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Wintering at Panigram!

Posted by on November 27th, 2013

As we enter into the winter season at Panigram the emerald green fields turn to golden brown as the rice is collected and harvested. In a few weeks beautiful yellow mustard flowers will start popping up all over the countryside. As the weather cools, the date palm sap starts to run. Villagers (and Panigram Apprenticeship guests!) collect the date palm sap called “rosh” and drink it straight from the tree. The sweet, smoky flavored juice that is not consumed by the guests is cooked into a sticky sweet syrup or sugar called khejurer ghur, a true village delight!

Winter time brings delicious date palm juice and khejurer ghur!

We have added some fun new activities to the Panigram Apprenticeship Experience including:

  • Date palm juice collection and ghur making
  • Muri moa (Bangladeshi equivalent of caramel corn balls) cooking class
  • Basket weaving
  • Pottery classes for children
  • Mustard oil collection and processing

For more information on the Panigram Apprenticeship Experience, click here.

Panigram Apprenticeship Experience guest (and father of company founder Kristin Boekhoff!) enjoys some fresh sugar cane on the verandah of one of our bungalows.

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Guest Blog: Ecotourism at Panigram Provides a New Perspective on Bangladesh

Posted by on September 25th, 2013

Panigram Apprenticeship Experience guest and Dhaka Tribune reporter Sheikh Mohammad Irfan observes the introduction of eco-friendly tourism in Bangladesh, exemplified by Panigram Resort.

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When someone hears the word “Bangladesh,” the first thing that usually comes to mind is Dhaka city, notorious for its congestion, pollution, and impoverished population. But what if all that could change?

Excluding its capital city, Bangladesh is somewhat of an untapped treasure, hidden from global attention and enjoyed only by the locals. From the mystical forests of the Sunderbans to the breathtaking tea gardens of Sylhet to the beaches of Cox’s Bazaar, the natural beauty of the country is mostly admired by Bangladeshis escaping the noise and bustle of the city. Those tourists who do visit mostly stay in commercial hotels and rarely get a fully authentic experience of Bangladeshi culture.

Scenic view along Panigram's vangari village tour route.

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ULAB Professor Helps Bring Organic Farming to Our Village

Posted by on June 30th, 2013

This week Panigram was host to Shafiqul Islam, a professor from the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh. He came to assist the interns in refining the plan for the organic farming test plot. Professor Shafiq is well versed in the methodology and theory behind organic farming as he was actually an organic farmer before he became a professor.

Shafiqul Islam, professor of organic farming at the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB), and Dudu, a local farmer, discuss the benefits of organic farming.

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First Guests Arrive at Panigram!

Posted by on April 14th, 2013

Last weekend Panigram launched our Panigram Apprenticeship Experience! Our guests enjoyed learning how we are building an eco resort out of mud.

Sasha learns our decorative painting technique and creates a gorgeous mural on one of our test mud walls.

Star, Sasha, Sapphire, and Asif learn how to make bamboo chik.

Star, Sasha, and Sapphire practice their new skills at chik making!

Sapphire learns how to make yummy pita out with rice flour, ghur, and coconut.

 Participate in your own Panigram Apprenticeship Experience!

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One Billion Rising Flash Mob in the Panigram Village!

Posted by on February 14th, 2013

On February 14 Panigram Resort joined with activists around the world for One Billion Rising, the largest day of action in the history of V-Day, the global activist movement to end violence against women and girls. Panigram organized a dance flash mob in their village as part of the One Billion Rising campaign. About 100 women, 100 girls, and 200 men participated in the dance mob as a call to end violence against women and for gender equality.

The mob was lead by more than 80 of the participants in Panigram’s English and hospitality training program and 30 of the resort’s female construction workers; the trainees and workers are all residents of the villages surrounding the resort. Many of the women in the program, who come from conservative Muslim families, were worried about dancing in public. At the practice session the ratio of men to women was four to one, however on the day of the event men and women showed up in equal numbers (though the men were less afraid to step up and dance!) Women in bright red burqa danced alongside young girls in pink dresses. Girls from the women’s college, high school, and primary school tied red ribbons around their wrist and joined the dance party in the town square.

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English Lessons Resume in the Local Village

Posted by on July 17th, 2011

Through our days documenting the village neighboring Panigram, we have come to know many of the local children quite well.  As we walked through the village, they would follow us energetically and inquisitively, watching us sketch, listening to us speak, and examining every little move we made.  The children would point to animals, plants, food, or anything else that might (or might not) interest us, and relay its name to us in Bangla, laughing at our poor pronunciation a few times until we said the word correctly.  In exchange, we would teach them the word in English, which they were so anxious to discover.  These interactions were the first days of our English lessons, which have now officially located to the village school on Friday mornings.

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A Comprehensive Guide to the Bangladeshi Transport System

Posted by on July 6th, 2011

Our arrival into Dhaka on a hartal (strike) day left us naively optimistic about the state of Bangladeshi roads. 36 hours spent in the car over the following few days, on the edge of our seats whilst our driver casually avoided numerous head-on collisions, quickly set us straight. Native Bangladeshis, it seems, have an uncanny sixth sense for dodging, weaving and horn-honking: skills that are all entirely necessary on the narrow, overcrowded roads. Until fairly recently, however, our transportation methods have remained relatively luxurious, in comparison to the wide range of two, three and four wheeled contraptions that we have seen. Most vehicles resemble something close to a three wheeled car or a bicycle, with either seats or a trailer tacked onto the back, depending on what needs to be transported. Cars are a rare sight; the one lane roads are occupied by hordes of highly decorated rickshaws, auto-rickshaws, Easy Bikes (electric auto-rickshaws), trucks, buffalo-drawn carts, bicycles, buses, vans, nosimons (auto-vans) and pedestrians.

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