INDIALINE
Complete India Travel Guide

"West Bengal has been home to peoples like Noble Laureate Rabindranath Tagore and Satyajit Ray, who have not only made West Bengal proud, but entire India was blessed by their talent and works. Adding variety to the life of Bengal people is the age old literature and cinema, and the glittering culture that is at its brilliant best during the many festivals, especially Durga Puja."
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West Bengal People And Culture

Statue of Rabindranath Tagore In Kolkata
Statue of Rabindranath Tagore In Kolkata

Glorifying West Bengal

People of West Bengal have been the soul of the state and the culture, its skin. The Bengali culture is differentiated by its music, cinema and specially its literature. Many Bengali writers gave the world some of the best known works of literature from India. Rabindranath Tagore was unmistakably the most famous of them all. It was not only his short stories that created magic, his poems are still famous as Rabindra Music and Rabindra Nritya. 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. After literature, cinema was the next field where many legendary artists came out successful and still are continuing to familiarize World with Bengal.

To get to see the culture of Bengal at its most colorful, one must visit Bengal during the time of Durga Puja. Every section of the society basks in the magnificent atmosphere created by this festival. From a month before, the streets and homes are illuminated; the markets are filled with people shopping for new clothes and home decorations, especially in Kolkata. No wonder Kolkata is called the Cultural capital of India apart from being famous as the Intellectual capital of India.

Religion

Religion followed by people, more often than not, sets the tone for culture in the state. A state where Islam is more dominant might be more colorful during Muslim festivals, and a state where Hinduism is more prominent, the festive atmosphere might be during major Hindu Festivals. However, a state where all religions are equally prevalent and flourish harmoniously, the state remains bright throughout the year. Similar is the case with West Bengal where people from all religion prosper. Along with Hinduism and Islam, a small population of Buddhist and Jain are also present. One can find pilgrimage destination belonging to all these religions. Most famous are the many splendid Monasteries in Darjeeling.

Famous People of West Bengal

This is one list that doesn't seem to exhaust. From the start, whenever Bengal has become famous, it has been because of a person who with his work has brought fame to the state itself. People from the literary works seem to be the more famous one's although there have been people who in other fields as well like arts, theater and cinemas. The most famous of all is definitely the legendary poet and Noble Laureate Rabindranath Tagore who won the Noble award in literature for his book of poems Geetanjali in year 1913. Another internationally acclaimed personality from Bengal was 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'. People of West Bengal also played a big role in freedom fighting. 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 have made it big in their respective fields.

Literature In West Bengal

Apart form called the cultural capital of India, Kolkata is also called the intellectual capital of the country. Since the time of renaissance, Bengal has produced some of the biggest names in literature field. The first evidence of Bengali literature that was found were Buddhist hymns belonging to 8th century. In every era, Bengal had some noted names in literature field. Though Bengali literature had been prevalent from ages, it was in 19th century that the world stood up and took notice of it. First renowned author from Bengal was Raja Ram Mohan Roy who translated Sanskrit literary works to Bengali. However, the most important time was that of Rabindranath Tagore. His influence on making Bengali a global language was immense. His book 'Gitanjali', a book of poems, won him the Nobel prize for literature in 1913. Two of his poems today are the National Anthem of India and Bangladesh. With time, Bangla literature became rich and varied. Many novelists like Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, Jagdish Chandra Bose and Satyajit Ray produced works that earned them fame in worlds. Many of the books were later shoot as movies. The best time to have a look at the entire collection is during Book Fair that happens every year early in February.

Dressing Styles in West Bengal

Every state in India has its own unique sense of dressing and West Bengal is no exception. The only exception here is that people here don't wait for a festival to come by, to wear or buy new clothes. They are always dressed in their best and traditional clothes. Traditional wear for Bengali men is a white dhoti along with a Kurta. Bengali Kurta is slightly different from the ones found in rest of the country. They are shorter than their counterparts and are designed in a unique way. For women, saris of cotton and silk are most preferred. Salwar Kameez has become immensely popular among young women in Bengal. While keeping their traditions intact, Bengalis like to experiment with the western style clothes. So you will see a newest fashion as well on the streets.

 



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