Communist China To Sponsor This Year’s Durga Puja Festivities In Kolkata’s Salt LakeA Durga Puja pandal in Kolkata. (Subhankar Chakraborty/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

In a bid to engage with the local community, the Chinese consulate in Kolkata will be sponsoring this year’s BJ Block Durga Puja festivities in Kolkata’s Salt Lake, Times of India has reported.

With funds from the consulate, the puja area is all set to be turned to a mini Chinatown as the festival approaches. The BJ Block Puja is the oldest community puja in Salt Lake in Kolkata.

The pandal will sport a Chinese look with artisans being flown to China to learn the Chinese style of design, while artists from China will be flown in to present Chinese flute music, dragon dance and acrobatics in the ground adjacent to the pandal.

“Durga Puja of Kolkata is an experience and it transcends religious thresholds, bringing everyone together. Naturally we at the Chinese consulate have also become quite involved in the festivities,” said Ma Zhanwu, consul general.

‘This year, we will bring China to Salt Lake,’ he added. The budget for the puja to could exceed Rs 40 lakh this year, given the new theme and the Chinese funding.

“Hope this grand theme that we are drawing up with the consulate works out well. In the coming weeks, we will hold several rounds of talks with the consulate to firm up the plans,” Ghosh Dastidar, the puja secretary said.

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