Oikotan Durga Pujo 2022 – The Second Edition of the themed Pujo in Brisbane

Oikotan Inc. (formerly Oikotan) has grown leaps and bounds in the last one year since its inception in May 2021. 2022 marked a very special year in the journey they set out on where they organized their second edition of “Durga Pujo” in Brisbane. This year was even more special for them as the event marked the beginning of a lot of new traditions.

New Traditions – New idol and two-day affair

This year, participants and team members offered their prayers to the new idol which was unveiled for the first time to the public this year.
Oikotan Inc. in only their second year also managed to start a multi-day celebration of their biggest festival/event over the weekends which marked the beginning of a new tradition which will be followed for several years in the future.

The making of their “Pandal”

Oikotan Durga Pujo, a theme based “pujo”, was all about replicating terracotta mandir adorned with intricate detailing and hand drawn wall art. The planning and execution took two-three months to deliver from procuring of materials to cutting to shape and painting on them. While most of the décor was procured in Australia, some had to be ordered from India to make it look more beautiful and complete the look.

Participants and important Dignitaries

Oikotan Inc. in just their second year managed to double their participation from last year’s number with a cumulative footfall of over 500 people over the two days.

This year the festival was inaugurated by Mr Jimmy Sullivan MP, Member for Stafford who represented the Premier of Queensland, Annastacia Palaszczuk, along with Councillor Cath Tonks of the Moreton Bay Regional Council. Day 2 of the event signified lighting of the lamp by Cr. Cath Tonks and Peter John Flannery, Mayor of the Moreton Bay Regional Council.

Pujo Rituals

The traditional Durga Pujo meal of ‘Khichudi’, ‘Labda’ and ‘Chatni’ arranged by Oikotan not only hit the right spot of traditionalism, but it was also appreciated by each participant on day 2 where over 150+ people had the traditional lunch while over 180+ people indulged in some lip-smacking Indian meals on the first day. Food stall was a welcome addition for all as chai, samosas and pani puri (Phuchka in Bengali) were sold out within the first couple of hours. The fun was doubled up with relentless Adda (casual chit chats), pictures  with Maa Durga in a relaxed yet a celebratory environment.

Debi Boron, Sindur Khela and Traditional Dance

Traditionally, Dashami marks the end of the puja rituals. However, the age-old tradition of giving a farewell to “Maa Durga” by women draped in beautiful traditional sarees was followed at the Oikotan pujo as well where the members bid their beloved daughter a final send off for this year often with tears in their eyes following that up with applying red vermillion on each other’s face which is yet another age-old tradition. While sadness creeped in, celebrations were still on as participants and team members from age groups soon broke into the traditional dance form to the tunes of a very traditional drumbeats, “Dhak er awaj”.

Cultural Program

Yet another first for this year and following the tradition back home in Kolkata, team Oikotan organized cultural program on both the days. New and old members showcased their creative sides ranging from dance, recitation to singing and drama. Some of the core team members made their debut in a drama which was a highlight of the day alongside a brilliant Bharatnatyam dance performance by one of the participants. Day 2 performances were equally matched by audio drama, recitation by one of the youngest members along with a tribute to the legendary KK with the proceedings being concluded by a fashion show where more than 20 members showed off heir traditional attire to the loud and cheering crowd. A sumptuous meal soon followed thereby signalling an end to Oikotan Durga Pujo 2022.



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