Things you need to know before choosing gifts for Bangladeshis

Things you need to know before choosing gifts for Bangladeshis

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Gift-giving is an integral part of Bangladeshi culture, whether it’s Eid, weddings, or simply visiting someone’s home. As a guest, you’ll want to impress your Bangladeshi hosts with a well-thought-out present. But with so many gift options out there, where do you start? Read on for some failsafe Bangladeshi gift ideas.

Food Gifts Are a Tasty Place to Start

They say the fastest way to a Bangladeshi’s heart is through their stomach. So sweets and local snacks make fabulous gift choices. Some beloved treats include:

  • Mishti doi – Sweet yogurt akin to custard. Don’t tell Auntie Farah I said it looks like baby vomit!
  • Rosogollas – Light, fluffy, syrupy cheese balls. An authentic sampling is a must.
  • Shondesh – Sweetened cottage cheese fudge cut into fun shapes.
  • Bakarkhani – Crispy flatbread baked with milk & spices.
  • Hilsa fish – This iconic “Tiger of the River” is Bangladesh’s beloved national fish.

Presenting food gifts shows you respect the local palate. Just don’t turn up empty-handed – foul moods may ensue!

Seasonal Fruit Selections

Being an agricultural country, Bangladeshis Know good fruit. Bringing a box of premium mangoes or lychees in season impresses even the fussiest uncle.

FruitPeak Season
MangoMarch to July
LycheeMay to June
PineappleMarch to April; Oct to Dec
JackfruitApril to August

Pro Tip: Skip the bananas which locals can get year-round! Dazzle them with mango varieties they’ve never tried instead.

Skip the Wine, Bring Fabulous Fabric

With most Bangladeshis abstaining from alcohol, a nice bottle of red doesn’t make the best guest gift. But you can’t go wrong with high-quality textiles and fabrics which locals deeply appreciate.

Some popular fabric gift ideas include:

  • Intricate silk sarees
  • Premium cotton adorned with gold embroidery
  • Cashmere or wool shawls
  • Monogrammed handkerchiefs
  • Table runners with traditional weaving

Every Bangladeshi woman loves receiving exquisite fabrics. But steer clear of anything transparent or tiny – conservative styles still prevail!

Steer Clear of Cultural Taboos

Bangladesh has its cultural gift-giving quirks too so avoid potential pitfalls by not gifting:

  • Leather products (cows are sacred)
  • Alcohol (Muslim customs)
  • White or yellow flowers (symbolize death)
  • Clocks (reminders of mortality)
  • Handkerchiefs (associated with goodbye)
  • Green hats (signify infidelity – oh the drama I’ve seen over this!)

When unsure, universal crowd-pleasers like chocolates, jewelry or scented candles make safer options.


They say when in Rome, do as the Romans. Well when in Bangladesh, make sure you know the art of gift-giving like a local! With so much emphasis on hospitality and generosity in the culture, bringing an appropriate present shows respect. Thoughtful food, fabric or fruit gifts tailored to Bangladeshi tastes help you impress new acquaintances. Just leave funeral flowers, green hats and Grandfather clocks out of your gift basket!


What are the most popular Bangladeshi sweets to gift?

Famous sweets like mishti doi, roshogollas, shondesh and bakarkhani are beloved desserts that make tasty edible presents.

What fruits make good seasonal gifts?

Prime mangoes, lychees, pineapple and jackfruit impress when gifted in peak season. But skip basic bananas which locals can access year-round.

What colors should be avoided for flowers?

White flowers signify mourning while yellow blooms represent betrayal and jealousy. Red, pink or orange bouquets make safer flower gift options.

What common items should never be gifted in Bangladesh?

Cultural taboos exclude cows (sacred) and alcohol (religious customs). Clocks, green hats, and hankies also have negative connotations, as do revealing clothes. Play it safe with neutral treats, fruit or fabrics.