Western & Indian Culture Influencing the Bangladeshi Culture

Culture is the characteristics and knowledge of a particular group of people, encompassing language, religion, cuisine, social habits, music, and arts. Every country has its own culture. Sometimes those cultures are similar to some countries and some are different from other countries. Firstly Western culture is characterized by a host of artistic, philosophic, literary, and legal themes and traditions; the heritage of Celtic, Germanic, Hellenic, Jewish, Slavic, Latin, and other ethnic and linguistic groups, as well as Christianity, which played an important part in the shaping of Western civilization since the beginning of the modern civilization.

Western culture continued to develop with Christianization during the Middle Ages, the reform and modernization triggered by the Renaissance, and with globalization by successive European empires, that spread European ways of life and European educational methods around the world between the 16th and 20th centuries. Nowadays the Western culture is an incredibly broad term used to describe the social norms, belief systems, traditions, customs, values, and so forth that have their origin in Europe or are based on European culture. America, for example, is firmly Western in culture.

From that, western culture is effecting the South Asian countries like Bangladesh in a high range. Secondly India’s links with Bangladesh by civilizational, cultural, social, and economic. There is a spark of past which unites the two countries – a shared history and common heritage, linguistic and cultural ties, passion for music, literature, and the arts. The two nations were strong allies during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971.

From that time India’s cultural impact was always visible in Bangladesh’s culture. Globalization has opened many ways to explore extraneous cultures, and which is also giving Bangladesh an amazing opportunity to know about foreign cultures. Bangladeshi people follow the Western culture as well as shifting gear with the impacts of Indian culture, but as of now they are very keen on learning and practicing both Western & Indian culture. It appears that the men are following the Western culture as the women are getting along with Indian culture over their lifestyle. They are emulating their language, lifestyle, dress, behavior, movies, and music. Bangladesh witnessed a cultural shift during the time of some biggest festivals like Eid and Puja on these past several years.

Western and Indian influence on society

Western culture and Indian culture has always shown its influence on Asian societies. Which is also currently affecting Bangladesh. This could be for multiple reasons like fascination, dreamy autonomy, etc., which are somehow absent in Asian culture. Western culture conveys and promotes the ideas and values of advanced civilization across the people of Asia. Because of western and Indian culture nowadays many social norms are being broken many crimes are also being occurred. The youths of the future are getting highly influenced because of the western and Indian cultural vibes. Moreover, westernization fades away from our religious values.

It is also affecting our mental thinking power and knowledge. Western culture believes in a nuclear family system which is mostly against our Bangladeshi family system. Many families are being broken like getting a divorce because of the thinking and bad effect of western culture on our society. Apart from the Indian culture the Bangladeshi people are getting highly influenced by the Hindi serials portray sexual harassment, eve-teasing, criminal activities which affect the audiences negatively. The Indian dresses, especially the dresses of women are not always considered appreciating in Bangladeshi society. But nowadays, inspired by the Indian fashion industry, audiences of Bangladesh, especially female ones tend to follow their fashion trends.

Negative impacts of Western & Indian culture over Bangladeshi culture:

The western and Indian culture is almost like ruining our all traditional cultural dresses. Western and Indian clothing industry is affecting the traditions of the Bangladeshi culture. For example, in Bangladesh, the traditional dressing is sari, selwarkamij, lungi, Panjabi, and many more traditional dresses. But nowadays not only the western culture but also the Indian culture is also taking over these traditional wearing.

The Indian culture is influencing the people to wear dhuti, kurti, Indian traditional Panjabi. However, today there are lots of people who also wearing more western clothing like jeans, T-shirts, and girls are wearing short skirts tops, etc. In Bangladesh, there is approximately 25% of western clothing. The change of fashion over Bangladesh is now leading to a reduction of the importance of their own culture to many people. This is rising alarmingly nowadays.

1. Diversity over Festivals:

The western and Indian culture is impacting over the Bangladeshi traditional festivals in many ways too. Many people in Bangladesh are greatly celebrating their festivals every year and enjoying those cultural events very much. Today, large numbers of people in Bangladesh are not celebrating their festivals like “Pohela boishakh”, “Book Fair”, “Nobanno Utshob” also so many traditional festivals, but instead, they are celebrating more of western cultures like Christmas or Halloween. Then they are also celebrating many Indian traditional festivals such as Holi, Diwali, etc. in the old Dhaka.

In the Bangladeshi perspective, no boy or girl is allowed to date or hang out with each other openly. However, today in Bangladesh, many youngsters are breaking these laws and are celebrating Valentine’s Day hanging out for late nights. These are threats for the religion and by the side society also. So as the society and the religion has to work on this alarming situation together otherwise also the social norms and etiquettes will breakdown.

