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45 Nations Come Together For Pandal-Hopping Experience at Delphic Culture Summit


Kolkata: Kolkata transforms remarkably during Durga Puja, offering a truly mesmerizing experience. To share this enchanting festival globally, the Delphic Council of West Bengal, also known as Bongo Delphic, organized a unique pandal-hopping event on October 12 and 13. This special occasion was part of the Delphic Culture Summit, attracting participants from over 45 countries. The adventure kicked off with a visit to Naktala Udayan Sangha in Tollygunge.

The theme of the Hridaypur pandal left the Secretary-General of the International Delphic Council, Ramesh Prasanna, along with Rajanvir Singh Kapur, the Managing Director of West Bengal Transport Corporation, and Greek opera singer Alexandra Gravas, utterly mesmerized. This theme intricately portrayed the tragic events of Bengal’s partition and the subsequent lives of refugees in the colony. Prasanna acknowledged that while comprehending the themes as an Indian, it sparked a new conversation for foreign guests, leaving them in awe of how pandals serve as a medium for social change. Gravas added, “The detailing is amazing, and I love the pandal’s choice of music so much that I want to sing it!”

Behala Nutan Dal brought an unexpected twist to the festivities with their unique theme. The focal point was ‘phuchka,’ and the entire pandal was decked out in homage to Bengal’s cherished street food! Francesca Panico, an intercultural relations postgraduate student from Italy, took in every detail, expressing her admiration, “I was very impressed by the vibrant colors when I stepped in. To make it even more memorable, I tasted phuchka for the first time yesterday, so the theme holds a truly special significance for me.”

Barisha Club’s pandal revolved around the consequences of war, prompting deep contemplation from onlookers due to its timely nature. Meghdut Roy Chowdhury, President of Bongo Delphic, reflected on the significance of Durga Puja, stating, “The older I get, the more I appreciate how Durga Puja is the world’s largest public arts festival, and one that is truly democratic and accessible to everyone. Standing in the pandal, I don’t just see the beautiful ‘protima,’ but an entire ecosystem coming together to create magic.”

The second day’s pandal hopping commenced at Kashi Bose Lane, where a poignant message about the atrocities faced by women, ranging from sexual harassment to trafficking, was powerfully conveyed. Every detail, from the decorations to the protima, was meticulously crafted to raise awareness about the harsh realities that society imposes on the very daughters of Maa Durga.

Tala Prattoy brought life to ‘Kahon,’ an artistic narration by Susanta Paul. Notably, this installation marks Paul’s 50th. creation, aligning with his 50th year, adding an extra layer of significance. Attendees were impressed by the dedication to authenticity, as a majority of the props were directly sourced from Paul’s personal study.

The evening wrapped up with a visit to the pandal at Beliaghata 33 Pallibashi Brinda, capturing the essence of the Himalayas, complete with artificial snowfall. The pandal not only showcased the beauty of the mountains but also conveyed a compelling message about how urbanization is disrupting their natural balance. Divina Bautista, President of the International Delphic Council (Philippines), expressed her admiration, stating, “It was fantastic how the pandal recreated the feeling of the mountains using movable materials. The moon figurine made it feel even more dreamy.”

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