I never get tired of talking about the Indian culture and heritage. And this weeks’ photo challenge has given me yet another reason to flaunt about this wonderful country. There are so many Indian things that resonate with the word Heritage. I had a difficult time choosing from loads of images of different food items, monuments, dresses and so much more.
I have finally decided on sharing this….
A photo of Lord Ganesh from our last years’ Ganapati Festival.
Each year the Hindu month of Bhadrapad (generally corresponding to Gregorian month of August or September) marks the arrival of my favourite God, Lord Ganesh. While this festival adds beauty to everything around, the weather is already lovely with the monsoon finally settling in!
The zest and pomp with which all the festivals are celebrated in India is unparalleled! Now even though each and every household doesn’t install a Ganesh idol, many join in with the celebrations happening in their neighbourhood.
At least a fortnight prior to the arrival of Ganpati you will see a lot of hustle bustle in the streets. The markets are flooded with makhars (decorations or the place where the idol of the lord is placed), fruits, flowers, incense sticks etc etc. Our house also turns into a battle ground where my mom orders all of us around, supervising all the cleaning, preparing sweets and giving us lists of tasks to be completed before Ganesh Chaturthi (first day of the festival). While my sister gets busy with making the makhar (I’m artistically disabled, I can’t help her much except for applying glue), I help my mom to shop for the items on the endless lists!
Our building complex too installs a Ganesh idol. It’s a time when everybody comes together and enjoys. There are so many activity and programs organized like cooking competitions, sports, elocution, dance programs, dramas and the one that I love the most – Puja and Aarti – The singing of the Vedic hymns and chants accompanied by jhanja (cymbals).
Yet another thing that I absolutely love about Ganapati festival is ukdiche modaks! A sweet rice flour dumpling filled with freshly grated coconut and jaggery. This sweet is said to be the favourite of the elephant-headed deity (I absolutely hog on these delicious modaks).
This intangible part of the Indian cultural heritage that is reflected and preserved in its many dishes, festivals, dressing styles, traditions, and practices is what I love about India. While being one of the fastest developing countries of the world, we are still closely connected with our culture and heritage.