Durga Puja celebrated with traditional gaiety

Berhampur: Durga Puja is being celebrated with tradition gaiety in this silk town for the 79th year by its Bengali settlers.

Durga Puja was organised for the first time in 1932 by some Bengali employees of Bengal-Nagpur Railway at the railway station area here. The site was changed 66 years later, members of Adi Durga Puja Committee said. Bengali families in the town and those belonging to other faiths gather at the puja pandal.

"We are not alienated from the Bengali culture," said secretary of the committee P K Sarkar adding artistes, priests and cooks are brought from West Bengal.

This year an artiste was brought from Nadia in West Bengal to make the idol of the godess and her four children who accompany her during her sojourn to earth every autumn.

"Durga Puja is an integral part of the Bengalis. We celebrate the festival wherever we reside," said A K Sarkar, president of Adi Durga Puja Committee.

Gujarati too celebrate Navaratri with traditional fervour. Young Gujarati girls perform the Garba and Dandia dance during the festival.

"We celebrate the festival in our traditional manner," said Naresh Vaghel, a Gujarati.

There are about 80 Gujarati families living in the town.