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Ganapathi Bappa fills hearts and homes

Never a dull moment as millions celebrate the Lord’s Birthday

Prashant Belwalkar – ganapathi-bappa-fills-prashant-belwalkar-web

Lord Ganesh arrived with his usual vigour and pomp on September 11, 2016 at Mt Eden War Memorial Hall in Auckland.

The Auckland Marathi Association was keen to showcase the event to the Maharashtrian Diaspora, many members of which were missing the usual celebratory events of their native Maharashtra.

The 11-day festival of Ganapati began as a humble exercise by the renowned freedom fighter Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak in the early part of the last century to mobilise the community against the British Raj.

It has now grown to become the biggest festival of the year.

India is a free, sovereign democratic Republic and the festive occasion is just right for nurturing new talent within the community.

New Committee

A new Committee has recently taken the reins of the Auckland Marathi Association and was quickly tasked with Ganeshotsav 2016.

The members heeded to the call to mark Ganapati Festival with piety and spirit of unity and as many as 20 events were organised by various groups ranging from the youngest (around 4 years) to the Oldest (around 35).

The Association prides itself of producing exceedingly talented artists including vocalists, instrumentalists and performers.

Grand Spectacle

The event on September 11 was a kaleidoscope of presentations which included Ganesh Vandana, dance recitals and Classical vocals.

It was encouraging to see the next generation getting ready to take up the responsibility and interest in the traditional arts. About 25% of the programme had a classic touch, while a number of folk items such as ‘Koligeet’ presented by four-six-year old children, ‘Medley of Lavani’ and a theme presentation of ‘Bajirao Mastani,’ a Hindi blockbuster released last year.

Phil Goff inspires

Auckland Mayoral candidate Phil Goff has the inimitable ability to connect with any community group and it was amusing to hear him mention the names of prominent members of the Marathi community and speak about the significance of Ganesh Chaturthi.

Earlier, the Festival commenced with ‘Ganesh Sthapana,’ followed by Pooja, Arti, cultural programme and dinner. The Menu highlighted the quintessential Maharashtrian favourites of Shrikhand, Masala Bhat, Tomato Saar and Batata Bhaji.

The Association is now looking forward to organising Diwali celebrations.

Prashant Belwalkar is President of the Auckland Marathi Association. Pictures of the Festival were taken by Sai Bedekar of Creative Photography.

www.amai.org.nz

Photo:

  1. Phil Goff prays to the Remover of All Obstacles at the festival
  2. Phil Goff and Priyanca Radhakrishnan with the members of the new Committee at Auckland Marathi Association
  3. Lord Ganesha at the home of Rennu Patil (sister of Shailesh Bagwe, Accountant in Auckland) in her home in Wadala, Mumbai
  4. The Kuncha Koorthy family in Melbourne marks Ganesh Chaturthi every year. From left, Rachana, Raghu, Archana and Aryan Kuncha Koorthy

 

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