for eastern
folklore and language has already become proverbial, arrived in 1973. Ultimately he published
material on 179 languages and 364 dialects of this continent. Because of this scholarship, he
received a Knighthood in 1912 and the Order of Merit in 1928 from the King of England.
Grierson spent 26 years in India. While in charge of Rangpur District, from 1873-1877, he
collected from the peasants folk-rhymes, folksongs and ballads such as the widely known
ManikChandrerGan (the Song of Manik Chandra). After these songs were published in the
Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal (1878), the search for similar songs was carried
out in earnest. In 1898 Grierson was appointed the Superintendent of the Linguistic Survey of
India. The famous Norwegian linguist and folklorist StenKonow assisted him in this work. They
decided that a piece of folklore or some other passages in narrative prose or verse... [should be]
taken down...from the mouth of the speaker on the spot" as a specimen of language of dialect.
Grierson's nineteen volume Survey contains folklore specimens from many languages and
dialects of Indian Sub-continent. Volume V. devoted to the Bengali language, is probably the
most valuable one. Here he cites much folklore material, including ballads, songs and tales.
Grierson is the first major collector of Bengali ballads, songs, and rhymes. His folklore essays
published in the Indian Antiquary andJournal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal still serve
as authentic references. The scholars during this period were greatly influenced by the
establishment of a Folk-Lore Society in London in 1878.

Major Alan Playfair, then a Government officer, who studied the tribal people wrote The Garos
(1909) which gives an excellent account of the Garos, many of whom live in the Mymensingh
District. This valuable contribution to the ethnology of the primitive peoples was one of the
series published under the sponsorship of the Government of Eastern Bengal and Assam. S.A.
Peal was one of the civilians who contributed excellent articles on the River" and Place" names
in 1897 in the Journal of Asiatic Society of Bengal. Mention should also be made of H.
Beveridge, District Magistrate, Bogra, who published excellent articles on the Antiquities
ofBogra in the same journal in 1878. J.D. Anderson's Some Chittagong Proverbs (1897) contains
excellent example of proverbs from the Chittagong area. Mention is needed of William Crooke,
who in hisThe Popular Religion and Folk-Lore of Northern India (2 vols. 1893) gave a scientific
explanation of what is known as folk-cult, folk-religion and folk-rituals. In The Tribes and
Castes of Bengal (2 vols. Calcutta 1891) Herbert H. Risley of the Indian Civil Service applied to
Indian anthropology the methods of systematic research followed by European anthropologists.
This work, besides containing a great deal of anthropological information, included myths,
legends and fictional folktales from Bengal.

Sir F.B. Bradley-Birt, a District Collector of Bengal, compiled Bengal Fairy Tales (London,
1920). This book contains some excellent marchen typical of present-day Bangladesh; although
Birt does not disclose his sources, however, the folklorist can easily identify international tale
types in his collection. Many of these tales will be found in the collections of
DakshinaranjanMitraMajumder, mentioned later.

Along with the civil servants, the missionaries of Great Britain, Europe and the United States
contributed importantly to folklore collection and publication. Since their aim was to preach
Christianity among the natives, it was incumbent on them to know the native customs. Among
the missionaries, the name of William garey deserves special mention. Carey served in Fort
William College from 1800-1831 and with the help of native munshis he published a series of
Bengali books, edited newspapers and encouraged the translation from Sanskrit and Persian of
folktales known in oral traditions.

Reverend James Long was a prolific collector of Bengali proverbs and sayings. His publications
include Three Thousand Bengali Proverbs and Proverbial Sayings Illustrating Native Life and
Feelings among Ryots and Women (1872), Eastern Proverbs and Emblems Illustrating Old Truth
(London, 1881) and Two Thousand Bengali Proverbs (Probad Mala) Illustrating Native Life and
Feelings (1868). Many folk rhymes and charms also have been incorporated among these
proverbs and sayings which were used by later compilers of Bengali rhymes.
The missionaries were followed by such native collectors as KanailalGhosal (ProbadPustaka, A
Book of Proverbs, 1890), DwarakanathBasu (ProbadSongraha, A Book of Proverbs, 1893), and
RajendranathBannerjee (A Collection of Agricultural Sayings in Lower Bengal, 1893).

William McCulloch's Bengali Household Tales (London, 1912) may be regarded as one of the
best folktale collections of Bengal because of its notes and organization. Though the tales were
collected from a Brahmin informant around 1886-87, the book was published in London in 1912
after McCulloch had retired. His notes refer to parallel examples of both literary and oral stories
in other eastern and western collections. It should be noted that the above mentioned writers
were influenced by the English Anthropological School headed by Darwin, Tylor and others.

Lal Behari Day, a native Christian, whose father came from Dacca, published a series of books
and essays on Bengali festivals, holidays sports and games, caste system, village folk and folk
life in Bengal. His Folk-Tales of Bengal (London and Calcutta, 1883), collected from an old
maid, mother of Govinda, created considerable interest among European and American readers.
Many versions of these tales have since been collected in East Bengal. Day's Bengal Peasant's
Life (1874) is a realistic and objective study of folk life. Day influenced a host of writers such as
Kasindranath (Popular Tales of Bengal, 1905), Shovana Devi (Orient Pearls, 1915) and others in
collecting and compiling oral tradition. It was, however, Sarat Chandra Mitra, who made
excellent studies of folklore on the harvest made by former collectors and scholars. He published
nearly 250 articles in various native and foreign journals which have always been referred to
many research publications both in country and abroad. Another prolific writer was Abdul Wali
of Khulna who also cortributed much too various jonrnals including Asiatic and Anthropological
Societies especially on Lalon Shah.

The Second phase of the folklore movement was introduced by Bengali scholars of nationalistic
tendencies. Rabindranath Tagore was the pioneer during this period. From 1885 to 1899, he
published four essays showing the importance of folk-literature. These four essays were
compiled in his book Loka-Sahitya (Folk-Literature) in 1907. Tagore patronized others and he
himself collected a large number of folklore materials from his vast estate in East Bengal. He
himself wrote, when I was at Selaidah, I would always keep close contact with the Bauls (mystic
folksingers) and have discussions with them, and it is a fact that I infused tunes of Baul songs
into many of my own songs." (Folklore, II, Calcutta, 1961, p. 14). Dr. DusanZbavitel, Professor
of Indology in the Oriental Institute of Czechoslovakia, writes: It is my firm belief that without
staying in the countryside for as long as he did, Rabindranath could never have become what he
was, either as a man or a poet. (ibid., p. 14). Critics have commented that Tagore has used
numerous folklore themes in many of his poems, songs, dramas, novels and short stories.
Tagore's example was followed by the leading Bengali journals. BangiyaSahityaParisat, a
Bengali literary society, which was established under his encouragement in 1893. The
SahityaParisat Journal, form the year of its inception (1894), began publishing folklore materials
collected from the various regions now comprising Bangladesh.

The first decade of the present century witnessed a turbulent nationalistic and political agitation,
better known as the Non-Cooperation Movement." British merchandise was boycotted and
homemade products received preference. Traditions and folklore now were acclaimed. Calcutta
University encouraged its professor of Modern Indian Language Dr. Dinesh Chandra Sen, to
collect ballads. Dinesh Chandra, a resident of East Bengal, who read Percy and others ballad
collections, was aware of the rich ballad heritage of Mymenshingh. Chandra Kumar De of
Mymenshingh was appointed to collect ballads from this area, including information about the
singers. Four large volumes of Eastern Bengal ballads: (one Mymensingh) with separate texts in
both Bengali and English, were published from 1923 to1932. These ballads attracted attention all
over the world. His other works, Glimpses of Bengal Life (1915),
PrachinBangalSahityeMusalmanerAbodan (1940: (Contribution of Muslims to Old Bengali
Literature) and especially, Folk-Literature of Bengal (1920) are invaluable. In the latter book, a
comparative study of some Bengali tales with those of Europe he boldly expressed the view that
in India, the highest level of culture was for ages represented by Magadha. Since lower Bengal,
the Banga proper, was an important gateway for enterprising foreign people who traded with
India, one consequence was the circulation of the Jatakas, the birth-stories of Buddha, from
Bengal or more probably Magadha, throughout the countries of Europe and the Middle East.5

Abdul Gafur Siddiqui of Khulna, Abdul Karim SahityaBisarada of Chittagong and Ashraf
Hossain Sahitya-Ratan of Sylhet, all in Bangladesh, collected a considerable amount of folklore
from their own areas and published articles in various popular journals. Scholars are using this
material in comparative studies. The folktale collections by Upendra Kishore Roy Choudhury
and DaksinaranjanMitraMajumder deserve praise. Choudhury's collection of animals tales,
ToontoonirBoi (1910; Book of Toontooni) and Majumder'smarchen and ritual tales Thakur
DadarJhuli (1908; Grandfather's story), Thakur Mar Jhuli (1906; Grandmother's story), Than
DidirThale (1911; Grandmother's bag), DadamoshaerThale (1924; Grandfather's bag) and others
were published during this period. Majumder was probably the first collector to use a
phonograph in field collecting, and all his books faithfully reproduce typical folktales and folk
life in the then east Bengal. JogindraNathSirker'sKhukumanirChara (1902; Folk Rhymes for
Children) in an authentic collection of Bengali rhymes. It is interesting to note that almost all of
these writers used materials found mostly in East Bengal-now Bangladesh.

