Bengali cuisine is a culinary style originating in Bengal, a region in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent, which is now divided between Bangladesh and the West Bengal state of India. Other regions, such as Tripura, and the Barak Valley region of Assam (in India) also have large native Bengali populations and share this cuisine. With an emphasis on fish, vegetables and lentils are served with rice as a staple diet.The partition of Bengal following independence from the British in 1947 separated West Bengal from Bangladesh. This caused a significant change in demographics; populations were divided along religious lines, and over three million people were said to have crossed the new Bengal border in either direction. This large-scale displacement along religious lines led to some changes of food, because there were some minor differences in food habits between the Muslims and the Hindus. However, large populations of each religion remained on either side of the border. Though similar, there is a distinct difference between the flavors of the cuisines of West Bengal and Bangladesh (East Bengal). Apart from this, every district of both parts of Bengal have subtle variations in the use of raw materials and flavors.The treatment of Hindu widows has always been highly repressive. Tradition ties a woman's identity to her husband; a widow is therefore left with no identity, property rights, or social standing. Bengal was particularly repressive in this regard; widows were either banished or led highly monastic lives within the household, living under rigid dietary restrictions and not allowed any interests but religion and housework. The nineteenth century saw active widow reform movements in Bengal—the ban on Sati in 1829 and the Hindu Widow Re-marriage Act of 1856 were key milestones—but the related social practices took a long while to die out and still remain in part.Rampant child marriage and low life expectancies left many women widowed – it is estimated that 25% of households have a widow living in them.Widows were not allowed to leave the house, so their contribution to the household was usually restricted to the kitchen—creating a unique class of chefs in the dominant Hindu community.