#Germany: Raktim Halder shared the Puja experience of migrant expatriates with News8Bangla. Raktim Babu He is Alexander von Humboldt Fellow, Institute of Optics, Leibnitz University HannoverResearcher, Hannover Optical Technology, Leibnitz University Hannover.
“Someone returns home due to Puja, some spend hundreds of thousands of miles from Calcutta in search of livelihood for these few days. And those who can’t do any of that? Today’s story is about them. For good reason, many expatriate Bengalis want to return home even after a few days of Puja. Don’t get a chance. Some don’t have office leave, some were forced to return from the country just last month, some couldn’t go due to long illness, and some may have to return home next month. Likewise, I didn’t return to the country for this year’s puja due to family reasons,” he said. Raktim Haldar.
In a long online chat with News Eight Bangla, Raktim said, ‘To me, puja means a few days in Kolkata. From north to south with friends, the light-filled rain-soaked colored alleys of the city, the old love of Bagbazar, Kumortuli, College Square, Maddox. Several cups of tea or eggrolls sitting on the side of the footpath, vuvujela in the crowded line, Punjabi on Ashtami, dhunuchi dance with para puja or ancient puja in the suburbs, wander around and enjoy khichuri, and return home quietly in the morning. For once a year only, indulge yourself in Prankhola Bangaliana’.
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How will Raktim Babur spend this year? This young researcher from abroad said, “Atimamari deprived me of idol-darshan in 2020. Even though I returned home in 2021, the pain of the recent loss of a relative made me feel the puja. So this year I came to Berlin with the desire to see my mother once. In Germany, Durga Puja is held in several big places. In cities, such as Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg, Dresden, Cologne, Bremen, etc. And we who live in relatively small cities become pilgrims for a few days of Puja. Pack your bags across the border to a neighboring country, such as London in England, Paris in France, or Amsterdam in the Netherlands.”
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Also said, “Several pujas are world famous in Berlin. Such as Club Ignite. This puja is organized in a local temple, Sri Ganesha Hindu Temple. It is only five km away from the main train station in Germany. On the evening of Shashti, the puja was inaugurated by Honorable Ambassador Parvathaneni Harish. Then the cultural program. And the divine arrangement of eating and drinking at night. The special feature of this four-day puja is the intermingling of people from different cultures and countries. Not only Indians from different regions, but also many people from Germany participate in this puja. Anjali is celebrated on Ashtami. Many old friends are seen. , we are filled with new joy. We are introduced to many people engaged in different professions.”
He told about more puja. In his words, “Another puja that has had an opportunity for idol-darshan this year is the Club Sanatani Puja and the Sanskriti pronunciation of ‘spas’. In German it means fun or joy, which is true indeed. In a large clubhouse at 7 Waterloo-Uff, this The puja is held just a short distance away from Ignite’s Puja. Just 3 stops straight on Metroline U7. A cultural evening of dance and song is an amazing experience.”
Then came the turn to return, leaving the joy of the puja, the noise, far away from Mrinmayi Ma, back to his small town of Hanover, Raktim Babu returned. He said with a deep sadness in his heart, “I know, the feeling of spending Puja in Kolkata, above all in Bengal, is always unique. The precious moments spent with family are of immense importance. However, the experience of receiving Puja prasad sitting in this foreign place is also incomparable. The homely atmosphere of being embraced by strangers. Finally, high speed. Sitting in the Intercity Express (ICE) and seeing a bouquet of flowers through the window, I remember so many memories… seeing the first Para Tagore holding the hands of my parents, my growing up listening to the dhaka band, and the year-long longing for the arrival of the goddess once again”.
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