Rasgulla: A Bengali creation claimed by Odiyas

Discussion in 'Members Corner' started by Peter, Aug 2, 2015.

  1. Peter

    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2014
    Messages:
    2,211
    Likes Received:
    1,127
    Location:
    Kolkata
    Geographical Indication tag sparks a bitter debate on rasgulla

    BHUBANESWAR: The iconic rasgulla finds itself at the centre of a bitter debate as to where it originated with Odisha seeking a Geographical Indication (GI) tag for it.

    Most food historians in West Bengal believe it was invented in then Calcutta in 1868 by iconic confectioner Nobin Chandra Das, whose son later founded the famous sweetmeat chain K C Das.

    The debate gains momentum now at the time of the closing of the festival, Nabakalebara (soul transformation of the holy trinity) Rath Yatra in Puri, with Surya Narayan Rath Sharma — a researcher associated with Jagannath Temple — claiming that the rasgulla originated in Puri and is offered to gods every year.


    Laxmidhar Pujapanda, PRO of the temple, says: "Rasgulla has been part of Rath Yatra rituals ever since the Jagannath temple came into existence in the 12th century."

    According to legend, Lord Jagannath on Niladri Bije offered rasgullas to appease his consort Laxmi, who was upset after went on the nine-day Rath Yatra without her consent and locked the Jai Vijay Dwar, a gates of the temple.

    This week, more than 15 quintals of rasgulla were offered to Laxmi as part of Niladri Bije, a ceremony that marks the end of the chariot festival.

    However, Animikh Roy, great-great-grandson of Nobin Das, says, "As Odisha has taken the step to get GI status for rasgulla, we're also going forward to protect the identity of rasgulla, which people for 150 years have identified with Bengal."

    Roy, along with historian Haripada Bhowmik, has prepared a report to be sent to West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. The report says: "Lord Jagannath can never be associated to chhana-based (cottage cheese) offerings... Historically speaking, the origin of the word 'chhana' comes from the Sanskrit word 'chinna' which means a torn, broken and fragmented milk product, clearly an indication of spoilt milk. Hence it was considered a blasphemy to offer sweets or anything made of 'chhana' to gods."

    It added that rasgulla is not even mentioned in the Chhappan Bhog of Jagannath temple.

    Laxmidhar Pujapanda refused to accept this argument. He said, "No one can deny the offering of rasgulla on Niladri Bije began along with the establishment of the temple about 900 years ago. This is written in Niladri Mahoday, an age-old scripture. It is true that rasgulla is not mentioned in the Chhappan Bhog, but no one can ignore Niladri Bije rituals."

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...r-debate-on-rasgulla/articleshow/48302143.cms
     
    TrueSpirit2 likes this.
  2.  
  3. Peter

    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2014
    Messages:
    2,211
    Likes Received:
    1,127
    Location:
    Kolkata
    History of rossogolla now just a click away

    KOLKATA: If you're crazy about rossogolla, it's time you should thank the Portugese. If they had not come to Serampore, what the British called snowball and you know as rossogolla may not have come into existence.

    Many such interesting historical facts and socio-cultural details of Bengali sweets came up for discussion at a special meet, organized by sweetmaker Chittaranjan, at the Bengal Club on Thursday. A website dedicated to the quintessential rossogolla, where one can log in to find interesting history and anecdotes, was also launched.


    Those attended the meet were surprised to know that till the Portugese came to the state, Bengal - the sweet capital of India - remained contented with sweets made out of thickened milk, sandesh for example. This is because the art of making cottage cheese (chhana), the main ingredient in rossogolla, was not found then. After the arrival of the Portugese, Bengal got to know that milk could be curdled to make cottage cheese, which was commonly known as Bandel Cheese. Though chhana and Bandel cheese were quite distinct in taste, but the method of making them was essentially the same.

    On Thursday, writer Shankar traced back the history of some Bengali sweets like the motichur, jalebi, gaja and bonde to their Sanskrit roots. "Writer Syed Mujtaba Ali would often tell me that we should have a national sweet and when that happens, there would be a fight between the rossogolla, sandesh and mishti doi," Shankar said. Former Parliamentarian Krishna Bose and historian Gautam Bhadra were the other two speakers.


    "Take the chandrapuli for example. Netaji's mother used to make them so well that he could never appreciate those made by others. In the Bose household, traditional Bengali sweets made at home would be part of lunch and tea-time snacking. In my maternal home, I saw some of the best kheer er chhap and coconut sweets being made at home," Bose, who is also wife of Netaji's nephew Sisir Bose, said.

