Victoria Memorial, Fish, and Rasogolla. It is great to be known for all of them but depressing for a hyper-cosmopolitan city Kolkata to be caged in a few. But, if you are traveling to India and would like some unconventional travel experience? Here I got some Bengali stereotypes to explore on a low budget!
Over the ten years, I traveled almost 70% of India and 20% of the European continent. I have lived in places and learned to live in an old house in new ways. That’s where I perceived a challenge that was accepted head-on by my writer self. So, when I finally had to recede to Kolkata, my optimism found a new verve.
Now, not only do I see Kolkata in a new way, but I also show Kolkata in a new way. At the cost of sounding repetitive, I feel that, besides health insurance, access to food, and shelter, the government of every country must sponsor one annual travel for its people.
Explore Bengali Stereotypes on a Low Budget
Bengali Stereotypes: Architecture- Victoria Memorial, Kolkata, West Bengal
Kolkata is quite voyeuristic and does indulge in a public display of affection. Do you know why? Because the Bengali intellectuals think love is an act of rebellion and we must rebel for dissent. So, the Victoria Memorial, ideally a pre-independence museum of the whites, is infamous for its public display of affection besides being the architectural display Bongs love so much.
Bengali Stereotypes: Fish- Hilsa
The fish stereotype is a bit too much because, after Kolkata, you have Kerala, where people are crazy about fish. These are coastal areas, and honestly, the price was affordable by even the poorest of families due to the abundance of fish supply. For example, at a wedding, if the bride’s family cannot afford meat but does not treat the guests with Hilsa, it would be an everlasting embarrassment. You know now.
Bengali Stereotypes: Sweet Dish- Rasogolla
No, I am not because I am allergic to sweets, but I feel pra-uud (pronounce: proud) for Kolkata to win the legal custodianship of Rasogolla from Odisha. I can tell you Rasogolla in Kolkata is a sentimental yardstick with which families would determine the sweetness of a bride and the open-heartedness of the groom. It is an essential, welcome tool for matrimonial leads from Ananda Bazar Patrika.
Other Cultural Stereotypes of Bengal
O, we are not done stereotyping for the Victoria Memorial, Fish, and Rasgulla. The list is pretty long and offensive. It includes the Howrah Bridge, Rabindranath Tagore, Aloo Biriyani, Boudi (sister-in-law), gazelle-eyed women, Jhola bag, Coffee House, and our ruling party under chief minister Mamta Banerjee. Interesting, right? I won’t blame you; over the years, they have become cultural anchors of the state.
Explore Bengali Stereotypes on a Low Budget
It depends on your taste. But when you travel to a foreign country, it would be great if you travel without prejudice and think less of your privileges. On your Kolkata travel itinerary, you should go by local exploring the interesting mundanity of daily life.
College Street and Coffee House
If you are a book lover, you should visit College Street, Asia’s largest second-hand book market. College Street is the earlobe of Kolkata. Commerce and Literature foreplay at the iconic Coffee House from dawn to dusk. You must know that our Coffee House on College Street is the seat for India’s rebel manifestation for the 1947 freedom laurel.
Kachori, Aloo Dum, and Jalebi
If you want authentic Bengali breakfast, you should be in one of the subskirts. The one I know very well is Bally (not Bali) and then Barasat. People are comfortable numb in the inflow and outflow of daylight, routine life, and Kachori, Aloo Dum, and Jalebi.
Kumors Make Gods
If you are curious to discover where all the deities are born, you must visit Kumartuli by the Kumors. Gods who bless the world with riches are born in low-income families, such as idol-makers’ houses or Kumors in Kumartuli. If you have a thing for mud and art, don’t forget to get dirty with the consent of one of these brown men who would lovingly host you.
Handloom & Handicrafts
This is a rich experience affordable on a bargain-basement budget. Take a train from Kolkata and go to Malda (approx 8 hours by train) or Murshidabad (approx 3 hours by train). Take the local vehicle, mostly a van rickshaw and explore the countrysides where people are mostly the weaver birds. Weave anything from wearable fabric to jute, cane-baskets, to even a nice wearable smile for your face.
Bengal’s Darling Darjeeling
Well, suppose you are planning for a Kolkata itinerary and, at the same time, long for some mountains like the Swiss Alps or the Appalachian. In that case, we have the foothills of the mighty Himalayas ready to welcome you to Darjeeling. It is an absolute thrill. There is a religious stereotype that Muslims can go as far as the mosque, and for the Bengalis, a fairly progressive Hindu community, it is the Darjeeling.
- Are you upset? Go to Darjeeling
- Do you need an inexpensive honeymoon? Go to Darjeeling
- Do you want to experience some adrenaline rush? Go to Darjeeling
- Do you want to eat momos? Go to Darjeeling
- Do you want to taste authentic yet inexpensive British breakfast? Go to Darjeeling
- Do you want to feel your privilege over the lower-income Nepali families, Go to Darjeeling
- Do you want to Instagram in an exotic location? Go to Darjeeling
Dear traveler, we have Darjeeling to cater to any demand. But I tell you, it is where I go to be with nature. And I know when I am due for a visit because my element is the mountain, and that’s the source of my being.
Of course, Darjeeling is also a stereotype, but I will not discourage you because it is a place for nature lovers. Kolkata has a good ecological balance when considering waterbodies and palm trees, but Darjeeling is a slow dream cooked on a low fire.
All that I have suggested, you can do it on your own or hire a guide. And if you are thinking of a guide, it is a good idea to match you intellectually with humor and good language. So, please give me a holler, and message me when you are here. But please do so at least two weeks in advance because I am always on the run for my digital consulting business and writing.