If you find someone passionately talking about food, sports and politics, just be sure, he is a Bengali. Bengali community members reside in every part of India. Though originally belonging to the eastern part of India, many factors have contributed in the geographical shift to other regions. The division of Bengal and work related are two important factors for the spread of Bengali community. Bengali community members are found in almost all the cities and towns of India and the world. It is jokingly said about the community that go anywhere in the world and you will definitely find a Bengali settled there. Such is the strong presence of Bengali.
New Delhi, the capital of India, is home to a huge Bengali community. Chittaranjan Park, the locality is commonly known as mini Bengal. Visit the locality in any time of the day and you will find Bengali chatter. This is the Bastion of the Bengali Bhadralok community. Meet any Bengali residing in Delhi and you will hear the familiar answer. Chittaranjan Park is also known as CR Park or fondly as Chitto Park. This locality was earlier known as East Pakistan Displaced Persons Colony. During the division of Bengal and creation of Bangladesh, mostly the Hindu community members of Bengal from then eastern Bengal came and settled in this locality. This locality was part of the Government’s project to rehabilitate the Bengali. Over the years, this place changed into microcosm of the state of Bengal. So, it a familiar sight to find Bengali shopping for fish or enjoying the evening snacks in the various stalls.
People from Bengal coming to Delhi find this locality the best alternative. The surroundings, the familiar accent and the food make one feel at home. Even those, who cannot afford to rent a property in this locality (this is one of the posh areas of Delhi and property prices are steep) visit this locality for the monthly grocery shopping. Staying in other locations of Delhi, Bengali come to CR Park for the Bengali rice, lentils and food items. Even Bengali living in the neighboring regions of Delhi, in Gurgaon, Faridababd and Noida throng this locality for food and other Bengali items. Typical Bengali items like kashondi (Bengal style mustard sauce) and leafy vegetables (koi shaag, kolmi shaag) eaten in commonly in Bengal are available here. The local shopping centers selling all things Bengali makes this place reminiscent of the home state. During the Bengali Matrimony occasions, these shops have all the necessary items required. The shop owners are just like their counterparts from the state of Bengal. The shops are shut in the afternoon, after afternoon siestas are opened in the evening for the next round of business.
Moreover, why just the shopping centers and the people; even the houses in CR Park has similarity of design and structure found commonly in Bengal. The houses, individual houses or apartments have trees of shuili, bel and jova. The residential sections give the first time visitor a Bengali ethos.
The residents of CR Park still follow the Bengali rules and customs when it comes to weddings. Bengali Matrimony functions in this locality of Delhi still have the same rituals as happens in the state of Bengal. Even the festivals of Bengal are celebrated with the same fervor and the mood is all Bangla.