West Melbourne Marathi organized a daylong event on 16th Sep 2018 at the Williamstown Town Hall celebrating the auspicious Hindu festival of Lord Ganesha.
This festival is an integral part of the Marathi community residing in the state of Maharashtra in India. 120 participants and 500 guests graced the event. The chief guest of the event was the Octenagarian Mr Jayant Bapat – an Order of Australia award winner and a perfect amalgation of Indian and Australian values and culture.
The event commenced with an exhilarating procession led by the traditional percussion music of dhol and lezim. The idol of Lord Ganesha graced and blessed the event.
The event showcased why the Indian freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak started Ganesh festival and how it spread to the different regions of India. The rich and diverse Indian culture was portrayed via decoration, dances, songs and drama.
The kids and adults performed the traditional dances of 8 different Indian states. The decorations team recreated 4 iconic monuments from the 4 corners of India.
An enlightening discussion/interview with Dr and Mrs Jayant Bapat explored the very relevant themes of integration and assimilation of young Indian migrant families into Australian culture.
The event ended aptly with an aarti (devotional songs) and puja of Lord Ganesha and scrumptious dinner of typical Maharashtrian delicacies.