Mansur Uddin, another prominent folklorist of Bangladesh, took up the task of collecting Baul
songs, which had been started by Tagore. After the publication of the first volume (1939) with
perface form Tagore, in 1942, Calcutta University published his second volume of Hara-Mani
(Lost Gems), which included a few hundred songs. Since then 12 additional volumes of his
collections have been published in Dacca. Jassim Uddin, who started his career as a collections
of folksongs and folktales. He was, however, most famous for his use of folklore themes in
dramas and in poetry. His published folksong collections include RangilaNayerMajhi (The
Boatman of the Green Boat) in 1938. His collection of humorous folktales, published in Bengali
as BangalirHashirGalpa (1960) appeared along with English translation. He also
publishedJarigan (1968) and many other publications. Special mention should be made of Late
Abbas Uddin, a scholar, accomplished singer, and collector of folksongs. His influence in the
contemporary folklore movement of our country is immense. Hundreds of his genuine folksong
records pressed by commercial recording companies sold like hot cakes. Popularly known as the
father of Bengali Folk-songs Abbas Uddin has made folksongs popular and has created a school
of folksingers in Bangladesh. These three scholars, Mansur Uddin, Jassim Uddin and Abbas
Uddin, represented the country at Folklore Conferences held in London, at Indian a University in
Bloomington and the Germany, in past years.

The third phase of the folklore movement was begun in Dacca, then East Bengal, in the year
1938. In that year a conference was held under the auspices of the Eastern Mymensingh-
Literary-Society, at Kishoreganj. Dr. Mohammad Shahidullah, then Chairman of the Department
of Bengali at Dacca University, a lover of folk-tradition, in his presidential address lauded the
great value of folklore study and his remarks were carried by many of the journals and
newspapers of the country. This enthusiasm resulted in the formation of the Eastern Bengal
Folklore Collection Society' at Dacca University. Dr. Shahidullah became its President, and
Asutosh Bhattacharya its Secretary. Chandra Kumar De, a collector of Eastern Bengal Ballads,
SirajuddinKashimpuri, Ashutosh Choudhury and Purna Chandra Bhattacharya, other enthusiastic
collectors, and Jassim Uddin joined their efforts in this project. A.K. FazlulHuq, then Chief
Minister of Bengal, patronized the project and promised substantial monetary support. Shortly,
courses in folklore were included upto the graduate level in Dacca University.

Shahidullah's contribution (a follower of Benfey's Indianist school) was important because he

clearly pointed out that folklore materials pass from one country to another and hence a
comparative outlook was a must. While Dr. Shahidullah showed the international aspect of
folklore, Guru SadayDutt, and inhabitant of Sylhet and late posted in various districts of East
Bengal, as a civilian, contributed a series of articles on folk arts and crafts of Bengali in
international journals. AsutoshBhattachayra'sBangla MangalKayjerItihas (1939) and
BanglarLoka-Sahitya, (1954) are however, prominent works during this period. His books
include much materials from his native East Bengal which he collected while he was residing

Folklore activities was, however, much accelerated when the then Government established The
Bengali Academy in Dacca in 1955 to promote research work on Bengali language and
literature. The council of the Bengali Academy, in its very first meeting made a decision to
promote collecting, preserving and publishing of folklore materials. Sufficient funds were
allocated for this purpose. Circulars were issued all over the country through newspapers, private
organizations and government agencies, requesting that folklore materials be sent to the

A number of folklore collectors were appointed by the Academy to work on the project in the
regions rich in folklore. As a result, folklore materials of high quality poured in an unending
stream. While collecting was thus being established on a systematic basis, the Academy began to
publish folklore collections. The first publication, MomenshahirLoka-Sahitya (Folklore of
Mymensingh), collected and edited by RowshanIzdani, came out in 1957. His book contains
specimens of different genres of folklore material of his native Mymensingh district. Izdani was,
however, a good collector.
In May, 1960, mainly based on the proposal of the present writer, a fresh graduate from the
Indiana University and chief of Culture and Folklore section the Folklore Committee of the
Bengali Academy resolved that the folklore materials collected by the Academy should be edited
by eminent scholars before publication in a scientific method. The Committee decided that each
editor should work with a particular kind of material from a specific region. In the introductory
chapter, the editor was instructed to cover the following points:

1. Information about the field and the informants

2. Social and cultural background of the material

3. Functional use of each genre

4. Typical regional characteristics, if there are any

5. Historical elements, if there are any

6. International circulation, if it can be determined

7. Literary value, etc.

So far the Bengali Academy has published a huge number of books including some in English,
thousands of books may now be compiled from the huge material collected by the Academy.

[Source: Folkloric Bangladesh by Dr. Ashraf Siddiqui]

1.5 Methodology:
The nature of this report is descriptive. Most of the information has been collected from
websites, articles, blogs and books etc. We mostly focused on the secondary information. The
history of the folk culture has been collected from blog and articles. To evaluate the impact of
folk society on tourism, we may have to discuss this topic with some professionals of tourism
industry who is currently working to promote the cultural tourism in our country. We will
describe the background of Bangladeshi folk culture and the types of it. We discussed about folk
songs, folk literatures, folk arts, crafts, proverbs, ballads etc. We will discuss about how we can
represent this folk assets to our tourists without undermining their artwork.

1.6 Significance of the Study:

The folklore of Bangladesh is heavily influenced by different races which were present years
ago. The abundant folklore of the present-day Bangladesh, therefore, contains a variety of
elements, which is partly to be explained by the historical forces.

If one is to make a historical survey of Bengali folklore, covering all branches of formalised
folklore, such as tales, songs, ballads, proverbs, riddles, charms, superstitions, myths, legends
and similar traditional materials, he must be acquainted with social and ethnic conditions of the

Bengali ballads which are called Gatha or Geetika in Bengali are one of the earliest variety of
folksongs. The dates of origin of Bengali ballads will safely go to up to the Middle Ages, if not
earlier. Divergent opinions have been expressed as to the origin of ballads. There are two
contending groups.

There are innumerable varieties of folk songs in the riverine Bangladesh which are sung by
different cultural groups in different parts of the country. The most popular variety of songs can
be divided into many categories.

We see that all the folk songs and stories of Bangladesh inform us about the then society. It
depicts clearly how the people used to think, their customs, and what the principles they used to
follow. Through all the folk materials collected over the years we can learn more about our
country's history and tradition. We learn that Bangladesh has rich cultural and folklore heritage,
which may be compared with any other country of the world rich in folklore. Since folklore has
already been accepted as a social, cultural and ethnic study, Bangladeshi Folklore will also have
a distinct place in the study.
1.7 Summary of finding of the Study
1. Strategic interventions should be engineered to ensure commercial viability of folk art
and culture. This is one of the instrumental ways to empower the tribal/folk performers
from the socio-economic perspective.

2. All possible efforts should be made to sustain the innate beauty, inherent quality and core
ideology of tribal/folk art & cultural forms. This is essential to ensure their exclusive

3. Common public of the broader society should be informed regarding the values, styles,
forms of different folk performing arts .Effective campaign and publicity of these
elements are going to crystallize favorable public attitude and opinion towards folk art
and culture;

4. The pattern of the presentation of these tribal/ folk art and cultural forms should be
modified and strategically altered to make them more vibrant to meet the recreational
demand of the present generation

5. The colleges and universities in corresponding areas should incorporate tribal/folk art &
cultural forms as respective course of studies.

6. Special allowance may be arranged as a scheme under rural development planning for
economically weaker section of folk performers and artisans
Chapter 02
2.1 What is Culture?
Culture encompasses religion, food, what we wear, how we wear it, our language, marriage,
music, what we believe is right or wrong, how we sit at the table, how we greet visitors, how we
behave with loved ones, and a million other things.It is a pattern of responses discovered,
developed, or invented during the group's history of handling problems which arise from
interactions among its members, and between them and their environment. These responses are
considered the correct way to perceive, feel, think, and act, and are passed on to the new
members through immersion and teaching. Culture determines what is acceptable or
unacceptable, important or unimportant, right or wrong, workable or unworkable. It encompasses
all learned and shared, explicit or tacit, assumptions, beliefs, knowledge, norms, and values.

