Of Dhak, Dhunuchi And Dugga Dugga

No Durga Puja is complete without the dhak and the dhunuchi naach
Dhunuchi naach is central to Durga Puja
Dhunuchi naach is central to Durga Puja
The Defeaning Dhak
Ask any Bengali, and they will tell you how special a feeling it is to wake up to the sound of the Dhak this time of the year. The sound invokes the blessings of Goddess Durga , a symbolic expression of welcoming the goddess and also conveying the joy of the season. Dhak is a drum-like percussion instrument made of wood and covered in hide. Playing the dhak requires practice and usually the skill is passed from one generation to the next.  Those who play the instrument are called dhaaki. Unfortunately, it is also believed to be a dying art. It takes extreme patience and time to make one dhaak intricately. While it was originally an all-male affair, women are also now coming forward to play the dhaak. 
(Picture credit Kakoli Dey/Shutterstock)
 Dhunuchi Naach

Dhunuchi are typical earthen pots filled with burning coconut husks and fragrant incense or dhuno.&nbspBurning the incense in the pot is one of the many rituals followed during Durga Puja. The incense is believed to purify the air and keep insects at bay. It is not known how the dhunuchi naach originated but it has been a long tradition of men dancing with the burning clay pots in their hands. The more brave carry multiple pots, even place them on their forehead, etc. Gradually, women too joined the bandwagon. Today, the dhunuchi naach. According to&nbspBengali tradition, Goddess Durga and her children are considered part of one's own family. The dhunuchi naach before the idol is a mark of respect and sharing one's&nbspjoy with the goddess. 

Dugga Dugga

These chants 'Dugga Dugga' is a colloquial way of saying 'Durga Durga' which translates to 'let good prevail over evil or let all the worries vanish your way'. When someone wishes 'Dugga Dugga' they essentially want you to be well and be free of any evil or worry. In Bengali households, you will often find grandmothers and mothers usually say this to their children when the latter embark on a journey. Goddess Durga is believed to be the epitome of everything that is good and holds power to protect one from all that is bad. Saying the words 'Dugga Dugga' is considered auspicious.

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