10 Sure Signs To Know If You Are A True Blue Bong!
Bengalis are found all over the world. I may come across as prudent, but in my eyes they are the most warm hearted and genuine people you will ever find. We Bengalis are happy-go-lucky, laid back kind of people who are brought up in such a way that we appreciate the smaller and finer things in life.
I have mentioned some of the most common traits of Bengalis in the article below. Check how many of them do you possess. Share if you know more of such traits!
1. You love all sorts of Books
Bengalis love to read books. I almost live on books, and it is my favorite past time. Almost every Bengali I have come across is addicted to books. We usually do not stick to one genre, writer or language.
If you check properly, you will find that the average Bengali has read more books compared to the average Indian. He might have even written more!
They are well acquainted with not only with Bengali stalwarts like Sarat Chandra Chattapadhyay, Bibhutibushan Bandhopadhyay, Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay, Rabindranath Tagore; but also well read about the works of Camus, Freud, W.H Auden, Shakespeare and so on.
Reading so many books makes them liberal, broad minded and witty as well! If you do not believe me, try talking to a Bengali and you will be bound to admire his profound knowledge.
2. Fondness for food
Bengalis use fish as a supplement of food. Maacher jhol and bhaat is an unbeatable combo for any Bengali. Most Bengalis live their whole life on just rice and fish.
But, scenario has changed in the past two- three decades. Nowadays, the Bengali cuisine is not only about fish, biryani or roshogolla.
It is about investing deep thought and taking immense pains to eat well. I can vouch that Kolkata is that place where people travel long distances early on Sunday mornings to capture the best cut of mutton from the market; it is the only place where people are not afraid to try out new joints while still appreciating old world, mom's hand made food.
You will also find people here are so dedicated and fond about their food that they might get into quarrels while discussing the relative merits of their favorite biryani joints.
3. Sweet tooth
If by any chance you are not fond of sweets, people might question you of actually being a true Bengali.
Roshogolla, chom-chom, mishti doi, sondesh, kalo jaam, gurer mishti, koda paaker mishti are the most popular ones. You will always be greeted with a plate full of sweets when you go to someone’s house. Being a self proclaimed sweet tooth myself, I love to gorge on sweets. In recent times, Bengalis are trying out new innovative sweets and these sweets are raging in the markets.
If you really want to understand the bond between Bengalis and sweets: Think, God gave South Indians curd and they made “thayir saadam” (curd rice) out of it & Bengalis made mishti doi! That's what Bengalis can do.
Adda is a term used by Bengalis which means gossiping or having a chat. Among Bengalis 'adda' holds a very special place. It comprises of various and diverse topics like sports, politics, movies, literature, closed ones, friends to topics related to everyday mundane and simple things.
You should definitely understand that every Bengali is a storyteller. ‘Adda’ is a common phenomenon across India, where people get together for some chat & gossip. But in Bengal, it is an art.
Every mundane, day-to-day event of no consequence gets infused with suspense and emotion when a Bengali narrates it and you will find it to be so addictive that once you get involve in an adda, you will forget about everything else.
5. Involvement in extra-curricular activities
I can vouch that Bengalis have heard more music than most people and has learnt to play at least one musical instrument (male) or one dance form (female) as a child.
Most Bengali men and women know their music very well. And by music, I don't mean present day movie songs which are absolutely sub-standards; but Bob Dylan, Beatles and Pink Floyd.
Ask most Bengali men and he will be able to sing for you and that too in a perfect tune – whether it is “Something” by the Beatles or a popular Bengali song like “Ami tomar chokher kajol chai” by Rupam.
Bengalis are also very good writers, orators and are involved in various other activities as well.
6. Cricket & Football
The favorite game of Bengalis is football. Hence it’s no wonder that Saurav Ganguly also wanted to be a footballer initially. East Bengal and Mohun Bagan fans with migrants from Bangladesh (Bangals) forms the support base of the former and the traditional denizens of West Bengal (Ghotis) comprising the latter are the two major groups always involved in vying and routing for their football teams.
People in the streets will indulge in spontaneous banter while rooting for their own teams. Football transforms strangers into friends or foes instantly.
People are just crazy about cricket as they are about football matches. Every Bengali, young or old seems to be a fan of either or both of these two games. Whenever India beats another country in a World cup final match, Bengal just goes delirious with joy.
7. Pride about their culture and eminent personalities
They are very possessive about eminent Bengali personalities and talk about them with an air of pride. Rabindranath Tagore was unmistakably the most famous of them all. Two of his poems are also used as the national anthem of India and Bangladesh. He also became the first Nobel Laureate from Asia in 1913.
Another internationally acclaimed personality about whom the Bengalis are extremely proud is the renowned movie director Satyajit Ray who won was awarded an honorary Oscar for lifetime achievement. He became famous with his very first movie named Pather Panchali which was first of the trilogy called 'Apu Trilogy'.
Who could forget the huge contribution of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Khudiram Bose and Sarojini Naidu. They were not only respected in West Bengal, but were the leaders of freedom movement across India.
Even today, innumerable personalities from West Bengal are spreading their name and of the state to all corners of the world. Saurav Ganguly in sports, Jamini Roy in Arts and Rituparno Ghosh in movies has made it big in their respective fields.
8. Gorging on Snacks
Imagine a Bengali without his evening snack- No you can't!
Bengalis love to gorge on snacks. Every student, office goer, house wife, old or young loves having the variety of snacks. Jhaalmuri & chop, singhara, ghoogni, rolls are among their favorite snacks. The snack sellers stock turns empty within a few hours of their selling. Singhara is my personal favorite and I gorge on them whenever I can.
Bengalis eat muri with a variety of combinations- with water, milk, banana, onion, chilly or chana. It is one of the staple food when there is dearth of food in your home.
Bengalis still enjoy the theatre. You will find them jostling and crowding up the theatres even today.
Bengal and its rich cultural heritage have been an inherent part of the Indian history since the ancient times. Bengal being the seat of cultural renaissance, and Bengalis are known for their enthusiastic about creative pursuits.
The construction of several drama theatres in Kolkata and conduction of street plays in rural Bengal reflects their passion for pursuing creativity. Nowadays the youth of Bengal are playing an important part in resurrecting the theatre culture amongst everyone. Groups like Padatik, Nandipath, Bohurupee and so on are currently encouraging more people to engage in theatres and follow their passion.
10. Durga pujas
Durga Puja, the most happening festival of the Bengalis can be sensed with its spurt of fanfare on all the four days of the Durga Puja festival. This autumnal festival popularly known as Sharodotsav is an occasion when the familiar sound of Dhak, Dhunuchi nachh, the mild fragrance of Shiuli, gives a familiar tug to every Bengali heart. Bengalis all over the world during these days of Durga Puja rejoice to their heart's content reconnecting with friends and relatives.
Bijoya Dashami, which is happy Dussehra for most parts of the country, is a day of some sadness for the Bengalis. After the intense festivity, the Goddess goes back on Dashami and despite the social gatherings; there is always a bit of melancholy in the air.
I can conclude by saying that Bengalis are very proud of the rich culture they come from. Only a Bengali will ask what defines a Bengali. And only a Bengali will oblige. These are – what I think – defines the Calcutta Chromosome perfectly.