On 14 September, the Australian Telangana Forum (ATF), managed to congregate people from Hyderabad, India, living in Western Sydney to celebrate the Ganesh festival. Held in Ermington, the celebrations drew more than 350 participants.
The Ganesh festival is one of the most important – and popular — religious festivals in India. Lord Ganesha is one of the most widely worshipped Gods in the Hindu pantheon.
Several events were held through the day. While 30 children participated in an idol making competition, the priest performed Saamoohika Ganesh pooja (combined prayer) with 30 families. Cultural programmes were another highlight of the event.
Venkata Prasad Ragipani, General Secretary of ATF, said, “ATF represents all Australian Telugu speaking people mainly from Telangana. The main aim behind celebrating the ‘Ganesh festival’ is to showcase integration.”
“This festival showcases the integration of our cultural heritage into multicultural Australia,” he added, and thanked Madhav Katikaneni, who he said, led with his executive committee team to make the event a success.
ATF thanked all EC members, ATF members and all the guests who contributed towards the hall logistics, reception desk, parking control, tea arrangements, Ganesh idol making, pooja preparation, audio setup, Ganesh pooja, cultural programmes, laddu auction, food arrangements and Ganesh nimarjanam.
The Ganesh laddu auction was another major highlight of the day.
“The Ganesh laddu is basically a sweet made out of yellow split peas, sugar syrup and other ingredients. It is a popular sweet offered during the Ganesh festival in Hyderabad. It is considered auspicious for homes and businesses. The laddu auction started with bid of $499 and soon it crossed previous year’s record of $700 and finally Sagar group and Western Chargers Sports Club together secured the laddu auction with a winning bid of $1550.