March 26, 2006

Bangladesh: The land of happiness

Lesson in happiness from the poor of Bangladesh - Sarah Freeman

Money may make the world go round but, according to new research, a richman's world is not a fun place to be. Sarah Freeman reports.

It's the kind of research designed to make even the most altruistic of us feel uncomfortable. While here in Britain we have been channelling our energy into votingthe likes of Sharon Osbourne, Jordan and Kate Moss into the top 10 ofcelebrity mums, speculating on who's next likely to be voted off The Apprentice and wondering whether we'll ever have enough time in the day to transfer our CD collections on to an iPod, the materialistic world we live in has suddenly been given a nasty shock. The people apparently so bent on bursting our bubble of comfortable existence are researchers from the University of Bath, who after months of studies, revealed that while the Western world has spent decades and incalculable amounts of time and energy developing the latest gadgets, building the very best in luxury spas and aspiring to fame, fortune and world domination, the secret to real happiness is actually being kept alive in one of the poorest countries in the world.

Apparently, eight out of 10 people in Bangladesh - a country where almost half the population lives on less than $1 a day - describe themselves as happy, 79 per cent of all social and economic groups there claim they are content with their lives, and a further 38 per cent went all out by describing themselves as "very happy".

Of course, having all the choices of Western consumer society inevitably brings deliberation and worry, and if you have no reason to spend hours debating whether a laptop is better than a PC, or defending subscribing to Sky TV as a necessity rather than a luxury, it's perhaps no surprise that the path to happiness is an easier route to navigate. But what the people of Bangladesh seem to have clung on to is that while you can aspire to pretty much anything, the reality is that if your family set-up is troubled, no amount of money or material possessions can compensate. The love of a good man or woman is not, it seems, only priceless, but it is also recompense for even the most apparently arduous of situations. "Some of the older people we spoke to strongly valued close and harmonious relationships with family members, to the extent that they even enabled them to ignore physical hardship," says Dr Allister McGregor, director of the research project. "Even though at times they don't get enough food to eat, these people were still happy because they have good relationships with the rest of their family. "What it showed is that we need a view of poverty that is more than just about income. Income is important but other aspects are also importantin producing a good quality of life. People are not happy just because they have a good income, they are trying to achieve something more than just material wealth. "Researchers from the University's Wellbeing in Developing Countries(WeD) project questioned 1,000 households in four rural areas and afurther 500 in two urban areas. And on finding higher levels of happiness in Bangladesh than those found in many developed countries, with considerably larger average incomes, the accepted equation that money equals a better standard of lifestyle and therefore greater contentment with the world may have to go back tothe drawing board. The vast majority of the Bangladeshis who took part in the questionnaire cited family and community life as a key factor in determining theirsense of happiness, and older women valued being treated affectionately by their sons and daughter-in-laws as much as receiving financial support, while older men gained satisfaction from participating in and influencing community affairs. Clearly there is a cultural divide. In Britain, there has been much talk of the long-term effects of amilynest, holding on with both hands to the years when mum will do the washing and have a hot meal ready for them at the end of the day. However, the family unit appears to have greater longevity in Bangladesh, with young men admitting living with their family "made themfeel happy", and their wives citing pleasing their husbands and their mother and father-in-law as key factors in their quality of life.

The research team, who have been studying the densely-populated country as part of a five-year project, said the results demonstrated a need to rethink the traditional approaches to tackling poverty, which tend to befocused on increasing individual wealth rather than on the community asa whole. "There have been what are known as micro-finance schemes launched in Bangladesh - where money is loaned to women, who are judged as the morereliable source of repayment," adds Dr McGregor. "But while the intentions have been good, they have also led totensions, divorce and even domestic violence. "The beneficiaries of economic growth in Bangladesh and India now live in big houses, fenced-off with barbed wire and patrolled by security guards. "While no-one is advocating we give away our hard-earned possessions and swap the latest spring fashions for sack cloth and ashes, as the financial year comes to an end, the research is a timely reminder if nothing else that money can't buy you love, and it certainly can't be exchanged for happiness.

