Indian community invites residents to Durga Puja festival
LuxUtsav will again be hosting Durga Puja for a fourth year at the Salle um Duerf in Itzig from 1-4 October, and invites all residents to come along.
The festival is a major celebration in east and north-east India, Nepal and Bangladesh, and observed by some 1,400 families in the Grand Duchy. This year there will be on-site and digital Durga Puja rituals, plus entertainment including music, dance, and food stalls with a variety of dishes to transport you to the streets of Kolkata.
The origins of the festival date back to the 15th century and are rooted in the belief that good triumphs over evil. According to Hindu mythology, it’s believed that the gods Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswar created the Goddess Durga to defeat the demon king Mahishasura.
Durga takes on many manifestations – with qualities of courage and ferocity, strength, meditation and reflection, creativity, compassion and health. Legend tells that an eight or 10-handed, weapon-laden Goddess Durga, riding a lion, defeated the shape-shifting, deceptive and powerful buffalo demon-king Mahishasura and restored peace and prosperity to the universe.
The celebration also affords an opportunity for Hindu families to provide offerings to Durga and to remember ancestors.
"Durga Puja celebrates hope of growth much like a harvest festival. There's a practice of including a bundle of nine different plants called Navpattrika, which symbolises Durga as a form of nature and her importance to agriculture," said Nimkee Gupta, from LuxUtsav.
For Puja lovers, things like the grand aatop chaal alpona in the puja pandal, the ornate chandmalas made of shola, or the sight of shiuli or the sound of the dhak or ullu, are intrinsic parts of Durga Puja, Gupta explained. "Recreating this environment in Luxembourg and sharing the joy of Durga Puja is the prime aim of our organisation," she added.
Formed in 2019, LuxUtsav is a non-profit organisation promoting the culture of Bengal and India, with sixty or so members, formed in 2019.
Cultural programme for 2022
This year’s celebration will showcase Indian and fusion dances, music performed by Maddox Square Jam, fashion shows and films, and a tribute one of the stalwarts of the Indian film fraternity, Hrisikesh Mukherjee. Food stalls will also provide tasty delicacies including sweet dishes such as halwa and rasmalai, and savoury dishes such as dahl, pakodas and momos.
You can hear more about the festivities on Radio Ara’s Flavours of Bengal, in an interview with LuxUtsav.
Durga Puja follows the celebrations for India Day on 17 September, in Esch-sur-Alzette, attended by prime minister Xavier Bettel. There were several music and dance performances, and plenty of food from the different regions of India, to mark the occasion of Indian independence from British rule.
You can find more information on the four-day festivities for Durga Puja here and you can also follow LuxUtsav on Youtube.
The Indian Association of Luxembourg organises celebrations for Diwali, based on the lunar calendar, and which will take place at the end of October in 2022.
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