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Thread: Bengali...?

  1. #1
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    Bengali...?

    Is it cheeky to post in the Hindi section of this forum in an attempt to find other Bengalis or Bengali speakers?!

    Anthrogenica seems to be awash with Pashtun & Punjabi speaking representatives from South/Central Asia but where are the people from the Eastern side...?

    (I say this tongue in cheek)

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  3. #2
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    Not to worry Reza many of us were Bangalis at one time even if we don't speak Bangali!

    A 110 years back my state of birth was part of Bangal Province.

    Prior to the British period our land would often fall under Bangal (my ancestor had a land grant from Nusrat Shah, the Pathan chief of Bangal).
    https://www.academia.edu/5812257/DIS...THE_BENGAL_ART

    Prior to the Islamic period most of northern India was under the Pal kings of Pundravardhana (now in modern Bangladesh).
    pgs 257-283 http://www.ahandfulofleaves.org/docu...in%20India.pdf

    Some even consider the mighty Guptas* of Pataliputra and Ujjain to be from Bangal (Gaur in particular) and thus the whole of northern India came to be known as Gaur.

    Gupta script.
    http://www.britannica.com/topic/Gupta-script
    "Gupta script, any of a group of Indian alphabetic writing systems (sometimes modified to represent syllables instead of single sounds) derived from a northern Indian alphabet of the 4th–6th century ad. The ruling Gupta state at that time gave the script its name. It was developed out of Brāhmī and was spread with the Gupta empire over large areas of conquered territory, with the result that the Gupta alphabet was the ancestor (for the most part via Devanāgarī) of most later Indian scripts.
    The original Gupta alphabet had 37 letters, including 5 vowels, and was written from left to right. Four main subtypes of Gupta script developed from the original alphabet: eastern, western, southern, and Central Asian. The Central Asian Gupta can be further divided into Central Asian Slanting Gupta and its Agnean and Kuchean variants and Central Asian Cursive Gupta, or Khotanese. A western branch of eastern Gupta gave rise to the Siddhamatrka script (c. ad 500), which, in turn, evolved into the Devanāgarī alphabet (c. ad 700), the most widespread of the modern Indian scripts."

    Gupta numerals. "The Gupta numerals developed from the Brahmi numerals and were spread over large areas by the Gupta empire as they conquered territory." http://www-history.mcs.st-and.ac.uk/..._numerals.html

    *The Legends of the Panjab
    "Kahte Shahr Ujjain Rao nit karte bhog bilasa. Gaur Bangala, des jinhon ka tyag dia biswasa."
    https://books.google.com/books?id=ulcIAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA2
    Last edited by parasar; 12-09-2015 at 09:21 PM.

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    I can speak broken Bengali with you, it is not necessary to be be from the Eastern side and form a clique... you can help people like me learn your language if you wanna put in the effort!
    Btw, there are countable Pashtuns here and we have not washed away Anthrogenica yet.
    Ami bangla bole ki prayash korichu, tumi amar prayash mein help karu!. Map korbein for the gibberish attempt. Dhonyobad.

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    I'm here from the Indian side

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    Parasar, Bihar and Bengal have much shared history from what I've read! As you say from the days of the Guptas through to the Sultanate period and into the Presidency.

    Do you still have records of the land grant? I've always thought they're a good way to chase genealogy in the subcontinent, as at least with some Muslim communities, we don't have the equivalent of parish registers. I thought the next time I travel to Bangladesh, I'd check the 'khatiyan' survey records as far back as they go.

    Do the dialects in Bihar merge into Bengali as you get close to state boundaries?

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    Quote Originally Posted by surbakhunWeesste View Post
    I can speak broken Bengali with you, it is not necessary to be be from the Eastern side and form a clique... you can help people like me learn your language if you wanna put in the effort!
    Btw, there are countable Pashtuns here and we have not washed away Anthrogenica yet.
    Ami bangla bole ki prayash korichu, tumi amar prayash mein help karu!. Map korbein for the gibberish attempt. Dhonyobad.
    Bangla bhasha kothai shikhlen? I'm impressed...Though prayash is Hindi I think? We say cheshta kora.. My Pashtun is non existent. Most of the Afghanis I've met seem to be Dari speakers and Pashtun from Pakistan seem to also communicate in Urdu, at least in my community. Little opportunity to learn!

