Marketing experts advised us not to focus on Bangladesh. They argued that very few people can locate Bangladesh on the map, and almost all associations are negative. News stories about the country are usually about catastrophes, either natural or manmade.
India is an easier sell. In Britain, we have long felt we know India; we choose to be blissfully unaware of the brutally repressive and exploitative nature of our colonial empire, but are happy to lap up its soft, frilly cultural outputs in the form of Raj romance. With their familiar favourites and decor, Indian restaurants have played up to the appetite for such stereotypes, even if their Anglicised fare bears little relation to India itself, or its food.
To a certain – large – extent Bangladesh is that memory of the Raj. You know, Bengal?