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Home » My Kolkata » Events » Delphic Culture Summit delegates from 45 countries enjoy first-ever pandal-hopping round

Durga Puja 2023

Delphic Culture Summit delegates from 45 countries enjoy first-ever pandal-hopping round

They experienced Durga Puja’s prowess as the world’s largest public arts festival through the city’s most prolific pandals

By Vedant Karia | Published 19.10.23, 01:26 PM
1/7 Kolkata undergoes a complete transformation during Durga Puja, one that is worth witnessing. To take the magic of this festival to a global scale, the Delphic Council of West Bengal aka Bongo Delphic organised a unique pandal-hopping experience on October 12 and 13, as a part of the Delphic Culture Summit, attended by guests from over 45 countries. The first stop was at Naktala Udayan Sangha in Tollygunge

Kolkata undergoes a complete transformation during Durga Puja, one that is worth witnessing. To take the magic of this festival to a global scale, the Delphic Council of West Bengal aka Bongo Delphic organised a unique pandal-hopping experience on October 12 and 13, as a part of the Delphic Culture Summit, attended by guests from over 45 countries. The first stop was at Naktala Udayan Sangha in Tollygunge

All photographs by Soumyajit Dey
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2/7 (From left) International Delphic Council secretary general Ramesh Prasanna, West Bengal Transport Corporation managing director, IAS Rajanvir Singh Kapur, and Greek opera singer Alexandra Gravas were mesmerised by the pandal’s theme, Hridaypur, depicting the tragedy of Bengal’s partition and the lives of the refugees when they relocated to the colony. Prasanna confessed: ‘While I understand the themes as an Indian, it opened a new discourse for our foreign guests and they were awestruck by how pandals are being used as a medium for social change.’ Gravas chimed in: ‘The detailing is amazing, and I love the pandal’s choice of music so much that I want to sing it!’

(From left) International Delphic Council secretary general Ramesh Prasanna, West Bengal Transport Corporation managing director, IAS Rajanvir Singh Kapur, and Greek opera singer Alexandra Gravas were mesmerised by the pandal’s theme, Hridaypur, depicting the tragedy of Bengal’s partition and the lives of the refugees when they relocated to the colony. Prasanna confessed: ‘While I understand the themes as an Indian, it opened a new discourse for our foreign guests and they were awestruck by how pandals are being used as a medium for social change.’ Gravas chimed in: ‘The detailing is amazing, and I love the pandal’s choice of music so much that I want to sing it!’

3/7 Behala Nutan Dal came with an unexpected crunch. The theme was ‘phuchka’, and the entire pandal was adorned with Bengal’s favourite street food! Francesca Panico, a postgraduate student of intercultural relations from Italy captured every corner, ‘I was very impressed by the vibrant colours when I stepped in. To top it off, I tasted phuchka for the first time yesterday, so the theme feels truly special,’ she said

Behala Nutan Dal came with an unexpected crunch. The theme was ‘phuchka’, and the entire pandal was adorned with Bengal’s favourite street food! Francesca Panico, a postgraduate student of intercultural relations from Italy captured every corner, ‘I was very impressed by the vibrant colours when I stepped in. To top it off, I tasted phuchka for the first time yesterday, so the theme feels truly special,’ she said

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4/7 Barisha Club’s pandal was centred around the impact of war, and its topical nature gave everyone a lot to think about. ‘The older I get, the more I appreciate how Durga Puja is the world’s largest public arts festival, and one that is truly democratic and accessible to everyone. Standing in the pandal, I don’t just see the beautiful ‘protima’, but an entire ecosystem coming together to create magic,’ said Meghdut Roy Chowdhury, president, Bongo Delphic

Barisha Club’s pandal was centred around the impact of war, and its topical nature gave everyone a lot to think about. ‘The older I get, the more I appreciate how Durga Puja is the world’s largest public arts festival, and one that is truly democratic and accessible to everyone. Standing in the pandal, I don’t just see the beautiful ‘protima’, but an entire ecosystem coming together to create magic,’ said Meghdut Roy Chowdhury, president, Bongo Delphic

5/7 Day 2’s pandal-hopping session began with Kashi Bose Lane, which drove home a powerful message about atrocities committed on women, from sexual harassment to trafficking. From the decorations to the protima, every aspect was carefully designed to spread awareness about the horrors society unloads on the very daughters of Maa Durga

Day 2’s pandal-hopping session began with Kashi Bose Lane, which drove home a powerful message about atrocities committed on women, from sexual harassment to trafficking. From the decorations to the protima, every aspect was carefully designed to spread awareness about the horrors society unloads on the very daughters of Maa Durga

6/7 Tala Prattoy breathed life into ‘Kahon’, a narration by artist Susanta Paul. The installation is Paul’s 50th, and coincides with his 50th year, making it extra special. Guests were amazed by the commitment to authenticity, with most of the props directly being sourced from Paul’s study

Tala Prattoy breathed life into ‘Kahon’, a narration by artist Susanta Paul. The installation is Paul’s 50th, and coincides with his 50th year, making it extra special. Guests were amazed by the commitment to authenticity, with most of the props directly being sourced from Paul’s study

7/7 The night concluded with a peek into the pandal at Beliaghata 33 Pallibashi Brinda, which embodied the voice of the Himalayas, complete with snow falling from the skies. The pandal even made a case for how urbanisation was disturbing the equilibrium of the mountains. ‘It was fantastic how the pandal recreated the feeling of the mountains using movable materials. The moon figurine made it feel even more dreamy,’ said Divina Bautista, president of the International Delphic Council (Philippines)

The night concluded with a peek into the pandal at Beliaghata 33 Pallibashi Brinda, which embodied the voice of the Himalayas, complete with snow falling from the skies. The pandal even made a case for how urbanisation was disturbing the equilibrium of the mountains. ‘It was fantastic how the pandal recreated the feeling of the mountains using movable materials. The moon figurine made it feel even more dreamy,’ said Divina Bautista, president of the International Delphic Council (Philippines)

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