Oakville: Durgotsav 2019 – the two-day Durga Puja fest of the Bongo Poribar Sociocultural Association (BPSA) was a huge success this year – at the St. Volodymyr Cultural Centre (SVCC).
A Kids’ Corner was set up in the Atrium where the kids held a fundraising for a cause they believe in. Last year it was the Food Bank and this year they will decide on the charity.
The “Kids’ Corner” sold pop, cookies, pizza, cake and water bottles. In the afternoon, all guests were served free lunch in the big heated tent set up beside the banquet hall. Attendees enjoyed shopping at various stalls of jewellery, Indian clothes, handicraft items, books, magazines, etc.
In the evening people started coming in traditional dresses. Consul General of India in Toronto Ms. Apoorva Srivastava inaugurated the evening by lighting a lamp and giving a small speech.
There was an inaugural dance followed by other dance and music performances by local artists. There was an outstanding performance by renowned Indian kathak dancer Alokparna Guha on Saturday evening.
First-day music performers included famous playback singer Madhuraa Bhattacharya and Sa Re Ga Ma Pa winner Dipayan Banerjee with live music, which lasted past midnight. An outdoor light show of Skylights on both days was one of the attractions of the celebrations.
The second day started with prayers and rituals in the morning followed by free lunch for all attendees. “Sindoor khela” – a part of Bengali tradition where women play with sindoor (Red Powder) – was for the first time introduced in Canada at the event.
In the evening the cultural program kicked off with the lighting of the lamp and speech by Mayor Rob Burton of Oakville followed by performances by children local artists. Overseas artist Parnava Banerjee made the audience tap to his tunes.