The Durga Puja festival—arguably, the most important ritual celebration among Bengali Hindus—is much more than simply a religious event. This essay demonstrates how the festival becomes a site for diaspora Bengalis to perform Bangaliyana, or a ritualized Bengali identity, away from the homeland. Attending to Durga Puja as organized by the Bengali Association of Southern California, and using anthropologist Victor Turner's concepts of liminality and social drama as a launching pad, the essay describes how the diasporic Bengali subject traverses two poles of identity. A social drama like Durga Puja, the essay argues, allows the subject to reintegrate into a social structure after the crisis that is initiated by diasporic movement away from the homeland.

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