Updated: Jan 2
Ganapati Bappa Morya, Mangal moorthy Morya- this famous chanting slogan during the Ganesha festival means Oh Lord Ganesha, worshipped by the world and his finest and chief spiritual devotee 'Morya' Gosavi, please bless us all.
After a long pandemic break in Hamburg, people were waiting for a community gathering. Other than Lord Ganesha, nobody else has the power to pull our people of diversified region, language, and tradition outside Bharat (traditional name of India) together. Like any other year since 2008, Anivasi Bharathi e.V. organized Ganesha Utsav (missed it in 2020, due to the pandemic), but this year’s Utsav was very special. It was an evening filled with pure energy among everyone who participated in the Ganesha Pallaki Utsav. Every team of volunteers assembled at the venue with pre-assigned tasks. The District police, like every year, rendered great service in ensuring safety and security. In front of Harburg Rathaus (District Town hall), a team of volunteers started assembling Pallaki (Palanquin- the sedan chair of Lord Ganesha, which was made by Pinneberg community this year) and Pooja team had brought Utsav Ganesha from the Temple. Team assigned for mic and speakers, this time came up with a bigger bass, to add to the spirit of celebrating Ganesh Utsav just like how it is celebrated back in India. Volunteers had prepared prasadam and made packets to distribute after the Utsav.
At the venue, a large crowd of people had assembled to witness the Utsav. Pallaki was ready for the Utsav and Lord Ganesha was seated on Pallaki. This time Pallaki took a Tri-coloured theme to mark the 75th Year of Indian Independence. The cultural program started with a Ganesha Vandana, an obeisance to Lord Ganesha. A team of around 20- both men and women, with colorful and traditional attires assembled in front of Ganesha with hand held chimes called Lezimes and started dancing with sequential steps to rhythmic beats and song. It was the highlight of the evening. With four volunteers at each corner holding Pallaki, Lord Ganesha was strolled around the streets of Hamburg with bhajans (prayer songs) and Jai jai kars (greetings). Streets were filled with around 250 participants, singing and dancing to the tunes of the prayers, yet maintaining all Pandemic rules. Lezimates held their traditional dance at every corner of the street. Entire place resonated with the sound of positivity and enchanted everyone in the glory of togetherness. On this perfect twilight evening, people on the streets of Hamburg were blessed to see the divine aura of Lord Ganesha on Pallaki. Finally, we reached the initial point where we started. After the closing of cultural activities, Prasadam packets were distributed at the venue.
For making the idol of Ganesha, traditionally turmeric was used as the main ingredient, so that when it was immersed in water, the turmeric would purify the water bodies as well. This time organic clay was used to build the structure. It was time to bid farewell to the Lord, by doing Ganesha Visarjan (sending Lord Ganesha to his abode by immersing him in river), which was performed by a small group of volunteers at a nearby lake.
Everybody returned with a sense of satisfaction, a feeling of returning to normalcy and prayed for the blessings of Lord Ganesha to bless Hamburg and the world with hope, positivity and auspiciousness.
"Ganapati Bappa Morya, Pudhchya varshi lavkar ya"- Oh dear Lord Ganesha, please come back soon the next year.
Author: -Vivek Sathyanarayana, Pinneberg, Germany
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