BENGALI CULTURAL HERITAGE
Bangladeshi people’s lifestyle revels Bengali culture (Inden & Nicholas, 2005). The practice of Bengali Culture is not only confined in Bangladesh but also it is common where Bangla speaking people lives, in broad term it is part of Indian subcontinent. The main base of its religious diversity and various social groups. Bengali culture enrich after started Bengali renaissances at 19th and 20th centuries this unprecedented culture produced many prominent Authors, Philosophers, Singers, Filmmakers, Artist, Scientist etc. The main outstanding feature of Bengali culture is religious diversity and coexistence.
Film and Media: The Bangladeshi press is totally manifold for its diverse characteristics. Almost all of the press is privately owned except few published in the shade of political party, these party newspapers are often biased to their party instead they promote political propaganda which is totally unethical for media. Talking about Radio one name comes to mind that Bangladesh Betar. It has a historical background, the contribution of this radio station is immense to Bangladeshi liberation war. British Broadcasting Corporation is known as BBC is very well known for its BBC Bangla programs. Voice of America is famous as an alternative. Bangladesh Television is first TV channels in Bangladesh which is government owned channel. However, nowadays about more than 30 private TV channels are broadcasting but BTV still able to sustain its popularity by Itaddi Mega show, freedom of media is a burning question as government attempts to censoring and harassing journalists. Bangladeshi Cinema has a long history first cinema was broadcasted in Crown Theatre Dacca in 1898 it followed by the first Bioscope in this subcontinent. Bengali cinema hugely patronized by Dacca Nawab family between 1920 and 1930. However, Bengali public first exposed to the cinema at the turn of nineteen century, but it was only in the period between the mid-20s and mid-30s that a film culture involve in Bengal (Gooptu, 2010). It is regarded the 50s as a transition point of Bengali cinema as Pronoydharami Chohhobi and a couple of star Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen. (CHATTERJEE, 2010)First Bengali full-length feature film was the Last Kiss released by Bengali Cinematography Society. During Pakistan regime, the first cinema was Mukh O Mukhos which released in 1956 following decade our film industry was witnessed of 25 to 30 cinema’s production annually. Nowadays, this production boost to a peak of 100-120 film per year. This film industry made many famous film and documentary maker, Zahir Raihan was most prominent and legendary one, who unfortunately abducted at liberation war 1971. We lost another Fipresci winner filmmaker Tareque Masud, for his film Matir Moina by a tragic road accident in back 2012.
Pohela Boisakh: Pohela Baisakh is the first day of Bengali Year. It emerges on 14 March normally. This Calendar system introduced by Mughal emperor Akbar the Great. To collect revenue from Tenants Muslim Hijri Calendar had been used but there was a setback, Hijri calendar was counted according to Lunar which is contradictory to solar agricultural methods. To minimize this issue Bengali system was introduced later it an integral part of Bengali culture. Pohela Boishakh is marked by starting of the crop season. However, the rituals of Pohela Boishakh are distinctive by its characters peoples from all classes and religions commemorates it willingly. The festival date is set with reference to lunisolar Bengali Calendar as the first of its month Boishakh starts, specifically, the celebration is deferent comparing to villages and cities. The celebration starts in Dhaka at early morning with Mongol Shobha Jatra,
On 30 November 2016 the Mangal Shobhajatra festival was selected as an intangible cultural heritage by the Inter-governmental Committee on Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO at its 11th session, which was held in Addis Ababa Ethiopia, (Intangible Cultural Heritage, n.d.)this is rudimentary rituals inaugurated at back 1985 at Jessore but become familiar by Fine Arts Faculty of University of Dhaka. Now it is celebrated by various organizations across the country. This is to observe three themes with masks and floats, its Indicate evils, courage, and peace. Different religious creed, caste, gender, and age observe this flock heritage. But in case of villages celebration has another flavor, it marked by singing, stage performance, and village fairs. New ledges open this day by every businessman which is part of the heritage. In Bangladesh, it is celebrated as a public holiday and also observed beyond religious boundaries.
Language: Bengali People have a separate identity for their unique language. About 300 million people speak Bangla language. Bangla is 5th largest language in the world. This language special for its long historical background the most ancient document is recorded back 650 AD which proved its strong longevity, However, Bangladeshi are first people who sacrificed their lives to protect their mother tongue at 1952 AD, 21 February language movement against Pakistan Tyranny that day several people killed while they started a rally to protect Bangla language as an official language of East Pakistan. This symbol of sacrifice is recognized by UNESCO at 1999, and later 21 February is commemorated as World Mother Language Day to respect those mortuaries devotion. Now, Bangla is the mother tongue of Bangladeshi, West Bangle, Assam, Tripura, Bihar, and Odisha and as a second language in Sierra Leone. International Mother Language Day was proclaimed by UNESCO’s General Conference in November 1999. The International Day has been observed every year since February 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism (www.un.org, n.d.)
Wedding: Bangali weeding is outstanding for its distinctive features sometimes the process needs several days to complete. Arrange marriage is common although, nowadays, love marriage is also becoming popular. Rituals start with visiting bride it is a formal way which matchmaker take groom family to bride family after formal conversation if the desire of both sides fulfills than it comes to marriage. However, among Muslim Denmohor is an integral part of weeding on the on the other hand Hindus marriage precondition is Dowry. In our traditional marriage not only united a sacred union both girls and boys, the bondage of two families as well. A few decades ago bride and groom saw their partner first time on the wedding day. This culture drastically changed in cities now a day’s boys and girls have right to say about their life partner. Matchmaker often played an important role tor setting up two families. The matchmaker who solve possible misunderstanding between them. He introduced the fact about family history, academic backgrounds, and social status. This very common to used Ghotok as media in both city and village areas. Most of the time Ghotok is a person who knows both families, well sometimes Ghotok can be professional who take payment for their service. However, today’s matchmaker website playing an effective role in this purpose. And finally, one particular day boy’s family visit girl’s family. This meeting is to make sure final agreement and familiar with new relatives. Akdh or Engagement means marriage is final, there are many local traditions about marriage which is distinctive from one another the matrimonial ceremony can be longer few days. Finally the weeding end with Boubhat which is also known as a wedding reception.
