What is Durgotsav?
Durgotsav is one of the major festivals originating from the Indian sub-continent. It is celebrated majorly across India, Bangladesh and Nepal.
In 2021, Durgotsav in Kolkata was included within the Intangible Cultural Heritage List by UNESCO.
Goddess Durga is worshipped as the embodiment of Shakti (feminine power) and the festival celebrates the triumph of good over evil.
Although the festival is observed in some shape or form over a period of 10 days, it is the last 4 days that assumes the most significance. These 4 days are an occasion to not only engage in prayer and worship, but more significantly, an opportunity for the entire community to come together in the true spirit of love and friendship, irrespective of religion, race, colour or creed.
Presently, Durgotsav is celebrated across the globe, with the Bengali diaspora originating from India and Bangladesh taking the lead.
Durga Puja in Aylesbury
Closer to home, there are at least 60 Durgotsav celebrations held in UK, with a significant number being concentrated in and around London.
Although Aylesbury is located within the hinterland of London, its residents have so far been deprived of the opportunity to celebrate this grand annual event. That is about to change, thanks primarily to the initiative taken by three friends, who have succeeded in quickly capturing the interest of an eager community and gaining significant momentum aimed at organising a successful event in its maiden year.
All the organisers of the core committee formed to steer this event come with prior experience of organising these celebrations, either as part of communities elsewhere in UK or in India or in Bangladesh. This provides us with the confidence that the initiative is in safe hands.
Although this is the inaugural instance, as far as Aylesbury is concerned, it has generated a lot of interest within the Asian diaspora across Aylesbury Vale – c. 15,000 as per last Census (2021).