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West Bengal

Language

Bengali is the main language spoken across the state, by more than 90% of the population. Other languages include Hindi, Santali, Urdu (primarily spoken by Muslims), and Nepali (in the area of Darjeeling, and surrounding parts).

Culture

West Bengal’s people are known as Bengalis. The state has a rich literary heritage, which it shares with neighbouring country Bangladesh – which also has a large number of Bengalis (Bengali is also referred to as “Bangla” by the locals).

West Bengal has a centuries old tradition in folk literature too. Apart from this, Bengali folk music, influenced by regional music traditions is predominant here, along with Rabindra Sangeet - the songs written by the famous Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore (who also wrote India’s national anthem) and Indian classical music (Hindustani).

Sarees and salwar kameez for women and Dhoti, Kurta and Lungi for men are common traditional attire in the state. Durga Puja and Navratri (and Dussehra) are prominent festivals celebrated by the Hindus here. Durga Puja is the biggest and most important of these.