For anyone who is reading this journal and has no idea of the word “Bong“, then I will take pride in explaining that Bong is an abbreviated form for Bengalis – people from Bengal(the state of West Bengal) in India. We are rich in heritage and culture, we love our foods and we love our adda’s (spending quality time with friends and family). It is usually very easy to identify us – by our appearances(we are usually well-fed , so essentially round at our bellies or our faces), we are also great at communicating with people and friendly(especially if we see another Bong, we are overwhelmed) and no matter from how far words come flying, if its about food, you have our attention!
Keeping aside our qualities, I would like to highlight, we take our festivals very seriously, we have a whole bunch of them and that makes the saying “Baro mash-e tero parbon”(13 festivals in 12 months- oh no not literally , that is an understatement.I guess its some multiple of 13).
We have traveled to the different corners of the world and made our presence everywhere thereby globalizing ourselves truly but when it comes to Durga Pujo, the true blue Bong soul transpires above all.
When we were kids, dressing up in new attire and the pandal hopping experience with numerous street foods -egg rolls, Fuchka , Mughlai Porota, Ghoogni were the only things in our schedule all four days.For some little details , Ashtami’s Anjali, Sondhipujor Arati, Nabami-r NonVeg food were other highlights.
With generation changes and over time, litle has changed over these traditions. We still dress up in our sarees and jewelry now, we still enjoy those special Pujo meals and we still go out and participate in pandals.
This year, for some of us Non Residential Bongs as well as Indians, we grouped up and traveled to a Durga Puja organized in Koln, Germany. Well, the pandal hopping had to be done once per year. Last year we were in Netherland Durga Pujo. Two days of uninterrupted fun surrounded by nothing except Bengalis(mostly, and also non Bengalis , even Germans), good food (not that good, but that’s a different topic) and great programs.
I’ll cut short my talking and let some pictures do the talking for the nostalgia we went through not being able to be home at this time of the year.
Bolo Durga Maa-i Ki !!! Joi!!