Foreigners Flock To Carnival To Watch Cultural Procession | Kolkata News.

KOLKATA: Curious foreigners who trooped down to Red Road to watch the carnival were mesmerized by the grand immersion parade, as idols from different clubs were taken to the Hooghly amid colourful performances, soulful music and skits with social messages.
The Unesco heritage tag for Durga Puja—which is not just a religious occasion but also a social event that transforms Bengal into a street art platform with the innovative pandals, idols and illuminations—has piqued interest about Bengal’s biggest festival across the world.
Tamara Richardson is an international lawyer, who has come down from Australia. “As an international lawyer, I attended the Unesco meeting in which the inscription was given to Durga Puja. I heard so many things about the festival that I wanted to witness it. I did pandal-hopping, had the most amazing food and was overwhelmed by the warmth of the people here,” said Richardson, adding the carnival was special as she could get a glimpse of Bengal’s culture and the artistic creations.
Laura Bahlman and Mary Shenk, dressed in ethnic clothes, visited Red Road with their friends. Bahlman said though they had already visited various pandals on the four puja days, she was enthralled by the electrifying atmosphere of the carnival. “I am excited to soak in the spirit and mood of the carnival and see some of the best idols, which we have not seen yet,” said Bahlman, who has come from New Zealand. Shenk, who has come from the US, said she was fascinated by everything around the festival—the idols, lights, pandals and artistic creations. “I wanted to be a part of this grand spectacle as I also wanted to see chhau dancers and baul singers,” she said.
Penny Rutterford missed the festival days by a whisker as she reached the city from the UK on Saturday morning. Describing herself as “semi-retired”, she said she was greatly interested in different cultures across the world. “I hope to learn about the culture and heritage associated with Durga Puja,” she added.

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