"Sanskriti" - The Blossoming of an Idea

The summer of 1969 saw a 'community' picnic at Chestnut Ridge Park, decided upon hastily and organized by Debashis Banerjee and Dilip Sinha. It was the first of its kind: a Bengali community program in the Buffalo area. The idea of Sanskriti was sown. The following winter, encouraged by the idol designed by the ever-enthusiastic couple Debashis and Mridula, the localites hosted their first Saraswati Puja at an apartment at Kensington Village. A community 'club' came into existence shortly afterwards. The same year also witnessed a Bijoya Sammelan for the first time in Buffalo. For a while these two were the major functions of the year. It was not until 1974-75 that the club was named. In one meeting, after much deliberation, the name Sanskriti was decided upon. The first picnic officially organized by Sanskriti was probably in 1974 at Acron Falls Park, which eventually moved to Emery Park in the following years. The first Durga Puja, a major advancement in club activity, got initiated in 1986, under the able guidance of Uma Shankar Ghose, Ashoke Ghosh and M. Jamil. The same year the magazine Prativa was also launched, christened so by Brajeswar Paul. Initially, Pratibha used to be published thrice a year: one during the summertime annual picnic, the other on the occasion of Durga Puja and the third, pivoting around the Saraswati Puja. All these time, usually two or three persons were somehow persuaded to take charge of the annual activities. Interestingly, they were called 'Secretaries'. In 1994, through the endeavors of Dilip Sinha and Prodyot Sen, the club got its constitution and was registered as a non-profit organization. Rajat Basu played a major role in helping to get Sanskriti registered with the appropriate authorities. After the constitution was adopted, the positions of the President, Secretary and Treasurer were created for the first time. The newest innovation under Sanskriti has been the springtime cultural activity centering around Tagore and Nazrul.