    Historian Bhadra traced early Bengal sweets to the Vaishnav Charitamrita that apparently mentions 64 different kinds of sweets. "Perhaps the malpoa is the oldest Bengali sweet, as least historical accounts seem to say so," Bhadra said. Experimentation with sweets in Bengal reached its peak during the British times "and so you have Nehru sandesh and the Empress gaja, not to speak of the very popular Lady Canny (from Lady Canning)," Bhadra said.

    The debate over whether rossogolla is the favourite Bengali sweet would see Kolkata divided since even the sandesh has a large fan following.

    As history has it, the rossogolla was discovered in 1868 and in five years, the city would be celebrating 150 years of the sweet. It is traditionally believed that Nabin Chandra Das invented the rossogolla. "The cottage cheese balls have to be boiled in a certain consistency of sugar syrup, that is where the magic lies," said Dhiman Das of KC Das.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...ow-just-a-click-away/articleshow/18980157.cms

     
  4. Peter

    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2014
    Messages:
    2,211
    Likes Received:
    1,127
    Location:
    Kolkata
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nobin_Chandra_Das

    Birth of Rossogolla[edit]
    In the year 1868, in response to this growing necessity and with a stroke of luck and genius, Nobin Chandra altered the fate of Bengali sweets with “Rossogolla” - his magnum opus. It was the ultimate delicacy of his time which could be enjoyed by the rich and poor alike. Despite the novelty and appeal of his creation it took some time for Rossogolla to become popular in the absence of advertising and media as we know it today.[12] However as the story goes, one particular incident propelled its popularity on the social platform. One fine morning a magnificent landau came to a halt at his shop. A wealthy businessman, Raibahadur Bhagwandas Bagla, was in the carriage with his family. One of Bhagwandas’ children was thirsty, and their carriage had stopped in search of a drink of water. Nobin Chandra offered his usual hospitality but with a novelty.The little boy was given water to drink along with Rossogollas. The child was so delighted with its unique delicacy that he offered his father. The father was equally ecstatic and immediately bought a very large quantity of Rossogollas for his family and friends. This unorthodox ‘word of mouth’ proved a very useful tool of publicity and “Nobin Moira’s” Rossogolla became famous in no time.
     
  5. Kharavela

    Kharavela Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Messages:
    427
    Likes Received:
    370
    Location:
    Odisha, India
    To analyze the history, we first need to understand the name. In Odia, we call the sweet "Rasagola" or रसगोला, which straightly means A sweet of Round Shape filled with Juice.
    But in Bengali, no such meaning can be found from the name Rasgulla.

    Secondly, various sweets are made from छेना and are widely dissimilar in their looks - छेनापोड, छेनाझिल्लि, छेनागजा, छेनामुडकि etc. You can find these sweets exclusively in Odisha.

    Thirdly, there are different types of रसगोला prepared in different parts of Odisha. Famous ones are सालेपुर रसगोला & पाहाळ रसगोला.
     
    Sameet2, Dovahkiin, WMD and 1 other person like this.
  6. Peter

    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2014
    Messages:
    2,211
    Likes Received:
    1,127
    Location:
    Kolkata

    You are incorrect.

    In Bengali we have the meaning of Rasgulla or Rosogollla.

    Ros means a sweet watery dish or nectar in Bengali.

    Golla means circle or ball in Benagli.

    Thus Rosogolla means round sweets.
     
    anupamsurey likes this.
  7. blueblood

    blueblood Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Messages:
    1,871
    Likes Received:
    1,427
    Who knew that you'll find an entire thread dedicated for discussing the origins of Rasgulla?

    Carry on boys. Don't mind me.:india:
     
    Kunal Biswas likes this.
  8. OneGrimPilgrim

    OneGrimPilgrim Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2015
    Messages:
    3,348
    Likes Received:
    3,421
    Location:
    whr invaders hv been eulogised, heroes binned!!
    of the multiple trips of Mayur & rocky to Odisha, there were two episodes that focused on 'Rasagola/Rosogolla' and a variety of chhena sweets. the following is an old one; but there was one other where they visited one of the many sweet-shops dotted besides highways in Odisha, having various kinds of chhena sweets and cakes. those were 'delicious' episodes! :D

    http://www.ndtv.com/video/player/highway-on-my-plate/eating-out-in-orissa/189652
     
    Kharavela likes this.
  9. Kharavela

    Kharavela Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Messages:
    427
    Likes Received:
    370
    Location:
    Odisha, India
    Dear Peter,
    Can you tell me which other round thing is called as Golla in Bengali ? There are none. This is a borrowed word from Odia, which is the only classical language other than South Indian languages & Sanskrit.
    Please refer the origin of Bengali language as well as Bengal State. Till 16th century it was known as "Gouda Desha". Whereas Rasagola is being offered to Lord Jagannath prior to that timeline, as referred in "Madala Panji" which is written event book of Puri Temple.
     
