Tag Archive | Bangladesh

Review: Ahsan Manzil Museum

museums

While browsing my photo album on my computer, I stumbled upon a folder of my visit in Ahsan Manzil Museum from last year. This museum is one of the oldest historical buildings in Bangladesh and it happened to be beside our cousin’s house in Old Dhaka. He initiated to bring us (Joanna, my father-in-law and me) there. That was last year. It was risky to go but thank God for His protection. Anyway, Wikipedia describes this place as:

…the official residential palace and seat of the Dhaka Nawab Family. The magnificent building is situated at Kumartoli along the banks of the Buriganga River in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The construction of this palace was started in 1859 and was completed in 1872. It was constructed in the Indo-Saracenic Revival architecture. It has been designated as a national museum.

Our visit there was surreal and an indelible one! I’m not exaggerating. I have to apologize ahead of time though, since I will not be able to show you what I saw inside this building. Before our entrance, the guard told us that we cannot take any photos inside the building. 😦

These are all I can share with you. Hurray!

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Well, despite that, let me share with you my honest review about this particular museum.

GOOD POINTS: 

  • The entrance fee is very cheap.
    • The fee for kids is almost free (i.e. about $0.13) while local adults should pay about $0.30. Foreigners are expected to pay about $1.20. Isn’t that cheap?
  • The place gives you a surrealistic feeling.
    • Most of the antique furniture and memorabilia were indeed worth-viewing! One of my favorite parts of the museum was the enchanting dining area where there was an extremely long dining table. In my assumption, it can seat more than 30 people. The setting of the dining area hinted that it was indeed owned by a royal family. If you were inside, you would feel like you are inside an ancient palace. My other favored compartment was the drawing room. The kitchen wares looked really expensive and primordial while the furniture in the said drawing room looked really elegant and grand!
  • The memorabilia are well-labeled. It’s a thumbs-up for foreigners who cannot read the local language-Bengali.
  • The place in itself is certainly attractive to foreigners who are curious about Bangladeshi history.
  • Photos of the ancient residents were posted around the house. I felt like these photos were there to entertain us and I imagined that they were showing us their phenomenal home.
  • It’s safe to tour around the premises. The security guards are very responsible and friendly.
  • It’s not overcrowded.
    • This is a big deal for photography enthusiasts. You won’t have so many photobombers. (lol!) 😀

POINTS FOR IMPROVEMENT:

  • The displays were obviously dusty. 
  • The lightning in the museum  needs a little more improvement.
  • They don’t sell any souvenir. 😦
    • I am not sure about you but one of my passions is collecting magnets from the places I visit. So if in case you are like me, please prepare your heart to be a “little disappointed” that you cannot bring home any magnet to display on your fridge later. 🙂 Thank me because I warned you ahead of time. (lol!)

In a nutshell, I believe that this place is worth-visiting and if you happen to be in Bangladesh, don’t miss going to this bygone yet fascinating tourist spot!

Alright! I hope you can come and visit this place. If you are a friend of mine and you have plans to visit my family here, I will surely give you a chance to visit this place (Lord willing). 🙂

And here’s a verse I would like to share with you today:

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8

God bless you! 🙂

Leaning on Jesus,

 

 

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Bangladesh National Zoo (Photos)

I’m enthralled. Joanna, my daughter, just started going to school. Just imagine how teary-eyed I was when I first dropped her off at school. Can anyone relate to this?

Recently, she experienced her first-ever visit to the zoo with her teachers and class friends. This is her fourth time to visit a zoo but this one is special because she went with her new friends.

I’m sharing some snap shots of her memorable event. Please enjoy. 🙂

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Smile! 🙂

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The Zoo’s Map

 

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Everyone started walking to the animal’s cages.

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Monkeys everywhere!

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People enjoy watching the monkeys play inside their cage.

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Can you find some more monkeys?

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There were a few flower gardens!

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Crocodiles are called “Kumir” in Bengali.

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Take a look at them!

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Peafowls. I’m very sorry to have missed seeing these peacocks opening their feathers. Our camera’s battery died even before Joanna’s excursion finished. I should have brought a charger but I would not have found any place to charge our camera.

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Joanna enjoyed running around the zoo with her school friends. She was also happy to see this colorful bevy (i.e. a family of peafowls).

