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    Posted November 2, 2012 by
    Shanghai, China
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Life in China

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    Durga Puja being celebrated in China

    This year the Indian festival of Durgotsav was celebrated for the sixth consecutive year in Shanghai, China. This was the biggest ever Durgotsav event in China. Over 500 people participated in the festival which was spread over 2 days. A change in venue of the event from the previous year brought it right at the center of Shanghai on the banks of the river Huangpu. The historic Bund overlooking on one side and the glitzy skyline of Pudong on the opposite made it a spectacular view. Apart from the Indian community, the expat and the Chinese community joined in large numbers at the event.

    The idol of Mother Durga has been brought in from Kolkata. Priest from India had flown in to perform the puja. Elaborate decoration was done at the venue. Men, women and children turned up in their best Indian attire at the event.

    Prayers were performed during the mornings. The evenings were occupied with community cultural program. The Durgotsav festival concluded with a performance by the Indian musical group – Aashmi. The audiences were treated to a wide range of Bollywood as well as folk songs.

    Impromptu bouts of celebration were triggered by a group of travelling students from Ahmedabad who were on an educational tour in China. They were surprised to see the scale of Durga puja in China and immediately joined in for folk dance and chants of “Mother Durga” amidst drum beats. Local Chinese as well as expats were awestruck by the unique and joyous form of celebration. Some of them joined in while the others were happy to take photos and videos.

    The event received fair bit of support from personal and corporate sponsors including Indian companies like State Bank of India.

    Durga puja in China was started by a group called Shanghai Adda. The group comprised of Indians residing in China. They came together and organized the first Durga puja in Shanghai in 2006. Since then it has become a yearly affair and has got bigger with active participation from the Indian, expat and the Chinese community. The group generally starts preparation about three months prior to the event. All the members of the group have their different day jobs and work for the group as volunteers. Shanghai Adda’s other community activities including Durga Puja can be found at their website – www.shanghaipujo.com .
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