2.2 The Sources and features of the culture of Bangladesh

The cultural background of Bangladesh is diverse. The original inhabitants of this area were pre-
Aryan. After words, they were influenced by Aryan thoughts. Again this culture is influenced by
the ingredients of Muslim culture of Turkey, Arab, Iran and Middle-Asia. Lastly, with the arrival
of the Europeans especially the British, A different cultural trend was set. In this way, in course
of time, our culture gradually developed with the essence of different cultures. If we want to be
introduced to our cultural background, we need to take resort to foreigners. Because of the
climatic condition of Bangladesh, it was not possible to preserve the history of cultural life. So,
we have to find out our cultural entity in the Kamasutra by Batsayan, Brihat Sanghita by Baraha
Mihir, in Chenakya, Kalidas etc.

2.3 Historical Development of the culture of Bangladesh

From historical point of view the culture of Bangladesh can be divided into some categories.

The origin of culture (From Pal Regime to Turkish Conquest):

Australoid, Dravid, Mongoloid and Negrito were the main among the pre-Aryan inhabitants.
Each of these races has its distinctive archaeological and cultural identity. There are difference
between their creed and mode of life. Both matriarchal and patriarchic system prevailed. Their
economic base was dependent on agro-based economic development and cottage industry.

We can get the continuous history of our cultural activities from the reign of Pal Dynasty. Under
the auspices of Pal Kings Bangladesh occupies a glorious place in the international Buddhist
arena through some Buddhist societies and Buddhist Bihar. There are signs of culture and
civilization at Mynamari, Pharpur, Mohasthangar etc. which are the original source of our
cultural heritage.
Culture of Bangladesh in the middle age (Muslim rein):

A new trend started in the culture of Bangladesh in the Middle age with the arrival of the
Muslims. Pirs, Falirs and Dervishes who came from the West influenced the inhabitants of this
land. In the of Muslims, Bengali language and literature flourished greatly. Ramayan and
Mohabharat were translated. Romantic poetry was composed under the auspices of Muslim
Rulers. Most noticeable among these are MymensinghaGitika, GazirGan etc. An Islamic culture
developed after the arrival of the Muslims.

Culture in Modern age :

The Portuguese merchant came to this country first. Then came the Dutch, the French and the
English. When the English came to power, the culture of Bangladesh was under pressure. A new
aristocratic culture evolved under the influence of English language, literature and culture. After
the establishment of FortWilliamCollege, some literary persons like Ram Ram Bose contributed
to Bengali prose. European culture greatly dominated Bengali culture.

Afterwards, during the Pakistani reign the Bengalese started to search for their identity. In doing
so, they discovered their image in the non-communal folk tradition. After the language
movement, a liberal, pragmatic and secular attitude originated.

Classification of the culture of Bangladesh:

There are two main streams of the national culture of a country e.g. Urban culture and folk
culture. Vatican city is a city state. So, there is only urban culture here. But there are three
cultural streams in Bangladesh e.g. urban culture, folk culture and tribal culture. Folk culture is
what has been flourished through centuries focusing the life style of the huge population of rural

Urban culture:

Urban culture evolves in the small purview of urban area from the occupation, dressing,
festivals, communication and production system of the urban people. This culture is delicate,
complex, diverse, dynamic and pompous. It expands and excels in the process of alteration and
transformation through inclusion and exclusion.

Folk culture:

The nature-reliant life style of rural people is mainly traditional, commonplace and slow. The
villagers do not get the opportunity of formal learning. They lead their lives gathering experience
from their ancestors about production, vehicle, machinery, dress-up, foods, rites and rituals,
entertainment etc. The salient features of their culture are simplicity, vividness and candidness.
2.4 Cultural Tourism
Cultural tourism is the subset of tourism concerned with a country or region's culture,
specifically the lifestyle of the people in those geographical areas, the history of those people,
their art, architecture, religion, and other elements that helped shape their way of life. Cultural
tourism includes tourism in urban areas, particularly historic or large cities and their cultural
facilities such as museums and theatres. It can also include tourism in rural areas showcasing the
traditions of indigenous cultural communities, and their values and lifestyle. It is generally
agreed that cultural tourists spend substantially more than standard tourists do. This form of
tourism is also becoming generally more popular throughout the world, and a recent OECD
report has highlighted the role that cultural tourism can play in regional development in different
world regions. Cultural tourism has been defined as 'the movement of persons to cultural
attractions away from their normal place of residence, with the intention to gather new
information and experiences to satisfy their cultural needs'. These cultural needs can include the
solidification of one's own cultural identity, by observing the exotic "other".

2.5 Nature Of The Cultural Tourism

Cultural tourism has been defined as "the movement of persons to cultural attractions away from
their normal place of residence, with the intention to gather new information and experiences to
satisfy their cultural needs" (Richards, 1996). Cultural tourism is that form of tourism whose
object is, among other aims, the discovery of monuments and sites. It exerts on these last a very
positive effect insofar as it contributes - to satisfy its own ends - to their maintenance and
protection. This form of tourism justifies in fact the efforts which said maintenance and
protection demand of the human community because of the socio-cultural and economic benefits
which they bestow on all the populations concerned. Whatever, however, may be its motivations
and the ensuing benefits, cultural tourism cannot be considered separately from the negative,
despoiling or destructive effects which the massive and uncontrolled use of monuments and sites
entails. The respect of the latter, just like the elementary wish to maintain them in a state fit to
allow them to play their role as elements of touristic attraction and of cultural education, implies
the definition and implementation of acceptable standards. In any case, with the future in mind, it
is the respect of the world, cultural and natural heritage which must take precedence over any
other considerations however justified these may be from a social, political or economic point of

2.6 Cultural Tourism In Bangladesh

Cultural tourism includes tourism in urban areas, particularly historic or large cities and their
cultural facilities such as museums and theatres. It can also include tourism in rural areas
showcasing the traditions of indigenous cultural communities (i.e. festivals, rituals), and their
values and lifestyle (OECD, 2009). Bangladesh is an affluent country of culture. Numerous
ethnic groups live in Bangladesh. Each ethnic group has its own culture as well as the national
culture. In this study, the author has studied on the Tribal Culture of Chittagong Hill Tracts and
tourism potentiality of these cultures. These tribal peoples are known as Indigenous people.
There are different indigenous or tribal groups in Chittagong Hill Tracks such as Chakma,
Marma, Tripura, Tan-changa, Pangkhu, Khiang, Khumi, Lusai, Mro. Every year a big number of
tourists visit Chittagong Hill Tracts area for these cultures, natural beauty, tribal festivals etc.
Tribal festivals especially marriage ceremony, bijuutshob, paniutshob, etc. are the main festivals
for which tourists come from different parts of the country as well as the other countries.
Tourists come especially for the cultural festivals. Income of the local people increase when
tourists come to these areas. Tourists are taking part in increasing the standard of living. From
the field survey, the authors have identified that tourists are very much interested about tribal
cultures. Cultural tourism has a great potentiality in Bangladesh. Proper policies and financial
support are required to develop this industry. The Government of Bangladesh can take proper
steps for its development.
Chapter 03
3.1 Folk Culture
Bangladesh for centuries has been an rural society and still majority population live on land.
Obviously, its ways of thinking and activities are heavily drawn from the rituals and seasonal
rhythms of rural life. Despite the present trends of urbanization and globalization, the underlying
culture, in both urban and rural communities is folk oriented.

Interestingly, there are remarkable similarities in the folk cultures of the societies of all parts of
the world. The 6-volume Motif Index prepared by the folklorist Smith Thomson indicates how
folk peoples of different countries show the tendencies of likeness in so many ways. Thus, the
peasants of Bengal hang from their roofs a sheaf of harvested paddy as a symbol of good luck.
The peasants of many other countries do the same.

Folk beliefs tend to be syncretistic taking the elements from all co-existing religions. Take the
example of Hindus and Muslims. There is no doubt that Satyanarayan and Satyapir and
Banadurga and Banabibi are the same pair of sanctified persons. Similarly, there are many fairs
which are attended by the people of both communities. Formerly, Muslims joined the Hindu
rathyatrafairs while Hindus joined the Muslim muharram fairs. Baishakhi fair is now a national
festival. At dewali, the Hindus float lamps and the Muslims do likewise at Muharram
mabgalghat and mabgalpradip were quite shared ceremonies.

Anthropologically, as a nation Babgalis make a mix of Austric, Dravidian, Negrito and

Mongolian races. The Aryan inroads and the Semitic came later, bringing with them a mix of
cultures as well. This mixing and assimilation of cultures are evident in Bangladeshi weddings:
the exchange of rings is European, the food served Turkish or Mughal, but the bride still comes
in a palanquin in some rural places and in cars in cities. However, it is in the ceremonies that
precede the social function that the common folk culture manifests itself most articulately. Both
Hindu and Muslim communities observe the gayehalud (smearing turmeric paste on the bodies
of the bride and the bridegroom), decorate platters and kulas with wedding gifts, give ceremonial
baths to the bride and the bridegroom, welcome the newly-wed couple to their new home and on
their visit to the house of the bride's parents. Living in close proximity for centuries has helped
different rural communities, irrespective of their professions and religious and other beliefs, to
learn to live together in harmony.

