Navratri Garba at Oak Middle School ..............................Ragoo Raghunathan
Happy Navrathri to all! Hope your festival season started out as good as it did for us at ISW. As always, the ISW was one of the first to organize a 'Garba Night' in the area. Decorations started at 5pm at the Oak Middle School gymnasium in Shrewsbury, and registration table and food set up by 7.00pm. That is when the people started pouring in. Last year we had the first Garba in town, but this year there was another one scheduled on the same day. However, we were hoping that the community we know and have spent a lot of time with during all other ISW activities will show up. As it hit 7:30 pm, people started pouring in - couples, families, friends and extended families and neighbors alike. By 9pm we had more than 700 people get in with either tickets they had reserved online, or bought at the registration desk. Guests were happy that they could also buy dandiyas at the door, and the pile of dandiyas we had disappeared very soon.
IYG, the youth group of the India Society of Worcester has been actively volunteering at Spirit of Shrewsbury (SOS) for a number of years. This year teh SOS Expo was on Saturday, September 24th. The SOS depends on IYG volunteers every year to help the Expo and craft vendors unloading their stuff and guiding them to their booths.
On Sunday, September 25th 2016 , 20 IYG members participated in Cancer Walk at UMASS in Worcester. The kids raised $200 towards this cause. IYG has been participating in the Walk for Cancer for 10+ years. In addition to raising money for cancer, members’ bond with each other during the Walk.
Spirit of Shrewsbury Fall Festival .........................Ragoo Raghunathan
India Society of Worcester participated in The Spirit of Shrewsbury Fall Festival as it has done for the past many years. SOS is a town wide celebration featuring unique handmade items at the craft fair, a scarecrow contest & display on the Town Commons, the Oak Street Expo featuring non-profit organizations and businesses, a 5-K race/funwalk, Family FunFest, Kids Got Talent, plus a lot more ending with a parade from Beal School to Oak Middle School.
Like every year, this year also the Oak Street Expo was a huge hit. The Indian Society of Worcester had a booth this year as well at the expo. Two tables covered with traditional table cloth were set up, and various artifacts from India were displayed for visitors to see and learn about the culture and practices in India. A Tajmahal replica, some miniature traditional dolls and musical instruments, the famous Charaka were there for people to see and learn about. Many people stopped by and talked to us and the kids in the booth who were applying mehndi
ISW celebrated Ganeshotsav (a festival of Ganesha) at India Center as our Satsang/Sadhana event of the month of September.
The program started with a great tradition of Ganapati Procession ( Miravnook). The attendees enjoyed a wonderful Lezim presentation in front of Lord Ganesha's Palaki. There was tremendous amount energy and enthusiasm among all devotee, and all were chanting 'Ganapati Bappa Moraya' - a very popular chant.
Mrs. Pushpa Joshi performed the Ganesha puja and explained the rituals of Ganeshotsav. The decoration of around Lord Ganesha was a big attraction of this event. There was a model of Empire State Building and Lord Ganesha was sitting on the background of New York skyline. The theme indicated that - though we are living in Western country surrounded by western culture, we are preserving our Indian culture by celebrating Indian Festivals in India Center and getting Best of Both.
Krishna - A child, a brother, a charioteer, a warrior, a disciple, a Guru, a messenger, a Cowherd, and the beloved of Gopis. The lord of so many roles throughout his life, the lord whose birth story is as fascinating as his stories of child hood and stories of his role in Mahabharat. We celebrated birthday of this very versatile lord on August 26th of this month.
The program started with chanting 24 names of Lord Krishna in Sanskrit Shloka form. Mrs Pushpa Joshi did perform puja and talked about the birthday of Bal Krishna and explained typical rituals of celebrating Janmashtami back in India. Lord Krishna was fond of Ghee and Dahi and hence how the practice of Dahi Handi act came into as a tradition. It is believed that this Dahi Handi tradition is believed to throw away all negativity and bad omen and bring the happiness and prosperity. Many devotees keep a fast on this day too.