Dhakaiya Profession

Chicken Butcher

Posted in Chicken Butcher by rrasheeka on March 17, 2009

Photography: Salman Saeed

Butcher carries a multiple number of meanings. In this post, when I say butcher I mean someone who slaughters and dresses animals and sells them. This profession is a very common one, not only in Bangladesh, but also throughout the world. Why then, am I making this post in my blog which talks mostly about professions more-or-less specific to Old Dhaka?

That is because it is one of the oldest professions of Old Dhaka and this type of butchers slaughter and dress only chickens for a living. While walking through the marketplace in Old Dhaka, one is bound to stop for a minute to watch these butchers smoothly work on the chickens. They are such experts that you will be amazed to see the perfection with which they dress the chickens and hang them for sale.

Hardly any of the butchers that you talk to have chosen this profession for themselves. Most of them had their fathers and grandfathers in the same profession.And from a very young age they knew that this was going to be their earning source.

Immensely interesting is the fact that in other parts of Dhaka city, the butchers have a very low income. In Old Dhaka however, these butchers are better off than the people of many other professions there. Of course, they are not rich and their income is not something that they can spend without thinking. But it is enough to run their family and to send their children to school. This very old profession of the Old Dhaka is a very demanding profession and so the helplessness of not being able to provide for the family is not something the butchers go to bed thinking about at night.

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