The Proem: It is often said, half-jokingly, while others eat to live, the Bengalis live to eat. All Bengali rituals and festivities end up with one thing, hearty feasts involving an astonishing number of intricately prepared dishes. In this essay we try to analyse the development of Bengali cuisine…
Bengal is known as a land of festivities, where religious ceremonies outnumber the months in the calendar: baro maase tero parbon (‘13 festivals in just 12 months’) is a proverb every Bengali child grows up hearing. These festivals trigger interest not only because of their number and variety but…
‘Gaa’ implies ‘gaan’ (song) and ‘jon’ might have come from ‘mahajan’ (the great/noble one). If one goes by this logic, which appears valid in the local, originary context of the word, the meaning of Gajon becomes ‘song dedicated to Shiva (mahajan)’.