In the Sundarbans, the boat, or nouka or nouko is considered a person. One of the rules pertaining to collecting honey or firewood from the forest is that the boat too gets an equal share of the bounty as every other human on the trip. It is worshipped a day before the Bonbibi hajot or puja on the day of Makar Sankranti. Because the boat is considered to be ‘alive’, it needs to be treated with respect, especially its ‘head’ which is often brightly decorated and its ‘eyes’ which get a beautiful coat of paint.
Nouko / Nouka
Nouko – Title for the Story
Location: Bangladesh | West Bengal
Contributor: Annu Jalais