Festive quarter

Festive quarter

India is a country of festivals. With its many faiths and gods, there is a festival almost every day of the year, celebrated with much gusto by its people. The Indian community around the world and in Singapore celebrate these festivals with as much enthusiasm and have given them their own unique flavour.

The last quarter of the year is the most festive of them all - with big festivals like Navratri, Durga Puja, Deepavali, Bakrid and Christmas.

The festivities start from September onwards.

With Ganesh Chaturthi, a 10-day festival to worship the elephant god, the remover of obstacles. In Singapore, the Maharashtra Mandal organises the Ganeshotsav celebrations at the Global Indian International School's Queenstown campus. The celebrations are accompanied by traditional Marathi dances, music and other folk art, before the visarjan (immersion) of the Ganesh idol on the last day.

For residents of Melville Park, a condominium in Simei with several Indian residents, the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi and other Indian festivals is a means to educate their children about the rich Indian culture and traditions.

Resident and organiser of the Ganesh Chaturthi event Pooja Dogra said: "By celebrating this festival we wanted to create awareness among our children about our culture and mythology and give a platform to the kids and mothers to display their talent. We had many activities like fancy dress, mythological skits, dance performances and singing for children as well as adults."

The residents of the condominium celebrate all Indian festivals with equal enthusiasm. Ms Ramya Prem, another Melville resident who started the Melville Moms Facebook group which now has 500 members, said: "At Melville Park, we celebrate all occasions keeping in mind the need for the younger generation to stay in touch with our roots and also to bring the residents together. We celebrate everything from Diwali to Independence Day, Christmas to Navratri."

Sept 13 marked Onam, the big festival of the Malayalees, who come from the state of Kerala. They celebrate the homecoming of their mythical king Mahabali. In Singapore, many Malayalee families organised Onam Sadhya, a vegetarian feast consisting of up to 26 dishes, served on banana leaves.

Come Sept 25, and it's Navratri, a nine-day festival dedicated to Goddess Durga, which celebrates the triumph of good over evil. Though the festival is celebrated with great zeal across India, it's the Gujaratis who mark the occasion with great flamboyance and colour.

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