• Khin Maung Lwin.llb

Top Ten Misconceptions About Rohingya Misconception 6# Same Culture of Rohingya and Bangladesh

Rohingya Muslims are always accused of being illegal immigrant from Bangladesh and that they both share the same culture. Do they really share the same culture?

We look at some facts;

What is the culture?

Culture determines what is acceptable or unacceptable, rights or wrong, workable or unworkable.

It encompasses all learned and shared explicit or tacit, assumptions, beliefs, knowledge, norms and values, as well as attitudes, behavior, dress and language. It is considered to perceive, feel, think and act, and are passed on to the new members through immersion and teaching.


Rohingya: Rohingyalish is the spoken language of Rohingya which is slightly similar to Chittagong language based on 26 letters of Roman alphabets with two additional Latin letters.

Bangladesh: the primary language is Bangla, called Bengali by most non-natives, an Indo-European language spoken not just by Bangladeshi , but also by people who are culturally Bengali in India and Pakistan.

It is sure that Rohingya either does not speak or understand Bangla.


Music and Song

Rohingya: Rohingya use many traditional instruments such as Tabla and Zuri in combination of modern musical instruments. Song plays in Oral medium for transmitting emotion, feeling and sentiment of Rohingya in order to keep their history alive.

Bangladesh: Major traditional instruments are the Ektura, Dotura, Dhol, Flute and Tabla. Traditional music involves mostly lyrics and little instrumental accompaniment reflects Sufism, Lifestyle, Nature, 

                                                                                     Emotion and Socioeconomic condition.


Rohingya: The diet of Rohingya is single rice, fish, vegetables, milk and chilies ; meat is the occasionally.

The prepare variety of rice cake, traditionally known as "Pira" is made of rice powder, coconut and molasses. Durus Kura (roasted Chicken) is the most famous traditional meals prepare in special occasion.

Bangladesh: Rice and fish are traditional favorites with vegetables and lentils also forming a part of their staple diets also forming a lesser extent, Roti (whole wheat flat bread), Mishti doi, or Baked yogurt, Biryani, dal, Khicdi, Bombay mix and Phanta bhat are also their favorites.


Rohingya curry is predominantly spicy while Bangladeshi people prefer less spicy one.


Rohingya: one of the most celebrated game is Ganthi Kela (Rowing). Some of the other popular sports are Boli Kela (Wrestling), Qundha Kela (Rounded stone lifting), Doop marani (Diving and swimming), and Paddy transplanting competition.

Bangladesh: Kabaddi is the national sport of Bangladesh. However, cricket is considered as the most popular sport. The other sports are football, volleyball, athletics, swimming, Boli Khela, lathi khela are also their favorites.

Clothes and Dress 

Rohingya: Rohingya traditionally follow the Indo-Burmese dresses which date back to the origin of hundreds of years ago. Normally, Rohingya dresses are indistinguishable from the way ordinary Burmese dress. Men wear Bazu ( shirt with long or short sleeves) and Longyi or Doothi (Loincloths) covering until the ankles. Rohingya women follow the modest Islamic code of dress and wear also longyi.                                                                                   

Bangladesh: Bangladesh men  wear Lungi or doti as casual wear (in rural areas) and mostly shirt –pant or suits in formal occasions. Sari is worn by Bangladeshi women also and some young female also wear Salwar Kameez (long outfit).

So, it is difficult to say that Rohingya share the same culture with Bangladesh .Rohingya are the people with distinct culture and civilization of their own. In 1982, Rohingyas were striped of Myanmar Nationality and have faced many difficulties to practice  their rights and cultures.The Rohingyas are recognized as the most persecuted people of the world and are facing ethnic cleansing in Myanmar now.