The Durga Puja fever is still on: Bengalis in the West gear up to take puja to the next level | art and culture | Hindustan Times
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The Durga Puja fever is still on: Bengalis in the West gear up to take puja to the next level

The coming weekend will not be usual for Bengalis in New York as they all prep up for the biggest festival of their community — Durga Puja.

art and culture Updated: Oct 06, 2017 19:08 IST
The Bengalis living in New York will celebrate Durga puja this weekend.
The Bengalis living in New York will celebrate Durga puja this weekend.

Durga Puja and Narvatri celebrations might have concluded in this part of the world, but in the West, it’s the perfect time to gear up for the upcoming festivities. Away from their motherland, Non-resident Indians of the Bengali and Gujarati communities in the US are coming together to celebrate their biggest festival, on October 6, 7 and 8.

Children actively take part in cultural programs.

“Our organisation is the oldest Bengali association in North America, with a rich cultural history that goes back to the year 1970. This celebration doesn’t only bring us close to our cultural roots, but also builds a feeling of oneness among the community,” says Bandana Kundu, the president of East Coast Durga Puja Association (ECDPA).

The annual autumnal fiesta, known as sharod utsav, comprises of 3 days. During this extended weekend, members of the Bengali community, along with their friends and family, indulge in the joyous celebration, which include, the traditional puja, sindur khela and dhunuchi naach. Ajay Chakraborty, the ex-president of ECDPA, rememering the olden days of puja, says, “Over the years, the celebration has undergone significant change and each year we try to take it to the next level.”

Not only children, homemakers and young adults also perform at the festival.

Apart from this, cultural programs by artists, who are specially flown down from India, perform during the festival. “This year singers Iman Chakraborty, Srikanto Acharya and Aneek Dhar will perform. This is time of the year that we get to hear Bengali singers live and that is why we are all very excited,” says Kalyan Ghosh, one of the puja organisers.