Berhampur, October 7 (LocalWire): While they may be away from home, the Bengali settlers in Silk City continue to organise the community Durga puja here, keeping their tradition alive.
The Bengalis are believed to have start Durga puja celebration for the first time in the town, about 86 years ago, in the Silk City and they continue to organise the annual community festival with much gaiety.
“Durga puja is an integral part of a Bengali. They celebrate the festival of autumn where ever they are,” Adi Durga Puja Committee president DP Ganguli said.
“As we had started the Durga puja in the town for the first time, we named it as the Adi (first) Durga Puja,” he said.
The first Durga puja in Silk City was started by some Bengali employees working in the then Bengal-Nagpur Railway at the railway station area here in 1933, he claimed.
The Bengalis later established a permanent pandal at Chatarjee lane, near Old Bus Stand, to celebrate the Durga Puja.
Presently there are over 300 Bengali families in the city.
“We are celebrating the Durga Puja and other rituals since 1998 in the pandal,” a member of the Committee Ashok Kumar Jana stated.
“Even though we have been celebrating the Durga Puja for the last 86 years here, we have not left the Bengali culture. The priests, cooks and the artists to make the idol are specially brought from West Bengal. Our aim is to keep alive the Bengali tradition while celebrating the Durga Puja,” another member of the committee Sarojit Sarkar said.
During the festive period, children from the community perform cultural programmes, including Baul Sangeet and the songs dedicated to Maa.
The organisers also bring in traditional dhaki from Midnapore, Sarkar stated.