Jakarta, Oct 21: Bengalis in Indonesia, which has the world’s largest Muslim population, is celebrating Durga Puja with great fervour and enthusiasm this year.
People from all walks of life have joined in the celebrations.
Inaugurating the celebrations, Indian Ambassador Gurjit Singh appreciated the Jakarta Bengali Association for keeping their traditions and cultural heritage alive in Indonesia. He also complimented the Bengalis over the choice of their pandal — rural Bengal in all its glory, said an Indian embassy press release.
Various other Indian organisations in Indonesia are organising functions to herald in the festive season of Navratri.
According to Ramayana, ahead of attacking Lanka, Lord Rama performed Durga Puja in autumn — a time when the gods sleep. So, the Lord had to first wake up the goddess prematurely, and as such the awakening in the autumnal festival is called ‘akal (untimely) bodhan’ of the goddess.
However, Hindu mythology also states that the puja celebrates the annual descent of Goddess Durga, the slayer of the demon Mahishashur, accompanied by her four children Ganesh, Kartik, Lakshmi and Saraswati on earth to visit her parents.
The goddess, astride a lion and wielding an array of weapons in her ten hands, stays for four days to eradicate all evil from the earth before returning to her husband Lord Shiva at Kailash on ‘Dashami’, the final day of Durga Puja, on Wednesday.