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HCM City celebrates India's Hindu Durgotsav festival in traditional style

Update: September, 27/2009 - 00:00

HCM City celebrates India’s Hindu Durgotsav festival in traditional style

(28-09-2009)

HCM City — India’s Durgotsav festival, which wraps up today, aims to provide a glimpse of Indian traditional art and culture, as well as bring the Indian diaspora closer together with locals.

According to the Hindu calendar, the dates of the festival coincided with the sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th day of Durgotsav. Like in previous years, the organisers at Ashoka II in An Phu have flown in an idol and priest from Kolkata, India, in order to ensure the authenticity of the ceremonies. Nearly 100 people have been visiting the venue in the past few days in order to enjoy the festivities of the event.

Durgotsav is an annual Hindu festival which celebrates the worship of the Hindu goddess of power, Durga or Shakti. It is a nine-day affair, in which the last six days are observed with a host of complex rituals and intricate ceremonies. It is extensively celebrated in the Northern and Eastern states of India though other states also enthusiastically participate in the festival.

The Durgotsav festival has been primarily organised by the leading members of the Indian community living in HCM City. The funds for the event were raised through personal contributions from the community and with the generous support from leading members of the local corporate community.

A large number of people gather everyday at the venue starting at 7am for prayer, which is followed by a community lunch. The evenings are usually full of entertaining programmes put on by the members of the local Indian community.

"When I reach the venue, it feels like a dream in which I have transferred to the streets of Kolkata from HCM City. I sense the same spirit and buzz of excitement as one feels back in India during these times," said Rajib Gupta, a prominent member of the Indian community.

This year, in addition to the Indian community in Viet Nam, people have travelled from Cambodia and Philippines to attend the event in HCM City.

Cultural programme

In the true tradition of the Durgotsav in India, the organisers have been sponsoring shows and performances about Indian culture, dance and music. For the past two years, renowned dancers and musicians have performed in HCM City for the festival. This year a leading Indian troupe came to Viet Nam to entertain about 500 guests with a performance of Chhau, a form of Indian folk dance. The evening was attended in large numbers by members of the diplomatic corps, as well as by members from both the Indian and Vietnamese community. — VNS

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