History of NJPA

As we are celebrating the attainment of mid-youth of NJPA it should be known how it was born.A small group of people having linguistic and cultural unanimity from Indian subcontinent took the advantage of Kennedy-Johnson Immigration bill and immigrated to the U.S. to NJ starting late-sixties. These handful of people gathered in private house by personal invitation to attend some miniature sicio-cultural function. However, the size of this group grew and gradually a need for converting this private socio-cultural function to group or public activity arose. This lies at the root of the formation of NJPA (1).

On January 25, 1969 Saturday, a group of six people got together in the residence of Sri.Pronoy Chatterjee at 817 Donaldson road.Highland Park to discuss, I quote ” Perhaps it is the proper time to consider how we can meet our social need more successfully by sharing the task among all of us…”.It was very firmly mentioned that ” This is a collective thought and, we believe, the decision for any action must rest on collective opinion”. In the mean time a very bold effort was undertaken by Sri Brajadulal Mukherjee i.e., publication of a handwritten Bangalee language Magazine, Prabasee (2) which came out in circulstion on February 15, 1969. On February 21 group of 5 people met in Garretson Road-Church at Somerville to discuss about the formation of an organization for promoting “Bengali Culture”. It is evident the organizers wanted to get away from any specific personal influence and provide a public appearance in spite of small number of participants. On March 15, 1969 12 people met in Garretson-Road Church and discussed vigorously about the formation of an Association. There was an intense debate and the Proceedings (3) show that an interim committee was formed to take necessary action to, “…formation of an association for promoting the cultures of Indian Subcontinent as the main objective and the culture of Bengal as a specific objective”. It was also proposed that PROBASEE will be published as an independent magazine.

The first public function, ” Bangalee New Year ” of the future association was proposed and it was decided that the interum committee will organize this function. The interim committee met on April 14, and 25, 1969 to discuss about this Bangalee New Year function. Through considerable effort by handful of people a Bangalee movie “Jalsaghar” and an Indian documentary “Kashmir” was shown and some home made Indian food was served on May at 7:30 PM in the Vorhees Hall of Rutgers University. It should be noted from this event that the idea of the public presentation of ” Bangalee” socio-cultural activity in the form we now commonly see, is gradually getting crystallized in this part of NJ.

In those days of late sixties social environment in the United States was vastly different from what exists now. Flow of immigrants en masse was a new events for the society hence, primary pressure on the immigrants was for main streaming i.e. total integration of the immigrants with the existing American society. However President Kennedy attempted to develop the idea that it is possible to be American maintaining one’s own cultural identity. The above mentioned interim committee was interrupted and finally phased out before any conclusion (3).

In spite of opposion a committee was formed to organize a public Swaraswati Puja. This was a very successful public event which was held at Princeton Theological Seminary on February 10, Thuesday, 1970. Although the committee was immediately dissolved after the event but the idea Bangalee Association was firmly rooted. Another social gathering on the occasion of Bijoya Sanmilani was organized in October 1970. Next year the Saraswati Puja was held in the same place on 31 January, 1971. Furthermore, a show including songs and dances and Bangalee drama, first of uts kind in the North America, were lounched Consistent success of these fully democratically organized publice functions increased the enthusiasm of the supporters for forming a Bengali Cultural Association. On June 27, 1971 another meeting was held at Garretson-Road Church to discuss about this issue. After vigorous discussion and open public debate an announcement was made that ” Bangalee Cultural Association has been formed in New Jersey Following this announcement a 6 member constitution committee was formed. However, the Association still functioned under the banner of the Adhoc committee which took the responsibility of organizing a ” Relief Committee for East Pakistani Refugees in India ” . On December 5, 1971 there was a another vigorous meeting to discuss about Aims. Objective and Constitution of Bangalee Cultural Association. Tthis meeting was held at the residence of sri, Bijan.K.Ghosh at 557 Hanson Avenue Following this meeting a draft constitution was circulated, However, during final registration with H.J. State the name Bangalee Cultural Association was changed to new Jersey Puja Association.

I have described above that Bangalee Cultural Association alias NJPA has a very distinctive beginning. This organization did not arise under the umbrella leadership of any individual. This arose as a perfectly democratic organization incorporating differing view points into a general theme. It was open to all and thus people came and went away. If evident that it was possible to build an organization on a unifying general theme and move ahead without any specific leader. This theme is ( I quote by translating from Dec.5,1971 group meeting ) ” We want to form an organization to preserve and expand our culture. We do not want to cling to culture as a dead object, we want to change and grew with it.”

It is my high hope that the members of NJPA move ahead in time with this general theme laid down by all of us.

NJPA Events

Kalipuja & Diwali - 2015

Saturday , November 14th, 2015 - Saturday , November 14th, 2015

02:00 pm - 10:30 pm


New Years Eve Party - 2015

Wednesday , December 31st, 2014 - Thursday , January 01st, 2015

07:00 pm - 01:00 am

Come, let us celebrate blasting New Year Eve with NJPA this


Annual Family Picnic 2014

Saturday , September 06th, 2014 - Saturday , September 06th, 2014

12:00 pm - 07:30 pm

Save the date and join us for a day of fun, food, and games,


Saraswati Puja

Saturday , February 18th, 2012 - Saturday , February 18th, 2012

08:00 am - 05:00 pm

Saraswati Puja or Vasant Panchami, is when we pray to Goddes

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