“All who witnessed the families enjoying their day or the chrysanthemum flowers floating down the stream and out to sea felt that they had been part of something very special.” – Sarah Newman
On the most perfect September day, about 50 people descended along the cliff top from the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum to the Bourne River in Lower Gardens. The group were there to immerse individual Ganesha statues in the water as the culmination of the Bournemouth Ganesha Festival, inspired by a 13th century sculpture of the Hindu Deity Ganesha, loaned by the British Museum as part of its touring exhibition Celebrating Ganesha.
Witty, wise and famous as the placer and remover of obstacles, Ganesha is celebrated every year with a festival, Ganeshchaturthi, held in the month of Bhadrapada (August – September).
The loan was the springboard for the newly formed Dorset Indian Association (DIA) to work with the Russell-Cotes to choose Hindu objects from the collection for display, culminating in a day of worship, picnics on the lawn, children’s activities and celebration.
Mrs Vrushali Harihar of DIA said, ‘We feel blessed that Ganesha has come to Bournemouth’. All who witnessed the families enjoying their day or the chrysanthemum flowers floating down the stream and out to sea felt that they had been part of something very special.
Sarah Newman, Programme Officer at Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum