Bangladesh <<BAHNG gluh DEHSH>> is a country in South Asia. It was once part of Pakistan. Bangladesh is bordered by Myanmar on the southeast, and by India on three sides. The southern border of Bangladesh lies along the Bay of Bengal. The Bay of Bengal is the northern part of the Indian Ocean. Dhaka is the nation’s capital and largest city. In population, Bangladesh is one of the largest countries in the world.
Bangladesh has seen hard times in its short history. It has seen war. A war led to Bangladesh becoming an independent country in 1971. It has seen hunger. The people cannot grow enough food to feed everyone who lives here. Bangladesh has also seen many natural disasters.Cyclones, tornadoes, tidal waves, and floods hit Bangladesh almost every year.
Most of Bangladesh is made up of flat land. Many of its rivers and streams overflow in the rainy season. When the water level drops, rich soil is left behind. This soil is great for farming, but the floods do serious damage, too.
The weather is warm and humid all year long. Northwestern Bangladesh is one of the rainiest places in the world. It can get 250 inches (635 centimeters) of rain in a year.
Resources and products
Bangladesh is one of the poorest countries of the world. Today, the country grows more food and makes more products than it did in the past. But the number of people in the country has also grown so fast that there is still not enough for everyone.
Bangladesh’s economy depends on farming. The country has few natural resources. However, industry is growing. Many factories make clothing and textiles, or woven cloth.
A civil war in 1971 hurt the country’s economy. Farming stopped in many places because millions of people left their homes to escape the fighting. Factories and shops were destroyed. Transportation and other systems were damaged. After Bangladesh became independent, the government took over the main businesses and industries.
Good soil is the country’s major natural resource. Most of the people farm for a living. Rice grows in almost every part of Bangladesh, making the country one of the world’s leading rice-growing nations. Bangladesh also produces more jute than any other country. Jute is a plant whose fibers are made into string or woven into cloth.Bangladesh sells jute to other countries. Although so many people farm, Bangladesh cannot grow enough food for all its people. Most farmers still use old-fashioned tools and methods.
Bangladesh’s large population is also a major problem. There are more people per square mile in Bangladesh than in many other countries.
Most of the people of Bangladesh are descendants of peoples who came here thousands of years ago. They came from what are now Myanmar (also called Burma), Tibet, and northern India.
The people of Bangladesh today are called Bangladeshis. Most Bangladeshis belong to a people called Bengalis. Their language is also called Bengali.
Most Bangladeshis are farmers. They work hard on small pieces of land. Many people who work in cities make very little money.
Over the years, many different rulers have controlled what is now Bangladesh. In the 1700’s and 1800’s, the British took control of present-day Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan. During the late 1800’s, the people there called for independence. In 1947, two independent nations were formed—India and Pakistan. Pakistan had two parts.West Pakistan was northwest of India. East Pakistan was east of India. A thousand miles separated them.
The peoples of East Pakistan and West Pakistan had many differences. They fought each other in a war. In 1971, East Pakistan became an independent nation. Today, this nation is called Bangladesh.
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