Count down for Durga Pooja begins at Nandan New Zealand

From September 30 to October 2, 2022, at Blockhouse Bay Community Centre in Auckland

Venkat Raman
September 24, 2022

Piety and gaiety will combine to create a festive atmosphere at a three-day Durga Pooja and Festival in Auckland over the next weekend.

Organised by Nandan New Zealand, the Festival will be held nightly from 7 pm at the Blockhouse Bay Community Centre located at 524 Blockhouse Bay Road, Blockhouse Bay, Auckland.

Nandan NZ Secretaries Taposh Saha and Swastika Ganguly said that Durga Pooja marks the dawn of the festive season for the Bengali community, bringing with it new hopes and aspirations for everyone in all communities.

Organisers and participants at the Sharodiya Festival, September 11, 2022: (from left) Babli Bhattacharya, Rupa Bhattacharya, Sangeeta Chakraborty, Bandan Singh, Swastika Ganguly, Sohini Bhattacharya, Debashree Bansal, Sudipta Saha, Runa Saha and Tulika Duf (Photo Supplied)

The Essence of Prayer

“When the air is replete with the Pujo Pujo Gondho (the Essence of Prayer) when there is a sudden spurt of the Kaash Phool  (shooting of Grass), when the sky turns a pristine azure and when the breeze seems to whisper ‘Maa Aschen,’ (Mother is Coming), we the festival-loving, Goddess-adoring Bengalis know that it is the time of the year to celebrate the homecoming of our very own Uma who is travelling from Kailash with her four children to spend four days with her paternal family,” they said.

Swastika said Bengalis observe Durga Pooja wherever they are with a sense of belonging to their home state (of West Bengal in India).

“The sound of dhak (membranophone), the fragrance of dhoop (incense) and dhuno (the fragrant smoke) the aura beckons you to a completely different heavenly world! I can go on describing the little things attached to the huge celebration but let us keep this simple: Durga Pooja is the worship of Mother: Durga, Earth, Nature and everything close to our heart,” she said.

Organisers with some sponsors and supporters (from left) Taposh Saha, Siva Kilari, Debashish Chakraborty, Swastika Ganguly, Amruta Kar and Abhishek Bandyopadhyay (Photo Supplied)

Cultural performances are an integral part of Durga Pooja, she said and that culture connects the Bengali community with the rest of New Zealand.

“Our Durga Pooja Festival is open to all, with live singing, dancing and praying. There are no barriers of caste, creed, colour, religion or politics. The cultural programme will commence every night at 7 pm. The Executive Committee of Nandan NZ is working hard to ensure that this year’s Durga Pooja and Festival is the best conducted by our Association, she said.

Nandan Milan Mela

Swastika said that the ‘Sharodiya Festival’ on Sunday, September 11, 2022, at the Ceramco Park Function Centre, 112 Glendale Road, Glen Eden was an event to remember.

The stalls at the Sharodiya Festival sold a wide range of items (Photo Supplied)

“The event saw families getting together, enjoying great food and shopping. There were 23 stalls selling varied items like food (representing several regions of India, including West Bengal, Assam, Gujarat, Maharashtra, South and North India), jewellery, accessories, apparel, paintings and home decorative materials. With more than 250 footfalls, the ‘Sharodiya Festival had an overwhelming response. We are grateful to all participants, sponsors and visitors,” she said.

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