There are thirty-two tribes in Bangladesh. In one sense tribal culture belongs to the Folk culture.
But they are regarded as distinctive one because of some difference in several aspects. Tribal
culture is, to a great extent, conservative, stagnant and tradition oriented. They tribes are
remaining where they started from, because they are separated from the outer world and deprived
of education. Instead of coming forward to enjoy modern facilities by mixing with the greater
society, they are rather sticking to the superstition, custom and tradition in the name of keeping
up separate entity.
3.2 Types Of Folk Culture On The Basis Of Subject Matter
On the basis of nature the culture of Bangladesh folk culture is divided into four types

i) Material culture

ii) Formalized culture

iii) Functional culture

iv) Performing culture.

Material culture:

Material culture covers those things which are used by people for leading their lives e.g. houses,
furniture, utensils, vehicles, tools and machinery etc.

Formalized culture:

Formalized culture covers oral folk culture. Paintings belong to this group. The elements of
formalized culture are folk song, folk drama, rhymes, riddles, proverbs, folk tales, gitika,
incantation etc.

Functional culture:

Functional culture covers folk drama, Jatra, dance, games and sports. These are performed by
acting. Baul, Gambhira etc. are presented through the combination of song, dance and acting.
Jary dance is related with Jari song, Sari dance with Sari Song, Lathi dance with Lathi song.
These are the source of recreation for all people.

3.3 Folk Art Of Bangladesh:

Folk art is a traditional art that has been evolved over time through communal practice. This art
combines aestheticism with emotion. Again, this artistic thing meets our daily necessities. Some
folk arts related to rites and rituals are Alpana, Manasa ghat, Mangal Ghat, Laksmir Sara etc.
3.4 Ingredients Of Folk Art
The ingredients of folk art are very ordinary. Different types of crafts are made of locally
abatable ingredients such as wood, cloth, thread, cane, horn, bamboo, conch-shell, jute, sola,
reeds etc. Some precious metals like gold, silvers, brass, tusk etc. are also used. The tools of folk
art are also ordinary

3.5 The Motifs Of Folk Art

Folk art uses traditional motifs reflecting the land and its people. Different forms of folk art tend
to repeat these common motifs. For instance, the lotus, the sun, the cree-of-life, flowery creepers
etc re seen in paintings, embroidery, weaving, carving and engraving, Other common motifs are
fish, elephant, horse, peacock, swastika, circle, waves, temple, mosque etc. Many of these motifs
have symbolical meanings. For example, the fish represents fertility, the sheaf of paddy
prosperity, the lotus purity and the swastika- usually more curvilinear than the Nizi symbol-good


It is a popular folk art associated with Hindu womens observance of religious vratas or vows
such as Laksmivrata, Senjutivrata, Maghmangalvrata. Haricharanvrata and Basudharavrata. Ti is
also drawn on the occasion of Hindu weddings and annaprasan. Common motifs drawn during
weddings include the lotus and creepers. Alpna re drawn at Muslim weddings, especially on the
occasion of the gaye halud. The alpana motifs drawn at Muslim functions are, however, quite
different from those at vratas. On 21st February as well alpanas using floral motifs and geometric
patterns are painted on the roads leading to the shaheed minar.

White paste made of pounded rice is the main raw material for alpala. Depending on the
occasion, brick powder, ash. Water mixed with cow dung. Vermilion and turm paste are also
used. Alpanas for vratas are drawn with a finger or a pices of wood. In uran areas, alpanas are
painted with enamel paints and brushes. Almna motifs do not show realistic details. The
senjutivrataalpana, representing a woman with many children is shown abstract lines. Similarly,
the laksmivrataalpana, representing the godesslaksmis foot, is shown simply as a human

Bamboo craft

Bamboo is used to make houses as well as essential implements for farming and fishing as well
as domestic use. Bamboo is used to make musical instruments such as the ektara and the flue.
Bamboo tenes and partitions are often decorated with floral motifs aie geometric patterns. Fancy
fans made of bamboo depict trees, birds, elephants, flowers and conch-shaped leaves.

Cane craft like bamboo, cane is also used to make a variety of household and fancy product
including furniture. Chairs, stools, sofa sets, bookshelves, baskets, table lamps, partitions and
hookah holds and attractive and affordable. Though less commonly used in urban areas, fancy
mats called NAKSHI APTI (pictorial mat) or sitalpati (cool mat), continue to be in demand both
for their comfort and attractiveness.

Conchshell craft Conch shells are used to make bangles, armlets, rings, lockets, buttons,
hairpins and clips. Vermilion containers, incense holders, ashtrays, table lamps etc are also made
with shells. Despite their primitive technology, the conch-cutters of Shankhari Patti in Dhaka
produce finely crafted articles.

Daruchitra The art of wood engraving is an ancient craft, used for decorating door frames,
pillars, windows, palanquins, boat prows, toys and dolls. The designs are carved out and the
plain surfaces are then painted. Door frames and pillars are painted with creepers, palanquins
with flowers, creepers and geometric patterns, and boats with the swastika, the moon, stars, birds
and fish.

Dewalchitra or wall painting. Images of deities are painted on the walls of mud houses in
northern Bengal in the belief that these images will protect the house and its inmates from evil.
Followers and leaves are painted to beautify the dwelling place. Apart from alpanadesigns
motifs include the swastika, the goddess Laksmi seated on a lotus, the heroes of the PURANAS,
sheaves of paddy, creepers, peacocks and elephants, Seance from the story of RRISHNA or rama
are paintings have also become popular in Dhaka city. Many of these paintings are broken up
into panels painted in different styles of folk art. The boundary wall of the Institute of Fine Arts
which faces KaziNazrul Islam Roas, for example, has acenes drawn in nakshikantha, gazir pat,
and ghatachitra styles.

Gazir Pat a form of scroll paintings, used to illustrate the life of GaziPir, king of tigers painted
in panel form, these illustrations depct various miraculous events associated with GaziPir. One
such panel shows Gazi seated on a tiger with its tail lifted. Gazir pat also includes other scenes
and motifs, such as the goddess Ganga riding the makara a mythological aquatic animal, a cow
being grabbed by a tiger, and Daksin Ray, also regarded as a king of tigers. holding a mallet in
his hand. There are still one or two PATUYAS in Munshiganj andNarsingdi who paint Gazirpat.

Ghatachitra Paintings on earthen pitchers or ghat: There are various types of ghatachitra such as
managalghat, manasahgat, nagaghat, laksmighat, kartikerbhand and daksinrayerbara, the names
being derived from the deity painted on the pitcher. Thus, manasaghats depict MANASA, the
snake goddess, while nagaghats depict hooded snakes. A pitcher with the image of an eight-
headed snake is called astanagaghat. Similarly, pitcher depicting Laksmi, the goddess of
wealth, is called laksmirghat, while a ghat with the image of Daksin Ray, the tiger got, is
known as daksnrayer bra. The manasaghat is a most ornate and popular of this folk genre.

Jute craft Aprat form being the raw manorial for hessian and carpets, jute is also used to make
mats, bags, and hanging string bags or sika, used in homes to hang foodstuff out of the reach of
animals. To make sikas, jute twine is braided and then tied in various patterns such as tearful,
puntiful and takaful. The sikas are given different names such as muthasika, chaksika, kadisika
and nemtasika on the basis of their size, shape and designs Kadisika, for example, is threaded
with cowries.

Karandichitra panel paintings on sola, depicting the goddess Manasa. These paintings are made
on the occasion of Manasa puja. First a karanki, a square frame resembling a temple, is made
with sola and paper. Then bozes are drown at the top and the bottom portryingManasa,
BEHULA, Laksindar, Chard Sadagar, Behulas seven brothers and their wives, a sage,
fishermen, snake charmers, washerwomen, trumpeters and coiled snakes. At the end of the puja,
thekrandi is set afloat on water.

Metal craft Gold and silver ornaments and plates, glasses, pitchers and mugs made of silver and
bell metal have been in use since ancient times. Flower vases, ashtrays, table lamps, containers
for cosmetics, and various decoration pieces are also being made. Various motifs such as
flowers, creepers, birds and geometric patterns are engraved on pitchers, glasses and mugs. Gold
and silver ornaments, to dorn women from head to foot, are made in innumerable designs.
Traditional ornaments include the makaramukhi mal (the makara-faced anklet), an anklet
designed in the shape of the makara. Lockets are designed like flowers, butterflies and geometric
patterns. Ornaments are also set with precious cut stones, gems and pearls.

Nakshi Kantha or embroidered quilt is made and used almost everywhere in Bangladesh.
However, the nakshikanthas of Rajshahi, Jessore, and Faridpurarre most famous for stitchcraft
and picturesque designs. Several lyers of old cloth are put together to make these quilts. Apart
from being used to make pillow cases and covers, rayer mats, seats for puja, small bags for
keeping mirrors and combs, filaf (covers) for books, covers for foods, and dastarkhan or dining
mats. The desings were traditionally drawn free hand by women who worked leisurely in their
spare time. At present much nakshikantha work is done by NGOS and handicraft organizations
for commercial purposes. Common motifs are the lotus, the suff, the moon, stars, leaves, trees,
flowering creepers, human figures, deities, horses, elephants, fish, birds, TAZIAS and rath.
Elaborately embroidered quilts depict scenes from mythology or contemporary life.
Traditionally, threads drawn from sari borders were used. At present embroidery thread is used
or skeins of yarn.