sarah.freeman@ypn.co.uk24 March 2006

March 18, 2006

Bangladeshi Companies in CeBIT

Bangladeshi companies are showing their potentiality and competency in CeBIT 2006, at Hannover, Germany. CeBIT is called the greatest ICT showdown on earth regarding new and future technology. Seven Bangladeshi organizations are available in this CeBIT showing Bangladesh as a strong and highly capable place of ICT outsourching and offshore business. Comapanies and their contact emails are as follows-

1. Export Promotion Bureau Bangladesh. email: epd.bd@aitlbd.net
2. Daud Information Technology Ltd. email: info@dauditl.com
3. DOHATEC NEW MEDIA . email: dohatec@bol-online.com
4. Fornix Soft Ltd. email: info@fornix-soft.com
5. LeadSoft Bangladesh Ltd. email: papias@leads-bd.com
6. REVE Systems. email: info@revesoft.com
7. Visual Soft Ltd. email: vsoft@bol-online.com

"Bangladeshi companies are really doing well in the global competitive exhibition"- said Luna Samsuddoha, Head of Dohatech new media. Dohatec is a successful outsourcing company headed by Bangladeshi woman. She is very confident to see the success of Bangladesh in ICT sector.

Details of CeBIT is available at www.cebit.de.
Posted after return from CeBIT, Hannover, Germany.

March 15, 2006

Bangladesh: The 31st Richest Country (Looking otherway around)

This is a list of countries of the world sorted by their Gross domestic product (GDP), the value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year. GDP dollar estimates here are derived from purchasing power parity (PPP) calculations.

Interestingly, Bangladesh ranked 32 in each of the individual ranking done by World Bank, IMF and CIA. Below is the combined list.

Rank - Country - 2005 GDP (PPP)millions of International dollars

0 - World - 59,559,770
1 - United States - 12,332,296
0 - European Union - 12,329,110
2 - People's Republic of China
3 - Japan - 4,009,327
4 - India - 3,602,894
5 - Germany - 2,498,471
6 - United Kingdom - 1,825,837
7 - France - 1,811,561
8 - Italy - 1,694,706
9 - Russia - 1,585,478
10 - Brazil - 1,552,542
11 - Canada - 1,111,846
12 - South Korea - 1,099,066
13 - Mexico - 1,064,889
14 - Spain - 1,026,340
15 - Indonesia - 863,654
16 - Australia - 638,713
17 - Republic of China (Taiwan) 629,858
18 - Turkey - 570,748
19 - Iran - 560,348
20 - Thailand - 559,489
21 - South Africa - 532,011
22 - Argentina - 516,951
23 - Poland - 512,890
24 - Netherlands - 498,703
25 - Philippines - 409,445
26 - Pakistan - 392,526
27 - Ukraine - 339,676
28 - Saudi Arabia - 337,268
29 - Colombia - 336,808
30 - Belgium - 324,299
31 - Bangladesh - 303,655
32 - Egypt - 302,803
... ... ...

191 - Nauru 60*
192 - Tuvalu 12.2*

[Full list]

Source:
1. International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database, April 2005.
2. The world factbook, United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), May 2005.
3. The World Bank.

March 10, 2006

Energy from Coastal Wind in Bangladesh

Bangladesh is one of the lowest energy consumed and densely populated country in the world. Only around 32% of total population is getting electricity and mostly covers the urban areas. But almost 76% of population is living in rural areas. Year by year energy demand is increasing. In rural areas above 75% of energy comes from Biomass. Natural gas is the only available sources of conventional energy for electricity production in Bangladesh which will be depleted within 15 years. World is now running for alternative sources of energy like solar, wind, tidal, micro-hydro. Also these are now must for sustainable environment by reducing the global warming.
Recent study and analysis on solar and wind energy assessment in Bangladesh show that in the coastal areas few Inlands and Islands should have fairly wind potentiality. It is to be mentioned that till now in the coastal and remote areas less then 3% of population are enjoying grid electricity. So far solar home system in Bangladesh is playing an important role both to meet the minimum energy demand and economic development in rural and remote areas. Now it’s time to think for wind……. (more)

