Bengali Bites: Saraswati Puja


Morgan Kong

Wingspan’s Ananda Ghoshal delves deeper into the world of Bengali food and shares her thoughts.

Ananda Ghoshal, Staff Reporter

Amidst the panic as a result of the snow storm, my household personally worked to conserve energy, heat, water and WiFi. It was hard being disconnected from everyone and not having a warm household, but if there’s one thing my mom was happy about, it’s the fact that she could finally have a Saraswati Puja with the entire family together in one place. Saraswati Puja is a festival that welcomes the arrival of spring. Hindus celebrate Goddess Saraswati for many reasons including the fact that Saraswati is the goddess of all seasons, goddess of wealth and of intelligence. 

What my mom did to prepare was clean our “temple area” of any dust or dirt, as well as the dishes she uses for her pujas. My dad bought orange and white flowers for the temple area as well – to make it more Bengali, I guess? My mom and my sister made a dish called Khichdi – a dish made of rice, lentils and vegetables – puris, and potato curry. I could tell my mom was excited with how early she had woken up to prepare for the puja, since we don’t normally have time to celebrate it all together. My dad had also bought expensive sweets, and my mom put on a new sari.

What we did during the actual puja was sit together, repeat the prayers my mom said, and put our textbooks, laptops, and any other things we use to study in front of Saraswati so that she blesses them. We also pray for prosperity in our academic and future careers and pray that we always gain more knowledge. Knowing my mom, she probably prayed I got all the scholarships I applied for.