Indian Immigrants in Australia Celebrate Durga Puja With Gusto

October 7, 2008

Author: Staff Writer

Source: The Times of India

Thousands of Bengali immigrants and other members of the Indian diaspora ushered in the Durga Puja celebrations with much fanfare and gusto here.

Colourful pandals (marquees) adorned with spring flowers and intricately carved deities, women draped in dazzling Baluchari, Dhakai, Tangail and Kantha saris and men in traditional kurta and dhoti created an aura of Durga Puja back home last weekend.

Partho and Shampa Das recall their first puja here in 1978 when they had just migrated to Sydney from Mumbai. "At that time there were about 200 Bengali families, but this year we have had seven pujas across Sydney alone, reflecting the growing number of Bengali migrants," says Das, a mechanical engineer, who moved the puja venue from his home to a school hall as the numbers swelled.

"People are very keen to participate and contribute their skills and talents to make this a great event for family and friends. This year we had 2,000 people at our Uttaran puja in the Western Sydney suburb of Carlingford," he said.