Indian Ganesha Festival in Seoul: A Classic Example of Cultural Interaction

October 6, 2007

Author: Dr. Prashant Pawar

Source: The Seoul Times

Most of the Indians who visit Korea get experience of getting alienated by Korean Community. Some feel it is because of language problem, some feel it social discrimination. However, the experience of the Ganesh festival which was conducted on this Sunday (Sept. 16, 2007) at Seoul National University gave a classical example of cultural interaction.

Lokmanya Tilak, Indian freedom fighter started this festival celebration as a public celebration in 1893 to unite people and spread nationalistic feelings among Indians. This event which started as a small cultural festival made big impact on Indian people and message of freedom which brought freedom to India.

The Ganesh Festival started on Saturday (15th September) evening with great stage decoration by flowers and rangoli (colored sand). The backdrop of the stage was prepared so nicely which was combination of both Indian and Korean culture. On Saturday the Ganesh idol was installed by doing pooja. During the pooja especially various mantras where chanted and various Indian sweets were distributed as a Prasadam.

On Sunday (16th September) the venue was shining because of nice weather which was surrounded by mountains. All the people were welcomed by putting tilak on their forehead by Indian style. The venue was nicely organized all various spiritual organization have put up their presentation and spiritual materials to interact with Indian and Korean community.