|Processing the recent 'boro' rice harvest in Jamalpur.|
I don’t pay attention to dates. But it is eighteen years since I first came to Bangladesh as a tourist. It was January 1996. There were street processions in the lead up to the election the Awami League boycotted. Ramadan was beginning. With an Australian friend, we’d only decided to visit because we knew nothing about Bangladesh and because the visa was free. There was no way to imagine that simple journey could alter a life’s course. But I used to try to visit Bangladesh every year thereafter. It’s a deeply fascinating country. There is so much for a westerner to learn.
|A 'setu' bridge, common in Bangladesh. Travel in Bangladesh might not always be luxurious, but it is always interesting.|
For both The Star magazine and for me there has been an eighteen year journey. I have discovered that Bangladeshi culture seems to have no limit to its diversity or depth. I have come some of the way to understanding Bangladeshi thinking, the country’s history and values. And in recent years working for The Daily Star has allowed me to spread my wings and explore more of the country. I am still learning. I remain fascinated.