NRIs celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi festival in UK | india | Hindustan Times
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NRIs celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi festival in UK

india Updated: Sep 12, 2008 09:13 IST

People with origins in Maharashtra, Gujarat and other parts of India congregate in large numbers for Ganesh Chaturthi celebration across Britain.

Among the largest organisers is the Maharashtra Mandal where celebrations will continue till September 14.

The organisation, founded during the round-table conference visit of the noted Marathi writer and politician N C Kelkar in 1932, has put on a busy schedule of cultural events during the festival.

In the east Midlands town of Leicester, which has a large minority of Gujarati origin residents, thousands of worshippers have been participating in festivities at the Ram Mandir in Belgrave, the commercial and cultural hub of the Asian community.

Vinod Patel, who has been organising the event with his wife, Vanita, for last 15 years now told the local media that more than 10,000 people were expected to take part in the celebration by the time it ends on Sunday.

He said, "It is a hugely popular festival in India and has grown significantly within the Hindu community in this country. The festival began last Wednesday and, over the weekend, the temple was packed".

At the end of the festivities, the Ganesh idol would be transported to Liverpool for 'visarjan' (immersion in the river).

Local resident Shila Chohan said: "It's always an exciting atmosphere and it is one which lasts throughout the festival. Some people fast during the ceremony and most visit the temple every day during the festival".

Similar events have been reported from Birmingham, Harrow, Manchester and Glasgow.