I love how Kolkata is decked up like a new bride during Puja: Risa Tamura – Times of India

Kolkata News

She has enjoyed at least one Puja before the pandemic and in 2019, she went on a Kolkata tour during the festival. Before leaving for Japan on Saturday, Risa Tamura – the Japanese vice consul, cultural affairs – draped a sari for a photo shoot with CT and spoke about her experience in Kolkata. Excerpts:
You’ve been in Kolkata during Durga Puja. How do you like the festive vibes here?
Kolkata is full of positive energy around Puja. I have heard the locals say that during this festival, Ma Durga comes to Earth along with her four children and wipes away all the evil spirits and negative forces. The goddess’s arrival uplifts everyone and they express their gratitude to her for everything that they have. At this time of the year, people are in a happy and joyful mood, soaking in the festive spirit. Seeing all this makes me cheerful and I feel positive too. I also love the way the city is decked up with lights, artworks and eye-catching decor – just like a bride on her wedding day.
How will you spend Puja?
I have been part of a few pre-Durga Puja events already. I was blessed with the opportunity to witness a dhaak and musical event, where I could feel my feet tap to the beats of the dhaak. The enthusiasm with which people here await the arrival of their beloved Ma is commendable. Unfortunately, this year I will be in Japan during Puja, but I will keep following all the festive activities going on in the city online and through my friends here.
You look lovely in a sari. Do you own any and can you drape it by yourself?
Thank you very much. I love my look in this auspicious combination of red and yellow. This is the first time I am wearing a traditional sari in a traditional way, and that too on this felicitous occasion. It has been beautifully pleated and the texture of silk is amazingly smooth. I’d love to have my own sari, preferably a pink one. I’d even love to try lehengas, salwars, dupattas, kurtis et al.
Tell us about your experience in Kolkata.
I have been in this city for two years and I am enjoying my stay a lot, thanks to the lovely food and wonderful people. I simply can’t resist a delicious Indian dish. Luchi, aloo dom, kosha mangsho, biryani with raita and ghol, phirni and mishti doi are some of my favourites. However, I am still waiting to try the famous kathi rolls. On Bengali New Year, I got a chance to be a part of a prominent Bengali designer’s fashion show as a runway model. I’ll cherish that forever.
How did you spend your lockdown days?
To feel refreshed, I listened to Bollywood music, Punjabi and Bengali songs. I was pleased to see the activities of some Japanese language students of Kolkata, who produced music videos and short films in the Japanese language. Although our cultural events could not be executed in the usual way, I had a very fruitful learning experience by organising cultural events related to Japan virtually. We did origami workshops, Japanese language singing contests, quiz contests, lecture series on various aspects of Japan and so on. I’m thankful to all the organisations and people who supported us in these difficult times.
And how are you unlocking yourself now?
I go on weekend staycations at hotels in and around Kolkata. Despite being in the same city, it is relaxing and gives one the opportunity to stay away from the hustle and bustle of the city, unwind and de-stress. I love relaxing in the hot tub, having comfort food with European style pastries and getting massage therapy with oils that have a beautiful aroma. Now that the county is unlocked, I am planning to travel to other parts of India and experience the culture and food over there.

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/i-love-how-kolkata-is-decked-up-like-a-new-bride-during-puja-risa-tamura/articleshow/86930127.cms