Durga Puja 2007

Kallol Durga ProtimaDurga Puja 2007 is behind us now. It is time now for wishing “Subho Bijoya”, “Kolakuli” and of course “Mishti mukh”. Durga Puja in New York, New Jersey have now matured to such an extent that people can say things like – “during our times” or “in those days” – just to signify that times have changed. Yes times have changed indeed, even though the Durga idol has not changed that much over the years. I hear people complaining that the Puja’s here have lost the intimate and homely feeling that it used to offer and have now become the real “Baroari Pujas” where people come to have fun, enjoy the entertainment programs and meet friends with an occasional nod at the idol. Managing crowd is a major problem for the organizers and some are thinking about moving to larger venues. Continue reading

Of Shopping Malls and Toilets

by Amitava Sen

Public Toilet in Kolkata“Desh is doing wonderful and so much for the better”, declares my friend after his recent trip to Calcutta. I suppose Desh means Calcutta. “People are so prosperous, everything is available at the wonderful shopping complexes; diaper, canned ham” he continues “you name it, they have it”. My friend is all dazed up by the malls and the wonderful shops there. Like Sukumar Roy wrote in his celebrated poem that Borobabu’s moustache made him what really Borobabu was; to my friend the city belonged to its shopping malls and that’s what the Desh was all about.. What else he needs to be impressed about the tremendous leap Calcutta is taking towards progress? He has no doubt in his mind that the country we have left behind is doing wonderfully well. Truthfully I was not that persuaded by his argument, it was only the shopping malls, I thought. What’s the big deal? Continue reading

Kali Puja at Ananda Mandir

Ananda Mandir of New Jersey is celebrating Maha Kali Pujo on Friday, November 9, 2007, starting at 6:30 p.m.

If you are interested in sponsoring Kali Pujo, please send your check in the amount of $101 directly to Ananda Mandir at 269 Cedar Grove Lane, Somerset, NJ 08873 before Nov. 5th as Biswabhai will prepare separate “ARGHYAs” for individual families for “HOM” on the Pujo night .

Please remember it is not necesssary to bring fruits, flowers and other items for Kali Pujo, since the temple provides them to the sponsors.

Reality Music Contests on Indian TV Channels

The other day, while channel surfing, I stumbled upon the Zee-TV SaReGaMaPa “Bishwayudh” grand finals. I have not been following this show, but the community was buzzing with excited fans rooting for the three finalists – Anik, Raja and Amanat. Anik became the champion and being a Bengali it felt good that another Bengali kid has succeeded in keeping up the tradition of excelling in the performing arts. And I think that this partisan and regional feeling, in some sense, carries more weight in deciding who wins. It was impossible to qualitatively judge the three performers since they all were excellent singers. Hence, selecting the champion is nothing but a chance accident on who votes and for whom.
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YouTube Video Release of “Phera”

In December 2003, Ethnomedia launched their first theatrical production, “Phera” (The Return), at the Bengali Drama Festival organized by Kallol of New Jersey. The play was an instant hit amongst the expatriate Bengali theater lovers and since then the play was staged at multiple cities across the US east coast and Canada, including the 2004 North America Bengali Conference in Baltimore, Maryland.
The play deals with the eternal struggle which every immigrant in USA has to go through in order to balance between the strong attachment to their home land and the economic and social demands of life. The play has received rave reviews from the audience and the press. Read some of the comments and reviews at our website http://www.ethnomediallc.com/ .
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Ganakrishti: A Beacon for the Group Theater Movement in Kolkata

Jhara Samayer Kavya Ganakrishti, a leading theater group of Kolkata, has just completed twenty-five years of its journey that began in 1981 by a handful of theater enthusiasts. Over these years the group has grown both in size and stature to one of those very few organizations that can help guide the group theater movement in Kolkata through the troubled socio-economic waters. It was one of those groups who did not feel that producing plays is the only activity they should concentrate on. Continue reading

Hindustani Classical Vocal Concert

An Evening of Hindustani Classical and Semi-Classical Music

Indrani Chakrabarty (Vocal)
Kedar Naphade (Harmonium Solo) Accompanied by
Amod Dandawate (Tabla)

Mitali Banerjee Bhawmik (Vocal)
Accompanied by
Samir Chatterjee (Tabla); Kedar Naphade (Harmonium)

Special Event
Debut CD Album Release of Kedar Naphade
Exhibition in Water Colors by Poorva Pant

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton,
50 Cherry Hill Rd, Princeton, NJ 0854
Admission: $15.00
Contact: (908) 429-1120
Visit http://www.mitali.org, http://ethnomediallc.com/music_studio