Anandomela is one of the first ritual leading towards the grand celebration of Durga Puja. It is usually a food festival aimed at bringing the best of home chefs with mouth-watering delicacies with street food flavours, the focus being community get together and bonding.

Anandomela is a way to celebrate Bengal and Bengali culture. Back in West Bengal, in India, Anandomela is celebrated on the fifth day of the upcoming Durga Puja festival. It is a way of welcoming goddess Durga on earth and the event is marked with food stalls, clothing, light jewellery, accessories and a short cultural program.

This year Probasee Bengalee Association of NZ celebrated Anandomela on Saturday, September 7, at Western Springs Garden Community Hall, in Auckland.

“We had a great variety of stalls such as– local flavours of Kolkata street food selling traditional jhal-muri, phuchka, veg/non-veg rolls, egg devil, ghugni, pulao, chicken curry, sweets, momo, noodles, chilli chicken, kachuri-alu Dum and Kolkata tea,” Sudeshna Giri from Probasee Bengalee said.

Other stalls were clothing, dress materials, sarees, dupattas, jewellery, accessories, kurtas, bedcovers etc.

“We experienced footfall of 300 people for this event and a great cross-section of crowd across various communities including few of local Kiwis. In a way, it was quite encouraging to see the response across various people, and they thoroughly enjoyed an evening of fun and food with entertainment,” Ms Giri said.

Ms Giri said that PBANZ, as a non-profit cultural organisation focuses to uphold and promote the rich cultural heritage of Bengal and India in this distant land, which has been adopted as home by migrant Bengalis, in general across the new generation of Indo-Kiwi born and brought up here.

“The association conducts cultural, socio-religious events throughout the year with attention to the youth, so that youngsters born and brought up in New Zealand get to experience and stay in touch with their roots.

“Probasee participates in various programmes from time to time organised by other groups, both Indian and non-Indian and spreads the essence of Bengali (Indian) culture amongst the people of New Zealand,” Ms Giri added.