- Bhelpuri and Rasogolla are also found in London worship
- Indian women of every community reach there
Dussehra has become global. Goddess Durga is being praised even in foreign countries away from the land of India. Jagat Janani is being worshiped with pomp in the neighboring countries of Bangladesh and Nepal to England and Switzerland across the seven seas.
Switzerland gets wrapped in the scent of incense and incense sticks
Durga Puja is being celebrated in Switzerland for the last 17 years in the name of ‘Swiss Puja’. According to Kamalika Chakraborty, a member of the Swiss Puja Committee, this puja lasts for 5 days. According to the date and time of the English calendar, worship is done from Shashti to Vijayadashami. Usually, 800 to 1000 thousand people come daily for the darshan of the goddess, but due to following the rules of Kovid, 300 visitors are allowed to visit the goddess every day this year. Its registration has already been done. Coupons of food available at the place of worship are also available online so that physical contact is less. It is necessary to bring a Kovid certificate with you for entry to the place of worship. Till the year 2019, priests from India were called and worshiped. Panditji also used to bring the materials of worship from India. This time local priests are getting this work done. Indian women wear saris daily for 5 days of worship. Women and men are seen in Indian attire in Kanjeevaram, Banarasi, Dhakai sarees. A mini India is seen here.
Great Celebrations in London
London’s ‘Kamden Durga Puja’ is the oldest Durga Puja celebrated in Europe. It started in 1963. This time the 59th festival is being celebrated. According to the convener of the puja, Sunbir Sanyal, “The puja is performed with full rituals. Whether it is incense, sandalwood and other worship materials or all the things related to offerings are found here, because there are a large number of Indians here. Durgotsav is held in more than 60 places in England but the biggest crowd gathers to see Kamden Dussehra. Usually 5 thousand people come to see the mother. On the day of Ashtami and Navami, a crowd of 7 to 8 thousand people come to seek the blessings of the mother. Last year due to Kovid, virtual Durga Puja was organized. Many people had darshan of the goddess from home as very few people were allowed to come till the pandal. This year Kamden Durga Puja of London was awarded the ‘Best Heritage Puja-Overseas’ award for the year 2021 by Mithu Chatterjee, founder of Narayani Namostute. Mithu says, “The awards are given only after keeping in mind the eco-friendly worship system, strict adherence to Kovid rules, best theme and many other things. “
Rabindra Sangeet and Bollywood Quiz Competition
This Durgotsav is celebrated like a carnival. Artists come from Kolkata and Mumbai. The program begins with Rabindra Sangeet. Young children also become a part of programs filled with songs and music. There are also a lot of games for married couples. The winners are given food coupons, chocolates and other things as prizes from the organizers. Anjali Sanyal, a member of the convening committee, says that each time the theme of the puja is different. We choose the theme keeping in mind the Indian culture and tradition. The theme of this time is ‘Mother’s form in every woman’. Both domestic and foreign can participate in it. The girls will also be seen as little goddesses.
Asian community and foreigners also come to the puja pandal
On this day, apart from the Bengali community living in England, Gujaratis and South Indians all gather under a puja pandal. People of Asian community also gather here. The most interesting thing is that these days many foreign girls also come to see Indian dress, food and festivals. Some British women wear saris and participate in rituals. Indian-origin industrialist Lakshmi Mittal also comes to seek the blessings of the mother. The local mayor also does not shy away from being a part of this festival.
The goddess idol is managed by industrialist Lakshmi Mittal
The idol of Kamden Durga Puja is arranged by businessman Lakshmi Mittal. This statue comes to England from Kolkata. Earlier it was ordered by ship. These days it is sent by plane. It is in many parts, which are joined together in England to give the form of a statue. Earlier the idol was made from clay, but for the last 3 years, eco-friendly statue made of fiberglass is worshipped. The idol is kept as it is for the next year’s worship. In the worship of Switzerland, for the past many years, the worship of the same goddess idol is being used. This statue was also ordered from the ship.
Durga Puja of Dussehra Bangladesh is also very famous in Canada, Australia and Bangladesh. Apart from this, this festival is also celebrated with full pomp in Canada and Australia. But after Kovid, it is not being celebrated in some countries. Unmarried girls are also worshiped in London. Kunwari Kanya Puja is also an important part of Nepal’s Durga Puja. Many Indians living in other countries believe that many children of the new generation have been born on foreign soil. The celebration of these festivals will keep them connected to their roots. They will be proud of their traditions even by staying away from the soil.