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21 September 2012

Ganesha Celebration At kalmstrom.com Indian Office

The kalmstrom.com team is built up of two groups of people: one in Sweden and one in India. Ties are strong between the two groups. We have different cultures and beliefs, and as we respect each other it makes work more interesting.

These days, when I see what may happen if disrespect and distrust is allowed to govern, I feel privileged having this possibility to learn how other people see the world. I know many of my blog readers share my interest, and therefore I will today let  the information about the kalmstrom.com products give room for information about traditions among my Hindu friends in Indore.

Ganesha, god of wisdom
By non-Hindus Ganesha's elephantine face is probably the most well-known among the Hindu gods. Ganesh is worshipped as the god of education, literature and knowledge, and he is also the Lord of success who can destroy obstacles and evils. His festival is celebrated in the Hindu calendar month of Bhaadrapada, which usually falls between 19 August and 20 September.
Vipul Dindulkar image
The Indian members of the kalmstrom.com team have created a small altar at the office, and even though Wednesday was a bank holiday they gathered at the office to pay their homage to Ganesha. Office Manager Vipul Dindulkar will tell you about the team's celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi:

An altar at the kalmstrom.com Indore office
Ganesh Chaturthi is the festival for collectiveness, so the team wanted to build an altar for Lord Ganesha in the office and worship him there. We already have a good spirit at our workplace, but this ceremony will further strengthen the harmony and friendliness among us.

Last Wednesday was a day off because of the festival, but we still went to the office – not to work but to gather around the altar and pay our homage to Lord Ganesha with symbolic offerings. In the image below you see one of my colleagues, Lead QA Rinku Rimza, lighting the oil lamp in front of the altar.

Ten days of festivities
A Ganesha idol is a clay figure picturing the god. We have our Ganesha idol on the office altar, just like us many other groups have their own idol. These idols can be small as well as very big, and they are worshipped for ten days during the festival both in homes and publicly. In Indore there are theater and singing performances and also activities like free medical checkup, blood donation camps and charity for the poor.

altarIdols carry away obstacles
After ten days the idols will be sunk into water –  in the sea or in a river, lake, pond or well. Saturday we will take our idol to the sacred river Narmada, 60 kilometers from Indore.
When we sink the idol we will wish that Lord Ganesh takes all our obstacles with him. According to our faith he will take away the misfortunes of all  those who worship by heart and with the true spirit.