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Durga Puja 2021: In Kolkata’s 66 Pally Puja, priestesses invoke the Goddess, problem patriarchy

The organisers of Kolkata’s 66 Pally Puja had been one determination away from smashing patriarchy, they usually did that in festive model this yr, as they welcomed priestess Nandini Bhowmick and her colleagues – Ruma, Semanti and Paulami – to provoke the Durga Puja celebrations.
The festivities kick-started, as per custom, with the Shashti Bodhan and aarti, which was the invocation of the Goddess.
Performing rituals throughout Durga Puja was largely thought-about to be the area of males. However this puja has challenged that. (Specific picture by Partha Paul)

Within the Bengali neighborhood, the Durga Puja celebrations often start with the ‘Akal Bodhan’ on the primary day of the celebration, shashti. On at the present time, the clergymen worship or invoke Durga in an ‘uncustomary’ time and breathe life into her, beseeching her to reside within the murti, the vessel for gods for the following few days, till her immersion — which symbolises her return to her marital house the place Lord Shiva, her husband, awaits her.
The all-women staff in motion through the sashti aarti. (Specific picture by Partha Paul)
Normally performed by clergymen, the Durga Puja at 66 Pally made the aware determination of getting priestesses over to preside over the ceremonies, which they are going to be conducting for all 5 days of the Puja — from sashti to dashami.
Pradyumna Mukherjee, the final secretary, advised over a telephonic dialog that whereas in lots of so-called ‘male dominated’ professions girls have stepped ahead and confirmed themselves, praying and performing pujas continues to stay a male bastion.
The organisers had been pleasantly shocked by the reception. (Specific picture by Partha Paul)
“That needed to change, as a result of it’s nothing however a mind-blockage. After we can have feminine organisers and dhakis, why can we not have feminine clergymen? There isn’t any scripture that states girls can not worship or carry out these rituals. Within the historical past of Durga Pujas in Kolkata, it’s the first time ever that 4 girls are doing all of the rituals. It began proper from ‘khuntipujo’ in August, which was performed at first, through the building of the pandal. That was additionally performed by them,” he stated.
Mukherjee initially feared opposition by some orthodox folks, however was pleasantly shocked to obtain assist and appreciation as a substitute.
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