    Happy to help you learn but I'll admit now my 'shuddho' bangla is not brilliant. I think redifflal probably speaks a lot better than myself as being from West Bengal, the dialects from there are much closer to the Nadia based dialect which over the 19th century has become considered the standard.

    My family hail from Sylhet in the NE of Bangladesh. Our dialect and Chatgaya Boli from Chittagong probably differ the most from Standard Bengali and are often unintelligible to most including from Bangladesh. Pronunciation is quite different with a lot of fricatives, some vocabulary differences and different grammatical forms.

    In the Sylhet region everyone obviously learns Shuddho through the school mediun, but in the diaspora in UK, formal Bengali teaching is lacking so we tend to communicate in our own dialects. I've made an effort to learn and can read and write, but a long way to go.

    Rediffal, where in West Bengal do you hail from?
    Last edited by Reza; 12-10-2015 at 11:09 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reza View Post
    Parasar, Bihar and Bengal have much shared history from what I've read! As you say from the days of the Guptas through to the Sultanate period and into the Presidency.

    Do you still have records of the land grant? I've always thought they're a good way to chase genealogy in the subcontinent, as at least with some Muslim communities, we don't have the equivalent of parish registers. I thought the next time I travel to Bangladesh, I'd check the 'khatiyan' survey records as far back as they go.

    Do the dialects in Bihar merge into Bengali as you get close to state boundaries?
    I don't have a copy of the grant itself. It was forest clearing grant for Eksar area issued by Nusrat Shah to Jagarnath Dixit - the year is 1527 I believe.
    The Pathans and Brahmans were in serious trouble and were abandoning western India to the Turko-Mongols. Saran was still under Pathan control, and Jagarnarth Dixit after suffering a defeat in UP area came to Saran. That was short-lived as Babar in 1529 reached Saran.

    Ref.
    "Jagranath Dixit received land grant from the Sultan of Bengal, who permitted him to found more settlements and to extend his territory; thus after small forest-clearings, two villages were founded, viz., Parsa (garh) and Rusai, which became the orientation (initial) node of Eksaria"
    Clan Settlements in the Saran Plain (Middle Ganga Valley)
    The National Geographical Journal of India - Volumes 21-22
    The Limited Raj: Agrarian Relations in Colonial India
    https://books.google.com/books?id=Ck4jmD7H34UC&pg=PA59
    Bihar And Orissa District Gazetteers : Saran
    https://books.google.com/books?id=p7-ibcXzCi4C&pg=PA22

    The above movements in a way also explain the language issue. It is quite possible that Bangali is the closest language extant to old Magadhi Prakrit. The languages of Bihar itself got influenced by central Indian dialects especially Bhojpuri and more recently by Hindi. In the east the dialects are quite Bengali sounding. At the time of partition Bihar had a boundary with E. Pakistan (Dinajpur) until 1956.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reza View Post
    Bangla bhasha kothai shikhlen? I'm impressed...Though prayash is Hindi I think? We say cheshta kora.. My Pashtun is non existent. Most of the Afghanis I've met seem to be Dari speakers and Pashtun from Pakistan seem to also communicate in Urdu, at least in my community. Little opportunity to learn!

    Happy to help you learn but I'll admit now my 'shuddho' bangla is not brilliant. I think redifflal probably speaks a lot better than myself as being from West Bengal, the dialects from there are much closer to the Nadia based dialect which over the 19th century has become considered the standard.

    My family hail from Sylhet in the NE of Bangladesh. Our dialect and Chatgaya Boli from Chittagong probably differ the most from Standard Bengali and are often unintelligible to most including from Bangladesh. Pronunciation is quite different with a lot of fricatives, some vocabulary differences and different grammatical forms.

    In the Sylhet region everyone obviously learns Shuddho through the school mediun, but in the diaspora in UK, formal Bengali teaching is lacking so we tend to communicate in our own dialects. I've made an effort to learn and can read and write, but a long way to go.

    I love learning new languages; it’s a kind of a hobby actually.
    University theke amara bandu amake ekatu parano also, NYC’s Bengali sampradahaya amake bhujhati sahayaa kareche.
    Most Dunkin Donuts owners/employees and traffic Cops in NYC are of Bengali origin, so you hear it almost everywhere there.

    Most Afghans can understand Urdu/hindi for many reasons, I find Bengali easy to understand prolly because I can understand Nepali and a tad bit Gujjrati as well, I find similarities, am I wrong?

