Durga Puja Immersion

On the final day of the Durga Puja festival, Durga the mother returns to her husband Shiva.  This event is represented by a water immersion of the Durga sculptures.

From each pandal, community members load the idols onto a truck and then a procession follows as the truck heads towards the river.  The procession involves a lot of dancing, eating, drinking, and plenty of holi powder.  This was definitely one of the best cultural experiences of the entire trip :).

Loading Durga onto the truck

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Durga Puja

Yesterday I arrived safely back in Detroit however I am a bit behind on blog posts!  The last week and a half of the project was quite intense and free time was limited.

Our trip to India coincided with Durga Puja, an annual Hindu festival worshiping the Hindu goddess Durga.

“Durga Puja festival marks the victory of Goddess Durga over the evil buffalo demon Mahishasura. Thus, Durga Puja festival epitomises the victory of Good over Evil.”

Our local guides took us across the city to view and take part in the festivities.  Each community builds what are known as “Pandals”, which are large temporary structures that house sculptures of the gods.  These structures and sculptures are built over a period of a few months and then taken down the week following the festival.

Here are some pictures of the larger pandals in Jamshedpur:

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Inside the largest pandal:

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Rajkiyakritya Odiya Middle School

On Monday we visited the Rajkiyakritya Odiya Middle School where we met the school administrators and also had time to interact with the children and lead some of the classes.  Upon arrival the student body performed for us (video below) and after we each gave short introductions about our homelands and our India experience thus far. Szandra, Mark and I organized activities for one of the older classes including a Q&A session. P1090992 DSC01267DSC01219P1100027 DSC01238 DSC01236 DSC01241 DSC01259 DSC01287 DSC01308 P1100024 P1100023DSC_0507 DSC_0505

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