2. Diversity over Broadcast:

Then come to the movies and TV serials of Indian broadcasts. Which is creating a negative impact on society. Mostly on the youths and the housewives are getting influenced by these mostly. Apart from showing love and relations, Hindi serials also show many negative aspects such as jealousy, conspiracy, conflicts among family members, extramarital affair, etc. which have a great impact on the psychology of people. Because audiences try to relate these in real life whereas these always don’t occur in real life.

3. Diversity over food:

The Bangladeshi people have welcomed many western & Indian foods such as pizza, burgers, steak tacos, etc. for western influence and pani puri, gulab jamoon, dosa, rajma chawal, and some other street foods but Bangladeshi foods like Panta-Ilish, Pitha, Many types of sweets, Gelabi, curry, etc., are being less popular in the Asian region, nowadays are becoming common in Europe while the western foods are growing stronger and are becoming more popular in the Asian region like Bangladesh. Western and Indian foods contain too much fat and this causing the obesity rate in Bangladeshis to increase.

In Bangladesh, you are not allowed to eat pork or meat widely however, since the western foods have kicked in, many Bangladeshis are no longer respecting their religion and are eating things against their religion. This is causing the value of their religion to decrease and is changing many people’s lifestyles. Today in the Asian region, there are more western restaurants like KFC or Mac Donald’s compared to the cultural restaurants of Bangladesh which are ruining our traditional foods.

4. Diversity of Languages:

Bangladesh is home to about 164.7 million (2017) people speaking about many languages. However, many of these mother tongue languages are beginning to fade away. As usual, to get a good job, you must know the basic language (English) or other additional ones. So many people today are focusing on these languages and are forgetting about their mother tongue and ruining their language. Thus, this is making their religion less important which is a sign of social diversity.

5. Diversity over Lifestyle:

Westernization and Indian culture has changed many people’s lifestyle. Now, there is no particular lifestyle over Bangladesh. Most things have changed like respect to the young ones and elders, the importance of a family, marriage making, clothing, festivals, foods, names, languages and even getting plastic surgery to look more western. People are changing themselves and are trying to adapt like western and Indian people.

Westernization and Indian culture is also reducing the equality of lifestyles over Bangladesh. In the Bangladeshi culture, in order to visit mosques, temples you must have the right clothing although, it is shocking to see that today, there are many teenagers who are dressing as modern people stylish haircuts, jeans, T-shirts, etc. when entering a
Mosque or a temple.

In the Bangladeshi culture, people had respect for the young and elders, however, since the western culture has arrived, the respect had gone and now the behaviors of many people have changed which is a sign of western influence. The Bangladeshi music has changed greatly due to in taking of the western culture. Bangladeshis have their own traditional music and instruments like flute, drums, etc., however, today they are using different instruments like guitars to make their music, and now, Bangladeshi songs sound completely different and are nothing like what they sounded before. Western music is ruining our own cultural music.

Positive impacts of Western & Indian culture over Bangladeshi culture:

The western and Indian culture has impacted on the Bangladeshis in many negative ways. However, it has also influenced some positive signs over Asian countries like Bangladesh in many ways too. For example, it is making people more modern.

1. Adapting with the modernity:

The Bangladeshi culture is a very old culture and is staying the same nevertheless, now the western culture is changing it to become more modern. Today, the western media is now making many people in Bangladesh especially teenagers dressing more modernly like jeans, T-shirts, etc. Modernization has also enabled to increase the economic growth of Bangladesh. The people are adapting to modern vibes in such a quick sensation.

Due to westernization and Indian influence, sanitation and public health have improved greatly over Bangladesh. Many western and as well as Indian doctors have immigrated into Bangladesh and have made medicines that have helped reduce sicknesses, diseases in large parts because health care has become accessible. As well as the local doctors are also getting skilled to get on the run with the western and Indian-doctors.

2. Getting skillful:

The presence of western and Indian traders in Bangladesh has increased the demands for goods and services in Bangladesh. As a result of that, Bangladeshi artisans, craftsmen, and weavers have employed. These artisans and craftsmen have grown in numbers and now the Bangladeshi labor force and become more skilled and handy. They are also getting quite ambitious over their passions and skills over working hard.

People are focusing on many online projects and works. Bangladeshi people are very ambitious if they get the proper platform for doing what they want to do. Besides students of many Universities are also making themselves more skillful so that they can compete with the modern world. They are doing many online courses and making themselves more unique.

3. Increase in Education:

Westernization has also benefited areas of education in Bangladesh. When the British occupied with Bangladesh, they build many schools throughout the country and this made the literacy increase and the poorest class of society had access to knowledge and education. The Indian Books for education is making much easier for the students of all paths to progress on education. It is getting easier to get an education because of western and Indian culture.