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My first time to see a rhino and a sheep. 🙂

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This one is chained and amazingly, elephants in this zoo don’t smell since they are given a bath from time to time in a day.

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Oryx–one type of a deer. I haven’t seen this in the Philippines before. Thank God for this privilege!

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Another type of deer. Can you realize how creative our Creator is. He makes every animal unique!

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Signboards are all around. Go figure. 🙂

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These donkeys reminded me of Jesus’ triumphal entry.

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Giraffes. Trivia: Giraffes spend their life standing up. In fact, they doze and give birth standing up.

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Peafowl.

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I am just amazed at how clean Bangladeshi zoo is! The animals we saw were well-fed.

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Joanna is concentrating on how hippos eat and is carefully listening to what one of her teachers is telling her. 🙂

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More hippos at a different angle.

I’m grateful to God for giving my daughter this privilege to see His wonderful creation. As I have mentioned, my camera ran out out of battery so I missed taking photos of other animals such as lions, tigers, different types of birds and so on.

I’m also glad that God enabled me to meet other mothers from Joanna’s school too! It is my prayer that God will use me to share with them the gospel in God’s time. For now, I can only pray for their salvation.

Anyway, just a few comments about Bangladesh National Zoo.

Pros: 

  • The entrance fee is very cheap. It’s only 30 taka or about $0.375
  • There’s a variety of animals available for viewing.
  • The place is very clean.
  • Signboards are quite informative.
  • If you are going to have a picnic there, there are water tanks available for washing your hands, plates and glasses.
  • There are wide and breezy spaces where you can lay your picnic mats down.
  • Food is available for purchase inside the zoo.
  • Visitors are allowed to bring their own food.

Cons: 

  • Vendors keep handing balloons and other toys for sale to the kids. Kids end up persuading their parents to buy what are not so necessary.
  • Foreigners might find it hard to understand what are written on the name boards of animals if they are not familiar with Bangla.

OVERALL: The place is a wonderful place for picnic and enjoyment. It’s also an excellent place to see God’s handwork. Isn’t it amazing how animals declare the glory of God?

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!Praise the Lord!

 

 

 

 

 

Sunderban: A Place Worth-Visiting in Bangladesh

Christmas is a blessing to our family. It’s a time, not only to remember the birthday of our Savior, but a time to fellowship with our family and relatives as well.

We were privileged to visit and tour around Sunderban before the end of 2015. Thank God for His protection as we traveled from Dhaka to Khulna.

I’m sharing with you some photos of our trip.

Here’s how we got there.

 


Here’s what we saw at the entrance.

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A big map of the jungle at the entrance gate. Just imagine the size of this mangrove! It’s about 139, 500 ha (345, 000 acres).

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Sunderban–it is said to be the largest mangrove in the world. This sign board is somewhere at the end of the jungle’s trail for the visitors.

 

 

Expect to see crocodiles on the ground:

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We saw this crocodile beside a fenced pond.

 

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You can enjoy seeing wild monkeys on a tree. No, they are not caged at all. 🙂

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How many monkeys can you see? 🙂

 

 

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While some animals are out in the jungle and some are kept in cages.

 

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Most of the animals visitors enjoy seeing are alive wild animals but there is a special place where all you can see are skeletons of animals. This one is that of a dolphin.

How did you spend your Christmas holiday? Did you go and visit your relatives? While it is not required for us to go to a fabulous place during holidays, we should remember that investing time for our loved ones is essential to building a stronger family ties.

Memories with them is something that nobody can steal from us. Let’s continue enjoying building special memories with our family.

What Life is Like in Bangladesh Part 1

“Are you really in Bangladesh now?!?”

“What are you doing there? What is life like over there?”

I know. It’s a little fascinating at times that most of the new people I meet always get shocked, or I should say, excited when I tell them that I am living in Bangladesh! I really would love to give them a detailed answer but normally, we just have a limited time so I can’t really elaborate my answer.

Considering the aforementioned situation, I had a meeting with me, myself and I in the conference room of my brain and I concluded that it would be interesting to write out my answers so I can also give a much better thoughtful response using a good chunk of time.

Now, it’s finally here. The answer to the top FAQs of every person I meet the first time, after mentioning that I live here in Bangladesh, a beautiful green pasture. Green Bangladesh “Wait, did you say ‘Green Pasture?!?'”