    Sameet2, Dovahkiin and OneGrimPilgrim like this.
  10. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Messages:
    31,650
    Likes Received:
    17,147
    Location:
    EST, USA
    Guys,

    All Indian languages come from Sankrit or are heavily influenced by Sankrit.

    The term "gol" means round, and it originated from none of the contemporary languages.

    Here is a picture of a building called "Gol Ghar." This is in Patna. Why is it called "gol?"

    [​IMG]

    The term "gol" has existed in Bengali since time immemorial, and it was borrowed from Sanskrit.

    Ref: http://spokensanskrit.de/index.php?tinput=gola&direction=SE&script=DI&link=yes&beginning=

    @Kharavela,

    This word exists in almost all Indian languages, and all of them got it from Sanskrit. Neither did Bengali borrow it from Odiya, nor did Odiya borrow it from Bengali. The origin of Bengali language is from many sources, but the biggest influence was from the Mauryan Empire when it comes to script, and Sanskrit when it comes to vocabulary. The two components of "rasgulla," i.e. "ras" and "gulla" are both Bengali words and both are borrowed from Sanskrit. Since Odiya vocabulary is also from Sanskrit, it might seem like Bengali borrowed it from Odiya, or to some it might seem like Odiya borrowed it from Bengali, but neither of these is true. It all came form Sanskrit.

    Question for you: What is the etymological root of the word "gulgula?"
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2015
  11. jackprince

    jackprince Turning into a frog Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2009
    Messages:
    2,537
    Likes Received:
    2,674
    Location:
    Seema Andhra
    Well, 'Gola' term itself is a word in bengali. which means as @Peter said, a round object. And, yes, the term Golla derived from Gola is regularly used in Bengali, like when I received Golla in math!

    The term Gola itself is derived from Golok of sanskrit, which is btw mother of both Bengali and Odiya, hence your claim that Bengali borrowed the term from Odiya is totally ignorant. The two languages are sister language with same root, and no wonder they both share a huge no. of words among them, when differences in pronunciation.

    Now, i don't care about the origin of Rasagulla as long as I get to have them! However, I heard/read somewhere that the concept of cutting the milk was unknown to Indians till Portugese came as cutting the milk was once considered inauspicious. If that was the case, I doubt in 12 th century Rasagolla was offered to jagannath.
     
    sob and Peter like this.
  12. Peter

    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2014
    Messages:
    2,211
    Likes Received:
    1,127
    Location:
    Kolkata
    The Bengali term for any round or circular object is known as gol. Golla is also used to refer to a circular object.

    As for your second claim that Odia is a classical language while Bengali is not, it is just fanciful thinking. Both Bengali and Odia have come from Sanskrit.



    Bengal was referred to as Gouda desh in some regions of India. However the term Vanga/Banga has been used since the time of the Poundra/Pod kingdom. Infact the Vanga tribe is even mentioned in Mahabharata.

    Now let me tell you about the origin of Bengali language.
    Bengali has developed from Sanskrit just like Odia. Bengali language is of great significance to the entire subcontinent. In fact the National anthem of India,the National song of India and also the National Anthems of both Sri Lanka and Bangladesh were written in Bengali.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bengali_language
    (The blue portion is mentioned in the first paragraph.)

    We sing the National Anthem in Bengali. The words are of Bengali Tatsama origin, ie a highly Sanskritised form of Bengali. As a result you might not realize that you are singing the anthem in Bengali language.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sri_Lanka_Matha

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jana_Gana_Mana

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amar_Sonar_Bangla

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vande_Mataram

    Here is our National Anthem.

    জনগণমন-অধিনায়ক জয় হে ভারতভাগ্যবিধাতা!
    পঞ্জাব সিন্ধু গুজরাট মরাঠা দ্রাবিড় উৎকল বঙ্গ
    বিন্ধ্য হিমাচল যমুনা গঙ্গা উচ্ছলজলধিতরঙ্গ
    তব শুভ নামে জাগে, তব শুভ আশিষ মাগে,
    গাহে তব জয়গাথা।
    জনগণমঙ্গলদায়ক জয় হে ভারতভাগ্যবিধাতা!
    জয় হে, জয় হে, জয় হে, জয় জয় জয় জয় হে।।

    From wiki- The text, though Bengali, is highly sanskritised (written in a literary register called Sadhu bhasa). The song has been written almost entirely using nouns that also can function as verbs. Most of the nouns of the song are in use in all major languages in India. Therefore, the original song is quite clearly understandable, and in fact, remains almost unchanged in several widely different Indian languages. Also as quasi-Sanskrit text, it is acceptable in many modern Indic languages, but the pronunciation varies considerably across India
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2015
  13. anupamsurey

    anupamsurey Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2014
    Messages:
    986
    Likes Received:
    396
    Location:
    karnataka
    why to go for a debate, we know that both odia and bengali are ALMOST similar languages. let them have GI for Odia Rasgulla and bengali rasgulla.
     
