Bengali Girls: Growing up as a Bengali has been a great experience. Despite being based out of Bengal, I have thoroughly enjoyed my identity as a Bengali. My childhood days were all spent listening to literary works by Rabindranath Tagore and Sukumar Ray from my father. Moreover, watching classics like Gupa Gayin Bagha Bayin with family was pure bliss.
My only gripe is that I have come across endless stereotypes and judgmental statements for being a Bengali girl. I wish we can do away with these:
10 Things Bengalis Are Sick And Tired Of Hearing
1. Tumi Bangali? Aami Tomake Bhalobashi.
Are you even a Bengali if a random “non-Bengali” hasn’t turned up to you and said, “Aami Tomake Bhalobashi” ( meaning I love you!) Why and how did this obsession begin? If you ever get an answer to this question, please let me know.
2. How Do You ‘Eat’ Water?
In simple words, grammar rules are not the same in all languages beyond that I don’t owe you any explanations. You can simply continue minding your own business.
3. So Where Are You From, Kolkata?
Why can’t you simply accept that Kolkata is not the hometown of all Bengalis? There is a large population of Bengalis living there but many of us come from different parts of the country and you should get used to this fact at the earliest.
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4. I Believe You Are Very Studious. All Bengalis Are.
It is a good thing to be stereotyped as studious but its not the case with every Bengali. As a student, I never shared a very healthy relationship with my books. I studied because I had no other option. Of course, there’s nothing to brag about studying out of sheer necessity but we are tired of clearing your misconceptions now and then.
5. Tum Log Toh Bas Machhli Aur Mithai Khaate Ho Na?
When you mention to someone that you are a Bengali, they inevitably imagine you to be a fish and sweet eater. While such stereotypical questions are flung at us as ‘jokes’, we know how irritating it is to hear such stuffs day after day.
6. Eyi Tui Ulu Dite Parish?
Na re, aamake shekhabi? (translation: No, can you please teach me?) Ululation, is Bengali a tradition in which a high pitched loud vocal sound is made by rapidly moving the tongue back, mostly done by women during auspicious celebrations. We are not programmed to do it.
7. Aren’t Bengali Girls Supposed To Have Long Hair And Big Eyes?
First of all, who said this? My eyes and my hair do not define me. My hair stops growing after a certain length and I need to get a frequent haircut to prevent it from getting damaged. As for the eyes, I am pretty satisfied with how they are. I don’t wish to have ‘bigger’ ones.
8. I Am Sure You Love Football.
Well, honestly, I am not fond of sports…be it football, basketball, cricket or hockey. Now you can call me boring but that will not change my opinion.
9. Can You Speak Hindi?
To your surprise, I am more comfortable speaking in Hindi. Most of my friends are Hindi speaking. Bengali as a language was never taught to me at school, I grew up at a place where the population of Bengalis is negligible and there is a huge population like me in this country. So next time, don’t generalise Bengalis to be bad at speaking Hindi. We have Sharmila Tagore, Jaya Bachchan, Rani Mukerjee and Sushmita Sen and many other Bengali speaking actors who have ruled the Bollywood too.
Views expressed are the author’s own.
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