Every year thousands of people come to Canada to start a new life. They come with many different skills and the hope of contributing to their new society. Your interest in reading about Bangladesh may arise from being involved in the HOST Program to provide assistance to newcomers. This booklet will introduce you to Bangladesh and will help you to understand your new friends' culture. While the cultural profile provides insight into some customs, it does not cover all facets of life. The customs described may not apply in equal measure to all newcomers from this country.
Although Bangladesh is a young country, its people look back on a rich and ancient heritage. They are proud of their language, culture and customs. Bangladesh faces many challenges including political upheaval, natural disaster, poverty and disease.
Some Bangladeshis who come to Canada are educated people who were well established in their native land. When they come here, however, they sometimes must search for work or spend a long time renewing their academic qualifications in their new country. Their standard of living may drop while they work to establish themselves here.
Some aspects of life in Canada will probably seem strange to the new arrivals from Bangladesh, our winters, for instance! Remember that you also share some important similarities with your new friends. They will want to know the same things you would if you moved to a far-away place. What is my new neighbourhood like? Where can I buy food for my family? Which school will my children attend? How do I get around in my new community?
What is important is that you offer your time, concern and friendship. You have much to offer each other.