Nakshi moulds Decorative moulds or blocks of varied designs are made with clay, stone or
wood. Wooden blocks are employed to print fabrics using different colours. Moulds of wood,
clay and stone are used to make decorative cakes and sweets. Stone moulds are engraved with
creepers. flowers and fruits. Wooden moulds are made by carpenters, but clay moulds are made
by village women themselves.

Nakshi pitha or decorative cakes are made by shaping dough of pounded rice into various
designs. These are then fried in oil and socked in sugar syrup. Traditional motifs for NAKSHI
PITHA are geometric patterns, wheels, betel leat, flowers in bloom, fish, birds etc. Nakshipithas
are more popular in Dhaka and Mymensingh and are especially made to guests at weddings.

Ornamental wood work A variety of motifs and designs are carved on doors, windows, pillars,
joists, rafters, chests, beds, divans, low seats, cake moulds, cases of musical instruments,
palanquins, chariots, boats and dolls. Common motifs include the lotus, birds, flowery creepers,
circles and geometric designs. The lotus is engraved on doors, beds, chests and low seats;
flowery creepers and geometric patterns on door frames, pillars, bed posts and palanquins;
peacocks and parrots on cases of musical instruments; and lotuses and peacocks on boats. The
Bangladesh National Museum in Dhaka has in its collection an exquisitely carved wooden statue
of woman named sursundari.

Painted masks In many folk festivals, artistes would wear painted masks. In religious dances the
performers would wear masks depicting the faces of the deities. Shivas face. for example, would
be made by dabbing mud on a piece of cloth fixed around a white and black and her tongue red.

Pata chitra of different or scroll paintings by professional artists, known as Patuyas, re used to
illustrate different narratives. These scroll paintings date back to the Buddhist period when
Buddhist bhikkus known as maskari used to spread the message of Buddhism by showing
pictures to illustrate stories of the Buddha. Subsequently, during Hindu rule, these scroll
paintings depicted stories from the Puranas. Many Hindus were converted to Islam after the
Muslim conquest of Bengal in the 13th century. They did not abandon the trade they had learned,
but added Muslim stories to their reperioire. Thus, they continued to paint stories of Krishnalila,
Ramalila, and Manasalila, stories of krishna, Rama nadManasa and at the same time painted
scrolls depicting the deeds of GaziPir and BibiSonabhan and the tragixc events at Karbala.

Pottery Inexpensive household utensils are made of clay as are images of Hindu gods and
goddesses for puja and devotional rites. Dolls, toys, and decoration pieces are also made in most
parts of Bangladesh. Some clay products are decorated with designs of leaves, flowers, birds etc
while others are left plain.

Sakherhandi or clay pots painted with motifs of fish, birds, lotus, leaves and geometric designs
in bold brush strokes. Common colours are red, yellow and green. Both motifs and colours are
symbolic of fertility. Which is why these pots are used to carry gifts of fruit and sweets at
weddings.Rajshahi is well known for these pots.
Sarachitra this large clay plate painted with the image of the goddess Laksmi is also known as
Laksmirsara or Laksmis pat. The plate is first painted white and then the image of the deity,
often shown seated on an owl, is painted in yellow, red, and black. On some lids, she is shown
with Durga, her mother, and Saraswafi, her sister. On other plates she is shown in a panel with
the imates of Radha and Krishna.

Sola craft Sola or sponge wood, obtained from a plant that grows in paddy fields and shallow
water-bodies, is used to make a variety of decorative articles. Traditional articles include back
drops for images of deities and to par, or headgear, for brides and bridegrooms. Topars are
usually decorated with kadam flowers. Other items include dolls, birds: elephants, flowers, boats,
garlands etc. Vaishnavas install sola images of Radha and Krishna on platforms at rasa festivals
and kadam flower are hung in houses in the belief than they bring good luck. Sola hats were
popular during British rule. A sharp knife and a pair of scissors are the main implements for this

Ulki or tattooing is a form of body art using permanent pigments. Men and women of some
Hindu castes tattoo parts of their body for religious reasons, usually with motifs of the sun, birds,
snakes or circles. Vaishnavas tattoo pictures of Radha and Krishna united in an embrace.
Tattooing is done by pricking the juice of kesutia (Eclipta prostate) leaves to obtain a bluish
clour. There are other forms of body painting that are temporary. Bengali brides, both Hindu and
Muslim, have their faces dotted with sandalwood paste. Muslim brides use mehendi or henna to
paint their palms with intricate designs.

Both the housewife painting alpana or stitching a kanthatand the traditional craftsman working in
metal or wood have contributed to the rich folk art of Bengal. Drawing upon traditional motifs as
well as upon the world around them, the produce vibrant pieces of art by using simple raw
materials and humble implements. Whether fulfilling an aesthetic need, performing a religious
duty or pursuing a livelihood, these paid and unpaid lolk artists have made Bangladesh a vast
storehouse of colorful and varied folk arts.

3.6 Other Components Of Folk Culture


There are a number of folk games played indoors and outdoors, some involve heavy exercise,
others are only for relaxation. Ha-do-do is a popular sport and is now recognised as a
international competitive event. People from different social strata enjoy balikhela, boat race,
bauchhi, dariyabandha, gollachhut, nunta, chikka, dangguli, solaghunti, mogal-pathan,
ekkadokka, baurani, kadikhela, ghuntikhela, kanamachhi, kite flying, pigeon flying, cockfight
and bullfight. In some areas of the country, boat race, balikhela and bull-fight are organised with
a great deal of fanfare and music.


Oral literature as well as folk art is regarded as part of the formalised stream of folk culture.
Bangladesh has a rich folk culture which includes folk tales, folk songs, folk ballads, folk plays,
rhymes, riddles, mantras, anecdotes etc. Farmers, cowherds, boatmen, fakirs, ascetics and
professional snake charmers sing folk songs. There are nearly 50 different types of folksongs in
Bangladesh like jari, sari, bhatiyali, bhawaiya, murshidi, marfati, baul, gambhira, kirtan, ghatu,
jhumur, bolan, alkap, leto, gajan, baronmasi, dhamali, patua, sapudekhemta etc. \


There is a popular saying that Bangalis have thirteen festivals in twelve months. Apart from the
Vedic deities, there are popular deities whose celebrations intersperse the routine of daily life.
Many of the celebrations are based on lunar and solar motions as well as on animal and natural
forces. Among these deities are Laksmi, Manasa, shitala, Sasthi, oladevi, Banadurga, Daksinray,
Satyanarayan and Panchu Thakur. Many Muslims too worship pirs and saints such as Satyapir,
Gazipir, Manikpir, Madarpir, KhowazKhizir, Ghorapir, Banabibi, Olabibi and Hawabibi.

Drama in Bangladesh has an old tradition and is very popular. In Dhaka more than a dozen
theater groups have been regularly staging locally written plays as well as those adopted
from famous writers, mainly of European origin. Popular theatre groups are Dhaka Theatre,
NagarikNattyaSampraday and Theatre. In Dhaka, Baily Road area is known as 'Natak Para'
where drama shows are regularly held. Public Library Auditorium and Museum Auditorium
are famous for holding cultural shows. Dhaka University area is a pivotal part of cultural

Classical forms of the sub-continent predominate in Bangladeshi dance. The folk, tribal and
Middle Eastern traits are also common. Among the tribal dances, particularly popular are
Monipuri and Santal. Rural girls are in the habit of dancing that does not require any grammar
or regulations. Bangla songs like jariand shari are presented accompanied with dance of both
male and female performers.

Jatra(Folk Drama) is another vital chapter of Bangalee culture. It depicts mythological
episodes of love and tragedy. Legendary plays of heroism are also popular, particularly in the
rural areas. In near past jatra was the biggest entertainment means for the rural Bangalees and
in that sense for 80% of the population since the same percentage of the population lived in
rural Bangladesh. Now-a-days jatra has been placed in the back seat in the entertainment era.
Gradually western culture is occupying the place of traditional culture like jatra.

Traditional Transportation Means:

There are some transportation means that are parts of culture of Bangladesh. In rural areas Palki
bullock carts, buffalo carts and tomtoms (horse carts) are commonly used. In old Dhaka
once tomtom was a common vehicle and still it is found, though rare. Bicycles are used both
in rural and urban areas. Palki (a box-like vehicle carried on shoulders by six men) is a
wedding transportation means. Brides are carried to the bridegrooms' places by Palki. Being a
land crisscrossed by rivers, Bangladesh has a wide-ranged tradition of ferry transport.
Wooden boat popularly called nawkais a vital means of rural communication. Rickshaw is a
very common vehicle to Bangladeshis.

