Central Texas Bengali Association
CTBA, as known to many as Dhrubotara, is one big family where we celebrate Bengali art, culture, literature, music, theater, sports, food and festivals together. As a family, it enables a feeling of home away from home in this distant land. CTBA provides a cross cultural platform to observe 'Bangaliyana' among us with social gatherings and activities that inspires us to spread our culture to the world and equally imbibe best of what's around us. As a community, It is this social bonding that makes us attached to each other. A strong bonding leads to a camaraderie that enables CTBA to participate in charitable services and give back to communities and around Austin like engaging with 'Texas Food Bank', contributing to "Mayor's Fund" to name a few.
Via its year round events, CTBA promotes face-to-face interactions, spreading feeling of warmth that no one is an outsider here. Our events are avenues to create memories. We are really unique in promoting talent by encouraging all its members to participate in year round activities. One doesn't have to be a star, rather for CTBA every individual member in its family is already a star.
A perfect blend of old and new, experience and execution in a well balanced team, CTBA endeavors to make this a successful journey that was started by handful of enterprising family decades ago. Blending of the old and the new has helped CTBA thrive over 30+ years and as a community we look forward to everyone's cooperation to continue this very successful journey. Right from our inception we had a vision for a one close-knit family where everyone is accepted as one among us. Everyone here participates in equal fervor to extend support for each other. Year after year, the committee have passed the baton to newer members to execute day to day operations , while our new members have demonstrated an equal appetite to grow this community bigger and together.
Since it's inception, CTBA has grown almost by 50% in the last five years and has a projected growth of 15% year over year. As a community of 700+ members, CTBA strives to leverage the best from it's connections across the greater Austin area and collectively tries to bring the maximum value to you via its partners.
We pride being a Bengali and would like to pass our rich cultural heritage and tradition to our next generation. After all being a Bengali means finding an opportunity for social gatherings, craving for soulful music, having 'adda' or discussions together while debating on endless topics during dinner served with delectable cuisines. Our appreciation for art and literature creates a poet or a writer among us. We are passionate about sports and deserve occasional spells of indolence: Sunday morning cricket nevertheless in Austin and a bit of Sunday siesta while the world moves on.
In essence, CTBA is our community, Its success is our success. Together we are set for one of our special journeys in each of our lives.
CTBA strives to promote and nurture Indian heritage and culture through spiritual, social, educational, artistic, and literary activities for and on behalf of the Central Texas Bengali community.
Nandini Banerjee Deb
Arjun Pal Chowdhury
Debasmita Paul Chatterjee
Technology & Innovation
Austin was a smaller city then and the Bengali community consisted of a small group of people, a far cry from the vibrant community of today. From information shared by some of the first Bengal residents of Austin, such as Binita Bose, Neeta Ganguli and Indira Chakravorty, (who has since relocated to California but still has a close and warm connection with the Bengali community here), it was very interesting to learn the origin of the Central Texas Bengali Association which has been growing and serving the Bengali community for 30+years. In the early 1980’s a few Bengali residents of Austin and a large group of University of Texas students and their families met informally from time to time to socialize and observe events such as Bijoya Sanmiloni. In the year 1983, the group had the first Saraswati Puja held at the married students’ quarters on the UT Campus. Most of the work, like cooking, decorating other responsibilities were distributed to and performed by the members of the group. Many residents present during those events have fond memories of working hard but also having enormous fun and a pleasant feeling of being a part of a large family. Bishwanath Chakraborty, Indira Chakraborty and Binita Bose were at the helm as the organizers at these early events.
As the community started growing, there was a consensus to celebrate Durga Puja, a desire that every Bengali holds dear to heart. The first Durga Puja was held in 1991, with Amit Chakravorty as the president, Indira Chakravorty as the secretary and Binita Bose as the treasurer of the first Puja committee. It was held at the Leander City Hall situated in a very rural setting, not the present-day bustling suburb of Austin. There was almost no development much beyond the 183/620 junction, which was a simple 4-point intersection in those days. The first Protima was a story all its own. Financial resources being limited, it was not possible to have a professional idol manufactured, so other avenues were investigated. As it so happened there was an American Chinese University of Texas student, Mark Gee with an artistic bent and a friend of Amit and Indira Chakraborty’s son, who agreed to create the Idol from pictures. He used papier-mâché and later added clay to complete his creation. This hybrid Protima lasted for several years, living in people’s closets during the rest of the year, until a new Protima replaced it. The first Puja was performed by Professor Ranjit Chakraborty from Houston.
The guests, 250 +, were all eager participants and quite a few were involved in preparing the food, decorations and clean ups.
The first formal entertainment program was performed by community children, during the Durga Puja in the year 1993.