West Bengal, one of India’s most culturally affluent states, is full of surprises. Whether it’s the various religions melting into one another or the magnificent cultural events that seem to make up the glorious state that it is, it all seems to add up to the glorious state that it is. West Bengal is much more than enormous red bindis and dhoti kurtas. There are many components to West Bengal culture, and we’ll take a look at some of the more interesting ones now.
- Literature: West Bengal has a rich literary tradition, with famous authors such as Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay, Rabindranath Tagore, Kazi Nazrul Islam, and Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay contributing significantly to Bengali and international literature. The legacy of literature goes far beyond that. There is a long heritage of folk tales such as the Thakurmar Jhuli, Tales of Gopal Bhar, and others, which have a strong resemblance to well-known stories such as Arabian Nights and the Panchatantra in terms of popularity. Bengalis have made major contributions to the modernization of Indian literature. Rabindranath Tagore’s collection of poems, Gitanjali, went on to earn the Nobel Prize for Literature.
- Films and Theatre: There is a long-standing tradition of folk drama in West Bengal called Jatra. The musical drama is a form of theatre in which a story is portrayed in a melodious way while it is being enacted on stage. Originally, it served as one of the ways to spread the story of Lord Krishna. There are only dramatic monologues in all the dialogues, and nowadays a musical concert precedes the play to attract the audience. Based in West Bengal’s Tollygunge region, Tollywood is a film industry unique to the state. It has a long list of nationally and internationally acclaimed filmmakers.
- Fine Arts: Bengal is regarded as the predecessor of modern contemporary art, with notable painters such as Abanindranath Tagore, Gaganendranath Tagore, Jamini Roy, and Rabindranath Tagore leading the charge to promote the modernization of the country’s art. Abanindranath Tagore is known as the “Father of Modern Indian Art,” and he founded the Bengal School of Art to encourage artistic styles that were not influenced by European influences. There are several allusions to terracotta art and Kalighat paintings before the onset of modernization, indicating that the region has always been a lover of art.
The culture of West Bengal is vibrant and colorful. Almost everything contains a great deal of variation. You can learn even more if you take the time to go there and visit!