Thursday, April 13, 2006

Not the "New Year"

I remember long back someone replying me with "the concept of new year is just an arbitrary choice of initial phase" when I sent him an oh so standard "Happy New Year" greeting. I loved his response and even today I look for chances to recycle it. However that was at least about the "proper" new year.

I just don't get the concept of Bangla new year. I can seeing people fervently wishing each other. I suspect that has got more to deal with finding an excuse to "wish" people (which is a nice way to remind people that I have not forgotten you yet!) rather than celebrating the actual occasion. Because for Bangla new year - its trying to celebrate the start of a calendar which is extinct for all practical purposes. On the other 364 days a year - we never use that calendar. Most people ( at least the ones who would be reading this, including yours truly have to think a few minutes to remember what Bangla month it is - leave alone the date). And there is nothing to get upset about that - the only dates we care for are the ones we use. Even in the supposedly biggest Bangla festival, Durga Pujo - the Bangla dates appear mostly in small prints.

So to get all excited about the new year of a dead calendar just does not make any sense to me. I am sure a lot of people would would try to say I am being too cold to our culture ( you know the type) and this is actually an emotional occasion. I beg to disagree - I am absolutely okay with celebrating for example "Jhulon" (which has got to deal with full moon rather than pertaining to the Calendar), but New Year is something entirely calendar centric - hence meaningless in the current context.

And if the survival of our "Bengali-ness" is dependent on "this" - I pity us!

No comments: