Adda (South Asian)

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Adda conversation, Kolkata

An adda (Bengali: আড্ডা) is a "conversation" among members, who were originally of the same socio-economic strata, but the process has democratized in modern times.[1]

Adda was incorporated into the Oxford English Dictionary in 2004.

The Indian adda has shades of meaning attached to different languages:

  • In Hindi, adda is a noun, with the nominal form of the word meaning the location or nest of a group or community. The etymology can be traced to the original meaning of the word, which means the "perching spot or perch for birds".
  • In Bengali, adda is both a standalone noun and a noun in a noun-verb compound. The nominalization of the word has two senses — one being the Hindi sense, and the other being the place of ritual meeting and/or conversation of a group of people (i.e., a symposium). The verb form means informal conversation among a group of people, often for hours at an end, and usually accompanied by food.[2]

In 2011, filmmakers Surjo Deb and Ranjan Palit made a documentary on the subject.[3] The film, Adda: Calcutta, Kolkata has been screened at several festivals around the globe and won the Golden Palm Award at the Mexico International Film Festival 2012.[4][5][6]


  1. ^ The Chattering Masses The New York Times, 15 May 2005.
  2. ^ "Adda" on Archived 18 November 2005 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Public Service Broadcasting Trust". Archived from the original on 16 November 2016. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  4. ^ Deb, Surjo (2 June 2012), Adda: Calcutta, Kolkata, retrieved 16 November 2016
  5. ^ "Upcoming Events | Adda: Calcutta/Kolkata | 3rd i". Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  6. ^ "Mexico International Film Festival | 2012 Golden Palm Winners". 27 April 2012. Archived from the original on 27 April 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2016.