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Monday, January 7, 2013, 07:09 AM
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Globalthek : Adda


Adda is arguably a crucial component of Bengali cultural discourse. It loosely translates as a kind of informal chit-chat. A thek is a recognized venue for adda. Grounded in a bit of nostalgia, this site is a virtual thek.

One part of the site has Sunanda K Sanyal’s personal stuff: essays, images, and blog. The other part is open to friends, acquaintances, even strangers. The site promotes critical understanding of art and visual culture. It is a productive platform where artists, designers, art writers, culture critics and the like worldwide can share ideas and make new contacts. Artists can have their images displayed in the Gallery, and advertise their exhibitions or other efforts in the Bulletin. Art writers and culture critics can contribute articles in the Essays/Reviews/Reports.

Anyone can propose topics on the Discussion page for dialogs and debates.

Sunanda K Sanyal

What is a thek? Simply put, it’s a joint (though not the kind you may have smoked in college!!), a place where like-minded people informally get together for a common purpose. The purpose can be a questionable one, such as drinking, drug use or gambling; or it can be a benign form of socialization. Thek has been a common term in the street parlance of Bengali culture (and occasionally in colloquial Hindi as well) since around the 1970s, when my generation in India came of age. While I’m not quite sure about the provenance of the word, it’s not impossible that it evolved from the word “discotheque”, a form of entertainment that also became popular about the same time.

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