Dr. Roy's analysis is ideal to explain to the young. The original article can be found here
Durga Puja - Myth, Lore & Rites An Article for My Young Friends : Dr. Sumit Roy
The Social Aspects
Durga Puja, known colloquially as DurgaPujo or sometimes just Puja, literally means “the worship of Durga”. Durga is the name of a goddess (Debee ) in the Hindu religion. Durga is a Sanskrit word which means “she who protects from misfortune”. Durga Puja is a typically Bengali Hindu religious festival, the most popular community festival in West Bengal and wherever there is a sizable Bengali Hindu community. This festival has become so much an integral part of the Bengali Hindu way of life that we find ways to celebrate it even here in the US, continents away from our homeland, amidst a majority culture which is poles apart, and in spite of the many difficulties in logistics. Like most religious events, the Durga Puja festival can be viewed from a diversity of perspectives, such as social, mythological, folkloric, ritualistic and theological. I like to give my young Bengali-American friends a quick glimpse of what the first four of these are. I have inserted original Sanskrit words in places in italics using a phonetic spelling but indicated its English equivalent as well.
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