Asadul Islam from Shatkhira
Farms full of cows, ponds full of fishes and Gola (storage) full of rice is the picture of rich Bengali tradition. And it also represented the people who lived in rural Bengal. But as time is going by, these traditions are losing its weight. Gola once was the symbol of Bengali tradition now losing its own legend.
There was a time in Bengali society when wealth of a person was deduced by how many Gola they had. Even for marital purposes the guardians would look for if the bride or the groom’s family has Gola at their house. All those things had become stories now.
To presurve the cultivated crops the farmers used different parts of bamboo to make a roundish/sphere shaped storage which is traditionally known as Gola. This Gola was usually kept on the highest place on the yard, sometimes on a post made with bricks. To make the shade for the Gola they used straw, golpata and swamp cane and later with tin. To make a Gola they had to spend 10 – 30 thousand taka. Now the expense is much higher. There are no experienced craftsmen to make Gola like there was before. But it is rarely seen to make Gola to preserve crops now. And the ones was made before are now looking for a clear extinction.
The use of Gola was various. Under the Gola there is usually an empty space where the women of the house used to farm chicken and duck. Some used to keep goats and sheep. And in the Gola the symbol of Bengals lost riches they used to store their crops like rice and wheat and mustard seeds and they used those crops all year long. But with the touch of modern age those traditions does not exist anymore.
Khalilur rahman from Rajar Bagan village of Shatkhira said, ‘before whoever had sufficient lands to cultivate had Gola. Now the joint family is broken apart and the land is divided as well. So nobody is making enough crops to keep them in a Gola. And the one who are still producing mass crops they either sell it or keep it in the rice mills’. He also said, ‘now there is no Gola seen anymore and whoever still has them they don’t have much use for Gola anymore.
Dr. Ataullah Sarder from Sallo Maskhola village, Shatkhira said told us,having rice Gola was a big thing in the old days. The inhabitants of an area had rice Gola. But today it’s very little seen. He said, “We had a couple of Gola at our house, but now only one remains to keep the family tradition alive.” He also said, “Now we farm fish on our land so rice is produced very little and don’t need a Gola anymore.
The economics lecturer from the Shatkhira government college Sheikh Aosafur Rahman said, “Rice Gola is the precedent of our village economy. But it is on its way to extinction. People used to pull out the paddy from the Gola and put it under the Dheki(threshing floor) to process the rice. And now they produce the rice in auto mill. So the usage of Gola is diminished. He also said, “Before having a Gola increased the chances of robbery and lots of people shifted to brick warehouse to store their rice or other crops. And the usage of Gola is reduced. Gola is a mark of our history and rich Bengali tradition, so we need to save it from extinction.”