India is a land of diversities. But Bengalis or Bongs are a different culture altogether. You might suggest other cultures like the Punjabis, Christians, Biharis etc. But to a Bengali, there is only one distinction- The Bengali and all the rest are ‘Non-Bengali’. And, these are 10 facts that every Bong, be it a kid, teenager or an adult will take pride in.
1. East or West, Dada is the Best
Yeah yeah, Sachin Tendulkar is the “God of Cricket” we all know it and respect the fact. But every true Bong has and always will idolize Sourav Ganguly or more lovingly our “Dada” as the best cricketer of the world. That moment when he spun his jersey over his head on team India’s victory at the Lord’s is memorable for every Bong alive and yet to be born.
2. Durga Pujo Kobe
As soon as we get our hands on the new calendar, instead of counting the number of official holidays that we’ll be enjoying the whole year round, the first reaction from a Bong will be – “ Ei Bochor Durga Pujo ta kobe theke shuru re?” if you are not excited about Durga Pujo, you’re definitely not a Bong.
3. Sorse Ilish
Fish is sacred for bongs, but Hilsa or the Ilish is the Queen of fishes. After the first shower of monsoon, having Sorse Ilish is mandatory. Every lane will be filled with the smell of Ilish going into hot mustard oil and lure Bongs into the kitchen like Jerry is lured by the scent of cheese. For a Bong, it’s not KFC’ s bucket, Sorse Ilish is finger licking good.
4.Maach Bhaja vs Fish Fry
No my friend you are making a huge mistake if you think Maach Bhaja and Fish Fry are the same. Maach Bhaja is raw fish, cleaned and smeared with salt and turmeric powder and then fried until crisp in a tub of hot oil, whereas Fish Fry is fish fillets dipped in batter and then fried. A Bong will appreciate the difference.
5. Dada-Boudir Hotel
No matter wherever you go in Bengal, you can be assured that you’ll find a Dada-Boudir Hotel around. Be it biriyani or plain maach–bhaat, Dada-Boudi are always at your service. If at all, a Bong happens to find a Dada-Boudir Hotel outside West Bengal, his expression matches uncle Scrooge’s who is going for a dive in his vault of gold coins.
6. What’s in a Name
Bong families will spend days and hours to decide on the most appropriate name for the new member of the clan. From easy going names like A for Abhijit to complex ones like Ritombhor with a W (Writombhor). Once they are done, they’ll call them Babu, Babai, Buro, Bumba etc.
7. Feluda, Byomkesh, and Kakababu
Be it the detective at Baker Street (Sherlock Holmes) or the old man racking his grey cells (Monsieur Hercule Poirot), for a Bong teen, they is no match for Satyajit Ray’s legendary Prodosh C. Mitter aka Feluda, or Satyaveshi (truth seeker) Byomkesh or Sunil Gangopadhyay’s Kakababu.
8. Coffee House E Adda
CCD and Barista may serve the best espresso or cappuccino, but when it comes to a Bong, it’s always Coffee House that serves the best of Adda. A table full of friends, accompanied by a cup of coffee is the perfect place for a perfect evening adda.
9. Saada Saree Lal Paar
No matter how long you take to decide or how lavishly you spend your hard earned to look modern yet ethnic on Dashami, Bong girls will ultimately go for that long coveted Lal paar saada saree from their Maa’s Almari (wardrobe).
10. Rabindranath Thakur (not Tagore)
Even in this new era when the youth can be innovative by sending gifts via the e-commerce sites when it comes to proposing their love, none but only Rabi Thakur (not Tagore please) will come to your aid at the hour of prem nibedan. Nor a bouquet of roses, or Archies card, nor expensive chocolates or diamond, nothing can impress a Bong beauty like a heart touching love poem or a song or two like ‘Amaro porano jaha chaye’ or ‘Tumi robe nirobe’.
-By Pallavi Banik