The Handful of Bengalis of St. Louis was holding events since early 1980’s. As the number of families and events started to grow, the nonprofit organization PUNASCHA was incorporated and formalized in 1987. The name was inspired from Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s literary work. PUNASCHA loosely translated means “repeat or new dimension”. We picked the name to signify the continuance of celebration of our heritage and traditions in our new home, St. Louis.
We strive to foster the indomitable Bengali cultural spirit, its deep rooted performing arts and literary heritage by involving our young ones in all events with us since they are toddlers, so the tradition continues.
We organize events regularly throughout the year to maintain the continuity of Baaro Mashe Taro Parbon theme that we grew up with. Starting with Saraswati Pujo, it goes on throughout the year that includes combination of Bangla Nabo Barsho and Panchishe Baisakh celebration culminating with Lakshmi Pujo. We also produce performing events with artists from USA as well as India.
We regularly participate in events sponsored by the Indian Association of St. Louis.
We hosted early Bango Mela and continue to participate in Bango Mela and Bango Sammelan throughout USA.
Community wise, our youth regularly participate in community outreach activities sponsored by us.
To encourage the literary giants in us and appreciate our young artists, we publish “Sagor Paare”, the magazine. It is a cornucopia of short stories, ballads, sonnets, non fictional essays and multi dimensional art work of the next generation.
Today, our members comprised of families of greater St. Louis to cities from 200 miles away who joyfully comes and celebrates all events with each other.