October 08, 2005


Durga Puja is the most important religious festival of the Bengali Hindus (West Bengal in India & Bangladesh). It is the worship of the goddess Durga. The actual period of the worship varies from the nine preceding days Navaratri (N. India) to the five days (Bengal / Orissa).

Although Bangladesh is a Muslim majority state, there are a considerable number (About 20 million) of Hindus in the country. The remarkable thing is that this year's Puja (October 9-13) has coincided with the Muslim holy month Ramadan so the festivity will be somewhat subdued as the mood of both the events are different. The Islamic Foundation Bangladesh has been asked to sit with 'imams' of mosques and priests of temples to reach an understanding that the Puja activities would not coincide with 'Ajan', call for prayers to Muslims (source). The Hindu Religious Welfare Trust have already directed Puja committees not to use musical instruments and loudspeakers during Iftar, Tarabi prayers and Sehri. A lot of security measures have been already taken by the home ministry to provide security to the more than 20,000 'puja mandaps' across the country.

This year so far one notable incident happened before the festival when the students of the premier engineering university (BUET) went to strike demanding more than one holiday for Durga Puja but was denied.

Here is the link to a Puja activities portal (Bangla only) in Chittagong.

Wishing all a happy Durga Puja and a happy Ramadan.


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