Against the multicultural backdrop of Eindhoven, every year Eindhoven Marathi Mitramandal (EMM) celebrates the Ganesh festival. On Saturday, the group organised a vibrant celebration with a procession of the immersion ceremony of this festival.
The Ganeshotsav has been celebrated for over a century in the cities of Maharashtra, India, with great fervor. It is a ten-day festival celebrating the re-birth of Lord Ganesh, worshipped as the God of wisdom, good fortune, and prosperity.
The Muziekgebouw was full of festive cheer on Saturday. The idol was brought here from the SVK Vedic Center, Oirschot. From here, amid the chants praising Lord Ganesh, hundreds of devotees took out the procession through the center of Eindhoven to the square. The major attraction this year was the presence of dhol-tasha (drums and cymbals) by Ramanbaug Yuva Manch. The atmosphere was palpable with the dancing footsteps of the dancers. A freelance artist from Belgium, Rajashree Patange made the idol of Lord Ganesh.
‘Festivals are very close to the life of Indians. They connect us to our motherland,’ said a young visitor among the milling crowd. “It is wonderful to be present here today and it gives a distinct color to the International character of this city.”
Foster social and cultural harmony
Prior to the procession ceremony, the organisation also held a colorful cultural program. Gince Mattam, Deputy Chief of Mission, Indian Embassy inaugurated the event in the presence of the Connect Board Member Mr. A. J. Jagtap. Mr. Mattam spoke about the need to foster social and cultural harmony in society and praised the Indian diaspora present at the event.
“Ganeshotsav is a festival of joy which started in the pre-independence era to unite all Indian communities. Using the same motive, the EMM wanted to showcase our diversity & culture to everyone. The idea is to connect with local Dutch communities and share the joy, and enthusiasm. Additionally, it gives the next generation a taste of our culture and tradition,” says Soumitra Shah, the main organiser, and Secretary of EMM.
A report by Chaitali Sengupta for Eindhoven News.