Yes, you heard it right. Bangladesh is literally covered with green meadows especially in the rural areas, but this isn’t what the world considers to be a so-called “greener pasture.”

Alright, enough beating around the bush since I don’t want to make you wait too long. 🙂

1. Why do you live in Bangladesh?

This is the top question I am asked in any first time conversation. Well, I came here first of all because my husband is a local of this country and I am here to support him in his desire to do his share in penetrating this nation with the seed of the gospel. That was the theme of our sacred union anyway–to join as lights together for Christ. 

2. What’s the general flavor of Bangladeshi food?

Bangladeshi food is generally hot and spicy. The main spices present in every dish here are onions, garlic, plain cumin powder, plain turmeric powder, plain chili powder. bay leaves and garam masala, a fragrant blend of ground spices used in Indian cuisine, often containing black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, nutmeg, and turmeric.

I have learned to cook local Bangladeshi dishes and they are pretty simple and easy.

Watch out for some recipes I would share with you in the future.

Now, I have to debunk the myth that Bangladeshis, just like Indians, eat just chicken curry everyday. I would say that it might be true for other families but not for ours and the other Bangladeshi families I know.

We have what we call “Daal” or Lentil soup, “Shak” or sautéed greens, “Alu Vorta” or mashed potatoes, “Daal Vorta” or mashed lentils and many more for lunch and dinner.

Bangladeshi Food

upper left: Fish Curry; upper right: alu vorta (mashed potato with fried onions and mustard oil) lower left: crab curry; lower right: sautéed water spinach (kangkong)

Daal Vorta

Daal Vorta–mashed lentils in mustard oil and chopped onions

normal Bangladeshi combo meal

Here’s a typical Bangladeshi set of meal: chicken curry and shak (any vegetable tops). Chicken curry can be replaced with fish, shrimp, crab or assorted veggie curry.

Fried eggs and boiled fish with greens. See? These dishes don't have so much spices.

Fried eggs, boiled tomatoes and boiled fish with greens. See? These dishes don’t have so much spices.

In our family, we usually prepare Biryani (see photo below) and fried aubergine when we have guests at lunch or dinner. If we serve Pulao rice, we pair it with chicken or beef curry.

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Yummy Biryani-a mixture of steamed aromatic rice, meat, spices , potatoes and other optional vegetables.

I hope I didn’t make you drool by showing these mouthwatering dishes. Please come and visit us sometimes and I’ll be more than willing to cook these dishes for you.

3. Describe Bangladeshi people.
Bangladeshis are beautiful people in and out if you get to know them deeply.

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These are friendly college girls I met years ago in the village and I praise God for the privilege to share the gospel with them. They were quite receptive to the gospel. They did not outwardly profess faith in Jesus Christ right there and then, but I was thrilled to hear them ask questions about God.

Generally, their generosity is displayed when someone visits their house. They wouldn’t come to your house empty-handed. If you invite them for lunch or dinner, they will give your household some sweets in return.

Bangladeshi sweets come in different shapes and colors. They also have varied flavor but the main ingredients of these sweets are milk and sugar.

Bangladeshi sweets come in different shapes and colors. They also have varied flavors but the main ingredients of these sweets are milk and sugar.

They are also very hospitable. Take a look at the caption of the photo. While coffee is popular in the US or in the Philippines, tea is the common drink served to their guests.

Bangladeshis are so hospitable that they offer and serve whatever they can despite their poverty. Sometimes, that's all they have.

Bangladeshis are so hospitable that they serve whatever they can despite their poverty.

People here are creative. Their love for arts is depicted in their folk dances, music and clothing. (I’ll talk about clothing later.)

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Part of any program intermission is either a folk song or any traditional dance number.

4. What’s the primary religion of people over there?

Approximately ninety percent of the people here are Muslims, most of them though are just nominal ones. In the village where I stayed, people are mostly Hindus. It is said that around 8-9% of her population is Hindu. Only a little percentage of people are Christians, Buddhists and of other religion. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I learned later that you can tell a person’s religion in this country by his or her name. No wonder my husband’s name has a Christian influence.

It’s our earnest prayer that we could reach a few of these unsaved souls with the gospel.

Alright, I guess these would be all for now since I know that you might need to run an errand after reading this but please consider praying for us as we continue to stay here and shine as lights together for Christ.

Watch out for the next part of this post.

With love,
Nance