Aysha Siddqua Kakuly (20) is getting dressed in the room she shares with two other girls.
Chittagong, Bangladesh 2007
Young women in Bangladesh have two choices: to stay at home with their family till they marry or to move to the city and study, if their parents allow it. In the cities the girls live in hostels. These function as student homes, and homes for young workers. The women live here until they marry. In an evolving Bangladesh, these women are the most wanted, by all means, both in the work-marked as well as a spouse.
Men have no access to the hostel, and many strict rules have been applied to keep the girls safe. Students have to be home before 6 p.m. and workers by 9 p.m. Still the girls have a lot of freedom, compared to the girls living in the villages.
From the left, the sisters Shirin Sultana Mamun (25) and Shamima Sultana (27) cooking breakfast. A sweet smell of newly made parata fills the room. They are not satisfied with the hygiene in the hostels kitchen.
From the left, “Sweety” Salma Khalenda is arguing with Shahida Akter about Islam. Though Bangladesh is an Islamic country, many different religions are represented at the hostel, from Islam to Hinduism, Buddhism to Christianity etc
The power goes at least ten times a day, and it can be gone for hours. The girls only have simple candlelights for when they are studying or making their way around the hostel in the dark. From the left, Shamima Sultana, Bonhe, “Sweety” Salma Khalenda.
From the right, the sisters Shirin Sultana Mamun (25) and Shamima Sultana (27) are sleeping in one bed. It’s too cold to sleep alone during the cold wave that’s passing.
Aysha Siddqua Kakuly (20) doesn’t feel comfortable in the nude. She usually showers with her clothes on.
“Muni” Sayeda Amenda Akter (red scarf) is meeting her friends at college for the first time after Id. They feel let down when she tells them she got married in the vacation, and they wonder why they didn’t get an invitation.
Philosophistudent “Lopa” Shamima Naznin pondering.
From the left, Statajari Neela and her boyfriend Amiro are riding in to the sunset at Parky Beach. Neela does still not know her boyfriends last name yet. Two years after this picture was taken they were married and had a little baby.