    I have heard of Sylhet, something in connection with Pashtuns, I could be wrong.....many Bengali people that I have met use the last name Khan and say there are Pathans......
    Last edited by surbakhunWeesste; 12-11-2015 at 02:12 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by surbakhunWeesste View Post
    I love learning new languages; it’s a kind of a hobby actually.
    University theke amara bandu amake ekatu parano also, NYC’s Bengali sampradahaya amake bhujhati sahayaa kareche.
    Most Dunkin Donuts owners/employees and traffic Cops in NYC are of Bengali origin, so you hear it almost everywhere there.

    Most Afghans can understand Urdu/hindi for many reasons, I find Bengali easy to understand prolly because I can understand Nepali and a tad bit Gujjrati as well, I find similarities, am I wrong?

    I have heard of Sylhet, something in connection with Pashtuns, I could be wrong.....many Bengali people that I have met use the last name Khan and say there are Pathans......
    If you understand Hindi and Gujarati, I would say picking up Bangali would be relatively easy.

    As far as the Khan title is concerned, it did not mean an Afghan or Pakhtoon, as some Bangali Kayaths among others had that title. Sometimes even a Bangali Afghan was not really an Afghan (see eg. the Bhuiya Isa Afghan https://books.google.com/books?id=GvcRAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA61 ). You would need to know their clan/tribe to be sure.
    Last edited by parasar; 12-11-2015 at 03:48 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reza View Post
    Happy to help you learn but I'll admit now my 'shuddho' bangla is not brilliant. I think redifflal probably speaks a lot better than myself as being from West Bengal, the dialects from there are much closer to the Nadia based dialect which over the 19th century has become considered the standard.

    My family hail from Sylhet in the NE of Bangladesh. Our dialect and Chatgaya Boli from Chittagong probably differ the most from Standard Bengali and are often unintelligible to most including from Bangladesh. Pronunciation is quite different with a lot of fricatives, some vocabulary differences and different grammatical forms.

    In the Sylhet region everyone obviously learns Shuddho through the school mediun, but in the diaspora in UK, formal Bengali teaching is lacking so we tend to communicate in our own dialects. I've made an effort to learn and can read and write, but a long way to go.

    Rediffal, where in West Bengal do you hail from?
    I'm from Kolkata (how typical right lol) but our ancestral home is in Uttarpara which is across the Hooghly river from Kolkata. Don't exactly have a graamer baari (village home for you non-Bengalis) since Uttarpara is like a suburb of Kolkata and my ancestors have been there from the 1600s. I've read that Banerjee's (Anglicized from Bandopadhyay) are Rarhi Brahmins originating somewhere in the Rarh region of Bengal in a village known as Bandoghat. I don't think I can trace back to that village, but we can trace definitely to the first Banerjee who came to Uttarpara.

    You are right in saying that I speak both at home and outside the Nadia standard of Bangla, I'd be careful about using the label "shuddho" though, it could offend those that don't speak it :p
    Most people do not understand different dialects and accents of their own first language if they are regular people just going through life (nothing wrong with that). I am on the other hand, a bit of a quirk. I am an avid absorber of South Asian cultures, and particularly my own. You can call me a Bongophile lol. I have for the last 10-15 years, been exposed thanks to YouTube to very raw grassroots Bangla folk music. At first I didn't understand a lot of words, but after so many years, I think I am more able to understand something like Silloti or Chatgaiya or Dinajpuri or Mednipuri more than my fellow Ghotis (catch all term for people from West Bengal post-1947). This is not different from a white American putting in the effort to understand rap lyrics or Jamaican reggae lyrics. If people try, they'll understand.

    It is good to keep up your Bangla in the diaspora. I use an app called Ridmik on my phone to text in Bangla to those among family and friends who can understand, instead of typing in Roman font. The technology is there. Urban middle class Indians are just their own special breed d4T luV 2 tAlK l!k3 dis, so I think the importance of using vernacular with modern means is lost on them. Also, due to English medium schooling, a lot of the middle to upper middle level Bangla is not readily available to many of us even if we're raised in Kolkata. But now there is Google translate which is fabulous if you already are fluent in the language but find yourself mixing a lot of English words for common verbs and nouns that are closer to the tip of your tongue just from greater use. Many times when I read a Bengali book, I'll have Google translate open. Much less cumbersome than using a dictionary, and good way to improve your vocabulary.

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