Published: October 23, 2023, 05:42 PM IST
Maa Durga inspires positivity and devotion at Urbania Pujo in Thane; younger generations embrace Bengali tradition amid 5-day extravaganza of food and culture.
Maa Durga, the embodiment of strength and grace, has been a guiding light for millions. Her nine blessings of name, fame, health, wealth, happiness, humanity, knowledge, devotion, and power have nurtured faith and devotion in the hearts of her devotees. For Bengalis, the celebration of Durga Pujo is not just a festival but a fervent expression of this devotion, a tradition deeply embedded in their culture. Even when miles away from Bengal, they are determined to celebrate with the same enthusiasm and unity.
The Birth of Bongs of Urbania Pujo
With this resolute spirit, the "Bongs of Urbania Pujo" came into existence in 2019, right in the heart of Thane at Rustomjee. What started as a small gathering has since blossomed into a vibrant community celebration, forging unbreakable bonds among its members. The festivities kick off with a grand ceremony known as "Mahalaya" and extend into five days of unparalleled merriment.
A Cultural Extravaganza
The Urbania Pujo isn’t just about prayers and rituals; it’s a complete cultural immersion. The streets are lined with stalls offering a diverse range of food and items from various parts of India. These delectable treats and curiosities, coupled with cultural programs, art competitions, quizzes, and dance performances, create an atmosphere of sheer jubilation. This diverse program caters to individuals of all ages, ensuring that no one is left untouched by the magic of Durga Pujo.
Passing the Torch to the Younger Generation
One of the core intentions of this celebration is to instill a deep understanding, respect, and love for their heritage in the younger generation. Away from their Bengali homeland, the Bongs of Urbania Pujo aim to ensure that their traditions remain very much alive. As they embark on their 5th year of celebration, the unwavering support of the community propels them forward, assuring that this journey will continue.
As the Bongs of Urbania Pujo step into their 5th year of celebrations, they are a testament to the power of unity, tradition, and devotion. They may be miles away from Bengal, but their hearts beat in sync with the rhythms of Durga Pujo. The community’s commitment to preserving their heritage and sharing it with the younger generation exemplifies the true spirit of this festival.
In the words of the celebrants, "Here’s hoping Maa Durga inspires all of us with positivity, strength, wisdom, and devotion. Happy Pujo!"
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Community Unity Through Creative Themes: A Half-Decade of Celebrating Durga Pujo
What are the traditions of Durga Pujo celebrated by Bongs of Urbania?
In the heart of the Urbania Pujo celebrations, tradition comes to life in a vibrant tapestry of events and activities. These cherished traditions include:
Food Bazaars: Enchanting stalls offering a diverse array of culinary delights, creating a mouthwatering journey through India’s flavors.
Cultural Extravaganza: Immerse yourself in a cultural mosaic, with events, art competitions, and dance performances that captivate and inspire.
Interactive Quizzes: Engage your intellect with stimulating quizzes that celebrate knowledge and heritage.
Generational Unity: An enduring commitment to ensure that younger generations embrace, understand, and respect the rich Bengali heritage, preserving it for years to come.
These time-honored traditions unite the community in celebration, forging a sense of togetherness that’s at the heart of the Urbania Pujo festivities.
Why do Bengalis celebrate Durga Puja?
Bengalis celebrate Durga Puja with deep-rooted significance:
Divine Blessings: The festival is a reverent plea to Goddess Durga for her blessings, a symbol of strength and divine grace. Devotees honor her for guidance and protection in their lives.
Triumph Over Evil: Durga Puja commemorates the goddess’s victory over the demon Mahishasur, an allegory of the eternal battle between good and evil. It underscores the triumph of righteousness.
Historical Tradition: Lord Rama’s worship of Goddess Durga before confronting Ravana is a historical connection. Bengalis carry this tradition forward, drawing from their cultural and spiritual heritage.
In essence, Durga Puja intertwines faith, cultural values, and history, forming a significant celebration for Bengalis.
What Durga Puja means to Bengalis?
In Bengali tradition, Durga Puja holds a profound and symbolic significance:
Durga’s Family Reunion: Bengalis regard the deities during this festival as Durga’s children. Durga Puja is celebrated to mark Durga’s visit to her natal home, reuniting with her beloved offspring. This reunion signifies familial bonds and the nurturing essence of the goddess.
Mahalaya Prelude: The festival is preceded by Mahalaya, a sacred occasion symbolizing the beginning of Durga’s journey back to her maternal abode. It is a time of reflection, devotion, and anticipation.
Durga Puja, for Bengalis, encapsulates a deep sense of family, homecoming, and devotion to their revered goddess.
What is the Durga Puja tradition?
The Durga Puja tradition is steeped in customs and symbolism:
Vermilion Adornments: Traditionally, Hindu married women, whose husbands are alive, adorn their foreheads with vermillion, signifying their marital status and devotion to the goddess.
Goddess’s Farewell: In a poignant ritual, the goddess and her divine children are paraded to the river for "Bisorjon," symbolizing their return to Mount Kailash. This ritual marks the culmination of Durga Puja as the community bids farewell to Maa Durga.
The Durga Puja tradition is a blend of devotion, symbolism, and rituals that honor the goddess and her significance in Hindu culture.
How Durga Puja is celebrated?
Durga Puja is celebrated through a sequence of meaningful rituals:
Three-Day Worship: Over three days, the goddess is venerated in her different forms as Durga, Lakshmi, and Sarasvati. Devotees offer prayers, seeking blessings and guidance from each aspect.
Vijayadashami Culmination: The festivities reach their zenith on Vijayadashami, the "Tenth Day of Victory." Amid spirited chants and resounding drumbeats, sacred images of the goddess and her divine children are paraded through vibrant processions. These processions culminate at local rivers, where the sacred idols are ceremoniously immersed.
Durga Puja is a time of devotion, cultural celebration, and the immersion of the goddess, signifying the victory of good over evil.
How is Durga Puja celebrated in Bangladesh?
Durga Puja in Bangladesh is marked by a series of significant rituals:
Morning Preparations: The day begins with elaborate arrangements for the worship of the goddess. Devotees come together for this special occasion.
Idol Immersion: In the afternoon, a grand procession carries the idol of Goddess Durga to a nearby water body. In Dhaka, most idols find their way to the Buriganga river, where they are immersed, symbolizing the conclusion of the autumn Durga Puja.
Durga Puja in Bangladesh is a time of reverence, rituals, and culminates with the symbolic immersion of the goddess, a poignant farewell to the festivities.