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The hues of the Bengali culture

The best places, where you will get a glimpse of the Bengali culture and heritage are in the Indian state of West Bengal and the country of Bangladesh. Though the barbed wires and internal LOC divides the two areas, they are bound to each other by the ties of culture and heritage. Both the areas have the same official language, Bengali. It is considered to be the sweetest language in the world. Here, I will provide you with an in-depth knowledge about the significance of the Bengali traditional outfits and its various kinds.

But is that all that makes the Bengali culture so vibrant? Perhaps not! The full analysis of the heritage of Bengal cannot be limited to only the language. You will have to take the food, occasions, and the clothes in consideration as well.


Bengali traditional outfits

Photo by mmsajeeb

Something for everyone

During my tour of the area, I have noticed that the Bengali culture is rather easy for all to follow. The ease makes it so much appealing to those who do not belong to the Bengali community. If you love food, then the Bengalis have a huge variety of lip-smacking dishes for you to try out. If you want to know about their religious festivals, then visiting the state during the celebration of the Durga Puja will be appropriate.

Last but not the least; the people of Bengal have an inviting, warm and friendly nature that encompasses everyone. If you want to learn about the way of life of an average Bengali, then a look at the Bengali traditional outfits is a must. No matter what your preference is, you will find something that intrigues you.


Bengali traditional outfits for women

Suits, jeans, shirts, dresses, kurtas, and trousers – you will find the new age Bengali people wearing these outfits. But this does not mean that they have forsaken their traditional attires. I have seen many women who love to drape the “saree” on them. There are many ways in which the saree can be draped. With the advancement of the fashion industry, the effect of westernization has been seen on the traditional outfits as well. The traditional way of draping the saree, which was prevalent at the time of the “zamindars” was called the “aat-poure” style. This particular saree draping style was used by women, and it was believed to be comfortable throughout the day.

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With time, variations of the draping style came, and the modern women started to follow those styles. The influence of the Tagore family, on the modernization of fashion sense of the Bengali women and the Bengali traditional outfits, cannot be overlooked. It was the Tagore family who introduced the pleating of the saree and putting it on the left side of the shoulder. It provided greater mobility and comfort to the women. They also introduced the use of the blouse.

Traditional garments for men

When it comes to discussing the Bengali traditional outfits for men, you will have to take a look at the garments and the styles that were prevalent in the earlier times. The men used to wear dhotis as the bottom wear and kurtas on top of them. Though the kurtas were comfortable, draping the dhotis was an issue. It was time-consuming and less comfortable.

This was at the time of the early zamindars. With the advent of the British, the people of Bengal were introduced to the trousers. Though the rigid Bengalies were against the use of these garments, the ones who had an eye for modernity were quick to take up these outfits. Here too, the Tagore family had a lot of influence. They taught the educated Indians that one could wear modern shoes with the dhotis.

Evolution of the Bengali outfits

Fashion is not stagnant. New trends will emerge while the old ones pass into the darkness for a certain time. Trends and style go through change and get transformed into something new. The dresses and the dressing sense of the people of Bengal have also gone through many such changes. These changes can be termed as fashion evolutions. It was due to these evolutions that the style of Bengali traditional outfits changed and got transformed. The style of draping the saree changed, and men started teaming the kurtas with pajamas.

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The pajamas were comfortable as compared to the dhotis. Among the dresses that the people of Bengal took up were pajamas, salwar kameez, trousers and shirts, skirts are common. It is only obvious that the clothes of the people with change with the changing times. The lifestyle of the people also had its influence on the clothing pattern of the Bengalies.

Bengalies and modern dressing

During my last visit to Kolkata, I was amazed to see that the people have come a long way from the sarees and the dhotis. The ladies are wearing skirts and short dresses. Men also adorn themselves in the latest fashion styles. They have understood the meaning of the phrase “going with the flow.” The lifestyle of the people has changed drastically. Modernization and globalization, coupled with the exposure to education have played their respective parts in reshaping the thought patterns of the people.

It was once thought to be inappropriate for women to come out of the confines of the inner courtyards. But now, the Bengali girls do not feel any discomfort in visiting the pubs in short dresses or jeans. The credit goes to the education and the evolution of the traditional Bengali dresses that slowly had their impact on the minds of the people and prepared their mentality for embracing the new changes. A study of the old and the new culture of Bengal will provide you with the required information. There are lots of options for the Bengali men and women to choose from.

Featured Photo by souravdas


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