The Indian community in Korea on Sept. 11 celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi, the anniversary of the birth of Lord Ganesha, the god of intelligence, knowledge, wisdom and prosperity in Hinduism.
The festival, held at Seoul National University, attracted its most participants ever this year, the 10th year running that it has been held here. In addition to Indians, those from Korea, the US, Netherlands, Russia, Thailand and Nepal also enjoyed the celebration, making the overall number of participants more than 400.
|A ritual is performed as part of the Ganesh Festival at Seoul National University on Sept. 11. Rohidas Arote)|
The Ganesh Festival included a stage and hall decorated with flowers, as well as music.
The Ganesh idol was installed by performing puja and arti. In Indian tradition, puja is worship, and the worshiper prays and honor the lord with offerings such as fruit, milk, cloth and oil or ghee lamps, followed by aarti ritualistic songs.
The puja was followed by a welcoming speech by guest of honor Anita Rawat, first secretary of the consular division at the Indian Embassy.
The cultural event included Indian dance, singing and music.
Dheerendra Tiwari, who works as a classical dance teacher at the embassy’s Indian Cultural Center, performed a thrilling yet beautiful classical kathak and freestyle fusion dance. Another Indian kathak dance was performed by a Korean dancer, Han Eun-jeong, who studies under Tiwari.
The performances of Indian dance and singing added an extra flavor to the event and were presented by Brati Mukhopadhyay, Eshika Prabhu, Tanya Kataria, Sherren Batra, Smita Gokhale and Sarika Patankar.
After a note of thanks from the event organizer, SNU assistant professor Rohidas Arote, the aarti was followed by an Indian lunch and prasadam, which is a sweet food that is traditionally offered to Lord Ganesha during puja, and received back with his blessings.
The Ganesh Chaturthi Festival was organized by the Indian Student Association with the help and support of the Indian Merchant Association, Ayurveda Korea, State Bank of India, Seoul, ISKCON Temple, Vedic Cultural Center and the Embassy of India, Seoul.