Religious Studies KS3 / GCSE: Taking part in the Durga Puja

Bettany Hughes looks at the role of women in modern Hinduism.

She visits the Kamakhya Temple to learn about the Durga Puja.

She discovers what the festival means to the people celebrating.

She tells the story of the birth of the goddess Durga and her battle with the demon king.

Then Bettany travels to Kolkata to join some young women and prepares for the festival.

She discusses what they believe about the goddess and what the importance of the female is in Hinduism.

Bettany gives her respects to the goddess and joins the celebrations as the goddess is taken to the River Ganges.

As they go they are joined by many others.

The celebrations continue as Bettany watches the statue being carried into the Ganges and she shares her thoughts about the Durga Puja.

This is from the series: Divine Women

Teacher Notes

Students could be asked to identify what it is about Durga that makes her important to modern Hindus.

They could identify what is special about a female goddess compared to a male god.

They could examine the apparent contradictory aspects of Durga.

Students might reflect on the ways in which young people celebrate the festival and remind themselves of aspects of their faith.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching Religious Studies at KS3, KS4, and GCSE in England and Northern Ireland.

Also at 3rd and 4th Level in Scotland.

This topic appears in OCR, Edexcel, AQA, CCEA and SQA

More from the series: Divine Women

St. Augustine and the concept of Original Sin
Should women be priests?
Khadija and the founding of Islam