Dhaka night in foreign eyes

Prothom Alo English Desk | Update:

People eat street food in Dhaka on 18 April, 2019. Photo: Jung Da-minBangladesh is a very dynamic country with one of the world's highest population densities of 1,015 per square kilometre for its 165 million people.

The country's largest city and capital Dhaka is a diverse city of vibrant culture, with thousands of Bangladeshi businesses and international corporations contributing to migration and population growth.

The streets in Dhaka are always filled with cars and people passing by, giving the impression the city itself is always in motion.

The heat of the capital does not turn off even at night, with many people still eating out, sitting and talking to each other on the streets.

Visiting the dynamic city during the Bangladesh government's week-long "Visit Bangladesh" tour programme for a group of journalists, academics and envoys in mid-April, this reporter found a chance for an interesting night out with a local friend, according to The Korea Times.

The streets of Dhaka at night, lit with neon signs and lights from high buildings, were much darker compared to the bright streets of Seoul, but they were still lively with people moving around.

People sit and talk outside in a street in Dhaka on 18 April, 2019. Photo: Jung Da-minAdvancing through the streets, this reporter found many people out, sitting around and talking to each other even after 10pm, South Korea's one of the oldest English-language daily adds.

A local friend and guide said it was normal for citizens to come home from work or school late at night and they like to chill out on the streets long after dark.

Buildings of university campuses were also filled with people for late-night political party gatherings and discussions, and students gathered all around the campus.

People sit and talk inside a building in the campus of University of Dhaka for political party gatherings and discussions.

Dhaka street foods

Many people were also getting street food from vendors and small restaurants along the streets.

Seen is a view of a street in motion in Dhaka at night after 10pm on 18 April. Photo: Jung Da-minAmong the various street foods, this reporter tried out a few different kinds: jhalmuri, chotpoti, fuchka, achars and coconut water.

The taste of jhalmuri was not so unfamiliar but rather similar to that of ramen ― an instant noodle snack with spicy sauce easily found in Seoul.

The popular Bangalee street food loved by people of all age groups was made with puffed rice, onions and green chilli, the Korean Times says.

Chotpoti is one of the most popular street foods in Bangladesh made with peas, potatoes, chopped boiled eggs, cucumber, red onions and other vegetables with panipuri shells stuffed with them and tamarind paste and chaat masala on top.

Fuchka is a slightly more condensed version of chotpoti and they usually are served together on one plate.

The combination of crispy panipuri shells and mushy ingredients inside adds to the fun of eating, giving a unique mouthfeel.

Achars are Bangladesh-style pickles made with different kinds of vegetables and fruit ― normally sour fruit ― mixed together and seasoned in oil.

The one this reporter tried with local boiled rice was sweet and sour, similar to South Korean pickled plums.

It is not too difficult to find coconut water in convenience stores in South Korea, but on the streets of Dhaka, you will get to drink from the coconut itself.

As the coconuts are loaded at vendors in streets they are not as cool as those from a refrigerator, but are sweet enough to fill you with energy.

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