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a people in India and Bangladesh; one of the largest groups in South Asia. Bengalis are settled in the lower Ganges River basin and in the deltas of the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers. The Bengali population is about 100 million (1967 census); of this number, about 60 million live in Bangladesh (the basic population of what was formerly called East Pakistan) and about 40 million live in India (the basic population of the Indian states of West Bengal and part of the population of the states of Bihar, Orissa, and Assam). They speak the Bengali language. Anthropologically, Bengalis are basically related to the southern branch of the Caucasoid race; in the northeast the influence of the Mongol race is observed, and in the southwest a Dravidian anthropological type is traced. The majority of Bengalis in India practice the Hindu religion; others are Muslim, Jain, or Christian. The Bengalis of Bangladesh are mainly followers of the Muslim religion.

The Bengali people have followed a complex course of historical development. They began to establish themselves as a nation in the second half of the 19th century. They reached a high level of culture, developing their literature, music, dance, theater, painting and sculpture, artistic crafts, and so forth. The basic occupation is agriculture. (The principal crops include rice and jute.) The ethnic territory of the Bengalis is one of the most densely populated agrarian regions of South Asia and of the entire world (reaching a rural population of 1,000 per sq km). A relatively large number of Bengalis work in production, mainly in Calcutta and its satellite cities, as well as in the areas of Asansol, Belur, and others. Weaving, pottery-making, wood and ivory carving, embroidery, printing of silks, and other crafts are well developed.


Narody Iuzhnoi Azii. Moscow, 1963. (Bibliography on page 891.) Dalton, E. T. Descriptive Ethnology of Bengal. Calcutta, 1960.
References in periodicals archive ?
If they followed that law, the problem will be solved…if these Bengali people deserve citizenship according to the law, they can get it," said Phone Minn.
He added that there is a large presence of Bengali people in the Sultanate, indicating that such flights between the two cities will contribute in providing an easy and comfortable facility to reach their country.
One is loaded with around 200 Bengali people," it said, using the government term for illegal migrants from Bangladesh.
But due to irony of fate Haseena Wajid and her father Mujeeb thought so that they succeeded in weeding out the Two-Nation Theory and Islam from Bengali people that resulted into the murder of the whole family of Mujeeb in 1975 (Haseena Wajid was out of country at that time).
A member of Panthojan, Debashish Bhattacharjee, said: "The organising of this programme is a good effort of bringing together the Bengali people of the two nations.
Speaking at a ceremony at the Punjab University held with regard to Pakistan Day, the former prime minister recounted contribution of Bengali people.
Bose, of Bengali Hindu descent and a senior research fellow at Oxford University, claims the Pakistani army was "demonized" and blamed for "monstrous actions regardless of the evidence", while Bengali people were portrayed as "victims".
The inquisitive nature of the Bengali people fosters dialogue; dialogue, in turn, promotes harmony.
One is, I think, that this City is basically racist, and another is that there is a perception that Bengali people don't have the right accents, the right skills and the right attitudes.
The creation of the new Indian culture" --the culture which produced Tagore and the Bengali Renaissance--was, said Chaudhuri, "the greatest achievement of the Bengali people as well as the most important product of the cultural interaction which [accompanied] British rule in India,' The beauty and incompleteness of this cultural creation--beautiful because it so naturally recast traditional Bengali art into Western forms, incomplete because there was no real political and cultural cooperation between the Bengali people and the British--is rendered poignant throughout all of Chaudhuri's writing.
This free movement of people across the border shows the love that Bengali people have among themselves.
disappointment with the support he received from his people, especially the Bengali people, a sense of loneliness in his life as an institution-builder in a society, and a mindset that was hostile, or at best apathetic".