Winners of the 2023 Narayani Namastute Global Durga Puja Excellence Award – the Best Innovation and Creative Award.
Shubh Shardiya O' Abhinandan translating to suitable festivities.
Durga Puja starts in Melbourne with Shree Shakti in October, starting with fifty families, making its members indulge in its beautiful preparation. They had been robust in preparation for these festivities for six months.
Shree Shakti was formed on an idea at a dining table in a conversation between a husband and wife, and soon, a group of enthusiastic families joined their dream to make Shree Shakti a multicultural association based in Melbourne's West, showcasing the cultural heritage of India. On 14th October, Western Sports Centre in Derrimut came alive with Maa Durga's presence.
The celebration continues with the free distribution of a delicious meal cooked with the traditional old recipe from Shree Shakti's President Sanghmitra Chakraborty's late grandmother. Shree Shakti’s General Secretary, Kaushik Chakraborty, the President's husband, makes it Sarbojanin, an institution of love, unity, and friendship.
Mouli Ganguly's beautiful recitation of every mantra to Goddess Durga had a beautiful translation to English that he conveyed for everyone to understand.
The famous Chandan Nagar Style lighting illuminates the Kumar Tuli's, where the idol of Durga has taken its form for the past six years under the hands of talented artists. The association aims to make every event unique and memorable by adding colours and creativity to make this festive occasion memorable.
From winning last year, the prestigious Durga Puja Excellence Award 2022 In India. This year's theme for Shree Skathi's Durga Pujo – is Bangla Chalo Chitra (Bengali Cinema). If you had been in Calcutta, Kolkatta now would be dripping in pandals, the pavilions designed with massive preparations, sometimes for nine months to create themes and the city transforming into a city within.
There were several chief guests, especially on seventy-five years of AZADI KA Amrit Mahotsav, consular Shiv Kumar attended on behalf of Dr Sushil Kumar along with Victorian Labour member for the Melton district and Cabinet Secretary Steve McGhie. Shree Shakti's President facilitated them with Shree Shakti trophies.
A heartwarming performance by Anushka Chakraborty, Agomoni embodies the divine moment when Goddess Maa Durga descends on Earth from her heavenly abode to bless her devotees. 'Agomoni' means that clear blue sky, laced with soft white clouds and thickets of 'Kash.
Shree Shakti also facilitated Community members who are doing some outstanding actual humanitarian work, some with the true essence of multiculturalism through their newspaper work, some of them with their culinary achievements and philanthropy work. Sponsors Prajapati Finance, Bansal Immigration, and Commonwealth Bank media sponsors SBS BANGLA made this event possible. Daman Shrivastav, Master chef at DD's kitchen restaurant India@Q; Rohini Kappadath, General Manager at Immigration Museum; Gurbir Sethi, founder, and owner of G'day India and the Indian Weekly; Helly Raichura - Chef and owner of the celebrated Indian fine diner in Melbourne, Enter Via Laundry, Manorani Guy, founder and President of NGO VicWise.
It is Melbourne's only Durga Puja that does free bhog (food) distribution on both days; Shree Shakti is the only association in Australia that organises Kumari Puja, a cultural extravaganza of music and dance from artists from diverse cultures, and Melbourne-based Bengali band C Sharp continued the night with fantastic performance along with spectacular lighting. The festival had many food stalls, from Novotel Kathi roll Kolkatta House to henna stalls.
The next day, the Puja ended with Durga maa's Bijoy of Durga maa with Sindoor Khela (The Vermillion play along with the married ladies), Dhunochi dance that the members dance along with the Marathi Dhol, which made the bidai, Maa's farewell to the end of the two-day ceremony.
By Nandita Chakraborty