7th November

Bangladesh National Revolution Day

Stone-Age people settled the Bengal area from 3,000 B.C. Later they traded with the Roman empire and Southeast Asia. They were ruled by a series of Buddhist and Hindu empires. The Pala Empire, from 750 A.D., was a Buddhist empire that saw universities, temples, sculpture and art flourished. The Hindu dynasties introduced the caste system.

In the 13th century Bengal was invaded by the Islamic Delhi Sultanate, which saw its trade, arts and literature improve further.

The British East India Company took Bengal in 1757. After WWII Britain left but first we split Bengal along religious lines, with the west going to India and the east becoming part of Pakistan.

In 1970 a massive cyclone devastated east Pakistan (the Bengal bit) and the Pakistan government didn’t appear to help enough. The next year West Pakistan launched a genocide against Bengal to squash their calls for self-government. India helped Bangladesh to defeat the Pakistani army.

Bangladesh gained independence on 16 December 1971.

The national animal is of course the Bengal tiger. A favourite dish is biryani. Cricket is the most popular sport.

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