November 29, 2023

Chhath Puja goes global, Indian diaspora in London, Dubai and the US soaks in festivities

KOLKATA: The Indian diaspora, particularly the ones with roots in the City of Joy, soaked in the four-day Chhath festivities finishing on Monday.
Bracing the November sit back, Kolkata-born Biharis in London got here in combination for his or her first giant neighborhood Chhath, which noticed a substantial Bengali participation as neatly.
“We usually get to meet our brethren from Bihar during Durga Puja.In reciprocation, we invited our Bengali friends in London to take part in the Chhath event at Northamptonshire’s York Cottage,” stated Captain Om Prakash, secretary, Bihari Connect UK, which witnessed the grandestChhath Puja accumulating ever.
“All this time, Chhath festival was observed privately, inside our homes. This time, we at Bihari Connect UK, the driving force behind this inclusive cultural exchange, decided to take Chhath out of the doors to the larger community,” joint secretary Sandeep Gupta, who has migrated from Kolkata’s Beliaghata, stated. Instead of the small basins used at person houses, that they had a man-made water frame created inside of the sprawling Easton Lane venue, positioned between London and Midland.
“The £20,000 fundraising has covered all expenses from Saturday to Monday, including the making of 10,000 thekuas for over 2,000 participants,” Capt Om Prakash added.
Indeed, the spirit of Chhath Puja resonated throughout the serene landscapes of England to the quite a lot of portions of the US and directly to sunny Dubai as neatly. Dubai-based engineer Naveen Tiwai, who has a space in Behala, stated, “We started in 2016. Then only women would take part in the festivities. Now, we have scores of Biharis, from Ranchi, Kolkata and Patna, assembling and celebrating together, offering puja at the Mamzar beach.”
San Jose-based tool engineer Tarun Kailash spoke how customary it used to be to do Chhath Puja in this a part of the US. “People are so used to it that you get all puja ‘samagri’ (materials for offerings) in the local stores. For instance, a few years ago we procured bamboo ‘soops’ (in which the offerings are made) from India. But not any more,” stated Kailash, who arranged Chhath for the 9th time. Around 1,700 amassed for the puja at Quarry Lake in Fremont, California on Sunday. The air used to be colourful with devotees decorating themselves in conventional garments and growing elaborate choices embellished with sugarcane stalks, vibrant culmination and earthen pots.
Kailash, too, took over from an all-women competition and grew to become it into a miles inclusive participation. “This year, we saw the local administration come to the lake front to support us in our endeavour,” stated San Jose resident and YouTuber Swasti Pandey.
“It feels great to be able to follow the rituals to the hilt and keep the family traditions alive, so far away from home,” stated Tiwari.