READING EAST MP Matt Rodda was honoured to be invited by the Reading Bengali Society to their annual ‘Durga Puja’ held at Rivermead Leisure Centre recently.

The event, which spans over five days, epitomises good over evil as told in the battle between the Goddess ‘Durga’ and the shape-shifting buffalo demon, Mahishasura. It is also a form of Harvest Festival which marks the Goddess as the ‘motherly power behind all of life and creation’.

This year’s celebrations included Garba and Bollywood dancing competitions, children’s talent shows and a variety of cultural programmes to suit young and old. Attendees wore their finest clothing and enjoyed the workshops, competitions and performances of music, dance and drama – as well as joining in together as a whole community over traditional Bengali food.

Matt said:

I was really pleased to attend the ‘Durga Puja’ this year by Reading’s Bengali Society, and I’m thankful to Kalyan Banerjee for the very kind invitation. Reading is a hugely diverse town with many nationalities, cultures and traditions; attending this year’s ‘Durga Puja’ provided an invaluable insight into Hindu tradition and was also an excellent opportunity to meet and chat with so many of our town’s Hindu community.”

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