South Asia is commonly recognized as the pinnacle of beauty, a growing economy as well as diversity amongst its residents and is home to one of many awe-inspiring countries – India. Within the 26 states of India, there are nearly fifteen hundred various dialects and languages spoken across the country, illustrating its diversity. Although languages differ in their dialects, a number of cultural and religious texts are held in high regard by a variety of communities. This can be shown by the Hindu sect, referred to as the Swaminarayan faith holds the Shikshapatri in such regard. Although individuals of the faith speak a number Gujarati dialects, the original text, written in Hindi is still understood and practiced by the individuals who read it.
A number of cultural celebrations occur throughout India, including Diwali, Pongal, Navratri, Eid-ul-Fitr, Holi and many more. These occasions bring cultures together to celebrate commonalities between one another. For example, language, gender, and location- based barriers will not prevent Muslim families from coming together to celebrate Eid. This is beauty in itself, when caste, gender and culture are put aside to celebrate occasions that are dear to each individual. Although a vast majority of citizens (nearly 80%) practice the Hindu faith, 14% practice Islam, followed by Christianity, Buddhism, Jainism and a number of other religions. One can only imagine the cultural and religious diversity that exists within India and the impacts of such rich diversity on the economy, politics and society as a whole. India is overflowing with resources ranging from human, capital and technology-based resources. Major cities contribute to the economy with the resources that are readily available to them – large textile works in Mumbai and Ahmedabad, iron and steel works in Jamshedpur and technology hubs in Bangalore. Developing as a mixed market economy, India has the third largest purchasing power parity, which helps economists identify conversion rates, inflation alongside changes in price indices. Ranking second in the world’s agricultural output, activities such as farming, logging, fishing etc., build up to 49% of the workforce in India, contributing 17% to the gross domestic product.
India’s economy is strengthened by the workforce and the natural resources provided by the land, but the most enriching aspect of the country would be the importance placed on art. India recognizes art as a form of expression, and demonstrates such art through a variation of forms. Classical dances are common throughout South Asia, and India in particular has 7 classical dances which include; Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Kathakali, Kuchipudi, Odissi, Mohiniyattam and Manipuri. Although they are all classified as classical dances, they vary significantly from one another as they originate from different areas. For example, Bharatnatyam originated from Tamil Nadu whereas Kuchipudi originated from Andhra Pradesh. These variances in location contribute to the diversity even within dancing. Anyone who has been witness to such art can easily identify the differences between each dance form – whether it is in the melodies, the instruments, the hand gestures, etc. Each aspect of India brings to light the diverse and rich culture that is offered within the country.
Bangladesh is commonly known for their contribution to globalization through their support in textile, pharmaceutical, energy and agricultural outputs. Bangladesh is known to be a developing mixed market economy, and is the 8th most populous country in the world. The increasing population of Bangladesh ultimately results in a lack of job security and steady income for man. Almost 43% of the country makes an income that falls short of the international poverty line, making an average of $1.25 per day. Such a limited salary often turns into consequences for many youths. A lack of sufficient income causes young adults to forgo their education and resort to other means to help support their family in a short-term manner. They often join the agricultural sector to help support their families. Although poverty pervades a number of countries within South Asia, Bangladesh’s emerging economy is working to alleviate the current state of poverty through creating jobs in various sects of the countries source of income. The tourism industry in Bangladesh created over 2 million jobs which represents 3.7% of the country’s total employment.
Although there is an emerging economy, Bangladesh still experiences a number of obstacles, preventing their full potential of growth. These obstacles include government corruption, poor country management, and an insufficient power supply. Such obstacles exist throughout South Asia and even in in developed countries and continue to disrupt true success within each economy. Agricultural outputs employ 45% of the workforce and contribute nearly 19% of the gross domestic product in Bangladesh. Bangladesh is home to untapped gas reserves, where the multinational company chevron, acquires nearly 50% of the gas produces in Bangladesh. Alongside gas, Bangladesh has vast coal mines which is also a great contribution to the economy. Although Bangladesh has large reservoirs of water, they are contaminated with arsenic which prevents access to clean water for the residents. Bangladesh’s growing population was the highest when it increased from 65 to 110 million in a single decade, but slowed down once birth control was introduced in the early 80’s.3 Bangladesh is diverse in the people that live there, the residents range from Biharis to individuals from tribal groups. These diverse cultures bring an authentic feel to the Bangladesh atmosphere.
Majority of individuals living in Bangladesh speak Bengali and some even speak English and French. Religions such as Islam, Hinduism and Christianity dominate in the country. Bangladeshi art forms can be traced back up to 2000 years ago. Most notable art forms include paintings, poetry, sculpting, and architecture. Architecture as an art form pervades throughout South India through its use of a variety of scriptural texts to guide construction and decorations of buildings and monuments. The Vastu Shastras, a Hindu text, which literally translates into the science of architecture, helps to guide the building of homes, monuments and any architecture related building. Hindu Bangladeshis will often look to the Vastu Shastras in order to seek blessings for their buildings and success in their architectural endeavours.