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History

History of Bengali Society of Florida :

“Thirty years ago, only a handful of Bengali families lived in Central Florida area. One evening, seven families were together at Chandra’s residence in Merritt Island for dinner. In a relaxed atmosphere, we discussed solving a plethora of the world’s problems. At some point, on that evening of March 27, 1982, all seven families pledged to support and form a society for the preservation and advancement of Bengali culture and language. Did this happen impromptu? No. Off and on AmarDa (Amar Mukherjee) and I used to talk about it. We visited the university lawyer and discussed the issue of having a multicultural organization which would cooperate with the university. With the encouragement of university lawyer, we created a proposal and AmarDa took the initiative to write a document of our pledge. These families were Anuradha and Sukumar Banerji, Mitra and Subroto Chandra, Ruby and Chitta Das, Sanghamitra and Asit Ghosh, Pampa and Amar Mukherjee, Deblina and Sujit Rudra, and my wife Shyamali and I. All of the families, except for one which moved, are still here participating in the activities of the society. The Bengali Society of Florida (BSF) was formed and registered with the Secretary of State on April 27, 1982.

On May 30 1982 at Orange County Moss Park we held our first meeting and selected the executive committee, the nominating committee, the cultural committee, and the study committee members. BSF celebrated Durga Puja for the first time at our residence, 2901 Lolissa Lane, on October 24, 1982 and two weeks later we celebrated “Shubho Bijoya” by showing a movie, “Apur Sansur,” by renowned late Satyajit Ray at Valencia Community College (West campus) in the afternoon followed by an evening dinner and a cultural program at the residence of Renu and Dines Das. The first year we had 19 family members and a bank balance of $308.39. We celebrated Saraswati puja followed by a cultural program and dinner at Land O’ lakes community center near Tampa on February 19, 1983 and the Bengali families in greater Tampa area joined BSF and the number of families in BSF grew to 32. …..”

Dr. Ratan Guha (Abhijan; Vol 16, 2007)