4. Modern media system:

Western and Indian culture has created a film industry media in Bangladesh. In America there is an industry named Hollywood, then in India, there is also an industry named Bollywood. For example, in America, Bangladesh now has a famous movie-making media called, ‘Dhollywood’ which came from Hollywood in America. ‘Dhollywood’s’ films now traditionally feature in

Bangladesh, its culture, tradition, and religion. ‘Dhollywood’ is now quiet popular over Bangladesh and many people know about it. So the media over Bangladesh has also developed due to the western culture.

5. Communication system:

Western and Indian culture has brought many new methods to communicate with each other. The Modern Communications Systems provides complete integration services for the elements of the unique system of transit, including signal, traction power, SCADA, Public Address, Access Control, CCTV, and many more. Previously people used to read the newspaper but nowadays people are reading news on laptops, mobile phones, etc. people are getting modern in terms of time.

Telephone, mobile, telegraph, T.V cable, Computer, etc. did come from western and Indian technology. Because of these technologies, our daily lives have been much more delightful. Then comes the social media which is a creation of the westerns. Because of this social media, we can always stay connected with the people we love and care about. So this modern communication system social media made our life much easier to communicate with the world in a freeway.

Impact of western & Indian culture on Bangladeshi youth:

The youth have always been the power and pride of each Asian nation like Bangladesh. They are the soles for the future success for a nation. But because of the western influences, their mindsets of the youths are getting infected and they are nowadays rather thinking about the future they are thinking about their current terms. They all have to be determined to earn success for the future and be patient. But they all are imitating the western thoughts and mindsets.

They are celebrating many western and Indian cultural events respectively like “Valentine’s day”, “Halloween”, and “Hole”, “Diwali” etc. for wasting the crucial times of their life. Then they are also occurring many crimes like- rape, pornography, manners, and simple norms, talking with their parents these are nowadays taking the society on the verge of extinct danger for future improvisation.

So, it is their parents and societies duty to make their sons and daughters aware of these western and Indian influences. Indian soap operas and drama shows influence the younger generation too. Yes, they get to learn about a new culture; which is a very positive side from an educational perspective. But the problem begins when their fertile brains adopt these customs and prefer Indian culture than the native one.

These TV shows bring changes in children’s norms, values, and attitudes. They often quarrel or lie that creates family conflict. And also they get introduced to the illegal or violent side of society at an early age. The most common cause is using the Hindi language which is embarrassing. Children get attracted to Indian fashion and clothing rather than native products. They learn Hindi culture and develop a prejudice against the indigenous culture.

Some massive problems of youths:

  1. Having a relationship with multiple girls makes you cool dude.
  2. Being obedient or sincere to your parents is out of fashion and if you are one you are stupid.
  3. Drinks, smoke, pubs, bar and sex is the only way to enjoy the life.
  4. Women empowerment in wrong direction. Movies depict girls who smoke, drink, roam around with multiple BFs are actually empowered. Obedient/sincere girl towards parents is always shown as stupid girls.
  5. A girl following Bangladeshi culture, not wearing western or Indian cloths is tagged as ‘Khet’ or ‘unsmart’. So if you don’t follow western culture you are an idiot.
  6. Using ‘F’ word in almost all statements is another way of showing off your education.
  7. There is no destination for enjoy in Bangladesh. All the foreign locations are hyped for honeymoon, vacations etc. Bangladesh does have lots of beautiful places, its just we don’t realize (respect) it.
  8. Lots of negative things on Bangladeshi education system. I agree there are few problems, but the bigger problem is in Society mentality which believes in the comparison of own child with some ‘Private Tutor’ child and believe that if he can then own child can also become engineer / doctor etc. Whatever education we have, it has the potential for enabling us to work in any location of the world.
  9. Lots of focus on Live-In relationships. Our personal view is, we are over promoting this as a valid culture.

Concluding Remarks:

Culture is a unique entity of a nation. It expresses the common behavior, norms, values, traditions of a nation. Culture is generally reflected by the architecture, literature, dance, music, art, festivals. Starting from our eating habits to festivals, meetings, and greetings everything is part of the culture. The whole world has been changed, destroyed and redesigned, and to accommodate western culture.

Cultural groups and traditional lifestyles struggle in this new western world. Traditional tribal living has often been replaced by poverty living. One of the most positive points of Western culture is that it had access to science and technology before many other cultures. Western Countries and the Indians also had industrialization before most other countries. Westernization has brought many negative impacts on Bangladeshi culture.

However, it has also brought many benefits as well although, there are more advantages of western and Indian culture compared to the disadvantages. Still, Asian nations should take care of this globalization because, in the future, it will change Bangladeshi culture and destroy its religion, culture, and tradition. So, we all have to be aware of the bad sites and effects of western culture otherwise it will bring massive social diversity.

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