Waning Para Culture of Kolkata (Calcutta),India

The city has a distinct Para, adda, and “club” culture. Paras in Kolkata signify a neighbourhood with a strong sense of community, and are usually sharply defined on the basis of loyalties (like which households contribute economically to which public or “barowari” puja). Paras culture typically segregate Kolkata communities on the basis of origin (West Bengal origin “ghotis” versus East Bengal origin “bangals” – there are paras which have names like “prothom bangal para” (first bangal para)), occupation and socio-economic status (paras have names like “kumorpara” (potter para)), and sometimes even politics and religion.

Typically, every para has its own community club, with a club room (“club ghar”), and often a playing field. People of a para habitually indulge in adda or leisurely chat in “rock”s or “rowacks” (porches) and teashops in the evenings after work. Sports (cricket, football, badminton) and indoor games (carrom) tournaments are regularly organised on an inter-para basis.

The para culture is fast waning, may it good or bad, with the rise of apartment complexes, and the rise of the cosmopolitan nature of Kolkata.

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About Rashid Faridi

I am Rashid Aziz Faridi ,Writer, Teacher and a Voracious Reader.
This entry was posted in Cities, India, Urban Studies. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Waning Para Culture of Kolkata (Calcutta),India

  1. Yes Dr Faridi, the ‘para culture; is really declining in Kolkata. One of the reasons, maybe, because who are to take the ‘culture’ forward? There are ;’para’s where there are only the elderly residing. The young have left the ‘para’ a some decades ago. Much of Kolkata is only populated by the aged. It is a pity, but it is how it is.

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  2. Raja Bhattacharya says:

    I am glad ‘Para’ culture is waning. It is basically making a group (Dolbaji) to cause trouble for people and if you say something to a member all of them will come in a group and beat you. I will rejoice when all clubs of Kolkata are dissolved.

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  3. Deepesh says:

    is there any source from where i can get the name of all the paras in Kolkata? trying to understand the para culture in detail. kindly help thanks.

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