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Brides of Bengal: Art Exhibition & Cultural Showcase

Introduction

This time of the year marks one of the biggest festivals in India- Durga Puja/Navratri- the festival that celebrates the power of women. Durga puja in Bengal, is the biggest spectacle in the country and a very significant socio-cultural event. The mesmerizing rituals, mega events are a visual retreat and it is often said that during this time Bengal turns into a walking art gallery. Brides of Bengal play a significant role in the rituals and ceremonies of the festival. Thus, as part of Maya Fest 2019, through Brides of Bengal- Art exhibition & cultural showcase, we attempt to share an overview to this artistic splendor. It's about history, tradition, sacred rituals, symbolism, and more....


We are delighted to have worked together with noted artist from West Bengal, India Mrs. Ranita Deb to create these artworks...

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Brides of Bengal- Briefly Described

 Since time immemorial, Brides of Bengal have been central to many poets and artists’ imagination, as - Sensitive yet Self-assured, Elegant yet Carefree, Intelligent yet Childlike, Calculative and Astute, Mesmerizing yet Arrogant, Independent yet Grounded, Authoritative yet Pleasant, Introspective yet Extrovert....... 

Brides of Bengal & key wedding symbols and essentials

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 Art in Bengal is integral to the way of life. It is often said that weddings and festivals in  Bengal turns to be an arty matter- a visual treat.  Here's [MORE]... 

Brides of Bengal & The Vermillion Smearing Ritual

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 During the annual Hindu festival of nine nights (ten days)- Durga Puja (celebrated during Sep/Oct), which marks the battle of the Goddess Durga with the deceptive and powerful buffalo demon Mahishasura, vermillion plays a significant role. On the final day of the festival the vermillion smearing ritual is performed by married women (Brides of Bengal). Vermillion is applied on the Goddess' idol, on her forehead and feet, before smearing it on each other and wishing each other a happy married life. Here's  [MORE] about its cultural significance. 

Bengal In Brief

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Geography

High peaks of the mighty Himalayas (as in Darjeeling), the largest mangrove forest in the world (The Sundarbans delta), pristine coastal region (along the Bay of Bengal- the largest bay in the world), fertile plains of the sacred river Ganges and more- that is geographically West Bengal- a state in eastern India.

Chandragupta Mayurya

History

There is evidence of human habitation in the region for over 20,000 years. The region was well known to the ancient Greeks and Romans. Embraced by the mighty Indian empires like Maurya, Magadha, Gupta and more. Have been at the centre of attention of multiple 

Sultanates/Mughal dynasties, Rajputs and Marathas, a land that received immigrants/settlements from West/Central Asia, Africa, Armenia, Austria, China, Denmark, England, France, Persia, Portugal,Turkey, Netherlands and many more. Heartland of the British Raj, epicentre of Renaissance (in Bengal) and India's freedom movement- This is Historically Bengal...!

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Culture

 The capital town of the state of West Bengal-Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), is known as the 'Cultural Capital of India'. A vibrant historical background, the epicenter of Indian renaissance, torch bearer in women empowerment and being the birthplace of modern Indian literary, artistic, scholastic thought has made it a "City Of Furious Creative Energy"… 

Bengal In Brief- Women Empowerment

Women Empowerment

Is is said that the prevalence of goddess worship in Bengal also facilitated women empowerment in the state. Given education is the key factor for women empowerment, did you know that one of the first female graduates in India, the first female practitioner of western medicine (Dr. Kadambini Ganguly) and the first female head of an undergraduate academic establishment (Mrs. Chandramukhi Basu) not just in India, but in the whole of South Asia, was from the state of Bengal.