BANGLADESH: WHERE IN THE WORLD?
Linda Appel Lipsius
Co-Founder & CEO
Teatulia 100% Organic Single Garden Teas
All Teatulia Teas come from our tea garden in Bangladesh.
When I tell people that our teas come from Bangladesh, 8 out of 10 times, they inevitably follow up by asking me where in India our tea garden is.
Bangladesh is a country.
India is a country.
Since 1971, Bangladesh and India are not the same country.
Here are some facts about Bangladesh:
- Capital: Dhaka
- Language: Bangla, a derivative of Sanskrit
- Currency: Taka (appx 70 Taka to the US Dollar)
- Population: Approximately 160 million (7th most populous country in the world)
- Equivalent Land Mass US: Iowa
- Bordered by: India to the West, North and North East / Burma to the South East
I’ve just spent two weeks visiting our tea garden in the Tetulia region in the North of Bangladesh. It was an amazing trip. Bangladesh is an incredible country.
The last time I visited Bangladesh was in 2002 for my friend and business partner’s wedding. It was a week-long affair filled with turmeric, ceremony, saris, food and tradition. I was spellbound.
Dhaka is the most congested metropolis I’ve ever seen. It can literally take a half hour to drive 1 mile during a jam (a traffic jam). The streets are packed with vehicles of all types – cars, busses, tuk-tuks and the famous, beautifully decorated rickshaws (see photo) in addition to loads of pedestrians. Streetlights and lanes are ignored.
Outside of the city, traffic is a different matter altogether. Terrifying. Two lane roads packed with the same assortment of vehicles barreling down the road at 60-70 MPH relying on a sophisticated language of lights and beeping horns to navigate a finely choreographed dance of swerves, ducks and prayers.
What I was most struck by on this visit was the focus on education. We spent much of our time in rural villages and on school days the roads were lined with children in school uniforms carrying books to class. Girls are guaranteed a free education up to grade 3 and we visited a girls’ school that went up to grade 10. Even in the villages, we met proud parents whose children were in university.
Bangladesh is most definitely a developing country, but it is a country on the move. It is thriving. The people are all working to better their lot and get ahead in life. It is a country worth taking a look at with a fascinating history at the crossroads of many ancient and modern civilizations. And the tea…
To learn more about Bangladesh, go to https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/bg.html