The Latest: 23.3 | Bangladesh

Zeeshan Khan asks real Bangali Muslims to raise their hands; Irum Shehreen Ali refuses to take sides in the battle of the Begums; Sharbari Z Ahmed juggles her identity as an American Bangladeshi writer; a short story by Ahsan Akbar; poems by the award winning Kaiser Haq; Laych Koh meets Yuna, the enigmatic Malay pop singer; and our list of top ten Bangladeshi cultural delights.

Growing up in Dhaka in the eighties, at a time when English novels – if not Shakespeare, Dickens or Kipling – were gold dust, my small collection of books made me a literary boy about town. Not an accolade to be proud of.

The presence of violent religious extremism is as old in Bangladesh as it is globally. And though the Republic of Bangladesh has thus far succeeded in thwarting larger scale attempts by local and international outfits, contentions that the Bangladeshi state is an aberration until it conforms to a particularly unique take on shariah make this an issue that cannot be taken lightly.  

Her road to success reads like a modern millennial story. A young girl in Malaysia teaches herself to play the guitar via YouTube.

Over time, Bangladeshi women’s representation in politics and elected office has increased manifold. But it has not been transformed into true participation and agency.

An eclectic list of entries that we hope will be useful for newbies while resonating with our Bengali readers, especially in Britain and Bangladesh – wherever and whatever they consider desh (home) and bidesh (foreign lands) to be.