Culture of Siliguri

A truly cosmopolitan city, Siliguri bears witness not only to historic and geographical events which shaped its being but also to the continuous changes in the demographic structure and consequent cultural flux and evolution. The population of Siliguri grew exponentially after independence and partition with large scale immigration of refugees from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), Nepal and migration from Assam. In addition, communities from various parts of India like the Bengalis, Biharis, Marwaris and Punjabis have come to Siliguri for its attractive trading opportunities as a business hub.

Arts in Siliguri
Culture of Siliguri

These diverse groups of people from different class and communal backgrounds have brought their distinctive cultural ethos with them. Not only this, they in turn have assimilated the socio-cultural dynamics of other communities, thus creating a culturally enriched and vibrant Siliguri, a traveller’s sheer delight. So before you travel to this mystic land of conglomerating communities and cultures, here’s a short background information for quick help:

Language of Siliguri

As a land which has embraced such a diverse population, there are many local languages in Siliguri. The official languages here are Bengali, English and Hindi. Some of the other regional languages which are spoken here are Nepali, Bihari, Marwari, Assamese, Bhojpuri, Punjabi, Gujrati and Tibetan.

Dance and Music in Siliguri

Dance and Music in Siliguri
Lakhe Dance performed by Nepali Dancer at Siliguri Dashain Festival

Siliguri has a large number of schools and academies teaching music and dance forms to an enthusiastic generation. These music schools and dance academies like Tarang’s School for Classical Indian Dance and Music, Siliguri School of Music, Roger’s Academy and others teach aspiring minds both the basics and advanced courses on respective music and dance forms. Not only this, the city of Siliguri also hosts various concerts through music schools and clubs.

Food Styles in Siliguri

As with everything else in this cosmopolitan city, the food in Siliguri is bound to be multi-cultural. From vegetarian to non-vegetarian, Chinese, Tamdoori, Bengali, South Indian and Continental, Siliguri caters to every taste bud and food choices of both the local population and the numerous tourists to this city. Besides its multi-cuisine restaurants, one must not forget to taste the signature momos or dumplings found in Siliguri’s roadside joints. These are usually made of beef, pork, chicken and vegetables. Along with this, a glass of authentic north-eastern tea and the intoxicating drink chhang made of barley are a must try.

Fairs and Festivals of Siliguri

Handicrafts fair in Siliguri

Siliguri is situated in the state of West Bengal, known to be a land of many festivals. Some of the major festivals celebrated in Siliguri include Durga Puja, Ganesh Puja, Chhath Puja, Laxmi Puja, Diwali, Saraswati Puja. Besides the oldest fair in Siliguri is the Baishakhi Mela observed with the Bengali New Year. Other significantly large crowd pullers are fairs like the Hosto Shilpo mela or handicrafts fair, Book Fair and Lexpo Fair. Most of these fairs are held in the Kanchenjunga Stadium.

Siliguri also organizes the fashion week during the winter season for popular entertainment. Around the same time, i.e. between the festive season commencing from mid-October to mid-December a number of local clubs in Siliguri organize concerts for the local population.

Cultural Clubs in Siliguri

There are a number of cultural clubs in Siliguri. Apart from hosting numerous group theatres, they also organize music concerts. Besides, clubs which cater to people with similar affinities like the Automobile Club, Cine Club, Laughing Club, Astronomy Club and Sky Watcher’s Association of North Bengal have also added their distinctive cultural mark to the socio-cultural dynamics of Siliguri.

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