Sunday, July 21, 2024

All the ancient traditions of rural Bengal are disappearing

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As time and progress demands changes will come as the age demands But there is also a need to retain the ancient traditions

When I used to go to the village when I was a child, I used to see all these Naiyaris riding in palanquins to my father’s house or my father-in-law’s house. It makes me sad to think that many ancient traditions of Bengal are being lost. How nostalgic. Now the Nayori come to the village by bus, launch, van or car. Whether we like it or not, we can no longer hold on to these traditions. It is being replaced by technology-based luxury motorized vehicles or goods. Bullock carts, rice buckets, channa houses, the use of pots and some games are disappearing. A lot more is missing.

Once upon a time most of the poor farmers in the village had huts. These houses were relatively cool during hot summer days. In winter these houses were less cold than tin houses. At present most of the farmers’ houses are occupied by glazed tin houses or brick-cement houses. The welfare of the present generation (due to emigration) has increased in relief – perhaps increased in happiness, but the ancient traditions have been lost.

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There was a time when paddy huts were very popular. In the village there was a special type of house made for storing paddy. This type of rice barn was usually in the houses of farmers of village status. In our village it was called rice dole. If the girls of the house did not want to get married, the mother aunts often used to say to the girl in a mocking manner or with a smile – “I will take care of you, you don’t have to get married”.

Neighbors would know that Kutum was coming home once he stepped on the cover. Throughout the day, throughout the night, there was the sound of thunder. Along with that sound, the melody of the farmers would also be heard. There was also the work of threshing of paddy throughout the year which started even before Fajr Azan. Along with this there was work of kalai, lentil, breaking, chira kota, various types of chhatu kota. Boujis used to work a lot then.

A very popular game in the village which we used to play when we went to the village as children. Perhaps itching is the name of the game. The game was popular in the city once. Big fields were available for playing then. Children could play many kinds of games. They could play many kinds of games like Bouchi, Gollachoot, Hadudu, Ekka-Dokka, Danguli, Openty Bioscope etc. in the open fields. Children’s health was good because of these running games. I also got a lot of playgrounds in my childhood.

Bullock carts were in vogue in rural Bengal a few days ago. Many types of business in the village were carried out in bullock carts. Apart from this, the movement of people was also largely dependent on bullock carts. Even housewives used to go to Nair on bullock carts. So maybe the singer sang on behalf of the Nayari-

ওকি গাড়িয়াল ভাই
কত রব আমি পন্থের পানে চাইয়া রে …

As time and progress demands, changes will come as the age demands. But there is also a need to preserve the ancient traditions.” I saw an open air museum in Holland. They have spent a lot of money in the museum to preserve their ancient traditions. I liked the museum very much. It is time to preserve these ancient traditions in our country. If not, our future generations will have many problems. Will not know; will be deprived of many traditions.

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