CUTTACK: The city’s zari pandals (intricately decorated tents) are not only remarkable in their beauty but are also a symbol of communal harmony. 52 year old Salim Khan has been working on Zari Pandalsfor Durga Puja since he was just eight years old. Salim learnt this art from his father and now his 22-year-old daughter, Resham, is carrying forward the family tradition – a tradition where Muslim artisans make the Hindu festival of Durga Puja complete with their hands.
“All festivals are the same be it Eid or Dussehra. We all must celebrate them,” says Salim Khan.
Every Durga Puja, Cuttack city’s Banka Bazar sees more than fifty such Muslim families working in full swing to complete the Zari pandals and each pandal takes at least three months time to make. Incidentally, these Muslim families are also the first ones present at the pandal for the Durga puja ceremony.
Read more and watch video: Communal Harmony