Bangladeshi women habitually wear Sarees. Jamdani was once world famous for it's most
artistic and expensive ornamental fabric. Moslin, a fine and artistic type of cloth was well-
known worldwide. NaksiKantha, embroidered quilted patchwork cloth produced by the
village women, is still familiar in villages and towns simultaneously. A common hairstyle is
Beni (twisted bun) that Bangalee women are fond of. Traditionally males wear Panjabis,
Fatuas and Pajamas. Hindus wear Dhuty for religious purposes. Now-a-days common dresses
of males are shirts and pants.
Chapter 04
4.1 Role of Folk Tourism in the Socio-Economic Development:

Culture plays an important role in the development of Bangladesh. It represents a set of shared
attitudes, values, goals and practices. Culture and creativity manifest themselves in almost all
economic, social and other activities. A country as diverse as Bangladesh is symbolized by the
plurality of its culture. Bangladesh has one of the worlds largest collections of songs, music,
dance, theatre, folk traditions, performing arts, rites and rituals, paintings and writings that are
known, as the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of humanity. In order to preserve these
elements, the Ministry of Culture implements a number of schemes and programs aimed at
providing financial support to individuals, groups and cultural organizations engaged in
performing, visual and literary arts etc. Tourism is the second largest foreign exchange earner in
Bangladesh. The tourism industry employs a large number of people, both skilled and unskilled.
There are historical monuments, beaches, places of religious interests, hill resorts, etc.

Similarly folk tourism is also playing a major role in development of the economic growth of the
particular region .Every region is identified with its handicraft, fairs, folk dances, music and its
people. Tourism involves cultural exchanges and results in cultural enrichment of those who
travel as well as those at the receiving end. Cultural factors attract tourists to destination-
architecture, sculpture, painting, historical monuments and birthplaces of famous people- are
often visited by tourists. Culture is tourisms main attraction without culture to make the
difference, every place would seem bluntly the same. World Heritage Sites are nothing but
cultural sites. It can also include tourism in rural areas showcasing the traditions of indigenous
cultural communities (i.e., festivals, rituals), and their values and lifestyle. It is generally agreed
that cultural tourists spend substantially more than standard tourists do. This form of tourism is
also becoming immensely popular throughout the world and a recent OECD report has
highlighted the role that cultural tourism can play in regional development across the globe.
Cultural tourism has been defined as the movement of persons to cultural attractions, away from
their normal place of residence, with the intention to gather new information and experiences to
satisfy theircultural needs. Cultural tourism may also be defined as special interest holidays,
essentiallymotivated by cultural interests such as trips and visits to historical sites and
monuments, museums and galleries, artistic performances and festivals as well as life Folk
culture of Bangladesh has helped in the growth and diversification of the Bangladeshs tourism
industry - yet it is still largely an untapped segment. Folk culture tourism fosters community skill
empowerment whilst safeguarding intangible cultural heritage. Though this segment of tourism
brings with it the impacts of commoditization of culture and creation of pseudo culture, yet it can
be consider done of the most environment-friendly forms of tourism if we have a pro-poor and
responsible approach towards planning it. Because we have to keep in mind that, in the modern
age of touristification, folk culture is being used towards meeting consumption ends, therefore
their intrinsic characteristics are increasingly getting lost as destinations serve as an answer to the
tourists expectations of the experiences which they wish to live.

4.2 Positive Impacts of Folk Culture in Tourism:

Folk tourism is not just about sightseeing and entertainment but also an agent of economic
development of the country which generate revenue generation. It plays a very significant role in
accelerating the pace of economic development by generating employment opportunities,
enhancing social progress and strengthening communities, encouraging the protection of
environment and contributing actively to conservation. Some positive impacts of folk culture in
tourism are discussed below:

Preservation of Society Culture

Many intangible cultural heritage of Bangladesh such as the visual and performing arts, crafts,
traditional dress, ceremonies, architecture and life styles are being technologically developed,
interpreted and managed. These are also significant aspects of the cultural heritage of a particular
area of Bangladesh, which are being preserved for the benefit of residents. In many places,
cultural traditions are being lost because of the influences of modern development generally.
Cultural tourism based on intangible heritages can be an important vehicle for revitalizing and
conserving, often on a selective basis, these cultural traditions because they are attractions for
Benefits of Local Communities:

Visual arts and crafts are important attractions for tourists and can be a source of income for
residence of the tourism areas including people living in village and rural areas. For the
authenticity of local arts and crafts, these arts reflect local designs, materials and craft skills. The
whole Bangladesh is famous for arts and crafts. Bangladesh has developed some special areas
like Dhamrai, Comilla, Sonargaon, Rajshahi, which are famous for local arts and crafts.
Therefore, government may be taken some institutional measures for developing and marketing
different sorts of visual arts and crafts. Local communities of these areas may also directly and
indirectly be involved in these activities for their benefit.

Presentation of Folk Arts And Crafts:

Cultural tourism can also provide a market for the contemporary art of paintings and sculpture
that are well developed in many places, often through university educational programs of
Bangladesh. Contemporary arts are being sold to tourists at art galleries located independently or
in hotels and at special exhibits. Various sorts of arts and crafts exhibitions may regularly be held
in different galleries, hotels, and motels of Bangladesh.

Increasing Awareness of the Site or Area's Significance:

Intangible heritage is of vital importance to local communities. It is the community's soul which
unites its members, forms their character, demonstrates their achievements, differentiates them
from others and keeps their uniqueness. Intangible heritage is an inseparable part of community
identity and cultural heritage, and is the way of transmitting knowledge to younger generation.

Less Seasonal, Can Extend the Tourism Season:

Tourism industry is largely dominated by seasonality. If we promote the folk culture to our
domestic and international tourists, seasonality wont become a big issue then. We can make
tourism package based on the folk festival or folk culture introduction. Elements of folk are
available all the time. So, this will be a great idea to minimize the effect of seasonality.

Building Institutional Infrastructure:

Tourism certainly increases awareness among local people those are not involved in their
traditional arts & crafts business. By building some institutional infrastructure, tourism keeps
these cultural components alive (Witt, 1991). The Renaissance in Indian arts due to tourism is
familiar to many scholars from the case study of Deitch(1989; cited in Page and Getz, 1997).
Here another example is presented. Counterpart International, a non-profit organization through
Community Tourism Alliance project during 2006-2012 has protected the powerful hundred
years Maya culture by co-managing and co-conserving approach. It has empowered women
throughentrepreneurship development in various folk art and carvings and pottering goods. Later
it has developed modern advertising materials and broadcasted around the world, and organized
trade fair to attract tourists. Now the community is saying, they feel proud of their culture as it is
found around the world on their crafts (Snyder, 2012). But during this intervention due to the
very business of women, family conflict and divorce rate were also increased there (Nzama,

Motivating Collectivism:

Through social contact individuals in some cases leave the self-driven position to cooperation. It
is true that understanding amongst hosts and visitors decrease misguided judgments and
separation. Social contact additionally constructs companionships amongst hosts and visitors,
who utilize positive informal exchange about hosts in the wake of returning home.

4.3 Negative Impacts of Folk Culture in Tourism:

Acculturation Effects:

Acculturation is a process of adaptation and adjustment. When local people entertain tourists,
they adapt tourists needs, attitudes and values and ultimately start following them. This often
happens in a less sophisticated society where, stronger culture dominates the weaker. But, the
diffusion of innovation of cultural components in a social framework depends on compatibility,
advantage, and complexity of the cultural objects (Lew, in press). Particularly, the youth are
vulnerable to this impact and women are ahead of their male counterpart in this regard. By
following tourists lifestyle young people bring changes in the material goods they use and in
their gestures and postures.

There are someother factors like easy access to foreign movies, dress, and communication
vehicles also cause this impact. Tourism should be acclaimed here because tourists gave idea,
education, and modern facilities, which brought youngsters, out of superstition to freedom in
work and men and women relationships

Hybrid Culture:

Hybrid culture means borrowing artificial elements and adding them to traditional dance, music,
events and activities; serving hybrid cuisine instead of traditional salads and three course meals
instead of appetizers in the evening show; and opening bar and disco. Despite their cultural loss,
local people are feeling happy due to their best life and wealth. They feel tourists provide them
benefits not the local people so they have to satisfy tourists.