  14. Kharavela

    Kharavela Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Messages:
    427
    Likes Received:
    370
    Location:
    Odisha, India
    @pmaitra Sir,
    Perhaps I could not put forth my submissions correctly. My points are:
    1) Bengali language comes into existence at around 12th century & evolved by borrowing from other languages. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bengali_language
    2) Whereas, Odia is the sixth Indian language to be designated a Classical Language in India on the basis of having a long literary history and not having borrowed extensively from other languages. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odia_language
    3) "Madala Panji" (मादळा पांजि) is a sort of Diary for Puri Jagannath Temple which is continuously recorded since existence of the Temple. Almost all process, procedures, rules of the temple along with the happenings are recorded. It even describes establishment of "Govardhan Math" by "Adi Shankara".
    4) In the light of written evidence in "Madala Panji" describing use of Rasagola in "Nilandri Bije" ritual, it is beyond any debate that Rasagola is invented in 1868.
     
    Sanjoy likes this.
  15. Kharavela

    Kharavela Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Messages:
    427
    Likes Received:
    370
    Location:
    Odisha, India
    Please refer
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odia_language

    for Classical status of Odia language and
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bengali_language
    for origin of Bengali language. A quote from the wiki page: "Literary Bengali saw borrowings and influence from Classical Sanskrit during the Middle Bengali (Chaitanya Mahaprabhu era), and also during the Bengali renaissance.[21] This was reflected in the preserving the spellings of borrowed words, while adapting their pronunciation to that of Bengali. Major texts of Middle Bengali (1400–1800) include Chandidas' Shreekrishna Kirtana."

    I agree. But that does not alter the history. These were written only during the British Raj, not before that.
     
    Sanjoy likes this.
  16. Kharavela

    Kharavela Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Messages:
    427
    Likes Received:
    370
    Location:
    Odisha, India
    Dear Sir,
    If you please visit Odisha you can see that remote villages with zero chance of meeting any Portuguese ever, preparing Chhena from Milk as their "Kaulika Vriti" (कौलिक वृत्ति) or Ancestral Profession.
     
    Sanjoy likes this.
  17. Kharavela

    Kharavela Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Messages:
    427
    Likes Received:
    370
    Location:
    Odisha, India
    Regarding claiming something which belongs to Bengal & not Odisha, we do not have much disputes. But when reverse is discussed, following are claimed by Bengalis:
    1) Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose
    2) Poet Jayadev & his creation Geeta Govinda (गीत गोविन्द by जयदेव)

    Member of Parliament Baijayanta Panda has this to say:
     
  18. Kharavela

    Kharavela Regular Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Messages:
    427
    Likes Received:
    370
    Location:
    Odisha, India
    Sameet2 and Sanjoy like this.
  19. Peter

    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2014
    Messages:
    2,211
    Likes Received:
    1,127
    Location:
    Kolkata
    Yes I did go through the wiki. Now let me quote and highlight the relevant portions

    .
    The local Apabhraṃśa of the eastern subcontinent, Purbi Apabhraṃśa or Abahatta ("Meaningless Sounds"), eventually evolved into regional dialects, which in turn formed three groups of the Bengali–Assamese languages, the Bihari languages, and theOriya languages. Some argue that the points of divergence occurred much earlier — going back to even 500,[19] but the language was not static: different varieties coexisted and authors often wrote in multiple dialects in this period. For example, Ardhamagadhi is believed to have evolved into Abahatta around the 6th century, which competed with the ancestor of Bengali for some time
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bengali_language
     
  20. Peter

    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2014
    Messages:
    2,211
    Likes Received:
    1,127
    Location:
    Kolkata
    Bose is a Bengali title. Bose was from a Bengali kayastha family. If you claim him to be an Odiya on basis of him being born there then it is just a ridiculous claim.
     
  21. Peter

    Peter Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2014
    Messages:
    2,211
    Likes Received:
    1,127
    Location:
    Kolkata
    The Jagannath Temple scholars and researchers like Jagabandhu Padhi state that the tradition has existed since 12th century, when the present-day temple structure was first built.[7][11] It is possible that the Bengali visitors to Puri might have carried the recipe for rasgulla back to Bengal in the nineteenth century.[12]

    This claim is contested by Bengali historians. According to Das' descendant Animikh Roy and historian Haripada Bhowmik, it would have been a blasphemy to offer something made from spoilt milk (chhena) to a deity. They also point out that the dish is not even mentioned as one of the chhappan bhog ("56 offerings") in the early records of the Temple.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rasgulla

    Now what do you have to say about this?
     
    Dovahkiin likes this.

Share This Page