The clear blue skies, smell of Shiuli phool (night jasmine flower) in the air, the mesmerizing sound of Dhaak (drum) in your ears and you know that 'Maa Aaschen'.
For many of us, Durga Pujo is not only a festival, it’s not even an emotion, it's a celebration of our mother coming back to us, yet again. Durga Pujo is approaching and Bengalis living in Berlin are also gearing up for it. IGNITE. e.V- a registered Bengali Association in Germany is preparing for a grand five-day festival that celebrates the victory of the Goddess Durga over Mahishashura.
This year IGNITE will be organizing its 2nd 'Sarbojonin Durga Pujo' at Sri Ganesha Hindu Temple, Berlin.
What is IGNITE e.V.?
Let us roll back to 2020 when a handful of Bengalis formed a registered Bengali Association and named it IGNITE. The Government of Germany approved it as an e.V in August 2020. IGNITE - Indo-German Nations Idea and Traditions Exchange is a non-profit organization whose main objective is to promote Bengali and Indian culture. Today, over 100+ members from all walks of life (living, studying, and working) have become an integral part of this association. IGNITE organises numerous events like cultural, charitable work, social activity, tech discussion, etc to promote Indian culture and help new Indians to settle in Berlin.
In 2021, IGNITE organized its 1st Sarbojonin Durga Pujo in the heart of Berlin. The Durga Idol was brought directly from Kumortoli. They celebrated Berlin Sarbojonin Durga Pujo with full pomp and grandeur. From Sashti to Dashami, all the rituals were performed by the purohit. It started with Bodhon on Sashti, followed by 'Kola Bou Snan' on Saptami. Ashtami started with Anjali and then Kumari Pujo where a little girl dressed up as Umaa was worshipped in front of the idol of Goddess Durga. The authentic bhog consisting of Khichuri, Labra, Chutney and Payesh was prepared in the kitchen by the ladies of the group on Ashtami. Respected members from the Indian Embassy attended the Sandhi Pujo in the evening as well. On Navami, ‘Joggo’ was held on the temple premises and finally, Pujo ended with Sindur Khela. They also conducted cultural programs which had Bangla Gaan, Shruti Natok (Karna Kunti Sangbad), Recitation and many dance performances. The children growing up in this cross-culture environment felt very close to their homeland even after living a thousand miles away.
The event was immensely successful due to selfless contributions from teams like Front Desk Management, Finance, Administration, PR and branding, Food distribution, Cultural team, Pujo Barshiki team, Guest management team etc who are working all day and night on these five days.
After last year’s favourable outcome the team is again gearing up for their 2nd Sarbojonin Durgotsov. IGNITE has some sponsors like Biswa Bangla and Bengal Tourism who have collaborated with them. The Berlin Sarbojonin Durga Pujo -2022 will be celebrated from October 01 to October 05. These days are packed with all the rituals like 'Bodhon', 'Kola Bou Snan', 'Anjali', 'Kumari Pujo', 'Chandi Paatth', 'Khichuri Bhog', 'Joggo' and 'Sindur Khela' paired with exceptional cultural programs. One of the main highlights of this year’s cultural program is the drama 'Chitrangada' by Rabindranath Tagore. Chairman of IGNITE, Mr Abhijit Saha said, ‘Our first Durga Pujo in 2021 amidst the pandemic witnessed 2500 visitors and we catered over 2300 meals to all guests. This year we expect 7000 plus visitors from all over Berlin and Germany. We are only a week away from our celebration and the preparations are going on in full swing.’
Thanks to IGNITE eV, Bengalis in Berlin are able to relive and enjoy our most precious and enjoyable memories in a foreign city every year.
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