Durga pujo is round the corner and thus it is that time of the year when all bengalis feel “most bangali” in their life. 😂 (And I am no different)
Following are the reasons why I think being a bengali is amazing.
1 Daak naam (nickname)
It is our birth right as bengalis to have a Daak naam which we shall be addressed by at home while there is a separate good name for school and other official purposes. We bengalis have the most unique, bizzare yet absolutely adorable nicknames. It ranges from the every Bengali household Daak naam like: Shona, Babu, mampi, khoka, mintu to the most ridiculous names like tatai, tatan, bhoda etc. They have no fear of being racist also: a wheatish complexioned kid named Kalu. 🙄 Neither do they shy away from body shaming, a fat kid named: Gublu, Motku etc. You name it. We bengalis own every alphabet and put them to good use by naming our kids/ siblings with a Daak naam ( which has a chance of embarrassing him/her if uttered Infront of others)
Bengalis are obsessed with food. Period. Starting from fish fry, cutlet, dimer devil to ilish maach (Hilsa) , chingri maach(prawn), polao, Kosha mangsho (chicken and mutton curry) you name it. We have got it all covered. Contrary to popular belief we bengalis are not just obsessed with non vegetarian food. We have our share of lipsmacking vegetarian dishes as well. Luchi, aloor dum, aloo posto, dhokar dalna, kachkolar kofta, potoler dorma,koraishutir kochuri to name a few. It will be a sin to leave out the extraordinary street food: phuchka, jhaal muri, Indian style Chinese noodles, aloo kabli etc ❤
Yes! I had to make a separate point for dessert. For us dessert is not an occasional affair. It can ( and in most cases has been) a part of a Bengal’s daily appetite. The mouth watering, spongy rasgolla clearly tops the list. That apart: jalebi, chomchom, rasmalai, laddoo, shandesh, pulir pithe, malpoa, birthday special payesh are few of bengali’s favorites. Bengali sweets always have an upper hand over chocolates or other western dessert. Infact one gets the best of both worlds with fusion sweets like: chocolate shandesh (FTW) 😎
4. Durga pujo
No it is not puja, it is pujo for us. 😂 As bengalis durga pujo is THE festival to look out for. Most of us do our yearly shopping during this time. It is a long 4 day affair (often gets stretched to a 5/6 day affair) of fun, frolic. Bengalis living elsewhere look forward to coming home during this time. From eating out everyday, to meeting friends and family, getting decked up, to pandal hopping these pujo days are undoubtedly the best days in any bengali’s life.
5. Being creative
We bengalis are born creative( or so our parents think). From a very young age we are encouraged to take up extracurricular activities like: singing( read: Rabindra sangeet), dancing, painting, elocution etc and continue them along with academic education. It would be difficult to point out one bengali kid ( I’m a 90s kid so I’m speaking for my generation) who has not been encouraged( or pushed) to do something apart from studies.
Noone understands the importance of ‘lyadh’ as a bengali. The overpowering urge to not do anything until the last moment and just let things happen as it is meant to be, this feeling has been copyrighted by bengalis. We own it.
I’m sure bengalis are not the only ones to use a side pillow while sleeping. However the level of attachment and sentimental value a bengali has with it is unparalleled.
There are certain words which cannot be translated into any other language. These words only make sense when used in Bengali. Nyaka tops the list. Followed by eesh( sigh),kyabla( innocent but dumb), fatifati(superb), ‘thakthak’ kore kapa (shivering in cold) etc to name a few.
9. Always up for a good conversation
Adda is an extremely important element for the existence of a bengali. From friends, relatives to random chitchats with acquaintances to even strangers we are always up for it. This could range from casual gossip to state affairs. Since bengalis are known to be aware of the surroundings they thrive on intellectual discussion. Some even have a knack of giving much unnecessary monologue on what should be done and what could be done which could ruffle up some feathers , but when has that scared a bengali. 😂 Verbal confrontation is our forte. We are believers of the saying :pen is mightier than the sword 😉
Rest of India can thrive on cricket but for bengalis football is the sport that we relate to the most. This has been a long affair, dating back to the pre independence times. From being the land of the two oldest football clubs in india (East Bengal and Mohun Bagan), we have come a long way. Even today for a derby match the entire stadium fills up with diehard supporters cheering their lungs out for their teams while hurling abuses at the opposition.😂 (didn’t I say we are best at verbal confrontations?!)
Proudly and madly Bangali 😊