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Indian Community in Korea Marks 11th Ganesh Festival at Seoul National University
Special Contribution
By Vimal Kumar Dubey
11th Ganesh Festival held at Seoul National University

Festivals are an integral part of the Indian’s life irrespective of where they go. It binds them with their motherland by a thread that is both auspicious and nostalgic.

Ganesh Chathurthi a popular Hindu festival was organized by the Indian community and celebrated by Indian, Korean, Nepalese, Brazilian, Bangladesh, Italian, Deutsch, German, French, and the US citizens on Sept. 3, 2017 at Seoul National University in honour of the elephant-headed God Ganesha, who is after all, the Lord of new beginnings, the remover of obstacles and bestowal of wisdom. The amazing crowd of 350 plus witnessed the divine power of Lord Ganesha at Goan Hall in Seoul National University.

Seoul National University witnessed successful 11th year of Ganesh Festival since its foundation in year 2007.

There are four main rituals observed during Ganesh Chaturthi:

Pranapratishhtha – the process of infusing the deity into an idol,
Shhodashopachara – 16 forms of paying tribute to Ganesha,
Uttarpuja– Puja after which the idol could be shifted after its infusion,
Ganpati Visarjan – immersion of the Idol in the river.

11th Ganesh Festival in Seoul
The festival was witnessed in the well decorated hall and stage with beautiful flowers, light as well as music.

The rituals included the installation of Ganesh idol, offering flowers and fruits to the Lord Ganesh followed by Chanting of Vedic mantras and Aarti’s and at last the immersion of idol.

The rituals were followed by the spiritual and cultural events including the chanting of mantras, Indian dance, singing and music started with the welcoming speech by guest of honor Mrs. Anita Rawat, first secretary of the consular division at the Indian Embassy in Seoul, Korea.

The main attraction of the cultural event were the dance performances by Mr. Amit Khinchi and his group, a trained and well known Indian classical dancer serving for Indian Cultural Center in Seoul.

The chanting of Mahamantra’s by Patanjali Muni, Amita Balaram Das and group from ISKCON Temple Seoul and Uijeongbu had made event more spiritualistic and fortunate. The performance of Arya, Sarika Patankar, Siddya Gopal Das, and Sharad Chandra Barman were stunning and added extra essence in the event.

Prof. Rohidas Arote (right) of Seoul National University praying at 11th Ganesh Festival held at the university on Sept. 3, 2017.

The organizer, Prof. Rohidas Arote from SNU, had given the vote of thanks by acknowledging all the performers, volunteers, sponsors, chief guests and all devotees of Lord Ganesha.

The event concluded with Maha Aarti followed by prasadam, which consisted authentic traditional food prepared during the festival that first offered to the deity and received back as a god blessing.

Otsal Indian restaurant was center of attraction behind the delicious Indian food as mahaprasadam. As per the rituals, Idol visarjan was done in nearby water reservoir.

The Ganesha festival was organized by Indian student association and facilitated by ISKCON Temple Seoul and Uijeongbu, Ayurveda Korea, State Bank of India and the Embassy of India.

The above story was written and contributed by
Dr. Vimal Kumar Dubey, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Natural Sciences of Hanyang University in Seoul.

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