As requested by Simah:
These entry is a glimpse into Benggali culture living in Calcutta based on my own personal experience and not a thorough research.
I think I shall start with the people themselves, we in Malaysia used to call people with turban as Benggali, but actually they are Punjabi(Singh / Kaur) and their origin are from Punjab, a different part of India. Benggali are from Kolkata or Calcutta, situated next to Bangladesh and Nepal.Their language is of course Benggali not Hindi,Tamil or Urdu, different part of India have different unique culture and so does the people, their skin, the language, their food, economic almost everything.
Some of them looks like Nepalese and Malaysian with brown skin tone and women still wearing sari and men in loongy (pelikat).Even though they wear white shirt or sarung it looks pale and greyish due to dusty condition and the water quality.
The place that we stayed was in a village near Bartala (a trading area with port)and I referred it as Chota Masjid Village (chota means small). Calcutta used to be British administration centre and then under Communist, so there are still evidence especially graffiti at shop lots. Bartala is so crowded and far from imagination. You could hardly see this in a movie except for Discovery/ N.Geographic documentary, if there is any. There are people everywhere and the ration is almost 40 people per one car on the street!!The road is in bad condition with no proper drainage and garbage collection point and people pee almost everywhere.
My FIL brother's house (Bhod Babu, Bhod means Big -> so big uncle) is only few minutes from this street and the car need to pass by a narrow road, at first it wasn't a great ride coz I was afraid that it could dive into a pool, there are pool (puker) everywhere in this village. This village is different from what we see in Tamil movie with buffalo walking slowly in a green field, houses with big lawn, but one similarity is one house is filled with 2 or 3 family.
It used to be a green field with puker but when the population increased houses were built closed to each other with 2 floor to accommodate extended family, besides most of the villagers are related.There are houses that separated only by 1 meter gap with no perimeter drain, no gutter and no toilet! Some who could afford might invest on this otherwise go naturel..But we were very lucky, Bhod Babu's house has been extended and upgraded to Malaysian requirement by my FIL, he don't want his menantu too feel kekok and face any difficulty.
Most of the houses are flat roof, the reason is when the son got married he will have to stay in that house and since land is scarce he need to go vertical. These flat roof is also a dry yard with 6 meters colourful sari hung from the rope down the first floor and a playground for kids especially for kite season. I don't know whether you could imagine this but it was surreal and beyond expectation..too far.
They are poor people but with warm heart and good hospitality, only men are allowed to work especially as tailor,helper at dhorji while women have to take care of the house chore. There are many dhorji inside the village but it wasn't a proper shop some are just 3 wall with a curtain to hide their design. Every month they will sell their product at a bigger market where traders from all over India will come. Some women do involves in this trade but they work from home with small amount of wages. Their bedroom is their storage, some even worse, one small room with 3 people from 3 generation living in a dark room which is their only bedroom,living,dining, and work space..there is no mattress only thin matt, I saw this with my own eyes the day I went to say goodbye.