12 Taboos that Still Exist in Bangladesh

In Bangladesh, society is relatively conservative, and some topics are not widely discussed or considered taboo. Here are some examples.

12 Taboos that Still Exist in Bangladesh - f

Some people might have more liberal viewpoints.

Bangladesh has a rich cultural legacy, but it also has several long-standing taboos that are still widely practised in the country today.

These taboos frequently have a considerable negative impact on people’s lives and communities, resulting in injustices like social exclusion and discrimination.

A multifaceted strategy, including education, awareness-raising initiatives, and regulatory changes, is needed to address these taboos.

Without regard to caste, gender, sexual orientation, or state of mental health, everyone needs to be treated with respect and dignity.


12 Taboos that Still Exist in Bangladesh - 1Despite Bangladesh’s apparent opposition to the practice, caste discrimination has been a serious problem for many communities there.

Even if a caste system is not recognised by the government, social norms and ideas linked with it nevertheless have an impact on relationships and social interactions.

People from lower castes, who experience social exclusion, marginalization, and constrained possibilities for social and economic advancement, bear the brunt of caste discrimination’s negative effects.

Access to healthcare, employment, and education may be restricted, as well as individuals being treated differently due to their social or religious beliefs.

The Bangladeshi government has taken some action to address the issue of caste discrimination, including passing laws that forbid it.

Extramarital Sex

12 Taboos that Still Exist in Bangladesh - 2Extramarital sex is a complex subject that, depending on the situation, may have many cultural, societal, and religious ramifications.

Premarital sex and extramarital sex are typically not tolerated in Bangladesh, where traditional cultural values place a strong emphasis on chastity and loyalty in marriage.

Though attitudes and perspectives on these issues can differ between people and organizations, some people might have more liberal viewpoints.

In addition to acknowledging and honouring cultural and religious norms, it is crucial to foster positive views regarding sexuality, relationships, and individual liberty.

People may reduce stigma and judgement by having open and sincere dialogues, receiving education, and having access to tools that can help them make educated decisions regarding their sexual health and relationships.

Regardless of cultural or social standards, the choice to engage in any sexual activity should ultimately be based on respect for one another, permission, and safety.


12 Taboos that Still Exist in Bangladesh - 3The sacredness of marriage is highly valued in Bangladeshi culture, and divorce is typically not looked upon favourably.

The divorce rate in Bangladesh has been rising over time, according to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics.

While divorce is still stigmatised in some groups, it is gaining acceptance as more people realise that partnerships don’t always work out.

It’s crucial to understand that getting a divorce is a challenging and emotionally charged decision that can have a big impact on everyone involved, including the kids and extended family.

Divorce has both legal and societal difficulties in Bangladesh.

Divorce rules can be confusing and complex to understand, and the stigma attached to divorce can make it difficult for people to ask for aid and support.

It’s critical to approach divorce sensitively and compassionately, understanding that every circumstance is different and calls for customised solutions.


12 Taboos that Still Exist in Bangladesh - 4In Bangladesh, modest and conservative attire is highly valued by social and cultural conventions, particularly for women.

In addition to acknowledging and respecting cultural and religious traditions, it is necessary to encourage respectful attitudes regarding clothes and individuality.

People can reduce stigma and judgement by making informed decisions about their appearance and dress by having open and honest dialogues, receiving information, and having access to resources.

In the end, wearing provocative apparel should be based on personal preference and comfort while abiding by social and cultural conventions.

It’s important to handle this subject with tact and respect, keeping in mind that, depending on the situation, clothing choices might have many connotations and consequences.


12 Taboos that Still Exist in Bangladesh - 5Smoking is not commonly acceptable in Bangladesh and is frequently viewed as taboo.

Nevertheless, despite this societal shame, tobacco use is very common.

The World Health Organization estimates that tobacco use results in 8 million deaths annually, making it the greatest global cause of preventable mortality.

With 41% of adult men and 5% of adult women using tobacco products, smoking and the use of tobacco products are serious public health concerns in Bangladesh.

To combat smoking and tobacco usage, the government of Bangladesh has put in place several laws and programs, among them raising the costs of tobacco products, outlawing smoking in public areas, and launching public awareness campaigns on the negative effects of tobacco use.

While these efforts are admirable, it’s crucial to understand that quitting smoking is a challenging addiction that calls for a multifaceted strategy that involves support, resources, and education.


12 Taboos that Still Exist in Bangladesh - 6Alcohol is not commonly tolerated in Bangladesh and is frequently viewed as taboo.

Alcohol drinking is not prohibited in Bangladesh, despite this societal stigma, and it is offered for sale in some hotels and restaurants.

It’s crucial to understand that drinking alcohol can have negative effects on one’s health and society, including addiction, poor judgment, and a higher chance of accidents and injuries.

Alcohol consumption is a significant public health issue in Bangladesh, and the government has taken several measures to address it, such as limiting alcohol advertising and raising taxes on alcoholic beverages.

Given that addiction is a difficult problem that affects people from many areas of life, it is imperative to encourage healthy and respectful attitudes towards alcohol consumption.

