These Are The Best Keys (Learn About Ganesha Too)

People just hand out anything over here…like a scooter, to a white kid! (Some rupees helped facilitate this deal) I don’t have an Indian driver’s license, an address, credit cards, bank accounts, or a healthy grasp of road rules here… but I have a scooter!

The Idol Ganesha

Ganesha is the Hindu god who starts the ball rolling. Before Hindu people began anything – a new work venture, for example – they worshiped Ganesha for good luck. I’m sure you’ve seen a few pics on the blog. Here is another. It’s almost identical to Christmas – except I think Americans spend more on Christmas, and it lasts longer… we don’t worship the tree, but a bearded white-haired man. Anyway, in the next five or six months, there will be a lot of festivals. But the festival for Ganesha is the kick-off. The streets have Christmas-y lights, there are stands selling Ganesha statues and temples all over, and people are busy shopping and full of stress.

Here is how this 10-day festival of Ganesha works.

Day One
You purchase a stand (temple) and a god (Ganesha – made out of clay) and keep him covered until you or a priest comes to your house and uncovers Ganesha. When he is covered, you decorate his stand, much like a Christmas Tree. There are lights, colors, stands, etc. Once he is uncovered, you give him offerings of incense, burning oils, foods, money, etc. (like Santa Claus).

During the Festival
One would usually have a feast or party called Ganpati, which is dedicated as an offering to Ganesha. The day doesn’t matter. Jaimie and I were invited to one of these feasts the other night – we were unaware that the whole buffet was an offering to the Hindu god Ganesha. Once we arrived, we soon learned this – and didn’t stay too long after.

Day 3, 5, or 10
Now, depending on your culture, heritage, religious sect… I’m not too clear on these details… you would take Ganesha and put him in the lake. Because he is clay, he usually goes down easily and dissolves – but if he floats, it’s considered very bad. So you can pay a local boy rs.50 (about 1USD) and he will swim Ganesha out into the lake and sink him for you.

What else Happened This Weekend?
Jaimie and I went to a rollerblading competition, watched a little TV, went to church, and… Visited an Orphanage! The owners were very curious about us, and we were excited to ask some of our questions on how to get started. We got a quick tour of the facility and enjoyed our time. We also got a lot of intel on how to get a Christian orphanage up and running successfully. We will continue to move ahead and keep you guys informed!

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