Does the prospect of Bengali Culture in America Look Gloomy? Part 2

By Amitava Sen

Dominance of American Culture.

Down in the mall between fast food joints and stores selling sportswear and sneakers, a group of young people huddle in clam-diggers or cargo shorts (Short pants extending below knee) and Nike sneakers with ears plugged in I-phone playing latest Justin Bieber song, watching young women passing by in DKNY and Yankees base ball hat, latte in one hand, conversing animatedly in English.

This is a common scene in a mall in America; except the mall referred to is not in America; the place is a mall in Calcutta. If you go to any mall in Calcutta this scene repeats itself everywhere. This is the age of pervasive dominance of American culture. With globalization of trade and business has come global Americanization of culture. Continue reading

The Mosaic Dance Festival


The Mosaic Dance Festival

Kalamandir Dance Company, a contemporary Indian Dance company from Central New Jersey, is proud to present the second year of The Mosaic Dance Festival, an exchange of Indian culture with international movement. This showcase features international dance styles set to South Asian rhythms and music while South Asian performers will move to Western musical arrangements. Last year’s festival was a huge success with two standing room only shows. This year’s festival will be held on Saturday, September 8 th, 2012 at 2:00pm and 6:00pm at The FUNKtion Dance Complex (4260 US HWY 1, Suite 6, Monmouth Junction, NJ 08852).



Does the prospect of Bengali Culture in America Look Gloomy? Part 1

by Amitava Sen

The Bengalees are culture aficionados, big time. We live culture, breathe culture and drink culture to the point of intoxication. No doubt the Bengalees have a richer cultural heritage when compared to the other Indian language speakers. We have Rabi Thakur, don’t we? In our evaluation, this one man is luminous enough to overshadow all other Indian cultural icons put together. And that is basically our passage to the glory and at times reason for disdain for other Indian cultures.

This brings us to the question: Does only the past glory of the gone by era make us cultured? Presently living a cultured life is somewhat different. It refers to an appreciation of literature, music, art and food and it is a full range of human behavioral pattern, all in the present term, as English Anthropologist Edward Taylor wrote:

“Culture is that complex whole which includes knowledge, beliefs, art, law, morals, custom and any other capabilities acquired by men as a member of the society.” Continue reading