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Over 21,900 Durga Puja marquees come up across Bangladesh

Over 21,900 Durga Puja marquees come up across Bangladesh

Author: IANS
Publication: Sify.com
Date: September 24, 2009
URL: http://sify.com/news/international/fullstory.php?a=jjylEcdadfb&title=Over_21%2C900_Durga_Puja_marquees_come_up_across_Bangladesh

Over 21,900 `mandops' (marquees) have come up across Bangladesh as Hindus Thursday began Durga Puja celebrations. The number of marquees was higher than last year, a media report said.

President Mohammed Zillur Rahman of the Muslim majority nation described Bangladesh as 'a bright example of communal harmony' and in a message on the occasion urged that all must work together to 'uphold the tradition'.

Separated from India in 1947 and from Pakistan in 1971, Bangladesh has had a chequered history of harmony between the majority Muslims and the Hindus, who form roughly 11.2 percent of the population.

A message from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, currently at the UN, harked back to the 'spirit of the Liberation War' - a reference to the 1971 freedom movement against Pakistan.

Hasina said: 'The government is pledge-bound to uphold the spirit and values of the war of liberation. We are aware of our constitutional obligation to protect rights of people of all religions.'

Opposition leader Khaleda Zia also issued a message wishing the Hindu community.

Durga Puja is the biggest annual religious festival of the Hindu community in which devotees worship the Hindu goddess Durga.

The origin of public celebrations of grand Durga Puja, also known as Durgotsab, can be traced back to the 15th century.

'With the ascent of the Mughals, Durga Puja became more of a status symbol those days,' The Daily Star newspaper said Thursday.

As a festival, Durga Puja was first organised by Raja Kangshanarayan of Taherpur in Rajshahi in the month of Aswin in the Bengali year 887 and then by Bhabananda Mazumdar of Nadiya in 1606, by the Gregorian calendar.

According to one version of the Hindu mythology, goddess Durga appeared in the midst of the commoners following the prayer of King Kansa.

Marking the occasion, the first Durga worship was held at Taherpur king's palace.

The Puja this year has come soon after Ramzan and Eid-ul-Fitr of the Muslims.

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