In a recent interview with Times of India, acclaimed and popular Bangladeshi actor Jaya Ahsan said that this is the first Pohela Boishakh for her in Kolkata, and how she usually spends the Bangla New Year back in her home country.
She explained that she does not know how Kolkata celebrates the Bangla New Year “but in Bangladesh it is nothing less than the Durga Puja festivities.”
She also talked about the Mongol Sobhajatra procession from Dhaka’s Charukala Institute, which, according to her “is something everyone should see once in their lives, it is so colourful!”
“I think nowhere in the world is New Year celebrated this way: everyone, irrespective of their socio-economic conditions and religion, takes part in it. Noboborsho in Bangladesh proves how secular we are,” she added.
The internationally acclaimed actor then explained how she loses count of her gifts including saris, spices, and sweets to Hilsa fish, and how everyone buy gifts for friends and family on the occasion, and everyone is well dressed where even a small girl wears a sari and boys are in dhoti, panjabis.
“We still have the tradition of hal khata in Bangladesh. I remember how I used to visit all the shops with nanu (grandfather) so that my sister and I could collect sweet boxes and calendars. Finally, Noboborsho is all about good food back home,” she added while talking about the rituals and celebrations in Bangladesh.
She also talked about the tradition of visiting loved ones at their homes, and the delicious Dhakai cuisine that is cooked in every home.
“I am an expert when it comes to preparing panta bhaat. The rice is made the day before by eight in the evening and we pour water in it at night. The next day we mix it with salt, sliced onions, red chillies, aloo bharta and have it with omelettes or hilsa fry. I sprinkle some bhaja chaal on it to add extra taste. It is a delicacy there,” she said.
She then also talked about the similarities and differences between the cuisine of the two Bengals and also shared the recipe of her favourite Bangla New Year recipes, which are Sheem Kumror Bharta, Dhakai Sorshe Ilish and Doi Panta.