Happy New Year from Davis, Calif. (Ras Siddiqui)


The Bangladeshi-American community of Greater Sacramento celebrated Bengali New Year (1422) at the Harper Junior High School in Davis, Calif., Apr. 25., writes Ras Siddiqui.


The Bangladeshi-American community of Greater Sacramento celebrated Bengali New Year (1422) at the Harper Junior High School in Davis, Calif., Apr. 25.

Bangladesh today is respected worldwide for not only its jute products but more recently its ready-made garments and textiles. It is also an educated nation whose people are making a mark worldwide in the areas of science and technology. Many Bangladeshis today are employed in high-tech companies in the San Francisco Bay Area and in the Sacramento region with a number of engineers working at Intel Corporation in Folsom, and in many other fields in the county or for the State of California.

Bengali ladies at Davis, Calif. event. (Ras Siddiqui)

Bengali ladies at Davis, Calif. event. (Ras Siddiqui)

This Sacramento area group (which includes Davis) may not be large but it remains quite active in all areas including in the MCF in Folsom. Bengalis love their language and literature (Tagore won South Asia’s first Nobel Prize). This New Year celebration is now part of an annual tradition here, and an opportunity for people from both Bangladesh and West Bengal, India, to celebrate their heritage. And they succeeded in doing just that here once again with great food (Bengali sweets and ethnic delicacies like Jhal Muri), music, dance and a great deal of cultural pride!

Jhal Muri sales. (Ras Siddiqui)

Jhal Muri sales. (Ras Siddiqui)

It was certainly an overflowing crowd, where the native dress of the ladies and the kids stood out.  The country is also known as “Golden Bengal” and Gold, Green and Red are used extensively in Bengali clothing.

Roshogolla and other Bengali Sweets (Ras Siddiqui)

Roshogolla and other Bengali Sweets (Ras Siddiqui)

The ethnic diversity which exists within the Sacramento region includes the Bangladeshi community which is certainly a growing part of it. Bengali New Year or Pôhela Boishakh was officially celebrated on Tuesday, April 14th this year.  It ranks behind right behind religious holiday celebrations in terms of fervor but remains an important element in the culture of a beautiful and proud people.  Shuvo Noboborsho (Happy New Year) to all our Bengali readers!