Bengali Essay On Mother
In 1948, the Government of Pakistan declared Urdu to be the sole national language of Pakistan, even though Bengali or Bangla was spoken by the majority of people combining East Pakistan and West Pakistan. The East Pakistan people protested, since the majority of the population was from East Pakistan and their mother language was Bangla. They demanded Bangla to be at least one of the national languages, in addition to Urdu. The demand was raised first by Dhirendranath Datta from East Pakistan on 23 February 1948, in the constituent Assembly of Pakistan.
Bengali Essay On Mother
To demolish the protest, the government of Pakistan outlawed public meeting and rallies. The students of the University of Dhaka, with the support of the general public, arranged massive rallies and meetings. On 21 February 1952, police opened fire on rallies. Abdus Salam, Abul Barkat, Rafiq Uddin Ahmed, Abdul Jabbar and Shafiur Rahman died, with hundreds of others injured. This was a rare incident in history, where people sacrificed their lives for their mother tongue.
Languages are the most powerful instruments of preserving and developing our tangible and intangible heritage. All moves to promote the dissemination of mother tongues will serve not only to encourage linguistic diversity and multilingual education but also to develop fuller awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions throughout the world and to inspire solidarity based on understanding, tolerance and dialogue.
In 1948, the Government of Pakistan tried to impose Urdu as the sole state language in Pakistan, starting the Bengali language movement. The Bengali Language Movement was a popular ethno-linguistic movement in the former East Bengal (today Bangladesh), which was a result of the strong linguistic consciousness of the Bengalis to gain and protect spoken and written Bengali's recognition as a state language of the then Dominion of Pakistan. On 21 February 1952, five students and political activists were killed during protests near the campus of the University of Dhaka, whom were the first ever Martyrs to die for their rights on speaking their mother language. In 1956, Bengali was made a state language of Pakistan. The day has since been observed as Language Movement Day in Bangladesh and is also commemorated as International Mother Language Day by UNESCO every year since 2000.
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"Mother language is what a baby child communicates for the first time with mother and father. It is a language a person never forgets, wherever that person lives. The mother language is a prism that determines the first notions of the world to a baby child. The umbilical cord between mother tongue and thought is inseparable. It is the mother tongue that represents thought, culture and heritage of an individual."
It has also been observed that children, who have grown up in an environment where their mother tongue is not that commonly used tend to find it difficult to have a deeper and a more meaningful conversation with their grandparents or with other elders in their family, who do not speak English (that well) this means that their mother tongue is a critical tools in connecting with their roots and loved ones.
The dress of thought, the vehicle of communication, the cornerstone of learning.What am I talking about?Mother tongue. The language anyone listens to even from the womb of her/his mother, picks up for basic interaction and then learns to speak/write with proficiency. The language anyone is generally most comfortable in.Can a person have two mother tongues? Well, both yes and no. The answer has got precious little to do with the native language of her/his parents.Let me explain. I am a Bengali. My mother tongue is Bengali. The state/national language is Hindi. The language I believe I am the most comfortable and hopefully, reasonably proficient is English. A language I devour books in, the language I own my thoughts in and teaching which, earns my bread and butter.Not blowing my trumpet. Simply saying that I like many before and many after me, am blessed to know two languages:one happens to be the language I heard my elders converse in almost all the time at home and the other,I happily picked up ever since I learnt the meaning of the word "favourite." Not even getting into the whole polyglot scene here!
I love the fact that I have such a sweet, sonorous and simply rich language as my mother tongue. I am proud of the fact that I have such illustrious names as Rabindra Nath Tagore as pillars of our community who were incredibly gifted in the felicitous use of Bengali and obviously in the language of "the empire where the sun never set".
The groom wears tussardhoti and kurta before changing into the patta bastra. Bengali men, attending the wedding wear kurtas with pajamas or dhotis. A sherwani can seldom be spotted. Bengali women, be it the mother or sister of the bride or a wedding guest, all wear sarees. A lehenga is almost absent.
While the mother-in-law welcomes her with an aarti, she is required to stand with a kalash filled with waterin one hand and a particular kind of fish in the other. Then she steps on a vessel filled with alta and milk and then step on a white cloth and walk on it. The footprints on the white cloth are symbolical of the steps of Goddess Lakshmi.
It is late in the evening as I enter our household after work and I am immediately hit with the smell of spices, sounds of the refrigerator being open and shut and the sight of plates neatly placed around our dining table. As expected, even before I see her, my mother, who also just came home from her job, is the one setting up for iftar.
At the time of writing this piece, it is the month of Ramadan, where Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, and also reflect on family and community relations. During iftar, we break the fast with a meal. Being brought up in a Bengali kitchen, this daily ritual is followed by a pattern in our family during this occasion, as most of the time, I join my mother to help her or cook some of the iftar meals on my own for my family.
The seemingly mundane everyday activities such as making and eating food, is often filled with social, cultural and symbolic meanings. During Ramadan, meals tend to vary in different Muslim countries during iftar time. In our home, traditionally, we make common Bengali items such as chola (cooked chickpeas), daal boras (a kind of lentil fritter) and beguni (sliced eggplants dunked in flour), which is always accompanied by dates, muri (puffed rice), and a mix of different fruits and drinks (Figure 1). As my mother puts the lentil-paste mix combined with onions, spices and green chillies beside the stove, I take it as my cue to start frying them. While I flip the daal boras with the spatula as the texture of each one turns crispy with the oil sizzling, my mom tells me how in the streets of Bangladesh, vendors deep fry snacks for iftar, a taste that she says is hard to find here in Canada. I have not had the opportunity to have iftar foods actually in Bangladesh. However, making iftar dishes and Bengali meals in general with my family here in Canada, is how I feel a connection to my culture and a bond with Bangladesh. This was not always the case.
The use of objects by migrants are a meaningful approach and tool to help explore narratives and act as a way for them to still feel connected to their native countries of origin, representing transnational bonds between people and places. The shil batta is an object that allowed for this concept to be explored, serving as a greater link to Bangladesh, my mother and food. Food can be connected to how social values, norms and ideologies are passed from mother to daughter. Furthermore, practices surrounding food such as food preparation, eating, sharing and giving can be powerful in producing and being a carrier for home, memory, relationships and tradition.
While food is a marker for tradition and belonging and can be passed down from one generation to the next, it is those same future generations that decide how to maintain, conserve or oppose traditional practices and customs. As the next generation adapts and processes, some might not speak the language of their parents or grandparents. I know my proficiency in Bangla is very limited and the recipes learned from my mother are not written down but rather carried on through performative memory, which is past knowledge remembered in the active process of re-enacting (e.g. cooking). This leaves many questions regarding traditional foods being chosen and prepared in the next generation. In what ways, if they are replicated in the future, will food and the practices surrounding it change as migrant lifestyles and ingredients are modified? How will cultural meanings and the significance behind traditional food evolve in the future for migrants? These changes are inevitable but as I have discovered through my own journey, food and storytelling can be used as important components in learning about and recovering your heritage in the face of uncertainties.