Hindus in Thailand Celebrate Ganesha Festival – Promote Hindu-Buddhist Fellowship

Vishwa Hindu Parishad Association, Thailand and partners organized largest Ganesha festival events at eight locations in Thailand. The 10-day festival activities aimed to celebrate the birthday of Shri Ganesha, the Hindu god of wisdom, knowledge and new beginnings. Devotees of Shri Ganesha offered prayers for the long and healthy life of the King Rama 10 and well-being, healthy and prosperous life of the people living in Thailand, Bharat and around the world.

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VHP Thailand is a registered non-profit cultural organization in Thailand that has been organizing Ganesha Festival events in Thailand since 2008. Its vision is a united, vibrant, and prosperous Hindu society inspired by the eternal values of dharma to spread the message of Vasudhaiva Kutumbkam. Its mission is to promote Hindu-Buddhist fellowship and raise awareness of Dharmic values among younger generation.

9th Ganesha Festival was organized from 13th to 16th September at Utthayan Makah Bucha Anusorn or Buddhism Memorial Park, Nakhon Nayok. More than 1,000 people joined the festival activities from Bangkok. Similar to previous years, VHP Thailand organized charity activities as well and distributed 1500 packets of rice to support local communities in Nakhon Nayok.

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11th Ganesha festival in Bangkok was organized at Wat Dan, Rama 3 Road, Bangkok, and for the first time in a Thai temple on 22-23 September, 2018. Dr. Atchaka Sibunruang, Former Minister of Science and Technology, Government of Thailand performed rituals of Sthapna puja of Shri Ganesha. The following dignitaries attended the opening ceremony of the11th Ganesha Festival 2018 at Wat Dan in Bangkok on 22 Sep:

  • Dr. Anatchai Rattakul, Councellor, National Economic and Social Advisory Council,
  • Mr. Peter Sombooncharoen, Special News Editor, Channel 3,
  • Mr. Susheel Kumar Saraff, President, VHP Thailand,
  • Swami Anand Giri ji, Spiritual Leader and International Yoga Guru from Bharat,
  • H.E. Shri Abbagani Ramu, Charge d’Affaires, Embassy of Bharat,
  • Ms. Sweeya Santipitaks, Director, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and
  • Ms. Irina Vorobyova, Second Secretary Cultural Attache, Embassy of the Russian Federation in Thailand.

Shri Abbagani Ramu, Charge d’Affaires, Embassy of Bharat, Bangkok presided over the program and described symbolism of Ganesha such as trunk can uproot big trees symbolising strength), and can hold a fine needle symbolising discrimination (intellect); big ears and small mouth means speak less and listen more; big paunch means generosity; and one leg on ground and other raised leg means balance of materialism and spirituality.

Shri Susheel Kumar Saraff, President, VHP Association Thailand delivered his welcome remarks and highlighted the journey of Ganesha Festival events in Thailand.  All the activities of Ganesha Festival are aimed to showcase the Thai and Hindu cultural heritage and to provide a community platform to the people of Thailand and Bharatiya diaspora in Thailand, he said.

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Thousands of people joined Ganesha festival activities with great devotion and enthusiasm such as cultural program, Ganesha Puja, Vegetarian food and Ganesha amulets/souvenir stalls, on-the-spot painting competition, Asht Vinayak Exhibition and Grand Ganesha Procession and Visarjan Ceremony.

On Sunday, 23rd September, thousands of devotees in Bangkok bid farewell to Shri Ganesha with a ceremonial colorful procession in the streets of Bangkok. Visarjan ceremony was organized at the Chao Phraya River, under the Bhumibol 1 Bridge.

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Festival partners – Hindu Dharma Sabha Vishnu Mandir, Hindu Samaj Dev Mandir, Shri Shani Dham, Divine Yoga, AIT Hindu Association and Telugu Association of Thailand – joined the auspicious occasion.

Ganesha festival activities were widely covered by local English and Thai media. Bangkok Post, a leading newspaper, published a photo of the Visarjan ceremony on the front page. The Nation media group also provided online coverage of festival activities.

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Channel 3 and 5 aired a featured news story on Ganesha Festival at prime time.

Ganesha festival has truly become a much-cherished and anticipated occasion for Hindus of Thailand and also for our Buddhist Thai brothers & sisters.

(As reported by Shri Sanjay Kumar from Vishwa Hindu Parishad Association Thailand )


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