‘Bangladesh is safe for foreigners’
Online Desk: Overwhelmed by the hospitality and simplicity of Bangladeshi people, a group of Japanese tourists termed the country as a "dream place" for foreigners, especially senior citizens of developed countries.
They also found Bangladesh a safer country for foreign nationals and described the heinous attack on Holey Artisan Cafe last year as an isolated incident, also experienced by other countries.
Even few tourists of the group narrated the heavy traffic congestion as "enjoyable" saying that it has brought opportunities to witness the color and variation of street life sitting in the car.
Sharing experiences on visit with journalists here, Yatsushi Iwashita said Bangladesh is a beautiful country with great people. "After going back to Japan, I will tell my people that Bangladesh is still a safe country and everyone can travel to the country without any worries."
Yatsushi said in fact defying the advice of near and dear ones he visited Bangladesh immediately after 21 days of the notorious Gulshan attack that left seven Japanese among the foreigners killed in the attack on the Holey Artisan Bakery on July 1.
He firmly believes the Holey Artisan incident was an isolated event and said, "It was not the real Bangladesh."
On the other hand, Kaoru Kurosaka, a physician by profession, said he was astonished to see how a senior citizen dreams at this stage of life.
"I strongly suggest that senior citizens of developed countries visit Bangladesh and meet people of their age in this country . . . smiling faces, dreams and thinking of these people of Bangladesh would give them experiences of new life," said Kurosaka.
A retired Japanese civil servant found beauty in the traffic gridlock of Bangladesh as well. "The traffic congestion here are cumbersome, but if one wishes one can enjoy even that as well. . .," he added.
Another tourist, a computer engineer said hospitality and simplicity have gone beyond everything. "I never witness such hospitality anywhere in the world and the people of the country have treated us without any money which is really unusual," she added.
Twenty-one-year-old Totomo Sahahara, the youngest in the group, was especially fascinated by the dreams in the people of Bangladesh.
"The people of Bangladesh know how to dream. They know what they want to become. In Japan, if some youths were asked the question, many would fumble for an answer," he said.
The Japanese group comprising 17 volunteer tourists arrived here on January 20 and experienced two nights with a village family at Chakuli in Singair upazila of Manikganj district. They took the hospitality of seven village families and enjoyed local Food, Music, crafts etc.
During the trip, they also visited village market and visited most of the sightseeing places in Dhaka city as well as played with elementary school students. The group departed Dhaka today.
Private operator Bengal Tours Limited organized the tour, while Bangladesh Tourist Police, local government administration, Police and others related department provided full time security to the Japanese tourists in Dhaka and rural areas.