Durga Puja is a Hindu festival celebration of the Mother Goddess and the victory of the warrior Goddess Durga over the demon Mahisasura. The festival represents female power as ‘Shakti’ in the Universe. It is a festival of Good over Evil. Durga Puja is one of the greatest festivals of India. In addition to being a festival for the Hindus, it is also time for a reunion of family and friends, and a ceremony of cultural values and customs.

Our Culture-“DuggaDugga “echo the united voices of all the ladies in the household as they move towards the pandals for puja, wishing for a safe journey ahead in life. The sound of intense beats coming from the dhak mixed with the aroma of the dhunuchi lit in every house, park or corner fills the streets of Kolkata. Clad in the most beautiful attires, adorning the heaviest of jewels and thickest of bangles with sindoor and bindis on their temple, the women seem to walk a step ahead of the men today. After all, Durga puja is the day of the Devi. Nothing but colour and festivity flow through the lanes in the nine days that Maa Durga stays in her basha (house) with her four children, only to be united with her husband Shiva on the tenth day, (also known as Vijayadashami). But does it really end there? The massive grandeur and style of Durga puja is not restricted to being just a nine-day festival. It houses itself in the hearts of the devotees who utter “Maa Dugga” at the smallest of hiccups in life. The resounding ullu (a high-pitched ululation sound created by striking both cheeks with the tongue believed to be very auspicious and said to ward off any evil) echoes in the streets of the city long after the puja is all wrapped up.

All people celebrate and enjoy this festival irrespective of their castes and financial status. Durga Puja is an enormously communal and theatrical celebration. Dance and cultural performances are an essential part of it. Delicious traditional food is also an enormous part of the festival. The street of Kolkata flourishes with food stalls and shops, where several locals and foreigners enjoy mouth-watering foodstuff including sweets. Many non-residential Bengali cultural establishments organize Durga Pooja in several places in the UK, USA, Australia, France, and other countries. Thus, the festival teaches us that good always wins over the evil and so we should always follow the right path.

This festival and the culture are also being celebrated in the STEM WORLD SCHOOL at the last day before the Puja Vacation. The students perform a lot of functions- stage shows, songs, dance and drama. Along with that the little children also do a lot of art and craft works, decorate the classes in the theme. For the students of STEM WORLD SCHOOL, it is a day full of joy and happiness. The girls wear sarees with a beautiful get up and boys in kurta pyjama makes the day more ethnic. Thus, the students of STEM WORLD SCHOOL shows that Durga Puja is not only a festival it is our culture. With this hope that to get Good over the Evil- ‘A Very Happy Durga Puja to all’.

- Joyita Ghosal


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