Diffusion and Acculturation of Bengalis’ Culture

Harasankar Adhikari

Are Bengalis (Bengali speaking population) secular? The statistic shows that Bengalis are dominated Hindu by faith. Their culture is rich, and it is respected throughout the globe due to its diversity. But due to migration into urban places and slightly urbanization this culture is facing continuous diffusion and acculturation. This change may be good, and it may be a matter of pride. But it is prone to Westernization and imitation to others. Historically, Bengalis are liberal, and they always welcome new considering its pros and cons. Bengalis’ stalwarts warned about this imitation.

Unfortunately, Bengalis (Hindu –especially urbanite) have been forgotten, or they desperately neglect and ignore bad sides of imitation. Then, they openly avoid the warnings of the stalwarts. Their changing behavior reminds the lines of a famous song- “Mera juta hey Japani, Mera dil hey Hindustani”. They only want entertainment and celebration. It has been observed that Bengalis (Hindu) madly celebrate their own festivals and at the same times, they also celebrate others festivals (except festivals of the Muslim) with tremendous joy. It is especially the festivals of Christians. They are too much cautious about the festivals of the Muslim. They never visit to a Mosque. But they visit (sometime secretly) to a Muslim’s house to enjoy their foods, while they visit to a Church, especially during the Christmas Day.

On the other part, Bengalis (Hindu) offer ‘puja’ daily to many Gods and Goddesses. Increasing number of flower shops in every place is example of their ‘Bhakti’. The temple of ‘Shoni Dev’ is everywhere at a corner of a street/lane, in front of residents and beneath a banyan tree, etc. They offer ‘puja’ every Saturday. So, we see that they have full of faith if they satisfactorily pray the Gods and the Goddesses would bless for a happy and prosperous life. The Gods and Goddesses would keep them healthy and make them wealthy. This darkness of Bengalis’ culture was dominating in nature when Bengalis were unlettered, orthodox and superstitious, and they were ignorant in science and scientific research. In 21st Century, they are educated, scientific minded and modern. But they are in same state of backwardness.

Bengalis celebrate Christmas and welcome New Year with great joy. They organize the cocktail party with loud music and cracker bomb firework. They never bother whether it may disturb others. On 31st December, they stand in the queue for a bottle of liquor even at 11 o’clock at night in front of a liquor shop.     

This change/symptom reminds that Bengalis are alone, isolated and depressed. They prefer to enjoy variously to be kept out from their mental pain and agony. They think that entertainment and enjoyment are only the medicines to get relief from their agony. This is an immediate effect of broken family and truncated network of the family relationship, separation and self-centeredness.

Apart from the above, if Bengalis are so secular and liberal why there is communal disharmony and violence among them. Is it the cause of political sponsorship of communal conflict and violence?

Bengalis should think about their changing behavior regardless of class and caste.

Jan 5, 2019

Harasankar Adhikari [email protected]

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