The magazine of the photo-essay
Oct back 2016 issue
The Bede People of Bangladesh
by Rash Oyshe
A free, really high quality photo-essay magazine.  Fabulous! Stephen Fry. British actor, writer and film & documentary maker
The Bede, meaning traveller, live on Bangladesh’s many rivers and waterways and use boats as their main transportation. They are often known as Water Gypsies.              I have photographed Bede society for 8 months and I have noticed that the lifestyle of the Bede people is quite different from that of the rest of Bangladesh. Traditional male and female roles are reversed and the women tend to go out to work (selling drugs, snake charming, singing, body tattooing), while the husbands stay at home to cook, clean and look after the children. The Bede are treated as ‘untouchables’ in Bangladesh. They often protest that nobody looks after them; that they are not given fundamental rights by their government. Their children are deprived of an education and they do not have access to healthcare.  On my travels, I asked a little girl called Rupa, “Do you go to school?  ”She replied, “What will happen if I go to school?” It was explained to me that Bede children would be discriminated against and bullied if they attended school. Through highlighting the lives of the Bedes in Bangladesh, I am hoping that these people will get their fundamental rights. Photography has the power to challenge social discrimination and change lives. I wish and hope that my work will help the Bedes to fine their rightful place in society.     
A Bede family living on a boat in Bhola, Bangladesh.
A Bede woman was standing beside her home.
A Bede family where the man does the household work while the children sleep and play.
A Bede woman feeds her child whilst sleeping.
All the attention of the family goes to a new baby.
A portrait of a Bede woman and her child.    
A young boy collecting water for household work.
A man eating a meal as his daughter sleeps beside him.
Two men taking a bath at the nearby pond.
A man making food for his family. Usually in Bede society men do the household work.
A young boy having just completed his evening prayer.
A young girl taking her lunch outside her house.
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A young Bede girl.
A young Bede girl.
A boy sitting in front of his house.
A Bede house.  
Portrait of a Bede boy.
An old man sleeping after taking his lunch.
A man showing snake-play to the audience.   
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