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​আমন্ত্রণ জানাই শিকাগো শহরের অন্যতম বাঙালী মিলনমেলায়...

BIC Barshabaran
& Rabindrajayanti

May 11th, 2024
UIC Student Center West

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Puja group photo 2023

About us...

Like that great Shakespearean tale… it also had its humble beginning with a ‘pound of flesh’… ahem… rather a kilogram of mutton. There was, of course, no Shylock and no Antonio… just few graduate students and young professionals living in Chicago downtown area. Debate raged on what to do with that meat…it boiled down to an obvious picnic (‘Charuibhati’ in Bangla if you like), leading to a proposal of a Saraswati Puja.

So it happened. The first Puja of Bengalis in Chicago. There was lots of enthusiasm, fun and frolic, laughter and cheap jokes, a beautiful idol, pushpanjoli, sumptuous lunch with alu bhaja, begun bhaja, and chatni. It was a vegetarian meal, but the meat was used well later.

The courage and ambition grew. Rumors were heard about a much more ambitious project – a grand Durgotsob. Committees were formed, new friendships were made
,idol was flown down from half a globe apart, night-outs were back in life long after those college days, music was practiced, drama was rehearsed…

And it happened – on the month of October 2007, the first Durgotsob of Bengalis in Chicago (BIC).

And it still continues today…more than a decade later. It has become much more than originally thought. It is not only a meeting place of Bengalis in and around Chicago downtown but friends and families of those Bengalis who may not speak the language but love to immerse themselves in festivities, also come in large numbers. For two days, we put aside submission deadlines, project meetings, thesis chapters, lab experiments, corporate lunches, morning gym, evening laundry, and just indulge in pure fun that comes with Durga Puja. We soak in its warmth and charm, we make new friends, we sing, dance, we pray solemnly for our wellbeing, we gorge on 
khichudi and sondesh, we dance to the tune of dhunuchi nach, and at the end leave with the heart full of joy and sadness mixed into one, perhaps humming Bengali’s eternally favorite one-liner… “asche bochor abar hobe”.

That next year does not come for everyone – in the sense that they may not be present in Chicago for the BIC Durgotsob. Life may have placed them elsewhere but the memory lingers on. It’s a memory worth preserving, worth cherishing. BIC’s puja promises you will never forget those two days.

We heartily welcome you all to be part of that memory!

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