Friday, August 05, 2016
Construction begins on world’s largest industrial gas complex with ground-breaking ceremony
Bongo, Bangla and Bengal: A short guide to the confusing world of Bengali nomenclature by Shoaib Daniyal Published Aug 07, 2016 · 08:00 am. There’s much more to it than musical instruments. Bongo, Bangla and Bengal: A short guide to the confusing world of Bengali nomenclature If one needed to capture the Monty Python-esque absurdity of life in the state of West Bengal, the past few days would be a good place to start. On Tuesday, Mamata’s Banerjee’s government announced that it would change the name of West Bengal in order to move it up the alphabetical order. West Bengal is one of the oldest states in the Indian Union and dates back to a time when Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu did not exist and Bihar and Assam were very different from their present boundaries. So why was its name being changed? Absurdly, it was because Banerjee was annoyed that the name of her state forced her to speak last at Inter-State Council Meetings – hardly a sufficient reason to tamper with the identity of 90 million people. But there’s more. It was announced that in English, the name would simply be “Bengal”, dropping the “west”. In Bengali, the name would either be “bangla” or “bongo” – the latter understandably, causing much amusement to non-Bengalis. Babul Supriyo, a Union minister of state and a playback singer summed it up when he pointed out that the “name should not be bongo, that is a musical instrument”. This was an odd statement given that Supriyo, a Bengali from Bandel town, should have known that the current name of the state in Bengali is “Poschim Bongo”, West Bongo. One wonders what he thought that meant as he went through school – western percussion? Etymology Of course, Supriyo’s confusion is not entirely without reason: this land does have a rather long list of names and many of them have overlapping meanings. Let’s start with the oldest name: Bongo. It comes from Sanskrit. The historian Bijay Chandra Mazumdar said that “Vanga” is the Sanskrit name for a Dravidian or Munda-language speaking tribe which gave the region its first name: Bongo. But hold on. How did Vanga become Bongo? Unfortunately, the Bengali language has no schwa – the vowel in words like “gum” or “drum” – or the consonent v/w. Most schwas gets converted to an “o” (similar to the vowel in gnaw) and the "v" in vanga got converted to a "b". Hence, Bongo. But even in Bengali, Bongo isn’t the only name for the land. There’s also “Bangla” which confusingly, is also the name of the language. If you thought Bongo was funny, wait for the origin of Bangla: Bong-long. That’s the original name of the land, according to Mazumdar, in the language of the Bongo tribe. Today, Bangla is the everyday name of the region as opposed to Bongo, which is more formal, stuffy even. Think Britain versus Britannia. From Persian to English And what about Bengal? Well, as Persian-knowing Turks started to invade the subcontinent 12th century onwards, they used the term “Bangālā” to describe the eastern most lands their armies reached, no doubt taken from Bangla. In the 14th century, when the first independent Bengal Sultanate was established – free from Delhi’s control – the sultan took the title Shah-e-Bangālā, King of Bengal. In Persian, soon enough, the word Bangāl came to be used, term that would also enter the Hindi-Urdu language. As British colonists came into India in the 18th century, they first learnt Persian, the administrative and elite lingua franca of the subcontinent at the time. Struggling to pronounce the Persian word Bangāl, they morphed it to Bengal, giving us the English-language name. (In much the same way, they also morphed the Persian/Urdu Kalkattā to Calcutta, the official name of the city till 2001). That explains the etymology – but there’s still room for confusion. “Bongo” is very often spelt “banga” (see, for example, the Paschim Banga Gramin Bank). Why, you ask? That’s because Bengalis transliterate their language into Roman letters using not the Bengali sounds but the Sanskritic pronunciation. This is why West Bengal’s chief minister spells her name “Mamata” but actually pronounces it more like “Momotā”. Globe-gazing Of course, all three words, Bongo, Bangla and Bengal, refer to a confusing set of land masses. Earlier, Bengal was the word for the area occupied today roughly by Bengali-speaking people, which adds up to modern-day Bangladesh and West Bengal. Since 1971, Bangladesh is a sovereign country neighbouring India, but till that year, it was commonly used as a synonym for Bengal – literally translating to “land of Bengal”. In Aparajito (1956), Satyajit Ray’s second film in his celebrated Apu triology, for example, Apu’s headmaster tells him resignedly, “ours is a small village in a corner of Bangladesh”, meaning not the country (it did not exist then) but the Bengal region. The first time the words “West Bengal” were used to define this region was in 1905, when the British partitioned Bengal into a Hindu-dominated western province and a Muslim- dominated east. Bengal was unified in 1911, only to be split again in 1947, with the western half going to India as West Bengal and the eastern half going to Pakistan as East Bengal. Till then, all three words – Bongo, Bangla and Bengal – referred to the entire region defined by the Bengali language. In 1971, when East Bengal attained independence from Pakistan, it took the name Bangladesh. If West Bengal also drops the cardinal direction, it would lead to the curious situation of two land masses with synonyms as names. Think about what would happen if Northern Ireland in United Kingdom were to just be called just Ireland, which, in turn have the country of “Ireland” (the Republic) to its south. That makes for a very confusing sentence – and state of affairs. But then, with Chief Minister Banerjee deciding the identities of her people based on laughably puerile considerations like having to wait too long to speak at national events, maybe confusion is an expected outcome. We welcome your comments at email@example.com. Breaking ground at the site of the ASU. Jazan Gas Projects Company (JGPC) is a joint venture between ACWA Holding and Air Products, established in 2015 to build, own and operate the world's largest industrial gas facility. Located in the south west of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the $2.1bn project will serve Jazan Economic City and Refinery supplying up to a combined 75,000 metric tonnes of oxygen and nitrogen per day to the refinery and integrated gasification power plant. 12 Jul 2016 | By Rhea Healy A ground-breaking ceremony in the Middle East has officially marked the start of construction at what will be the world’s largest industrial gas plant. Representatives from Saudi Aramco, and joint venture partners ACWA Holding and Air Products, gathered at the site of the Jazan air separation unit (ASU) facility dedicated to the Jazan Refinery Complex Project to officially kick-start the construction of the $2.1bn complex. Mohammad Abunayyan, Chairman of the Jazan Gas Projects Company (JGPC) Board and Chairman of ACWA Holding Board, stated, “Construction on-site started a month earlier than planned, initial drawings have been issued and we have a clear plan of mobilisation to Jazan from this date.” Construction on-site started a month earlier than planned, initial drawings have been issued and we have a clear plan of mobilisation to Jazan from this date Once completed, the gas complex will feature six air separation trains designed and built by Tier One corporation Air Products. The plant will produce a total of 75,000 metric tonnes per day of industrial gas, broken down into 20,000 tonnes of oxygen (O2) and 55,000 tonnes of nitrogen (N2). This gas will be delivered to Saudi Aramco’s refinery being built in the Middle East, with the agreement of supply spanning 20 years. The multi-billion-dollar joint venture between ACWA Holding and Air Products, which will see the companies own 75% and 25% respectively, will be the largest industrial gas complex in the world once completed in 2018. It is estimated that the complex will create around 100 direct local jobs and will be a crucial foundation in the expansion of Jazan’s Economic City – a strategic area of growth for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.