Cultural Commodification:

Cultural commodification results in the transformation of value-from sacred to profane and from
real to the unauthentic. Probably one of the best examples of commodification is found in a case
study of Greenwood (1989) in Spain, who exemplifies commodification as a ritual that is sold for
money in an exhibition by altering or even destroying original meaning to outsiders. In this
regard, Cole (2007) summarizes that tourism collect various cultural components and then
sometimes add something artificial to make it eye catching then package and sell it to tourists.
Menon (1993) found that in Jaisalmer in India the local arts and crafts are not completely
produced in alocal village with local stone instead, potters use materials of another territory to
make goods glossy to attracttourists. He added that the colorful photography of womens body of
the decent monuments in advertisingmaterials, attracts erotic sculpture to tourists, not the
religious value. But at the end, he said communication development, poor economic conditions,
job opportunity, cost efficiency focus of the craftsmen, and the economic multiplier effect in the
policy maker's mind also contribute to this damage. Since, it is really hard to distinguish between
the primary and secondary influences in a destination, where multiple effects present (Shephered,
2002), so, better to say tourism alone cant change or keep culture.
Implementation of the following strategies may help in the process of preservation of folk
culture and thus Tourism:

Tapping of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) models for sustenance of Arts and Crafts.

Greater involvement of universities in schemes promoting arts and culture as well as

inclusion of Fine Arts as a subject in universities.

Promoting Bangla and getting it recognized as a UN language.

Protection of monuments

Preserving and properly promoting Bangladeshis rich intangible cultural heritage by

inventorying and documenting oral traditions, indigenous knowledge systems, folklores
and tribal and oral traditions and also extending patronage to various dance forms and
other folk dances besides classical forms.

Setting up at least one museum in each district with different chambers for visual and
other forms of art, architecture, science, history and geography with regional flavor.

Enhancing assimilative capabilities in order to adapt to emergent challenges of

globalization and technological innovations.

Promoting regional languages

Making cultural and creative industries work in tandem for growth and employment.

Generating demand for cultural goods and services as a matter of sustenance rather than
patronage, thus bringing out the art and culture sector in the public domain.

The promotion of export of folk cultural goods and services for taking the country in the
list of first 30 countries ranked by UNESCO for export of culture.

Recognizing cultural heritage tourism as an upcoming industry by building cultural

resources with an adaptation of scientific and technological knowledge to local
circumstances as well as forming partnerships between local and global bodies.

Making possible the infusion of knowledge capital in cultural institutions by flexible

Develop Folk Cultural Policy:
Folk Culture policy is the government actions, laws and programs that regulate, protect,
encourage and financially (or otherwise) support activities related to the arts and creative sectors,
such as painting, sculpture, music, literature, and filmmaking, among others and culture, which
may involve activities related to language, heritage and diversity. The idea of cultural policy was
developed at UNESCO in the 1960s

Folk Cultural policy can be done at a nation-state level, at a sub-national level at a regional level
or at a municipal level. Examples of cultural policy-making at the nation-state level could
include anything from funding music education or theatre programs at little to no cost, to hosting
corporate-sponsored art exhibitions in a government museum, to establishing legal tax
designation for not-for-profit enterprises and creating political institutions, arts granting councils,
and cultural institutions such as galleries and museums. Similar significant organizations in the
Bangladesh include the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and Bangladesh Porjoton

Throughout much of the twentieth century, many of the activities that compose cultural policy in
the 2010s were governed under the title of "arts policy". Arts policy includes direct funding to
artists, creators and art institutions and indirect funding to artists and arts institutions through the
tax system (e.g., by making donations to arts charities tax deductible). However, as Kevin
Mulcahy has observed, "cultural policy encompasses a much broader array of activities than
were addressed under arts policy. Whereas arts policy was effectively limited to addressing
aesthetic concerns (e.g., funding art galleries and opera houses), the significance of the
transformation to cultural policy can be observed in its demonstrable emphases on cultural
identity, valorization of indignity (Indigenous people's culture) and analyses of historical
dynamics (such as hegemony and colonialism). A general trend in Western industrialized nations
is a shift, since the 1970s and 1980s, away from solely supporting a small number of relatively
elite, professionalized art forms and institutions (e.g., Classical music, painting, sculpture, art
galleries) to also supporting amateur and community cultural and creative activities
(e.g., community theatre) and cultural forms which were not considered part of the Western
canon by previous generations (e.g., traditional music such as blues, World music, and so on).

Art policy
Arts policy measures to promote support and protect the arts, artists and arts institutions. Arts
policy initiatives generally had two aims: supporting excellence in the arts and broadening access
to the arts by citizens. An example of an arts policy initiative that supports excellence would be a
government grant program which provides funding to the highest-achieving artists in the
country. A concrete example would be a literary prize of 100,000 for the best fiction authors
from the country, as selected by a panel of top experts. An example of an arts policy initiative
that aims at increasing access to the arts would be a music in the schools program funded by the
government. A concrete example would be a program which funded an orchestra or jazz
quartet and paid them to play free concerts in elementary schools. This would enable children
from lower- and middle-income families to hear live music.

The two goals, supporting excellence and broadening access, are often trade-offs, as any increase
in emphasis on one policy objective typically has an adverse effect on the other goal. To give an
example, if a hypothetical country has a $12 million per year grant program for orchestras in the
country, if the government focuses on the goal of supporting musical excellence, it may decide to
provide $4 million per year to the three top orchestras in the country, as determined by a panel of
independent professional music critics, conductors and music professors. This decision would
strongly support the goal of enhancing excellence, as funding would only go to the top musical
groups. However, this approach would only enable citizens in three cities to have access to
professional orchestras.

On the other hand, if the government was focusing on broadening access to symphony concerts,
it might direct the independent panel to pick 12 orchestras in the country, with the stipulation
that only one orchestra per city be selected. By proving $1 million per year to 12 orchestras in 12
cities, this would enable citizens from 12 cities in the country to see live orchestra shows.
However, by funding 12 orchestras, this would mean that funding would go to ensembles that do
not meet the highest standards of excellence. Thus, excellence and broadening access are often

Development of Folk culture in Education:

The national and state government of Bangladesh needs to encourage historians to document the
history and indigenous Folk culture of the state. The education on the Folk culture of Bangladesh
must go hand in hand with excursions. Youths should be encouraged to learn the communitys
indigenous culture and visit historical places of interest in order to acquaint themselves with the
rich culture of the state. The youth in the various educational institutions can also organize
cultural festivals and displays during anniversaries, entertainment and on important occasions.
Libraries and museums disseminate information and cultural heritage resources. The upkeep and
maintenance of museums and archaeological sites will considerably improve with the
introduction of modern technology. At least one museum should be set up in each district with
different chambers for visual and other forms of art, architecture, science, history and geography
with regional flavor.
Digital Preservation

Digitization converts materials from formats that can be read by people (analog) to a format that
can be read only by machines (digital), such as read-only scanner, digital cameras, planetary
cameras and a number of other devices which can be used to digitize cultural heritage materials
(Jones, 2001). The primary, and usually the most obvious, advantage of digitization is that it
enables greater access to collections of all types. All manner of materials can be digitized and
delivered in electronic formats and the focus of the contents that are selected for digitization
varies across institutions (Hughes, 2004). Mulrenin and Geser (2001) concurs that the conversion
into bits and bytes opens up a completely new dimension of reaching traditional and new
audiences by providing access to cultural heritage resources in ways unimaginable a decade ago.
Bradley (2005) argues that libraries, museums and other cultural institutions are committing
increasing amounts of time and money to digitization in order to improve access to their

In a plea for the development of digitization skills in existing staff, Jones (2001) maintained that:

Digital projects require new skills. Project planning should allow new technologies, even if an
outside vendor completes a project or a new staff is hired specifically to work on a digital
project, permanent. Staff should at least learn the basic theories and practices of digitization.
Institutions often hire short-term staff for digitization projects which can result in the loss of
digital expertise when the project ends.

A similar concern was shown by Mulrenin and Geser (2001) when they observed that cultural
institutions should place high priority on their human resources development, set measures to
speed up the transfer cum integration of knowledge into professional training and develop
special courses for key areas such as digital management and preservation. Along similar lines,
the National Initiative for a Networked Cultural Heritage (NINCH) in 2002 remarked that
existing library and curatorial staff are rarely involved in digitization to any significant degree,
except in digital photography and metadata creation.

Jones (2001) identified the benefits of digital access for collections as follows:
Easy to be viewed from anywhere, at any time of the day.
Can be readily printed from the web
Viewers can find what they are looking for quickly and independently.
Save staff reference time by answering frequently asked questions on the web.
Electronically enhanced images can be viewed with greater legibility
Increased use of collections and facilitated learning and scholarship.
The preservation benefits for collections include:
Objects do not have to be reshelved or located by staff.
Objects are not handled frequently thereby reducing wear and tear.


Films, television and radio broadcasts are other powerful means that can influence folk culture.
Media can travel into the most remote villages and unearth the traditional practices, celebrations,
martial arts and present them forcefully and creatively to the entire people. Promotion of people
as cultural brand ambassadors, building influence through the local vernacular media, an
improved media strategy that promotes cultural content and supports cultural projects with less
or no commercial value can also help preserve and promote culture. In addition, for any
community to be able to preserve its culture, its people must have pride in their culture.
However, if western culture is appreciated more than the indigenous ones, the cultural heritage of
the country would undoubtedly go into oblivion. Hence, it is important that, the press and
opinion leaders in the country intensify the drive to project the countrys rich cultural heritage, in
order for the public to accept them
Chapter 05

5.1 Threats to folk culture

Loss of traditional values

Foreign media imperialism
Change of culture
Environmental threats
Overtake of more popular customs.
The influence of political and ideological transformations on folk culture
Social and economic transformation as a threat to folk culture
Civilizational threats to folk culture
The impact of globalization on folk culture
Transmitted more slowly and on a smaller scale than popular culture.

