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Growing up in Dhaka city, we all heard of the negative things about the place at some point in our lives. It is almost like the world sees us differently than we see ourselves. Honestly, how often do you get to hear about the positive things that happen in this city? Or hear your friends bragging about how proud they are of Dhaka city? Not frequently. But, there is more to this city than we notice every day. The culture of Dhaka is colors; a city of life. Since we all remain busy complaining about what Dhaka city couldn’t provide us, these are some of the things that it already has. Let’s take a look at life in Dhaka some of the aspects that we hardly notice about our beautiful capital.

Available Mouth Watering Foods

Food of Dhaka
Dhaka dwellers love to indulge themselves in the mouthwatering dish ‘Kacchi Biriyani’

One of the unique parts of this city is the food it offers. Apart from fancy western restaurants, the street food here is beyond comparison and is the true culture of Dhaka. Almost every corner of the town has a mini food shop (or a cart) with your favorite food available. To name a few, Chotpoti (a spicy whole yellow-pea meal), Fuchka (similar to chotpoti, but in a crispy shell), Haleem and Jhalmuri are the most popular ones. Another signature dish worth mentioning is the Biryani of our old town. No other food item can beat this traditional meal. For comparison, imagine how good pizza is in Italy.

A Culture That Is Alive

Dhaka city fireworks
After the kite flying ceremony, Old Dhaka lights up the sky with mesmerizing fireworks

Dhaka is widely known for its culture and traditions. Indeed, most of the credit goes to Old Dhaka for keeping old traditions alive. For them, we Dhaka dwellers still have something to claim as our own. To start, Pohela Boishakh, the first day of  the Bangla year also means opening up a new halkhata (a type of log book) for businesses. This is a celebration particularly for the businesses from the old part of town. Another tradition of this city is to arrange a kite flying ceremony at the end of Poush (a month in the Bengali calendar). It ends with decorating the sky with beautiful fireworks. As a city, these give us an identity and pride that makes us who we are. 

Affordable Transportation

Rickshaw is one of the convenient mode of transportation
A rickshaw ride on a fine evening in the city will surely cheer up your mood

You might not have noticed this, but transportation in our country is incredibly cost-effective. Primarily because of the wide availability of cheap labor. For this, life in Dhaka is taking a break and enjoying an hour-long rickshaw ride without sacrificing your entire wallet. Yes, traffic is inevitable, and there are unwanted matters to consider. Still, we can travel on the public commute to almost any part of the city at a very minimal expense. 

Art and Design Matters

Mirpur saree market
A snapshot of the famous ‘Mirpur Benarasi Palli’

It’s surprising how speaking of transportation and rickshaws reminds us of famous hand painted artwork, but it does. This is because a lot of artwork can be found on the back of these vehicles. Such kind of art is usually based on stories or famous movie actors of the city. Also, Mirpur, a residential locality in Dhaka city is renowned for Banarasi Sarees. Traditionally, the culture of Dhaka deems these kinds of sarees for weddings and very special events. As they require particular designs and craftsmanship, only the most proficient hands risk designing them. But they have grown so much in popularity, that they have become, over time, part of the life in Dhaka.

Let’s not be too busy to explore and appreciate all these beautiful things Dhaka city offers us. We are the reason the city is alive, and at the same time, this city keeps us up and running as well. Maybe we should be a bit more conscious of what the city offers us and what we can give back to it.

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