Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Poila Boisakh - Happy Bengali New Year

There are no Times Square parties, nor are there the elaborate resolutions that accompany the first day of the Gregorian calendar. But for prabasi Bengalis, Poila Boisakh heralds not only the beginning of the Bengali New Year (1416 this time), but a flood of nostalgic memories. The prabhat pheries, the new clothes, the halkhata...

In the latest "Countdown to Banga Sammelan" podcast episode we are joined by North American prabasi bengalis. Writer Alolika Mukhopadhyay mentions how Poila Boisakh celebrations slowly got merged with Rabindra Jayanti while Bengalis got busy with the larger celebrations like Durga Puja and Banga Sammelan. Chandana Sarkar tells the story of how in Shantiniketan Poila Boisakh was also celebrated as Tagore's birthday. Rummana Chowdhury takes us back to the celebrations of Pahela Boisakh in Dhaka bat-tala while Arvin Ghosh reminisces about childhood Nababarsha. Dilip Bhaumik recites his Poila Boisakh poem - for the past three decades he has written a poem capturing the events of the past year.

How do you remember Poila Boisakh? What did you do this year? Let us know.


  1. On Poila Boisakh, we called our relatives in India, wishing them happy Bengali New Year!!
    In my office, I told my American colleagues regarding start of Bengali New Year 1416 and distributed some sweets. On 4th Baisakh, Saturday, we attended a cultural program organized by Sanskriti, the local Bengali Organization, and greeted everybody with Shuvo Nababarsha greetings, of course we finished the evening with delicious dinner !!

  2. Please note that a new web site is on line.

    We would like to attend this year's event in Atlantic City to present the site. Please advise and pass along.