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What Makes Me Different From My Bengali Community #60

I’m a Bengali living far from my loved ones due to work. Although I am still in India, Hyderabad is vastly different from my home in terms of culture, language, and cuisine. Despite being known for our love of fish, festivals, literature, art, football and food (among other things), today I will focus on the ways that I differ from my community.


When I moved to Hyderabad, it was my first exposure to such cultural diversity. As fresh graduates, so were my fellow trainees. There were 8-10 Bengalis in our training batch and the rest came from other parts of India. In situations like this, people tend to hang out with those they have even the slightest connection with. Although I already had 3-4 college friends there, I chose to spend time with others instead. None of my friends were Bengali; rather, they came from places like Marathi, Odiya, Bihari, Kannada and Telugu-speaking regions. English was our only common language – although many of us weren’t fluent – but somehow it turned out to be a great experience for me.

I noticed that the Bengali group grew bigger over time and avoided interacting much with others; they had their own world while I had mine. Maybe that makes me less Bengali!


After training, my Bengali peers applied for transfer and flew back home. I could never find a solid reason to do the same except for the fact that it was my comfort zone.


Fish and rice are part of our daily diet. I know some parts of the world don’t appreciate fish as food. In my hometown, we had an abundance of fish that can hardly be found in Hyderabad Even in restaurants, I never showed much love for fish; it was usually my last option while eating out in my home town. Hyderabad has a good taste for kebabs and biriyani, so I accepted what was available instead of searching for what I liked back home. I don’t complain about things I dislike, maybe that’s obnoxious of me.


Durga Puja is the biggest festival for Bengalis. It’s not just about worshiping Goddess Durga and Hindus. People are getting more creative in making pandals, goddess idols, and decorating streets with lights. All religions join in the celebration by dressing up and going on pandal hopping adventures. Sadly, I couldn’t visit my hometown last year for Durga Puja. My social media didn’t flood with missing-home posts, which could be unacceptable to my Bengali friends and family.


I could’ve written this post in my native language, but I chose to communicate with people from all over the world. The internet has brought us closer together, so why miss this opportunity?

Final note:

I don’t often talk about my background. I want to return home, lie down on my own bed, and have meals with my family. My mom would caress my hair and say how much she missed me every day when I was away. Moving out is never easy, and neither are adulthood responsibilities. I’ve done what I had to do, but my roots will always be there. I’m proud of my identity, and you should be too. Love it and embrace it no matter where you go or what you become.

Stay well, peeps! Much love xo

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Post Author: Molten Cookie Dough

A typical Pisces person.

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