What is the etiquette for meeting in Bangladesh?

  • People here are conservative, and thus, they only greet people who belong to the same sex as theirs.
  • Handshake is used during the first meeting usually but the handshake might feel limp.
  • Women don’t meet strangers commonly. Even if you meet one, it would be for business purpose. Even in this condition, shake hands only when the woman comes forward and does so.
  • Bangladesh is a predominantly Muslim country, and thus, they greet each other with the traditional Muslim greeting- ‘AsalamuAlaikum’. The appropriate reply to this phrase would be ‘Alaikum Salam’.
  • People are named according to the power positioning of the Bangladeshi society. 
  • The title which will is given to someone’s name denotes respect for the person. In some cases, it also signifies the closeness among individuals. Age is also a factor according to which the person is addressed.
  • There is no suffix required in case both the persons are of the same age. First names are used in that case.
  • If you are communicating with a person who is more aged than you, then use their first name to address them along with suffixing a suitable title.

What is the proper etiquette for gift giving in Bangladesh?

  • People give presents to friends and family during the auspicious and holy periods of Ramadan and Hajj.
  • In urban centres, gifts are also offered on birthdays.
  • It would be advisable to bring along a thoughtful gift rather than an expensive one. This is because generally, if you are gifting something, it becomes socially mandatory for the recipient to give you a present too.
  • Be careful of not gifting items to Muslims in the country which contain alcohol, non-halal meat as well as money in it.
  • Bringing along sweets such as quality chocolates or pastries will be appreciated a lot.
  • Also, if you have thought of offering flowers, try to avoid white flowers including Frangipani as they are associated with funerals.
  • Do not open the presents in the presence of the giver.
  • Hold the gift in both hands while giving them to the recipient.

What is the proper etiquette for eating in Bangladesh?

  • If you get an invitation for a meal and it does not fit into your schedule, refrain from bluntly saying ‘no’. Instead, use euphemism and say that you will have to check and see.
  • Whether you are going out to a restaurant or eating at home, people of the same gender only will dine together.
  • It is alright to eat with your hands like the locals. The food could be eaten from the same plate as others. However, if you aren’t comfortable with that, asking for utensils is also alright.
  • Wash your hands clean before you sit for dining.
  • Food will be served to the guests first, after which the elders will get it.
  • Wait for the senior-most person to start eating before you do so.
  • Bangladeshis are very good hosts and will keep offering food to you. While you can say that you are full, try to keep space for all the delicious dishes they have to offer.
  • Eat and handle utensils only with your right hand. The left hand is supposed by them to be dirty. Hence, it is not used for eating purpose.


Things you should know before going to Bangladesh?

  • Possess knowledge about the diverse cultural heritage of the country. Similarities among people in the fields of area, religion or even social class will affect workplace relations.
  • A lot of priority is given to one’s family in Bangladesh. There may be instances where the company hires someone just because he or she belongs to the family of some employee.
  • The people here find it comfortable to complete a particular work with a small team or group of people.

Also Read: Business etiquette to follow in Bangladesh

Last update on February 2, 12:06 pm by Nidhi S.