BENGALURU : Provident Harmony Apartment owners at Thanisandra are organising a unique amalgamation of regional celebrations of this festive season, that include Durga Puja, Navaratri, Ayudha Puja, and Dasara. The intent is to connect all festivals form the North, South, East, and West. In keeping with the festive spirit, the celebrations here not only cut across different regions but also holds no bar against religion.
On Navami, the ninth day of the festival, a Kumari Puja will be conducted where 17 young girls, below the age of 12, will be worshipped. Traditionally, this ritual of Kumari Puja is celebrated by worshipping a Brahmin girl. It was first practiced by Swami Vivekananda in Kolkata, as a way of empowering women. This apartment complex is trying to diversify this ritual with children from different religions, to highlight how it goes beyond religion and has a spiritual essence.
Of these 17 girls, a nine-year-old Muslim girl and a five-year-old Catholic girl will also be worshipped. Talking about how these girls were nominated, president of the association, Ramachandran Nair VM, says, “When we held nominations, that’s when these girls came forward. It was a nice gesture on their part and we wanted to showcase this to the city as a whole.”
On the importance of highlighting the ‘diversity and unity’ in today’s times, Mayukh Patra, a member of the association says, “There are so many atrocities that are committed towards children and women in the name of religion. We wanted to set an example and teach our children about women empowerment. We wanted to showcase it to the world that it’s not only a religious event, but an event with a social cause.”
Kumari, Kumari Devi, or Living Goddess, is the tradition of worshipping young pre-pubescent girls as manifestations of the divine female energy or Devi or Goddess. A Kumari is generally chosen for one day and worshipped accordingly on festivals like Navaratri or Durga Puja.