Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Happy New Year!

The Bengali New Year 1411 begins today on the 1st day of the month of Boishak which falls somewhere between 13th and the 14th of the Gregorian calendar. It’s a day of mishtis, new clothes and general merry making! The day would typically start with phone calls to near and dear and Subho nabo barsho or the more formal shubho nobo barsher priti subhecha janai. Lots and lots of sweets. Bengalis and sweets are inseparable.

The shops open their new ‘Hal Khata’ (accounts) and every customer is treated to sweets. In fact, it is a tradition to go visit your friendly neighbour store to wish them and naturally, eat sweets! This tradition happily continues even today as confirmed by my mother despite the hot and humid weather. I had rung her up to wish her and she told me that she had gone to a jewellery store to pick up something and was treated to the traditional sweets and given the weather, ice cream!

New year is always a time for hope, a time for a new beginning (at least in the mind), new resolutions etc. Luckily for us, we get two chances each year! Those of us, who couldn’t keep their January 1st resolutions, can still renew them now or add new ones! The weather out here (in France) is just perfect. Everything is literally turning a new leaf, birds are chirping, mild weather, fluffy clouds and all that! Very new yearish!

Subho Naba barsha one and all!

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