Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ganesha Chaturthi: great tradition & environmental problem

These striking images of the destroyed Ganesha were taken by my friend Ashish Punj. They are the result of the Hindu festival, Ganesha Chaturthi in Maharashtra, India. This beloved chubby god of wisdom and fortune is the son of Lord Shiva and Parvati, and it's believed that Ganesha bestows his presence to the devotees during the festival that last for 10 days. The devotees give away many statues of Ganesha to the sea as offerings. That is the tradition. In old days the statues were made locally with their mud/clay near their houses. So that the statues naturally went back to earth. Now, they are made of the plaster of Paris that contains highly toxic chemicals and toxic paints at the cheaper costs. Therefore, they have been causing so much pollution for years now. This is devastating to watch. It's a beautiful tradition that people have kept for many years, yet, as our time changes, we are destroying our home. What would Shiva, Parvati say about this irony...? I wonder.


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