All aboard on a shopping spree
Bangladesh, for the best shopping destinations You thought Bangladesh was only famous for its hospitality and food? Erroneous observation! There are so many other things that this beautiful country is celebrated for; shopping being one of the most prominent.
Dhaka has always been famous for its rich legacy concerning Muslin, Jamdani, Nakshi, Endi Cotton, Silk and countless other articulate weaves.
Of the myriad stories to back up the statement; Nazmeen Bashir, a true Dhakai-ite and an ardent fan of the shopping in Bangladesh, provides Star Lifestyle with valuable insight.
"I would not shop anywhere in the world, especially for my wedding trousseau, except for in Bangladesh; because the best quality materials are available here. I don't think any foreign brand can beat the vintage stores available at the Mirpur Benarasi Palli. The colours, craftsmanship, motifs are second to none and cannot be copied, even if one tried to," confessed the enthusiastic fan.
The truth behind the affinity towards shopping in Bangladesh
Maheen Khan, the proprietor of 'Mayasir', a famous haute-couture store in Bangladesh assures us that Bangladesh has been marked on the map by historians for over thousands of years because of its rich legacy in producing inimitable looms. "It might be very recently that we earned the patent to Jamdani, but it has always been ours! This beautiful weave is admired, all over the world. Renowned celebrities source it from our country and patrons of haute-couture know the true value of this legendary clothing item.
There is not much we need to say about the Malmal of the subcontinent - the Muslin; because the Mughal Royals have already marked its worth.
What's best is that we can get all these expensive items at a nominal price - affordable to most. Our garments factories are providing the highest quality of material purchased by reputed high- street fashion brands, worldwide.
So, of course Bangladesh is one of the most sought after shopping destinations in the world; there simply cannot be any uncertainty regarding this topic," admitted the renowned designer.
Then why do so many people prefer Kolkata?
Kolkata awakens a certain sense of comfort, a unique state of consciousness amongst us - the 'deshis'. Have we ever wondered the reason behind the 'all too familiar' affinity? Is it because we share the same language and love for the same kind of food? Or is it because Kolkata offers us an inimitable experience that is hard to forget? Star Lifestyle investigates the chief reason behind the influx of Bangladeshi customers to the markets in Kolkata and the psychology behind the attraction.
Syed Amzad Husain, a father preparing for his daughter's wedding in winter, plans to go to Kolkata for the wedding trousseau. Upon discussion he reveals "It's more than shopping you know," says the successful businessman. "… It's actually a mini pleasure trip with the immediate family; before my daughter leaves for her in-laws. We'd do much more than shopping, we'd stay in a five-star hotel, see the sights and sounds of a city close to our hearts and enjoy the food. Amongst all of these, we'd also do some shopping. To me, purchase is not the main priority, enjoying some quality time as a family before the hectic wedding schedule begins, is the prime concern," admits Husain.
The future of Bangladeshi shopping
Humaira Khan, another bright name in the fashion industry of Bangladesh and the owner of 'Anokhi by Humaira Khan' says, "The future is bright for our country; only with more dedication from our local customers.
We must realise that we can also get exclusive collections in Bangladesh, only if we learn to look in the right places".
Maheen Khan also adds, "The government must be a little strong on the aspect of tax scrutiny because the lax conditions at the borders allow the opportunists to source a supply that hurts the handloom industry of our country and the efforts of the artisan weavers.
A little bit of affection from our side and dedication to our beloved country can also stop this illegal import of clothes."
Finally it can be said that with the advent of FDCB and many other similar initiatives, local designers and fabrics are being continuously supported; signifying a future that is bright for the field. Mass interest towards concept events like Khadi Festival and Weavers festival shows the light at the end of tunnel. Maybe the preference is changing; with appropriate support from the relevant departments - it is not long before the people from West Bengal visit us, enjoying a weeklong vacation in Dhaka, buying Dhakai textiles and celebrating our hospitality for a change.
Model: Salman, Sadia
Tangail Saree Kutir (bridal sari)
Blouse: Jahin Khan
Bridal dupatta: Artistic Couture