West Bengal: Working on the Culture of Progress

The state of West Bengal is a state of rich cultural traditions. The culture of West Bengal is manifested in the state's awesome literary heritage, Rabindrasangeet, cinema of Satyajit Ray, handicrafts, and cuisines, and many other myriad facets. If you travel to West Bengal, you must not only taste, but gorge on the delectable cuisines of West Bengal, which though dominated by fish and rice, is not limited by them. The sweets of West Bengal are truly mouth-watering, and the handicrafts of West Bengal are a feast for the eyes. Dhokra art, sholapith items, brass and bell metal work and terracotta are some of the enchanting examples of the ancient legacy of the handicrafts of the state, which can adorn many modern homes.

The women of West Bengal dress gracefully, and the highpoint of the costumes of West Bengal are the handloom sarees for which the adjective 'exquisite' is simply not enough. You may be tempted to drape your loved ones in the wonderful textures of Baluchari, Daccai or Shantipuri sarees, and by doing so you would support the weaving tradition of the state in your own small way. Dance is another flamboyant cultural expression of the state of West Bengal. The dances of West Bengal are a joy to watch, but among them, a Chhau dance performance is truly a not to be missed one. This masked interpretation of mythology with animated movements, can bring goose bumps on your flesh in the small hours of night.


Bengali, a language whose roots date back to the tenth century AD, is the official language of the state, but English and Hindi can easily find their niches in the languages of West Bengal. Specially, in the state's capital Kolkata, Hindi and English are widely spoken, which amply reflects the cosmopolitan culture of the City of Joy. The people of the state are quite politically aware, and the politics of West Bengal is dominated by Left Front coalition, Trinamool Congress and the INC. The state has been ruled by the Left Front coalition for the last thirty years, thereby making it the world's longest running democratically elected socialist government. An active political scenario is complemented by an equally proactive media of the state. The media of West Bengal is a vibrant force; playing the role of a watchdog to the political moves spearheading the state, nation and the globe.

West Bengal is a sports-crazy nation, and watching cricket and football matches are consuming passions among all sections of people in the state. The favourite sports of West Bengal are cricket and football, but kho kho and kabaddi are also widely played in the rural West Bengal and golf is quite popular among the elite echelons of the society.

However, West Bengal is not only about art and culture; politics and sports. The business and economy of West Bengal is also growing at an appreciable rate. West Bengal's state domestic product grew by 11 percent in 2005, and it is now the third fastest growing economy among all the states and UTs of India. West Bengal is also the third largest economy in India, but still strangely significant parts of the state is underdeveloped with incidences of rampant poverty. However, lately the state government is encouraging foreign direct investment in a big way, and it is hoped that it will yield some effective solutions to the state's poverty and unemployment.

The geography of West Bengal spreads from Himalayas in the north to the Bay of Bengal in the south, and this gives a great potential to the tourism of West Bengal. From mountains, to wildlife to seas to exotic culture… West Bengal has it all to allure the tourists of all hues.

Last Updated On: 2011/07/12