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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Speak Shenzhen
Beautiful Bangladesh
    2018-January-23  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

James Baquet

When I was a boy, there was no such nation as the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. Today’s country was called East Bengal when I was born, and became East Pakistan — a province of Pakistan — a few months later, in October 1955. It was by this name I knew it through most of my school years, and what is now just “Pakistan” was “West Pakistan.”

That entity split up in 1971, and Bangladesh, meaning the “country of Bengal,” came into being. In fact, the nearest Indian state is named West Bengal (the capital of which is Kolkata, formerly Calcutta), even though it is on India’s easternmost border. This signifies the fact that it is the western portion of a cohesive Bengali culture, of which Bangladesh is the eastern.

Though it has only two land borders — it’s surrounded by India on the west, north and east, and Myanmar lies to the southeast — it is “spitting distance,” as they say, from Nepal, Bhutan and China, across a sliver of West Bengal: less than 25 km to the first, less than 50 km to the second, and less than 100 km to China’s Tibet.

Northeast India is an anomalous area barely connected to the rest of the country through that narrow part of West Bengal, called the Siliguri Corridor or, more light-heartedly, the “Chicken’s Neck.” To avoid expensive circumnavigation, land routes by road and rail cross Bangladesh to join northeast India to the rest of the country.

The south border of Bangladesh fronts the Bay of Bengal, and the country has nearly as much maritime territory as terrestrial. Chittagong is its largest port, and Dhaka its capital and largest city.

With over 163 million people, this middling-sized country — ranked at number 92 in area — is the world’s eighth most-populous, and thus the 12th most densely populated. Bengali followers of Islam also make it the world’s third-largest Muslim-majority country, after Indonesia and Pakistan. (India has more Muslims, but lacks a Muslim majority.)

Like Nigeria, it is a developing country whose emerging markets place it in the “Next Eleven” group and it has South Asia’s third-largest economy, after India and Pakistan.

Vocabulary:

Which words above mean:

1. abnormal, unexpected

2. a short space

3. coming forth, growing

4. thin piece

5. medium, average in size

6. made up of land

7. well-integrated, unified

8. going around

9. jokingly

10. passageway connecting two areas

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