With Bengal’s biggest festival still a few months away, members of a Durga Puja committee in Kolkata has tapped the Chinese Consulate here to theme their pandal on Hulu, a thin gourd popular in a mainland province, and the art forms surrounding it.
“Hulu which is believed to bring good omen and prosperity, is very popular in Yunnan where it is grown widely. We also have a musical instrument made out of the gourd called ‘Hulusi’, it is like a trumpet,” the Consul General in Kolkata, Ma Zhanwu said on Sunday.
A team visiting Yunnan will find for themselves more about the concept of Hulu and the art forms surrounding the same for their puja, Zhanwu said. The Consul said Hulu also accounts for popular public installations and the Hulu themed pandal at BJ Block in Salt Lake may have Chinese carvings, which will be discussed with the organisers. Theme is an important part of Durga Puja celebrations with organisers competing with each other to execute different themes based on which pandal, ambience and illumination are created.
The Consul said the BJ Block Durga Puja, Salt Lake, in was not being sponsored by the Consulate, However, the Consulate was only trying to find sponsors to help “the chief architect (of the pandal) and organisers to visit Yunnan province. “They would go to China and see the structures in person and also may be, some illumination ideas for the ‘Hulu’ pandal. They can take inspiration from the ‘Hulu’ art installations.
“Hulus can be cut into half and used as water container, there can be hulu shaped artificial water body, fountains, it could be musical instrument,” he said. He said the organisers of BJ Block puja also wanted to have some Chinese artefacts and Indian handicrafts displayed on either side of the pandal and there can also be Chinese artistic performances.
“Some artists from China are likely to perform at BJ Block during pujas and their will be lion dance as well,” there will be no artiste from China for making the pandal, the Chinese diplomat said. “The Chinese Consulate in Kolkata has taken part in best pandal competition activities and have invited the winners to visit China for a week. We have also sent lion dance groups to different pandals to demonstrate the Chinese culture,” Zhanwu said,
A spokespman of the puja committee said, “Our puja had always been a frontrunner in terms of aesthetic appeal and creativity. This year, we hope the crowd will be bigger. We are holding discussions with the Chinese Consulate to discuss details.” The spokesman said the approximate budget will be Rs 40 lakh.