Ratiocinate the Sociocultural Habits of Bengali diaspora residing in Kerala: A Linguistic Anthropological study

Author: Paromita Nandy (University of Kerala)
Speaker: Paromita Nandy
Topic: Linguistic Anthropology
The (SCOPUS / ISI) SOAS GLOCAL CALA 2019 General Session


The paper alludes to the study of how humans relocate themselves with the cultural practices, and its particular axiom which embrace the meaning and value of how material and intellectual resources are embedded in culture. The study stimulates the cultural anthropology of Bengali (an Indo-Aryan language, in eastern part of India) Diaspora residing in Kerala, a state in southern part of India, that are dynamic in nature, keeping in mind a constant examination of group rituals, traditions, eating habits and communication which makes coherent. Languages are always in a state of flux, because societies are, and society entails people’s customs and practices, beliefs, attitude, way of life and the way they organize themselves as a group.

The study scrutinizes the relationship between language and culture of Bengali people while fraternizing with the Malayalam (a Dravidian language spoken in Kerala) speaking community people, which encapsulates the cultural knowledge from the interaction among members of varied cultural groups across time and space, because Bengali Diaspora people changing across generations owing to cultural gaps and remodelling of language and culture. E.g., annaprasan ( first-rice eating ceremony for a baby), marriage ritual, etc.

The study investigates how an entirely different social group, having different cultural habits, manage the time and space of a new and diverse sociopolitical situation. Moreover, it also investigates the linguistic behavior of Bengali Diaspora in Kerala by analysing the linguistic features of Malayalam spoken by them, i.e. like how they express their cultural codes in different spatiotemporal conditions and their lexical choice in those situations. E.g., borrowing of words from Malayalam into Bengali sentences.


Akmajian,A.2001. Linguistics:An introduction to language and communication(5th edn), Cambridge, MA: MIT press.

Asher, E. (1994). The Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics. Oxford pergamon press.
Barrett.(ed.) 1999. The Development of Language,Hove:Psychology press.
Boden,D. And Zimmerman,D. (edn) 1991. Talk and Social Structure, Cambridge: Polity.
Edwards, A.D.1976. Language in Culture and Class, London:Heinemann.
Pinker, S.1994. The Language Instinct, New York:Harper Collins.
Ryan,E. and Giles, H.(edn) 1982. Attitudes towards Language Variation,London:Edward Arnold.
S.K.Chatterji. (1993). The Origin and Development of the Bengali Language. kolkata: Rupa publications.
Keywords: Culture, Bengali, Diaspora, Kerala, Malayalam