Here’s How Durga Puja Is Being Celebrated All The Way In The Netherlands With HoiChoi

by Pratiksha Acharya
Here’s How Durga Puja Is Being Celebrated All The Way In The Netherlands With HoiChoi

What’s the very first thing that comes to mind when we mention Kolkata? Besides their extensive and exhaustive joints that serve some of the best street food in the country, the other thing that is synonymous with the city is Durga Puja. Coming only second to weddings, the Bongs love their Durga Puja very fiercely. Celebrated on the last five days of Navratri, the festival sees the arrival of goddess Durga. What follows is five days of pure festivities and lots of food. But if you thought that Durga Puja was only restricted to the state of West Bengal, then boy are you wrong. You might want to think twice because it is a phenomenon that takes over the entire globe.

Durga Puja
Image Credits: HoiChoi Facebook

Durga Puja In The Netherlands

And if we were to fixate on Europe alone, you’d find that it is a huge event in the Netherlands of all places. Yes, you heard that right. For the past two years, the Indian Bengali community in the Netherlands have been celebrating the arrival of Maa with a lot of pomp and fervor. Called ‘HoiChoi’, the community that is based out of Amstelveen is all set to celebrate their third edition of Durga Puja this year between 4th and 8th October. And this isn’t any ordinary Durga Puja. Nuh, uh, HoiChoi’s Durga Puja is the biggest one in all of Europe! Khub bhalo is all that we have to say about this community’s initiative to bring about a sense of Bengali pride among the ex-pats and NRIs who reside in the motherland of the Dutchies.


For all those homesick souls who have been craving to indulge in the infectious atmosphere of Pujo, this is quite literally the best opportunity there is. And they couldn’t have come up with a more apt name for their community for ‘HoiChoi’ translates to ‘chaos’ in Bengali. That is just the feeling that we associate with the sweet and irresistible Bongs. And no, you don’t have to be a Bong to get a taste of the merriment of the festival. The community encourages people of all backgrounds to get involved in the joy of having Maa for the five days that she ascends on earth.

So, if you find yourself in the friendly Dutch neighbourhood of Amstelveen during Navratri, you know exactly where to head to get a dose of Indianess. And of course, to feast on some of the best culinary delights of Bengal.

To register, head on to HoiChoi’s registration page.