Q. In India what does a Ganesh Chaturthi ( Ganpati - Elephant face God-Festival festival) celebration mean to a Poor?

Ganesh festival is Mumbai's biggest festival

Ganesh Chaturthi, one of the biggest celebrations is just around the corner. It is a 10 day Hindu festival which takes place in India and is observed around the globe.

The festivity is all around us, energy levels are soaring high and happiness is seen all around. People across Maharashtra, Telangana, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and other parts of the country will mark the beginning of the festival with bringing home an idol of Lord Ganesha into their households for a brief period.

The schools are going to have a week’s off, the offices might have a day or two. The roads are will be filled with the sights of huge idols of Lord Ganesha, with few of them sizing as high as 20 feet. The city will witness temporary erected pandals, and people lining up outside to get darshan of their beloved lord.

 

Amidst all this celebrations, there is one section of the society which celebrates it with the highest vigour. It is that section which can least afford to indulge in any kind of festivities. They are the Poor people of the society, the so called “Bottom of the Pyramid”

Here are few reasons why the poor celebrates this like none other

Ganesh Ganpati Visarjan India

To celebrate “Belief”

Amidst the neglect of entire society, the poor knows that in the eyes of the lord, all human beings are the same. No matter how bad the living conditions are, it the lord who will protect them from all sorts of danger. It is this belief system which keeps them going. The larger than life pandals are erected, decorated and opened to all, for the sight of lord. The people visit as many Pandals as possible showing their admiration to the sole protector of their life.

For the love of God

Drummer and crowd at Ganesh Festival India

Religion is considered to be a business for many. But not for poor. They do it for sheer love. Temple is the only place where they have no entry tickets. The lord welcomes them through the door of temples throughout the year. Its that time of the year when lord comes walking to us for 11 days, and the poor can’t control the happiness. They play the music at highest volumes, without caring about the noise, to announce the world, their dear lord has arrived in their homes.

 

To celebrate freedom

There is an approval required by the upper society, for everything that a poor want to do. They play loud music on the speakers, dance in front of lord, drink and chit chat, to celebrate their one day’s freedom. The society doesn’t allow them to enter the pubs and disc, so hey convert the entire city to a dance floor for that one day. This is the day when they feel the city belongs to them as well and they are equal to all.

 

Equal participation Male and female at Ganesh Festival

Pursuit of Happiness

Devotees at Ganesh festival

The struggle in life is real. And one should celebrate every event which the life throws at you. No one understands this better than this class of society. They work hard, but party harder. This festival gives them 11 days of time to forget all the struggles of life and indulge in friendly banter, dancing, camaraderie, and enjoy the slice of life.