Despite the official language being Bangle, English is also widely spoken in Bangladesh II. Greeting The formal greeting with a Bengali Is almost always “Salaam-al-alkyl” which Is replied with “Williwaw- As-Salaam”; a trait observed in any Islamic country around the world. A firm handshake and a cordial smile are always expected to assist the “Salaam” greeting. Due to the prevailing conservative society In Bangladesh, it is always best to wait until the woman lends a hand for a shake or else, a simple greeting would suffice.
After introduction, a formal exchange of visiting cards is shared and the communication begins in a very formal and indirect manner. If the communication is amongst a foreigner and esp.. A westerner, the style is almost always formal and very indirect unless a long history of personal acquaintance is present. Ill. Conversation Etiquette It is not important to establish or maintain a distance when speaking to someone. In terms of eye contact it is somewhat expected however, it should be noted that Bengali women may be shy to maintain an eye contact at the first meeting.
Bengali in nature are very courteous and polite in nature. Facial expression is always an important factor while having a conversation. In Bengali, there is proverb face is the index of the mind”, which many prow to. The tone of conversation should always be set to being soft spoken and directness within the conversation is best avoided. It is also highly important to note that the loss of ones face is reflected well within Bengali as a direct “no” for an answer or request is often considered rude.
Bangladesh will phrase their answers and imply in a way that it is usually up to the person to read between the lines and understand the answer. Ill. Gifts In business, it is not always customary to give gifts however once a relationship is plopped, giving and receiving of gifts may be present. In Bangladesh the importance of gifts is within the thought rather than its value. One of the reasons such is that gifts should generally be reciprocated and it would be considered rude to give gifts difficult to reciprocate.
It is extremely important to remember to avoid giving alcohol due to the religious sentiments that are present. If invited to a Bengali home, a gift of traditional sweets, fruits, pastries or chocolates is usually given as a custom. IV. Importance of Time In business, timing for meetings is always well maintained. However, completing the meetings usually may take over past the scheduled end time. In social gatherings and events, culturally the attendees are always late. Due to this delay, gatherings begin late as well.
One can expect cultural and social events to end late as lunch/dinner would usually be served later than usual. V. Building and Maintaining a Relation. Being a foreigner, it is not difficult to build and maintain a relationship with a Bengali since foreigners are seen as guests amongst everyone. Bengali in nature are very cordial and hospitable therefore, one can expect to be treated very well even before a Before initiating a private discussion with a Bengali, it is best to begin through a friendly conversation about ones wellbeing, health and family.
It is extremely important to remember that family values are taken very seriously, therefore a conversation, which may question their norms and values must be avoided. Topics best avoided in a friendly conversation include politics, discussions on different religions, profession, income and family background. These topics usually affect personal sentiments as Bengali like maintaining their image and respect. Since Bangladesh is a country of Muslim majority, it is necessary to maintain arsenal attire and limit any public displays of affection whether in business or in a casual environment.
Women in public gatherings should wear sleeved clothing and avoid wearing short dresses. Men should always wear formal attire in business, gathering and social events and avoid wearing shorts in congregations. Foreigners may complain Bengali don’t smile too often. This is because seriousness in facial expression is considered as a sign of Maturity. V. Conclusion. Bengali are very easy to make friends and communicate with regardless of any experience in South Asian cultures. This is due to the openness and hospitable attitude Bengali place upon foreigners.
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