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Our Culture

CULTURE & LIFESTYLE

Extending from the magnanimous Himalayan Mountains in the north to the Bay of Bengal in the south, the state of West Bengal has been influenced by a plethora of cultures since time immemorial. The amalgamation of these cultures, matched with Bengal's own unique richness, can be identified by its vibrant and prominent contribution to all epochs and traditions of modern society. Often described as a melting pot of different cultures, West Bengal has a unique blend of various religions, languages, customs, traditions and lifestyles. With this traditional multi-racial and multi-lingual culture, various festivals like Christmas, Durga Puja, Id and other festivals are celebrated in equal fervour by all. In the literary field, eminent scholars like Rabindranath Tagore, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay and others have been internationally acclaimed the world over. West Bengal also boasts of world renowned figures like Mother Teresa, Satyajit Ray, Pandit Ravisankar, Amartya Sen and many others. The works of ancient philosophers such as Atisa and Tilopa have been sacredly preserved in libraries in Tibet, China and Central Asia.The Tagore family's contribution to Bengali literature, art and culture has immensely influenced the Bengal Renaissance. Tagore himself won the Nobel Prize in 1913 and showcased the literature of Bengal to the world. He set up Shantiniketan that is the still one of the best open art and literature schools in the country. Abanindranath Tagore was the principal artist and creator of the "Indian Society of Oriental Art". Satyajit Ray, the first academy award winner in India was born in Bengal and won honourable awards in international film festivals held in Moscow, Berlin and San Francisco. Widely considered as one of the greatest directors the world has ever produced, Satyajit Ray won 32 National awards and forever revolutionised the art of filmmaking in India. Raja Ram Mohan Roy was one of the forerunners of changing the culture of Bengal and eventually the rest of India - he set up the BrahmoSamaj and helped to abolish Sati, an obsolete practice where a widow immolates herself shortly after her husband's death. Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was the first person to start widow remarriage which was forbidden for centuries before.

Last updated on: Wednesday, 1st May 2019
Information Source: Department of Information & Cultural Affairs(I&CA), Government of West Bengal
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