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Bengaluru Sylhetis Organise Their Second Community Durga Puja Amid Covid-19 Restrictions

Durga idol at the Bangalore Shreehatta Sammelani Durga Puja pandal (Photo: BSS)

Durga idol at the Bangalore Shreehatta Sammelani Durga Puja pandal (Photo: BSS)

The inaugural Durga Puja organised by the Bangalore Shreehatta Sammelani (BSS) in 2019 had received wide response, however, it is a much muted affair this year given the precautions and restrictions on account of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Sylheti community in Bengaluru is celebrating what is their second community Durga Puja in the Silicon Valley of India.

The inaugural Durga Puja organised by the Bangalore Shreehatta Sammelani (BSS) in 2019 had received wide response, however, it is a much muted affair this year given the precautions and restrictions on account of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We had unanimously decided to commemorate this year’s Durga Puja on a much a smaller scale and with minimal volunteers at the venue," BSS president Nabarun Purkayastha says.

BSS is taking this year’s Durga Puja online with the puja and related activities being telecast live on Facebook, YouTube and the BSS website: bssbangalore.com

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The Durga Puja festivities started early this year with Mahalaya on September 17 which was followed by cultural events organised every weekend.

For the Sylhetis in Bengaluru, the BSS Durga Puja was the fulfillment of a long-nourished dream. While there many Durga Puja celebrations in and around the city, Bengaluru Sylhetis had the desire to organise a Puja of their own as an expression of their identity.

Bangalore Shreehatta Sammelani, established in 2005, has been organising post-Durga Puja ‘Bijoya Sammelan’ for many years now, along with other cultural events.

Shreehatta refers to the Sylhet region that comprises parts of what was previously East Bengal and current day South Assam. The people originating from this region speak Sylheti, a language that is identified as a dialect of Bangla and is widely spoken in parts of North-Eastern India. Sylhetis are now spread all over India and the world and according to the BSS there are about 3 lakh Sylhetis in Bengaluru alone.

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first published:October 21, 2020, 15:07 IST