People following different religious paths reside in the villages of West Bengal. The villagers speak in different languages out of which, Bengali is the most widely spoken. The tribal languages like Santhali, Chakma, Rajbongshi, Ho, etc. are also spoken in some villages.
The villages of West Bengal are home to a huge variety of tribal communities like Santhals, Kol, Koch-Rajbongshi, Toto tribe, etc. Apart from these, the other tribal communities include Bhuiya, Ho, Lohara, Mal Pahariya, Oraon, Bhutia, Garo, Magh, Mru, Paharia, Chero, Kharia, Mahli, Munda, etc. The villages in the Darjeeling district are home to a large number of Gurkha people of Nepalese origin.
Education in Villages of West Bengal
The educational scenario in the villages of West Bengal is good. The governmental authorities have established several primary schools in the villages to provide primary education. However, the governmental authorities are establishing new educational institutions to further improve the educational status in the villages of West Bengal.
Occupation in Villages of West Bengal
The principal occupation of people in the villages of West Bengal is agriculture. The villages of West Bengal account for about one tenth of India’s total food grains production. West Bengal is the highest producer of rice in India and also makes huge contributions to the country’s total production of jute and oilseeds. A major portion of India’s total production of potatoes also comes from the villages of West Bengal. The major crops cultivated in the villages of West Bengal throughout the year include rice, wheat, jute, tea, sugarcane, pulses, oilseeds, fruits, forest produce, betel leaf, etc. The villages are also rich in minerals like coal, iron ore, manganese, silica, limestone, china clay, dolomite, etc.
Apart from agriculture; there are various types of industries that provide employment to the residents of the villages of West Bengal. The major industries include chemicals, coal, cotton textiles, heavy and light engineering, iron and steel, jute textile, leather and footwear, liquor, locomotive, paper, pharmaceuticals, tea, electronics, electrical equipment, jewellery, automobile, etc. Cottage industry is another major source of income for the villagers in West Bengal. The villagers are involved in various handicrafts like pottery, brass and copperware, embroidery, tapestry, handlooms, fine muslin and silk artistry, wood carving, cane works, jute works, etc.
Festivals in Villages of West Bengal
The most important feature of society in the villages of West Bengal is its rich cultural diversity. The villagers celebrate numerous fairs and festivals throughout the year, most of which are of religious kind. The major festivals celebrated in the villages of West Bengal include Durga Puja, Vishwakarma Puja, Buddha Purnima, Naba Barsho, Annakut Utsav, Kojagari Lakshmi Puja, Poush Parban, Rakhi, Jamai Shashthi, Kartik Puja, Kali Puja, Saraswati Puja, Bhratri Dwitiya, Shivaratri, Snanjatra, Basanti Durga Puja, Bipattarini Brata, Charak Puja, Dol Yatra, Rath Yatra, Jhulan Yatra, Kalpataru Utsav, Akshay Tritiya, Sabebarat, etc. Apart from these Hindu festivals, the Muslims celebrate the festivals like Muharram, Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Azha, etc. in the villages.
Art and Culture in Villages of West Bengal
Drama, theatre, music and dance have always been an integral part of celebration of festivals in the villages of West Bengal. A theatre group can easily be found in many villages of the state and they perform different forms of drama and theatre during the festivals. The Baul tradition is a unique heritage of Bengali folk music and is practised extensively in the villages. Apart from Baul music, the other folk music forms include Gombhira, Bhatiali, Bhawaiya, etc. The folk music is often accompanied by the musical instruments like ektara, dotara, dhol, flute, tabla, etc. Various folk dance forms are also performed by the people in the villages of West Bengal during the festivals. The most popular theatre and dance forms include Jatra, Brita, Gambhira, Tusu, Santhal, Chhau, Lathi Dance, etc.