Category: India

December 6th, 2004 by Sultana Raza

Long white robes
sarees, shalwars
steaming Indian food
incense, flowers
heavily perfumed roses
white bindis
between eyes
blue, green or gray
glistening or
coursing down
dulcet, sweet, soft
reaching high Read more of this article »

Posted in India, Poetry

August 30th, 2004 by Dipak G. Parmar

The Ganesh Festival is a ten-day festival celebrated with great pomp and festivity. This festival falls in late August or early September. It begins on the fourth day of Bhadrapada Shukla Paksha and concludes on the fourteenth day of Bhadrapada Shukla Paksha, as per the Hindu calendar.

During British rule over India, freedom fighters were prohibited from gathering in public places. To circumvent this restriction, India’s revolutionary freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak, popularly known as Lokmanya Tilak, organized the Ganesh Festival in Maharashatra in 1894, promoting it as a public festival. During the Festival, they performed stage shows and used other means to keep alive and spread the need and importance of freedom, while also creating a social solidarity among the people. Today, its celebrations are held throughout all of India, and more particularly in Maharashtra. This Ganesh festival is considered an essential part of Maharashatrian life and they celebrate it wherever they are, whether inside or outside of India. It is a festival for worshipping Lord Ganesha, the remover of obstacles and conqueror of the soul and mind. All Hindus worship Lord Ganesha before any important function, praying to the Lord to remove all obstacles to prosperity.

This custom springs from the mythological story of God Shiva and Parvati who had remained childless for a long time after the birth of their first son Kartik. While Lord Shiva went to the Himalayas for tap (religious austerity), Parvati, in order to avoid loneliness, created a statute of clay in the form of a son and using her divine power instilled life into Ganesha. Read more of this article »

Posted in India, Op-Ed