March 06, 2006

Bangladesh : Contribution to The Ancient Civilisation

Being situated in the extreme east of India, Bengal served as the connecting land link between the sub-continent, Burma, South China and the Malay Peninsula and Indo-China. Bengal not only acted as intermediary in trade and commerce but also played an important role in the cultural association between the diverse civilizations of South East and Eastern Asia.
This region, as a distinguished historian observed, "played an important part in the great cultural association between the diverse civilizations of Eastern and South Eastern Asia which forms such a distinguished feature in the history of this great continent for nearly one thousand and five hundred years."
Tradition has it that Sri Lanka was colonized by a Bengalee Prince Vijayasingha who established the first political organization in that island. Gadadhara, another Bengalee, founded a kingdom in the Madras state in South India. An inscription in the Malay Peninsula of the fourth or fifth century A.D. records the gift of a great captain Buddhagupta, who was probably Bengali. It is also said that it was a Bengali prince, Vijaya, the Pala period.
Bangladesh region also played a seminal role in disseminating her beliefs, art and architecture in the wider world of Asia. The Bengali missionaries preached Mahayana Buddhism in the Indonesian archipelago. Kumaraghosha, the royal preceptor of the Sailendra emperors of Java, Sumatra and Malaya peninsula, was born in Gauda. The Bengali scholar Santirakshit was one of the founders of the Buddhist monastic order in Tibet. The great Buddhist sage Dipankara Srijnana, also known as Atish ( 10th-l1th century) reformed the monastic order in Tibet. The Bengalee scholars Shilabhadra, Chandragomin, Abhayakaragupta, Jetari and Jnanasrimitra were venerated as great theologians in the Buddhist world. Ancient Bangladesh also witnessed the flowering of temple, stupa and monastic architecture as well as Buddhist art and sculpture. There was discernible influence of the Pala art of Bengal on Javanese art. There was a close affinity between the scripts used on certain Javanese sculptures and proto-Bengali alphabet. A group of temples in Burma were built on the model of Bangladeshi temples. The architecture and iconographic ideas of Bengal inspired architects, sculptors and artists in Cambodia and the Indonesian archipelago. The influence of Pala art in Bengal could be easily traced in Nepalese and Tibetan paintings, as well as in Tang Art of China.
Source:
  • International Information Systems, University of Texas, Austin.
  • "A Thousand Year Old Bengali Mystic Poetry" - Hasna Jasimuddin Moudud
  • The world Factbook by CIA, USA.

March 03, 2006

Software Offshore and Outsourcing Business in Bangladesh- I

Jaxara
Daniel (Danny) K. Boice is president and chief executive officer of Jaxara the next generation of offshore software development. Jaxara had revenues of US$2.5 million for the fiscal year ending January 2006, and employs more than 50 people in 5 countries and regions.

Boice has managed the planning and setup of offshore software development, user interface development, quality assurance and testing centers in Dhaka, Bangadesh. Read more http://www.jaxara.com/ and http://www.sologig.com/employer/profiles/view.php?id=152592

M & H Informatics
M&H Informatics is in its twelfth year of providing premium Information Technology solutions and services, focussing on project execution, IT consulting, software engineering, and project management.

M&H Informatics AG officially opens the doors of its offshore development site in Bangladesh today, October 1st, 2004. The M&H Informatics Bangladesh offices are located in NOOR Tower in the city center of Dhaka, Bangladesh, and employs 15 new associates, all with university degrees in computer science and profound international experience in application development, project- and quality-management in their previous career steps. More on this Press Release

To be continued...( more companies with success stories)

March 01, 2006

Music of Bangladesh - Lalon, Baul, Nazrul, Tagore and Dance

Bangladesh is traditionally very rich in its musical heritage. From the ancient times, music documented the lives of the people. The store of folk song abounds in spiritual lyrics of Lalan Shah, Hasan Raja, Romesh Shill and many anonymous lyricists. Bangla music arena is enriched with Jari, Shari, Bhatiali, Murshidi and other types of folk songs. Rabindra Sangeet and Nazrul Sangeet are Bangalees' precious heritage. Modern music is also practiced widely. Contemporary patterns have more inclinations to west. Pop song and band groups are also coming up mainly in Dhaka City.

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.

Bangladesh is known for its individual music style in the region like Gomvhira in Chapainawabganj.
Ref:
Web Encyclopedia
Saarc Tourism
Unesco Portal