गारजा पुजा (Garza puja)

Cultural Narrative: 


Garza is community worship performed by the villagers annually for the purification of the entire village and its community. In order to rid oneself of the bad Gods, the Garja celebrate their worship. The harmful Gods and Goddesses that could cause fatal ailments are publicly ejected at the Garja worship. There is a permanent location to worship the Garja called Garjasali, which is surrounded by dense vegetation and trees. Two to four times a year, the Bodos performed Garja worship. The first Garja is known as Phojaonai/Bhasani/Bhela Hogarnai, the second Garja is known as Bohor Garja, the third is known as Mainao Garja/Lakhi Garja and the fourth is known as Narajonai or Narasinga. Kameswar Brahma, a renowned expert on Bodo literature and culture, stated “Garza puja is performed by the Bodos to cleanse/ purify the village and oneself after any seasonal festivals like Bwisagu.” They believe that at the annual festivals, people mingle and associate freely with one another while eating, merry-making, walking between homes, and drinking rice beer from one neighbor to the next.  So, to purify themselves they perform the Garza puja at the village." 

Women do not actively participate in Garja worship, although they do collaborate with the men in all aspects of it. Only men perform the offerings made to Gods and Goddesses in Garja worship, although women also assist the men in gathering the necessary components for the offerings. 

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