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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 ?
But then, I forget that you too must have that certain feeling that Bengalis are superior to everyone else
Mukhopadhyay argues that Bengali elites had shared interests with the colonial government until the 1860s: bhadralok supported the colonial government in its efforts to put down the (tribal) Santal disturbances in the 1850s, and they also supported the colonial government during the 1857 mutiny.
There are the usual intergenerational struggles of parents trying to keep their children in the fold of Bengali convention while at the same time negotiating the benefits of the possibilities offered by an American education--despite the dangers of life in the U.
Bengali children will learn Bengali from their parents.
The University of Birmingham's Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Culture and the Bangladesh Writers Association of Birmingham will spend 12 months documenting the first generation from the city's Bengali community.
In 1976 a Muslim from Brighton spotted him at the East London Mosque and realized that his language skills would be an asset in a cosmopolitan city where Muslims spoke Urdu, Bengali, Arabic and English.
Had all that come to pass, might Bengalis be better off today than they are?
The social calendar of the Bengali associations is an eventful one, starting with the ushering in of Bengali New Year (Poila Baisakh) in April, Durga Puja - a unique form of celebration of Navratri which is followed by the customary Bijoya Dashami, 'Dol' or Holi - the festival of colours etc.
Though the main focusing is upon preservation of Bengali language as the literature is rich in heritage and traditions because being strong in mother language will no doubt pave the way towards grasp in English and other foreign languages.
The Bengali Pakistani's are residing in Pakistan since a long time and they are now facing the problem in obtaining the National Identity Cards as well as the Passports, It appears that deliberately hindrance being created for the innocent Bengali Community.
While falsifying the highly exaggerated Bangladeshi and Indian claims about the deaths of Bengalis, Bose in her monumental work on the 1971 war notes that the only group whose killing could qualify the definition of genocide were non-Bengali residents of East Pakistan.
India's propaganda about exaggerated figures of deaths of Bengalis had stoked the passions and stirred the emotions to take revenge of partition of India.