Nandan brings forth two-day Bengali festivities marking Durga Pooja

The Divine Visit: Hindus believe that Goddess Durga, the Supreme Mother comes to Earth every year to bless them during Navaratri (Dusshera) (Photo Supplied)

Venkat Raman
Auckland, October 18, 2023

Piety, prayer, cultural programmes and social networking will all be a part of a two-day Durga Pooja (also Puja) festivities being organised by Nandan NZ this weekend in Auckland.

The events will be held at the Blockhouse Bay Community Centre located at Blockhouse Bay Road in Blockhouse Bay on October 20 and October 21, 2023.

Nandan NZ General Secretaries Swastika Ganguly and Sandeep Banerjee said that the programme will commence at 7.30 pm on both days and that it is free and open to all members of all communities, transcending religion and language.

“Durga Pooja (also Puja) is the most important festival for the Bengali Hindu community in West Bengal for all Hindus all over the world. Nandan New Zealand has been connecting the Bengali community in New Zealand with others to promote cultural and social fusion. We belong to the larger community of New Zealand and our Durga Pooja every year connects people through prayers, culture, food, goodwill and companionship. The essence of the Durga Pooja is to conquer differences and lead a life of joint effort with love and goodwill,” they said.

The Mother and Her Children: Lord Ganesha, Goddess Saraswati, Goddess Lakshmi and all other Deities are considered Children of Goddess Durga (Photo Supplied)

A sublime Fiesta

Mr Banerjee said that Durga Pooja is the sublime fiesta of Bengal and one of the most important festivals in India.

“While Bengalis observe Durga Pooja with passion and religious fervour, members of other communities also look forward to participating in the celebrations. We are happy that our Durga Pooja Festival has evinced the interest of a cross-section of the Auckland population and we welcome them to our events,” he said.

Ms Ganguly was nostalgic of the Festival now underway in her home state of West Bengal.

“No matter where we are physically, our hearts and minds always wander in our homeland during this time. The sound of Dhak, the fragrance of Dhoop and Dhuno – all these beckon you to a completely different heavenly world! On behalf of Nandan NZ, I invite you to our Festival in Auckland this weekend,” she said.

Ms Ganguly said that as the organisation that connects people, the Durga Pooja and Dussehra are occasions to spread peace, goodwill and understanding.

“Our events bring together people socially and culturally on one platform with live singing and dancing along with drama and recitation of religious hymns. Please join us each evening from 7.30 pm and celebrate the triumph of good,” she said.

The Drama segment of the Festival will feature a Bengali adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s short story ‘The Canterville Ghost.’ Called, ‘Bhunibabur Chandni’ (The Drawing Room of Bhuni Babu), it was written in Bengali by Sharmila Moitra and directed by Ms Ganguly.

About Durga Pooja

Durga Pooja (Puja also known as Durgotsav or Shakotsav, is an annual Hindu festival originating in the Indian Subcontinent which reveres and pays homage to the Hindu Goddess Durga.

The Festival also celebrates Goddess Durga’s victory over Mahishasura and is marked all over the world by the Hindu community, although it is more popular in West Bengal, Bihar, Assam, Tripura, Odisha, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh in India and Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

Observed during the Hindu Ashwin (September-October) Durga Pooja is a ten-day festival, of which the last five are of greater significance. It is performed in homes and public places, the latter featuring a temporary stage and structural decorations (known as pandals).

The Festival is also marked by scripture recitations, performance arts, revelry, gift-giving, family visits, feasting, and public processions.

The exalted status of women in Hindu society is evident at the Durga Pooja. The photo (Supplied) here shows Swastika Ganguly (second from right) with other members of the Bengali Community in Auckland

Durga Puja is an important festival in the Shaktism tradition of Hinduism and has been listed in the Cultural Heritage List of UNESCO.

As per Hindu scriptures, the festival marks the victory of Goddess Durga in her battle against the shape-shifting asura, Mahishasura,  epitomising the victory of good over evil, though it is also in part a harvest festival celebrating the Goddess as the motherly power behind all life and creation.

Durga Pooja coincides with Navaratri and Dussehra celebrations observed by other traditions of Hinduism throughout the world.

Hindus recognise other major Deities of Hinduism as the children of Goddess Durga.

They include Lord Ganesha (the Remover of All Obstacles), Lakshmi (the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity), Saraswati (Goddess of Knowledge and Music), Kartikeya (God of War) and other forms of Shakti or Power.

Durga Pooja is believed to commemorate the visit of the Goddess to Her natal home with her beloved children.

For further details, please contact Swastika Ganguly. Email: gangulyswastika@gmail.com

Share this story

Related Stories

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Indian Newslink

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement