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April 19, 2017
Kolkata has also been the pioneer city in Indian renaissance. It has long been known for its literary, artistic and revolutionary heritage. As the former capital of India, not only Kolkata, but Bengal was the birthplace of modern Indian literary, artistic and scholastic thought. Bengalees tend to have a special appreciation for art and literature; its tradition of welcoming new talent has made it a "city of furious creative energy". Paras in Kolkata signify a neighbourhood with a strong sense of community, and are usually sharply defined on the basis of loyalties (like which households contribute economically to which public or "barowari" puja). Paras culture typically segregate Kolkata communities on the basis of origin (West Bengal origin "ghotis" versus East Bengal origin "bangals" – there are paras which have names like "prothom bangal para" (first bangal para)), occupation and socio-economic status (paras have names like "kumorpara" (potter para)), and sometimes even politics and religion. Typically, every para has its own community club, with a club room ("club ghar"), and often a playing field. People of a para habitually indulge in adda or leisurely chat in "rock"s or "rowacks" (porches) and teashops in the evenings after work. North Kolkata paras typically have more street life at late nights with respect to South Kolkata paras. Sports (cricket, football, badminton) and indoor games (carrom) tournaments are regularly organised on an inter-para basis. The para culture is fast waning, for good or bad, with the rise of apartment complexes, and the rise of the cosmopolitan nature of Kolkata. An adda involves an informal discussion usually involving friends talking over a bhaar (cup) of tea on current issues. An adda may be viewed as a form of intellectual exchange among members of the same socio-economic strata. It is most popular among the youths belonging to the so-called "middle-class intelligentsia".