Indian idol: Marking the festival of elephant-headed Hindu god Ganesha

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This Ganesh festival, Indian community members in Australia tell us what it means to welcome the elephant-headed god in their homes and hearts


Ambarish Deshmukh, wife Pari, older daughter Simran, younger daughter Samairaa, Dandenong North

For our family, it is about following the Maharashtrian tradition and thanking the Vighnaharta, the Lord of success, for eliminating the evils and obstacles in our life.

It is a way of being grateful to the God of education, knowledge, wisdom and wealth who blesses our family and friends with good health and prosperity every day.


Ashwini Kale, Glen Waverley

We celebrate Ganesh festival every year as He is the one who is known as remover of obstacles. He bring good luck to all family and friends.

It is also a great way to teach kids about Indian culture and traditions.



Punita and Gopal Ganwani, Bentleigh East

We’ve been inviting Bappa for the last 14 years.

Bringing Ganeshji home teaches kids how to look after visitors when they come home, it teaches them our tradition, culture and a whole lot of bhajans.

My kids probably know more bhajans than most seniors. They look forward to this festival. Aum is 12 and he tells the story of Ganpati to all the little ones and it’s just a great feeling to have him home.

I take time off while we have Bappa at home. At work, the way I explain is that I’ve invited someone home so I have to stay at home and keep him company. At every work place for the last 14 years, I have done this and never had issues getting leave either.


Monica and Amrut Patel, Rowville

We have been inviting Lord Ganesh in our house for over 20 years now. For 365 days in the year he gives us so much, and these five days are our opportunity to show our gratitude for all he has blessed us with.

It’s for inner peace. It’s a heartfelt thank you. We have made the idol ourselves, so that makes it all the more special for us.


Kavita Mandhyan, Sydney

We celebrated the Ganesh Chaturthi festival in an eco-friendly way by making Ganesh idols from wheat flour.


Roshni Majumdar, Rosebery

The Ganesha idol at Roshni Majumdar’s place at Rosebery