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Thursday, September 01, 2011

Ganesha Chathurthi

Statue of God Ganesh
(Walters Art Museum, Baltimore)

My first encounter with God Ganesh took place in the town of Alexandria, in Northern Virginia. There was a statue in front of a small art shop. I was curious about the personage with an elephant head and asked two friends from Bangalore. They told me the story: a charming tale about Shiva, Parvathi, and Ganesh that made me sad I wasn't a Hindu believer. I put the story on my blog and I come back to it anytime I need to refresh my spirits and to travel in a universe of wonderful deeds.

After a couple of years I met with God Ganesh for the second time. It was now in Baltimore, at the Walters: two superb statues, one was of white stone and the second of black wood. I was visiting the museum together with Ruth and Jerry, two great friends living in that city, and I told them the tale of Ganesh.

Today is the Festival of Ganesha Chathurthi (Hindi: गणेश चतुर्थी, Marathi: गणेश चतुर्थी, Tamil: விநாயகர் சதுர்த்தி Kannada: ಗಣೇಶ ಚತುರ್ಥೀ,Telgu: వినాయక చవితి). It is celebrated across India and it is believed that God Ganesh is today on Earth, to be among his devotees and to enjoy the festival with all of us.

Here are two videos that show the celebrations, in Mumbai and in Bangalore:



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