bengali life

Bengali Vocab: Calendar

Basics

দিন din: day
সপ্তাহ shôptaho: week
মাস mash: month
বছর bôchor: year (unit of time, as “five years”)
সাল shal: year (reference to a specific year, as in “the year 1971”)
ঋতু ritu: season

Days of the Week

The names of the days of the week come from the Sanskrit words for different celestial bodies.

সোমবার shombar: Monday (Moon-day)
মঙ্গলবার monggolbar: Tuesday (Mars-day)
বুধবার budhbar: Wednesday (Mercury-day)
বৃহস্পতিবার brihoshpotibar: Thursday (Jupiter-day)
শুক্রবার shukrobar: Friday (Venus-day)
শনিবার shonibar: Saturday (Saturn-day)
রবিবার robibar: Sunday (Sun-day)

Seasons

Most of Bengal falls within a humid subtropical or tropical monsoon climate, and the region is traditionally considered to have six seasons. Each season lasts for two months of the Bengali calendar, starting in Boishakh, the first month.

গ্রীষ্ম grissho: summer
বর্ষা bôrsha: monsoon
শরৎ shôrot: autumn
হেমন্ত hemonto: dry season
শীত shit: winter
বসন্ত bôshonto: spring

Months of the Year

Bengalis use two calendars: বঙ্গাব্দ Bônggabdo (the traditional Bengali calendar; used mostly for cultural and religious events) and খ্রিস্টাব্দ Khrisṭabdo (the Gregorian calendar; used in daily life). The Bengali calendar followed in Bangladesh is a revised tropical calendar that is consistent with the six seasons, while the calendar in West Bengal is the traditional (unrevised) sidereal calendar that doesn’t follow the seasons. 

Months of the Bengali Calendar

বৈশাখ boishakh: April–May
জ্যৈষ্ঠ joishṭho: May–June
আষাঢ় ashaṛh: June–July
শ্রাবণ srabon: July–August
ভাদ্র bhadro: August–September
আশ্বিন asshin: September–October
কার্তিক kartik: October–November
অগ্রহায়ণ ôgrohayon: November–December
পৌষ poush: December–January
মাঘ magh: January–February
ফাল্গুন phalgun: February–March
চৈত্র coitro: March-April

Months of the Gregorian Calendar

জানুয়ারি januari: January
ফেব্রুয়ারি phebruari: February
মার্চ marc: March
এপ্রিল epril: April
মে me: May
জুন jun: June
জুলাই julai: July
আগস্ট agost: August
সেপ্টেম্বর sepṭembôr: September
অক্টোবর ôkṭobôr: October
নভেম্বর nôbhembôr: November
ডিসেম্বর ḍisembôr: December

it is as you say: the world keeps turning,
everyone keeps on living,
the wheel constantly in motion.
everything is clockwork,
night fades and morning draws in
and i still can’t help thinking
about everything yet to come.
we are strung by ideals and ideas,
pushed along by hopes
and dreams and often kept awake
by fears dressed as nightmares.
i haven’t figured out the things
i thought i would have by now;
my hand shakes, i’m always anxious.
my mother doesn’t sleep at night,
her wrinkles stretched by worry.
my father, the healthiest person i know
and a newly minted cardiac patient,
has given his heart to hold up this roof.
they say immigrants suck the country dry,
but i’ve lived twenty four years watching
it suck the life out of my parents
as they shrink with age and ailment.
at least i’m educated, they tell me,
that makes their sacrifices worth it
somehow. but despite all of this,
all i really know is that i will never know
how they willingly gave up everything
for so little in return.
—  nav k || too many hospital visits, rarely any good news

100% Bengali

My whole life I never considered myself to be Asian because everyone drilled it into my brain that I’m not “Asian enough” because only East Asians are considered Asian. And I would argue with myself ‘But I was born in Bangladesh and it’s part of Asia, how am I not Asian?’ but I would shrug it off because I didn’t want to make a big deal about it. Still I always felt like a part of me was missing because everyone told me that I wasn’t 'Asian enough’ for whatever.

I’ve been wanting to submit something to this blog for awhile but I always stopped myself because I still struggle with the idea that I’m not “Asian enough” for it. It’s not fair. I shouldn’t be forced just to identify with just being Bengali because everyone else can’t accept the fact that Asia is a continent that isn’t just made up of just China and Japan. I’m done with white people erasing a part of me.

It’s bad enough that I struggle with my weight, my family telling me what I need to be even lighter skinned than I already am, and hear people call me a terrorist on the daily.

So this is me proudly claiming that I’m Asian. And no one can ever take that away from me ever again.