Probasi Durga Pujo.... the international reach of Durga Maa



United Kingdom
Durga Puja is celebrated all over UK with much gusto and enthusiasm by Bengalis from West Bengal. From north of UK, to South there are scores of Durga Puja, and these 4/5 days makes one feel part of West Bengal. The celebration includes not only the Bengalis but many other Hindus as well. During the same period, the Gujarati community also celebrates 9 nights of Puja and famous Garba community dance, culminating in to Dussera festival.
Amongst the noteworthy Pujas in London, London Sharad Utsav Puja hosted at Ealing Town Hall has attracted London's Bengalis due jovial atmosphere, well organised cultural programmes by renowned artists, and excellent food arrangements.
 
China
In 2004, a group of Indians residing in China came together and organised Durga puja in Shanghai. Since then it has become a yearly affair and has got bigger with active participation from the Indian and the Chinese community. The idol of Maa Durga has been brought in from Kumartuli. Every year purohit from India is flown in to perform the puja. Elaborate decorations are done at the venue to give a very distinct look of a pandal interior. Dhaks are played and Dhunuchi dances are performed. Bhog is served to all guests.
The evenings are occupied with community cultural program and performance from visiting overseas artist.

Middle East
In Muscat, Bongiyo Parishad celebrates Durga Puja with Bhog distribution (Astomi & Navami) and Anjali in Shiva Temple. Vijaya sammilani  is also a part of this celebration. Hundreds of Bengalis and others are found to enjoy these days here. Traditional "Dhak" is not played here; but these days, recorded beats of "Dhak" add a separate dimension to the beats of the devotees' hearts.


USA, Europe & Australia
Durga Puja is organised by communities of Indians in the United States, Europe, and Australia. Although pandals are not constructed, the idols are flown in from Kumartuli in Bengal. The desire by the diaspora peoples to keep in touch with their cultural ties has led to a boom in religious tourism, as well as learning from priests or purohits versed in the rites. From 2006 the immersion of the Durga idol has been allowed in the Thames River for the festival which is held in London.
One of the biggest Durga Pujas in Europe takes place at the Ealing Town Hall, West London. Organised by London Sharad Utsav, this Puja has gained in popularity over the last few years, to be one of the biggest held outside the subcontinent. In 2011 they organised what they called the Global Durga Puja, whereby they showed live, the Durga Pujas of Kolkata directly at their Venue, much to the amazement and excitement of the Visitors to their Puja. They also organise the Kumari Puja, which is the ritual of worshipping a small girl as Devi Durga. Another traditional Durga Puja in held in Cardiff by Wales Puja committee. They have been doing Puja for 39 years and have twice commissioned Image making in Cardiff (2002 & 2009) by the craftsmen from Burdwan & Midnapore, West Bengal making complete Durga Protima crafted in UK.
In the United States the pujas are often hosted during weekends with few exceptions. The puja weekends are time for Bengal friends and family to gather together to spend the weekend savouring Bengali culture. Cultural programs are held; there is food; stalls selling ethnic clothes, jewellery, books, music DVD's etc. There is a general atmosphere of festivity.
In Australia, the major Durga Puja festivals were held in Sydney and Melbourne. They are also held very grandly in Perth, the capital of Western Australia. Bhog Distribution, Cultural Programmes, anjali and dhunuchi naach were the main events. In Germany several Durga Pujas are celebrated along with Bhog distribution and Anjali in Bremen, Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Köln (Cologne), Stuttgart and Munich (München).