Mental Health

12 Taboos that Still Exist in Bangladesh - 7The lack of knowledge and understanding of mental health concerns is one of the main reasons that it is still taboo in Bangladesh.

Many individuals continue to think that mental health problems are a sign of fragility or a personal failure rather than a disease that needs to be treated.

People who disclose they have mental health difficulties or seek help may be stigmatised or treated unfairly as a result of this lack of awareness and acceptance of mental health concerns.

This can then discourage people from seeking help, which has a further detrimental effect on their mental health.

The dearth of mental health treatments and resources in Bangladesh is another factor contributing to the stigma around mental health.

Only a few specialised mental health facilities are accessible, and there is a dearth of mental health experts nationwide.

This might make it difficult for people to get the assistance they require, especially in remote locations.


12 Taboos that Still Exist in Bangladesh - 8Drug addiction is a serious public health issue in Bangladesh, and the government has taken many measures and initiatives to address it.

Despite government initiatives, drug addiction is still a taboo topic in Bangladesh, and those who struggle with addiction frequently experience discrimination and social stigma.

Drug abuse can have serious negative effects on one’s physical and social well-being, such as poor judgment, an increased chance of accidents and injuries, and social isolation.

It’s critical to treat this problem with empathy and comprehension, understanding that those who are battling with addiction require access to services and help to overcome their addiction.

The Bangladeshi government has implemented several policies and programmes to fight drug addiction, including expanding access to drug rehabilitation facilities and making medication-assisted treatment available.

The government has also launched educational campaigns to increase public awareness of the negative effects of drug use.


12 Taboos that Still Exist in Bangladesh - 9Being working class is not specifically stigmatised in Bangladesh.

However, Bangladesh is a hierarchical society with pronounced class distinctions, like many other societies.

The majority of the population lives in rural areas, which are predominantly agricultural and where the class system is centred on things like land ownership, education, and occupation.

Although the idea of belonging to the working class is not inherently offensive, people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds are sometimes thought to be less intelligent or sophisticated than people from higher socioeconomic backgrounds.

Particularly in urban settings where class inequalities are more obvious, this perception might result in discrimination and social isolation.

Everyone, regardless of social or economic status, needs to be treated with respect and dignity, and this must be understood.


12 Taboos that Still Exist in Bangladesh - 10In Bangladesh, homosexuality is a delicate and divisive issue.

The nation forbids same-sex relationships, and homosexuality is widely regarded as deviant.

In Bangladesh, homosexual behaviour is illegal and is subject to severe punishments, including incarceration.

Due to the legal framework surrounding homosexuality, there is now a culture of fear and concealment, and people who identify as LGBTQ+ frequently experience prejudice and violence.

Those who identify as LGBTQ+ frequently experience bullying, prejudice, and social isolation.

Cultural and religious ideals that see homosexuality as a departure from established gender roles and family values help to maintain this stigma.

The Bangladeshi government has taken action to combat prejudice against LGBTQ+ people, including creating a National Human Rights Commission with a division dedicated to defending their rights.


12 Taboos that Still Exist in Bangladesh - 11PDA, or public displays of affection, are typically frowned upon in Bangladesh.

Overt displays of affection are frequently thought to be inappropriate or insulting due to the cultural and religious traditions of the nation, which emphasize humility and reserve in public.

In contrast to kissing or other more intimate shows of affection, holding hands or a brief hug may be accepted in public.

Social pressure and the concern over receiving criticism or rejection from others frequently serve to maintain this cultural norm.

Even if they differ from our own, cultural norms and expectations should always be respected.

But it’s also crucial to understand that attachment and love are normal human emotions that shouldn’t be stigmatised or repressed.


12 Taboos that Still Exist in Bangladesh - 12Menstruation is stigmatised in many societies, including Bangladesh.

The physical and mental health of women and girls in the nation is significantly impacted by this cultural norm.

Menstruation is frequently considered shameful and dirty in Bangladesh.

The emotional and physical health of women and girls may be significantly impacted by this cultural idea, which has the potential to cause social exclusion, stigma, and discrimination.

The lack of availability of menstrual hygiene products is one of the biggest issues with menstruation in Bangladesh.

The lack of inexpensive sanitary pads for many women and girls can result in a variety of health issues, such as infections, rashes, and other difficulties.

The Bangladeshi government has taken some steps to widen access to menstrual hygiene products to solve this problem.

These include providing free sanitary pads and subsidies to communities and schools.

It’s critical to remember that ideas and attitudes towards certain topics might vary based on the person and the situation, and they are not always taboo or sensitive for everyone in Bangladesh.

The Bangladeshi government has taken action to eliminate some of these taboos, including establishing legislation to address problems like domestic abuse and sexual harassment.

To build a society that values and promotes the well-being of every person, more work must be done to encourage acceptance and understanding of varied cultures.

Ravinder is a Journalism BA graduate. She has a strong passion for all things fashion, beauty, and lifestyle. She also likes to watch films, read books and travel.

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