The influence of political and ideological transformations on folk culture

One of the factors having strong impact on the condition of folk culture is intolerance of some
ethnic groups to different ones, instigated by nationalist policies. Cultural, religious, national
and political intolerance result from misunderstanding between people of different identities,
formed by denying other people their right to be different. These lead to mutual resentments,
accusations, hostility and hatred. In this way nationalism, chauvinism and religious
fundamentalism are born. Such political tendencies are principal foes to the variety of
traditional folklore, national culture and religious diversity.

Social and economic transformation as a threat to folk culture

Folk culture has always been closely bound with natural rural life. Social and economic
changes in the village (technological progress, migrations, the spread of schooling,
industrialization) have become intensified since the end of the 19th century, causing gradual
decline of folk culture. In the new free-market conditions culture has become a commercial
product, which cannot compete with modern mass culture. Consequences of the restructuring of
rural economy are pauperization of villagers and their migration (especially of youth ones) to
cities or to other countries. Stable traditional and natural ethnic bonds as well as family bonds
or neighborhood relations, which used to lie at the roots of folk culture, have become shattered.
Civilizational threats to folk culture

Contemporary civilization changes, which is an obvious thing, result from a ever-greater pace
of scientific and technological development which, in turn, causes accelerated processes of
industrialization and urbanization, creation of new types of energy for contemporary industry,
development of a new-generation electronics and their use to improve communication among
people. These changes are being conducted deliberately and consciously to serve well to the
benefit of the contemporary man, satisfying his needs and ambitions.

Unfortunately, though, the development of contemporary civilization has been eliciting more
and more side effects, brought about by man either unintentionally or quite knowingly, which is
unpardonable and shows lack of responsibility for the present and future generations of our
globe. Besides the above-mentioned threats there are many symptoms of mans reckless
interference with the complex structure of the natural environment. By destroying our natural
environment we do harm to the natural source from which traditional folklore has arisen and
developed. And when the background is gone, the carriers of folk culture disappear and finally
the folk culture is gone as well. As a result of changes in civilization, the family, being the
principal agent of cultural education, has been undergoing a process of gradual disintegration,
losing this way its influence in this area. Moral norms, regulating peoples natural relations and
sanctioned by folk culture traditions, cease to be valued. Social pathology like alcoholism and
drug abuse, prostitution, larceny and terrorism take over everywhere at a quick pace.

The impact of globalization on folk culture

The globalization of popular culture is the main reason folk culture has been diminishing, and
could continue at a steep rate. The diffusion of pop culture may threaten the survival of folk
culture. On the doorstep to the 3rd millennium the process of globalization of all walks of life:
economic, political and social, has been speeding up. The global network of satellite
communication has become the main transmitter of the uniformed mass culture. The audio and
video market have a similar world-wide range. The world has become a global village. The
globalization processes contribute to a degradation of peoples natural environment: family,
living and working place, religious and cultural communities. This leads to unfavorable
conditions like: limitation of sovereignty of small nations; liquidation of national minorities;
impairment of the sense of national and cultural identity; obliteration of the rich and varied
national and folk lifestyles. There appears a global, standard, uniform lifestyle, submitted to the
relentless economic processes, full of psychic tensions, stress, civilization-caused diseases,
primitive behavior, and often even moral degeneration.

What attitude should we take towards the impact of globalization on folk culture? Should we
stand up on barricades together with those who protest against globalization or instead look for
a better place for folk culture in the modern, globalized world?

The above considerations attempt at showing that the close of the second millennium of folk
culture in Bangladesh has been a period of its constant degradation and destruction. Activities
undertaken by UNESCO and other non-governmental organizations, as well as by some
governments, to prevent the above-mentioned degradation are not sufficient yet, in spite of all
their efforts.

Foreign media imperialism

Control of media
Values in those countries (Western values) may not present values of Bangladesh
And may be offensive or inflammatory

Change of culture
Cultures change and adopt new traits from other groups
New ideas for popular culture often come from folk culture

Relocation Diffusion
Migrating populations adopt the cultural traits of the receiving society
Receiving society adopts certain traits from the migration population as well

Loss of Traditional Values

Folk culture is very important but is in risk of being lost due to the overtake of more popular
customs. For example, we are losing the original idea of clothing and the original idea of roles of
women. The ideas of women are changing. In folk culture, it is expected of a woman to be caring
to the children and serving a man. Now, popular culture convinces us that women must be
independent. For example, a stay-at home mom is now frowned upon for not reaching a women's
"full potential." As the roles of women change, so does the clothing they wear. Some religions
look down at clothing of popular culture. They support continuing to wear folk clothes. One
example of this is Fundamentalist Muslim and their encouragement of women wearing black

Media is a Threat to Traditional Values. Television and radio broadcasts, and other news media
are controlled and monopolized by the government. Some shows present new ideas to replace
old values, but some places are more strict in what they are allowed to air.
5.2 Suggestion about folk culture in the development and
promotion of tourism in Bangladesh:
BPC should initiate and offer seminars and training programs with other tour operators to
promote folk culture, train tourist guides and develop promotional plan.
The condition of folk culture of Bangladesh is not so good. So Government should take
necessary steps to save and protect folk culture as early as possible.
Build up public awareness through education for our national heritage.
Government should take necessary steps for publicity.
The elements of the folk culture should be concerned from any sort of distortion
Steps should be taken at Government level to conserve the endangered elements of folk
Authority and the private organization should also take steps to protect folk culture.
The media also played a vital role to make the local people conscious about folk culture.
Regional language should be preserved.
National heritage of Bangladesh should be preserved.
The importance of folk culture should be included in the text book so that the students
can understand the significance of folk culture.
University students also play a vital role in the development and promotion of folk
Students can make the local people aware so that they can save and protect folk culture.
The Government should take necessary steps so that the foreign tourists come to our
country to enjoy the folk culture.
Different promotional activities should also be taken to attract foreign tourists.
Make the local people interested so that they can accept foreign tourists.
Ensure the effective security system for the tourists so that they can easily move one
place to another.
To reduce accommodation problem, more hotel and motel need to be established in
different strategically and culturally important locations.
To overcome transportation problem special bus service need to be introduced for the
tourists and Government can extend the train line wherever possible.
Tour operator should introduce attractive packages for the local as well as international
The qualitative value of the folk elements should be enhanced.

5.3 Conclusion
The introduction or picture of a nation is found in its culture. If the culture collapses, the nation
will be identified less. So every nation should protect or preserve culture for its existence. For
centuries Bangladesh has been an agricultural society. So, its folk culture is based on the rituals
and rhythms of rural life. Despite the trends of urbanization and globalization our culture of both
the urban and rural communities are folk oriented.

Both our practical and cultural life are based on Australoid and Drabid Society. But there is no
documentary history where we can get the depiction of their times and culture. On the basis of
different information we can come to conclusion that our lifestyle has been influenced by the
arrival and permanent living at different nations in course of time, the amalgamation of different
lifestyle have led to a distinctive cultural trend. The development of culture is not possible
without tradition. The mode of life for a long period of time builds up the foundation of culture.
Basically, culture is tradition.

The folklore culture of Bangles is now on the way of ruin. So it is the duty of every citizen
nurture it and to prepare it. If we can protect our folk one culture, the nation will find her
existence very easily, if is impossible to reflect all the folk one culture of within this very short
line. We hope, it will be fulfill at the hand of extraordinary expert in the course of him.

The elements of folk culture are tremendously influence the tourism in Bangladesh. So research say that
elements of folk culture directly influence the tourists to come to see the particular countrys folk culture.
The improvement and promotion of folk culture means we are promoting our countrys tourism. Though
there are lot of problems in the development of folk culture but the government can take many steps to
overcome these problems and preserve the folk culture and thus improve the tourism.

5.4 References:
1. Csap. The Role and Importance of Cultural Tourismin Modern Tourism Industry
2. Grabowska (2013). Folk Culture Resources As A Component Of Tourism Space
3. Howlader, Md. ZiaulHaque. Development of Intangible Cultural Heritage Tourism:
Community Involvement and Benefit
4. OECD (2009). The Impact of Culture on Tourism
5. Shahzalal. Positive and Negative Impacts of Tourism on Culture: A CriticalReview of
Examples from the Contemporary Literature
6. Ogden, S. (Ed.) (1994). Preservation of library & archival materials: A manual. Northeast
Document Conservation Centre.
8. Banglapedia (
9. Dr. Ashraf Siddiqui (1976), Folkloric Bangladesh
21. The Planning Commission Documentations for the development or youth affairs, sports,
art and culture