Other Spellings : Bangali
Popular Surnames : Popular Bengali surnames include Bannerji, Mukherjee, Ganguly, Chatterji, Bhattacharya, Dutta/Datta, Sen, Ray and De
Religion : Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Christianity
Chief Deity : Hindu Bengalis are a great worshiper of Goddess Durga and Sarswati
Language : Bengali, also called Bangla
Regional Spread : India (West Bengal, other eastern states) and Bangladesh. A significant number of Bengalis are also present in Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, UK and USA.
Total Population : 230,000,000
Traditional Occupation : Fishing and related occupation. A large number of Bengalis are educationists, writers, singers, musicians and actors.
Food Habits : Rice, fish, pulses, wheat, and wheat products make up the staple diet of Bengali people. Bengali cuisine is rich and make use of many specialized spices and flavors. Sweets occupy an important place in the diet of Bengalis and at their social ceremonies.
Marriage Preference : Intra-caste arranged marriage is still a common practice while love marriages, where partners choose each other without the intervention of their family members, are more prevalent in recent times.
The history of Bengali people goes back to more than two millennium. Anthropologists believe the Bengali people are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group from Bengal in South Asia. They speak Bengali, a language of the eastern branch of the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-Iranian languages. Bengali people can trace their ancestry to the early Indo-Aryans, as well as the indigenous Austro-Asiatic Munda inhabitants of Bengal and Bihar (descendants of the Proto-Australoids), the Assamese and Sino-Tibetan inhabitants of North-East India and the Dravidians from South India. At present, Bengalis are mostly concentrated in Bangladesh and in the state of West Bengal in India. There are also a number of Bengali communities scattered in Assam (India), Pakistan, Malaysia and the Middle East.
Bengali People :The Bengalis are world famous for their artistic and cultural achievements. A number of Bengalis have made their mark as authors, playwrights, music composers, painters and film-makers. Several Bengalis actively participated in the freedom movement.