People with different racial, regional and cultural origins live in West Bengal. However, an impact of the Bengali culture is evidently visible on all the residents of the state. The zeal of festive mood, the tendency of relishing good food, the intellectual aura and the love for literature, music and football is commonly seen in majority of the people in West Bengal. The cosmopolitan Bengali culture, with a blend of traditional sanctity in it, is something that makes Bengal a unique state. Read on to know more about the basic traits of Bengali people.
People & Lifestyle Of West Bengal
West Bengal, because of its accessible location near sea, has been the entry gate of India since long. Today, the inhabitants of the state demonstrate a prolific inter mixture of five distinct racial strains. The oldest stratum of the population found here is Proto-Australian in origin. However, these five main racial strains of Bengal have become so inextricably intermixed that it is almost impossible to find a pure racial type in the population.
Hindu and Muslims dominate the population of West Bengal. The minority religions practiced in the state are Sikhism, Buddhism, Christianity and Jainism. The people of Bengal live with mutual peace and harmony. Throughout the year there is a festive mood in the state, as each season brings a plethora of festivals along with it. Durga Pooja is celebrated with same joy and grandeur in the state as Id. The cuisines and the culture of West Bengal also demonstrate the inextricable blend of its existent religions.
The literacy rate of West Bengal is 69.72 %. There is free primary education in rural West Bengal and in the most of the municipal areas. Even the books are available free of cost to the students of rural parts. Girl's education in the state is free up to standard VIII.
Agriculture is the main occupation of the people of West Bengal. Majority of the population is involved in the farming sector, as cultivators and agricultural labors. Industries are also a major source of employment in Bengal. There are more than 10000 registered factories in the state. Apart from the alloy steel plant at Durgapur, there are several other steel plants in the state. The colliery at Asansol is also a large employment provider in the state. Other than this, the centre has set up a numerous industries in the areas of tea, sugar, chemicals and fertilizers. Tea and jute plantation in West Bengal also generate a lot of job. People here are also involved in banking and education sector.
The traditional Bengali attire for men is dhoti and kurta (a sleeved vest) and for women, it is sari or salwar-kameez. Though these attires are still dominant in the rural areas, the urban people have almost fully adopted to the western attires. The only exceptions are the religious ceremonies, when they can be seen clad in their traditional costumes.
The staple food of Bengal is rice and fish. There is a variety of fish available in West Bengal and every fish is cooked in a different way. The use of mustard oil and panchforan (five spices) in the cuisine adds a distinct flavor to the dishes. Bengal is also known for its delicious sweets. Chômchôm, Pantua, Pitha, Rôshogolla & Shôndesh are some of the mouth-watering sweets available here. The people of Bengal are said to be big foodies and real appreciators of taste.