Thursday, October 13, 2016

Durga Puja and Memories


Early morning, yesterday, I logged on to Facebook and just got super homesick. Actually this has been happening since the last four days and you can guess why from the title. Yes! Durga Puja just ended yesterday in India and this was my first ever Durga Puja away from home, away from family, without any ‘puja’ and without any pandal hopping. Durga Puja for me is the time of the year I look forward to more than my birthday and this time it was spent reminiscing old memories.


Since I went on a throwback ride this week, I would be sharing history of one of the grandest festivals of India, specifically East India. While a lot of temples in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha have evidences to support that Durga Puja happened in the temples of the state, the first recorded and verified record of Durga Puja comes from West Bengal. The first Durga Puja with elaborate statues is said to have been celebrated in the late 1500s by the landlords of Dinajpur and Malda but it wasn’t until 1790 when the family based celebrations transformed into community celebrations. 


Twelve houses of in Hoogly, West Bengal, collected contributions from local residents and setup a Pooja pandal called Baro-Yaari Poojo. Later 1830’s Raja Harinath of Cossimbazar, performed the Durga Puja at his ancestral home in Murshidabad but also opened it to locals making the festival even more popular in an already Devi worshiping community.


None of us really think of history of a festival once we accept the Myth associated with it. But off late I have been exploring how some cultures adapt some festivals so much more than others. Okay, maybe my research thinking in my college now is getting to me but when I was searching about Durga Puja’s history some months back, I was actually surprised to find that the festival in Bengal is relatively new but was first celebrated in villages in Odisha. 


Anyways, I think I have given enough history details for Durga Puja for a day. I am going back into the throwback mode and leaving you with a glimpse of Durga Puja, incase you guys also missed it like me.
If you did attend the Puja this time in some pandal somewhere or have done so in the past, please do let me know of your experiences in comments below.

I would leave you with some Dhuan Dance and Dhak 

25 comments:

  1. Aww... I can feel that awful missing thing... experienced it many years back. Study well, you can enjoy all these again. :) <3

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    1. Thanks Indrani...hopefully I can enjoy the festival with my family soon again :D

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  2. There's hardly anything else that makes the bengali in me miss home (and the Puja times) the way the sound of dhak does. Much to my joy, I spent Puja at home this time after 2 (or was it 3 years). I am sure you know how it feels.

    And yes, thanks for the historical bit about the Durga Puja. I for one had never even thought about that aspect.

    Cheers,
    Rajiv

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    1. Lucky you Rajiv, you were home for Puja finally! :D hopefully in 2-3 years even I will get the chace to be at Home during Durga Puja :)

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  3. I can understand the pain of missing Durga Puja. This is one festival that we all look forward to . Wishing that next year you can make it here . Shubho Bihoya

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    1. Next year would still not be possible unfortunately but hopefully after that every year :D
      Hope you had an amazing Puja! Shubho Bijoya :)

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  4. Missing home especially during special occasions is heartbreaking. I know the feeling too well.Thank you for sharing this post.Hope next year you will be home.

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    1. I hope so too...this is one time of the year I would want to be home for.

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  5. It is so hard to be away from home, especially for holidays is really hard. I definitely know how you feel. I'm going through it similarly with THanksgiving (I'm American). Hopefully you can head back for the next one!

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    1. I hope you can make it home this thanksgiving too. :)

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  6. Living across he world in Australia for 2 years, I know how hard it can be too be so far from home at the holidays. Love this reminiscing!

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    1. Glad you liked the post and could relate to it :)

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  7. I feel this way if I'm ever away from home on American Thanksgiving, as lame as it sounds.

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    1. It is not lame at all! Being here, I get what thanksgiving is for people here. :)

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  8. Missing habits and festivities is always a bit sad... but think about the fact that you have the great opportunity to make an experience away from home. Always take the positiveside :)

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    1. I am taking it positively now and being in Seattle has been an amazing experience so far :D

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  9. I felt the same lonelines whenever there are festivals. I missed all that fun and just being free, and enjoying the days of festivals. Gosh sometimes being an adult sucks, lol

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    1. Blair I cant agree more! Being adult is overrated..kids are so lucky I feel.

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  10. we miss festivals, ceremonies to value them more, we all feel same sometimes you know...

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    1. I know! This year just made me value durga puja more :)

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  11. I can totally understand. Missing an occasion that is family oriented is really a tough one. Hopefully you will be there next year :)

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  12. Such fabulous captures! Durga Puja is vibrant and I absolutely love the dance as well as Sindoor Khela!
    And who can forget the Pujo Bhog! :)

    I hope you can attend it next year or alternatively see if you can cover the abroad festivities for us!:)

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    1. Thanks Divsi! I missed this year's Durga Puja in Seattle but next year if I dont go home for it I am surely gonna be at Belleveu Duerga Puja :D

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  13. Thanks for the outstanding advice, it really is useful.
    Performed durga puja online

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