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What are some interesting facts about Bengalis?

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Whenever someone hears the word “Bengali” or “bangali”, or the modern version of the same word “bong”, things like pujo, roshogolla, mach-bhat, dada, didi, are synonymously tagged to it. Here are some awesome facts about the Bengali.. "Ja bolbo sotti bolbo, sotti chara mitthe bolbo na"...

Image courtesy: Being Indian
  1. Every one of us is familiar with famous DIPUDA. Digha-Puri-Darjeeling. Each and every Bengali has been to these places at least once in their lifetime. Sure shot!
  2. Every third person in the state has a name with the "Debo" prefix, irrespective of gender. Debopriya, Deboprotim, Debashish, Debojit, Debopriyo, Debnath - the list is never ending my dear ones.
  3. Every child in the house has two names - one his proper and official name that we call the "good name" (first thing Bengali uncles/aunts ask you when you meet them for the first time - "Shona, your good name??" ) and his pet name which is usually something not even remotely close to his real name and serves the purpose of embarrassing the person in public. Most common of them being shona, mona, babu, pocha, buri et cetera et cetera.
  4. No meal is complete without a sweet - rosogolla, mishti doi, shondesh , cham cham or any other variant is a compulsory for every meal.
  5. Sourav Ganguly and Mamata Banerjee are the universal "dada" and "didi" respectively (literally translating to "brother" and "sister" resp.). And we don't give a damn to what India scores in the match...all we need to know is if Dada scored a century or not. And anybody who has wronged our Dada dear is our sworn enemy.
  6. This one is a corollary of 4 - Every male you meet on the road is your "dada" and your maid is your "mashi" (literally translating to "maternal aunt")...irrespective of their age. We are also taught to address the males as “kaku” (uncle) whatever the age is. We are given this lesson since childhood, and this has caused lot of embarrassments for me… when I called the auto driver almost nearly my age as “kaku”.
  7. Evenings are not complete without "parar adda" (sorry dear people, there is no direct translation for this word. The closest would be rendezvous, but then it wouldn't carry the essence of the evening "addas") and "telebhaja" (fries and fritters). Oh I forget the "chaa" (tea).
  8. Corollary of 6 - Every street has a "chaa er dokan" (tea stall) and a "mishtir dokan" (sweet stall) and of course a phuchka wala (Golgappa stall. Sorry, dear non-Indian reader, there is no English word for this extremely unhealthy but heavenly yummy street food).
  9. No dish is Bengali enough unless cooked in high-cholesterol Mustard Oil. Yeah, it is not good enough unless the spicy zesty fervor of the dish makes your eyes shed a few tears of joy (literally!!). And no meal is complete without fish.
  10. Every Bengali is a born artiste - painter, poet, chef, singer, musician, dancer, football player, swimmer - either or all of these!! And no, I am not kidding.
  11. We do not buy clothes only during sales or on our birthdays like most people on this planet. Our species buys 15-20 sets of clothes a month or two before the Durga Pujo :D
Content Coutesy: 
Debarati Biswas, Masters English Literature, University of Calcutta
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