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Food for thought~ Pohela Boishakh

Nahin Taher
Food for thought~ Pohela Boishakh

The Bangla year 1423 arrives, steering in renewed strength and a sense of joy among the Bangalees. Pohela Boishakh or Nobo Borsho celebrations are marked with festivity, colors, enthusiasm and hope for a better year ahead. 

This is the perfect time to for one to bring out the Bangla flavor or more like the Benglish flavor in one’s style and taste. All around people in this particular day emerge themselves trying to cook all sorts of Bengali or deshi delicacies like pitha, bhortas, panta bhat, hilsha fish (elish maach), fuchka and many other food, which they possibly have every day.

Phohela Boishakh these days is more of making plans and preparing a delicious feast to share with family and friends and to roundup traditional Bengali dishes. The deco of the food will all be in Bengali style; starting from serving the good in matier hari (clay pot) or in banana leave. 

Altogether everything looks so lovely, bringing out the Bengali feeling in us. The day start with a must pantha bhat with bhorta in a matir hari (clay pot) and follows by series of all sort of Bengali food that we can find. Hilsha fish (elsh maach) is sold at its highest price during this time of the year. Great business, I tell you! 

Being all Bengali is all that matters. All throughout the year we are indecisive to choose in which fancy restaurants we will devour ourselves with ‘non-bengali’ food. But this particular day we become so cautious to prove ourselves and the society that ‘yes I am possibly the most Bengali person you can find because I am cooking or having Bengali traditional food.’ This simply doesn’t make sense!

We pretend to like be a part of Bengali origin. But we forget that this is market strategy. Everyone is a part of capitalism decoy we have indulged ourselves in. We all are sellout to this monopolistic society. Our history doesn’t say that Pohela Boishakh was all about traditional food. It was the time to collect tax on the production of the agriculture. No one was thinking about food, of course!
Pohela Boishakh is not about Bengali food, hilsha fish (elish maach) or panta bhat. It’s about a new year were taxation occurred and people used to open hal khata for their business.

April 14, 2016
Kazifarms Kitchen

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