By Arnab Mitra
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”.