Festivals and Celebrations: Every religion has their own celebrations and festivals in addition to there are some common celebrations like Pohela Boishakh, Pous mula etc, however, among Muslim most famous religious culture is Eid ul Fitr and Eid ul Adha, every year there are two Eid when it’s come the whole country looks like festive mode. Government announces 3 days long holy day but school collage remain close more than seven days everybody remains busy with shopping and collecting ticket to go home roads and highways become congested for excessive pressure all the city dealer. Durga Puja is sacred festival according to Hindu doctrine which vastly is celebrated. On the other hand, Boddho Purnia and Christmas day are government holy day for Buddhism and Christianity. Nowadays all of the celebrations and festival observe commonly.
Cloth: Bengali has several traditional dress code. Women widely wear sharee often it reveals local design and color whether it may be silk sharees, georgette or designer sarees also young female wears Salwar, Kameez. Traditional costume for man is Panjabi and Dhuti within bucolic people Lungi is famous. In urban areas women also seen wearing western dress. The popularity of Lungi at home for men are omnipresent.
Religions: Muslim first establish their dominance by conquering Nodia in 1204. (Eaton, 1996) Before Akhter Uddin Muhammad Bin Bakhtiar Khilzi’s triumph majority of Bengali people believed in Hinduism, mass Hindu tenants converted to Islam to get out of social caste system, however, today’s senses show the new proportions of four main religious groups. Bangladesh is ethnically homogenous with Bengali comprising 98%of the population. Most of the Bangladeshi people believe in Islam but there is another minority like Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity. Muslim constitute about 88% of its population while Hinduism is a considerable minority of the country Sikh, Atheist, and Christianity is a very minimal figure. Religious coexistence in Bangladesh can be an example for rest of the worlds. It is a very common scenario that in the evening Muslim goes to Mosque, on the other hand, Hindu women start their Pujas.
Music and Dance: Bangle music and dance have a separate flavor which has some ramifications namely, Baul song, Lalon song, Nazrul Giti, Modern songs etc. In 2005 Baul song was included in the list of Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. (Intangible Cultural Heritage, n.d.) Nowadays, with the passage of time western songs are also becoming popular especially among adolescents. Traditional songs have some insight beauty whenever people listen it feels very happy cause it gives then some mental happiness. On the other hand, dance has also some distinctive characteristic along with tribal dance, local dance, and classical dance. Classical dance is very eye-catching among all of this. The younger generation is fascinating about hip-hop song.
Cuisine and Culinary: The traditional Bengali society has always been agrarian. The food habit of Bengali are almost similar, Milk is one of the main sources of nutrient as well as it is used to make various mouthwatering food. Lentil, Vegetables, Meat, and Fish is the main diet. Domestic animals are the main source of milk, it is a very common scenario of Bengali typical village every affluent house must have a pond which fulfills the demand of animals protein. However, Bangladesh is a riverine country it has many lakes, canals, etc which provide a huge amount of indigenous fishes more than 40 types of fishes are available at those rivers. Hilsa, Prone, Panda are famous throughout the country. Rice is basic ingredient for diet vegetables are made differently according to culture.
Sports: the Bengali nation is quite a big fan of sports, Football is very famous among all age groups, and Cricket is also very popular as your Nation Cricket Team playing well recently. Badminton is played in every cities and suburb during winter. Although, our national sports is Kabadi which is played as well participation is very minimal. Kabadi get the status of national game at 1972 as well as name previously it was known as Ha-Du-Du ( Banglapedia, 2014)
Architectural Heritage: Our architectural heritage is very rich with a diverse architectural design like Moghal, Turkey, Persian, and Arabic etc. Shat Gambuz Mosque is a symbol of Turkey architectural design. Lalbagh Fort is a part of Mughal architectural design. On the other hand, modern design is becoming acceptable by all for it eye caching beauty and newly invented facilities Fazlur Rahman Khan is a Bengali architect well known for his outstanding high-rise building invention theory recognized ‘father of tubular designs’ which is widely followed by modern architect. The genius who made today’s Skyscrapers possible (Who was Fazlur Rahman Khan? The genius who made today’s skyscrapers possible, 2017)
Banglapedia. (2014, August 10). Retrieved from National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh: http://en.banglapedia.org/index.php?title=Kabadi
CHATTERJEE, S. (2010). Remapping Transitions of Bengali Cinema into the 50s. JOURNAL OF THE MOVING IMAGE, 153.
Eaton, R. M. (1996). The Rise of Islam and the Bengal Frontier, 1204-1760. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Gooptu, S. (2010). Bengali Cinema: ‘An Other Nation’. Taylor & Francis.
Inden, R. B., & Nicholas, R. W. (2005). Kinship in Bengali culture. New Delhi: Chronicle Books, DC Publishers.
Intangible Cultural Heritage. (n.d.). Retrieved from United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation: https://ich.unesco.org/en/proclamation-of-masterpieces-00103
Who was Fazlur Rahman Khan? The genius who made today’s skyscrapers possible. (2017, April 3). Retrieved from The Daily Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2017/04/03/fazlur-rahman-khan-genius-whose-simple-invention-made-todays/
www.un.org.(n.d.).Retrieved from http://www.un.org/en/events/motherlanguageday/background.shtml