Toronto: Dominique Lapierre in his book ‘City of Joy’ mentioned that four things are common to all Bengalis, rasogolla, adda culture, fond of travelling and Durga Puja.
The Bengalis of Toronto never shy away from celebrating Durga Puja that defines the Bengali culture. The Bangiya Parishad Durga puja which stepped into its 43rd year this time is a favourite hangout among the Bengalis in Toronto.
President of Bangiya Parishad, Bapi Banerjee, speaking to NewsGram said, this is the oldest Durga Puja of Canada that started in 1972 and since then the same idol has been worshiped here as the ritual of immersion was not permitted in Toronto.
He further said the puja is organised observing every ritual and custom. The flowers and other materials are brought from Kolkata. However, he mentioned that the puja is held in the weekend.
He stated that people from all faiths are welcome to participate in the puja as festivals promote harmony and unity.
“The puja gives a scope to remain united as the people from various countries irrespective of their religion attend the festivities in Toronto”, said chief priest Paresh Charaborty. Pakistani doctor Md. Iqbal said, “We are united for long, but the scurrilous politicians separated us. The common people had nothing to do with media and political war between India and Pakistan, and this small occasion vivified the bigger picture of love and harmony among the people”.
Kolkata, Oct 4, 2017: Highlighting communal harmony, railing against terrorism and bringing diverse themes like the intricacies of human mind and the spirit of freedom to the fore, 68 community Durga puja organisers paraded their award-winning idols in the West Bengal government organised carnival here on Tuesday ahead of the immersion in the Hooghly river.
The carnival, a brainchild of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, in its second year, showcased the prominent idols from the city and the adjoining districts in a colourful road show at the iconic Red Road here, amid tight security.
The three hour long event saw the puja organisers also exhibiting samples of various artistic creations used in their puja marquees on vibrantly decorated tableaux.
All the community pujas selected for the road show, were winners of Bengal’s ‘Biswa Bangla Sharad Samman’ award in various categories.
Banerjee and her lieutenants attended the event along with several celebrities from the city and foreign delegates. Representatives from England and Chile football team, who are in the city to participate in the FIFA U17 World Cup to be kicked off from Friday, were also present.
According to the organisers, apart from the 20,000 spectators gathered on both sides of the road on occasion of the event, more than 50 lakh people all over the globe witnessed the one of a kind Durga Puja immersion carnival through live streaming in the social media.
Many of the age-old community puja organisers came up with tableaux aligned with various current affairs topics. Their floats in the parade also reflected those themes.
The Sree Bhumi Sporting Club, a major crowd puller in city’s eastern fringes, was the first off the block having won the award of ‘Serar sera’ (best of the best). With the marquee resembling the palace from blockbuster “Babubali”, the organisers decorated the immersion procession in tune with the theme.
South Kolkata’s Rajdanga Nabodoy Sangha emphasised the concept of communal harmony by portraying the peaceful co-existence of six different religions. The organisers put six people, dressed in the traditional attire of six different communities together on a tableau to emphasise that the different paths of religion actually leads to the same destination.
Yuba Moitri Kalighat, another south Kolkata puja that won the award for best branding this year, highlighted their stand against terrorism and celebrated the well being of mankind through their procession.
Tala Park Pratyay themed their tableau on the intricacies of the human mind. Beautiful fireworks marked their procession.
Meanwhile, a number of pujas headed by the representatives from the government and the state’s ruling Trinamool Congress, focused on highlighting various state government initiatives.
For instance, the Samaj Sebi Sangha celebrated the the crusade of green in their procession and rallied singing school students who represent the exuberance of youth. They also hailed Bengal government’s ‘Sabuj Sathi’ initiative that presents a girl child with the sprout of a costly plant during her birth.
Pujas like Ekdalia Evergreen and Tala Park Pratyay showcased Banerjee’s award winning ‘Kanyasree Prakalpa’ meant for the girl students.
Celebrating the natural beauty of Bengal, the puja in Salt Lake’s FD block depicted a piece of rural Bengal amid the jungle of concrete. The singers in their tableau presented the diverse folk music of Bengal.
The special lighting installation from West Bengal’s Chandannagar made the Red Road look like a land of fairy tale. Several celebrities from the Bengali film fraternity, were also seen walking with various puja processions. (IANS)
Oct 2, 2017: Kolkata is featured in the top 100 travel destinations globally alongside other Indian cities namely, Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, and Bengaluru, as indicated by Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index 2017.
Chennai stands out in India, other than emerging among the top 10 destinations in Asia Pacific when it comes to overnight visitor arrivals.
Travel and tourism in India is on the rise, an authority of a main travel house in the city told PTI.
Durga Puja festival in Kolkata is a major attraction for foreigners with at least two- to three-day stay, he said.
According to the Mastercard Global Destinations Cities Index 2017, there are no indications of the slowdown in travel and tourism in Asia Pacific with the region dominating visitor arrivals.
This is additionally affirmed with the main 10 cities in Asia Pacific destinations tracking the most noteworthy amount of global overnight visitor spending. Bringing USD 91.16 billion in travel use in 2016, Asia Pacific outpaced Europe (USD74.74 billion USD) and North America (USD55.02 billion), MasterCard said in an announcement.
Prepared by Naina Mishra of Newsgram. Twitter @Nainamishr94
New Delhi, September 25, 2017: Goddess Skandamata shows up during the 5th day of the Hindu festival Navratri. The 5th form of Goddess Durga and also the mother of the commander in chief of the devatas, Lord Kartikeya.
Devi Skandamata is portrayed as a Goddess holding her infant, Lord Kartikeya, with her right arm and a lotus in her above two hands. The left arm of Devi is in a posture to grant blessings to her devotees. She has four hands, 3 eyes with a beautiful bright complexion. Skandamata is also called as Padamasani since she is portrayed in her idol being seated on a lotus flower. She is also seen with a lion as her vehicle. Goddess Skandamata is worshipped in the form of Parvati, Maheshwari and Mata Gauri.
It is strongly believed that Devi Skandamata is a Goddess of salvation, prosperity, power, and treasures.
The legend says that Tarkasur, a great demon who used to torture and massacre the people on earth wanted the immortality power. To please Lord Brahma with his devotion he went through extremely tough forfeitures. In return for his devotion, he asked Lord Brahma his blessings to make him immortal. However, Brahma denied his request, but Tarkasur acted smart and asked Brahma to give him boons which say that only the son of Lord Shiva can bring him to death since he thought that Shiva would never get married to have any children.
Nevertheless, Lord Shiva got married to Parvati and with her 5th form, Goddess Skandamata, Lord Kartikeya was born. As he grew, he came to know about the boon given by Lord Brahma to Tarkasur and that only he can kill him and bring peace to the earth.
The Gods gave Kartikeya their blessings with special powers and weapons, and he killed demon Tarkasur on the battlefield.
Devi Skandamata is the symbol of mother-son relationship.
People worship her to get immense love and affection from her as a blessing.
Navratri is the Hindu festival that holds immense importance in Hinduism. It is believed from the tales that during the festival, Goddess Durga descends on earth. She blesses her devotees with happiness and prosperity and brings an end to the evil.
Devotees believe in worshipping and fasting for all nine days which can bring a change to their lives and make their wishes come true.
– Prepared by Abhishek Biswas of NewsGram Twitter: @Writing_desire