Joyous Ganesh Utsav held in Bellerose, Queens, NY

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2. A massive Ganesh murti was the highlight of the festival held Sept. 15, 2021, in Bellerose, Queens, NY. Photo: Raja Bhatty, ITV Gold.

The Indian-American community is currently celebrating the ten-day festival of Lord Ganesh all over the United States, as well as other countries where the Indian diaspora is spread.

One of the largest such celebrations was held Sept. 15, 2021, in Bellerose, Queens, New York City, where hundreds of devotees gathered to pray to their deity, the ‘Remover of Obstacles’ Lord Ganesh.

3. Ganesh puja being performed at the Sept. 15, 2021, Ganesh Utsav in Bellerose, Queens, in which Dr. Sudha Parikh and Dr. Sudhir Parikh also participated (seen on right). Photo: Raja Bhatty, ITV Gold.

Conchs rent the air as the prayers were recited, a massive statue of Lord Ganesh was the highlight of the event, as was an ornate horse-driven chariot. People sang in praise of Lord Ganesh, and pujas were performed by the priest. Devotees expressed their joy at being present. Organizers billed it as the ‘4th biggest Ganesh Utsav’ in New York this year.

From left, Jay Sircar, Mukund Mehta, Pakabhai Patel, president of Gujarati Samaj, Suhag Mehta, main organizer of Ganesh festival, and a priest. The Ganesh Utsav was held Sept. 15, 2021, in Bellerose, Queens, New York. Photo: Raja Bhatty, ITV Gold.
4. Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parikh, who received a recognition plaque for his service to the community, speaking at the Sept. 15, 2021, Ganesh Utsav held in Bellerose, Queens, NY, as Dr. Sudha Parikh, left, and Pakabhai Patel, president of Gujarati Samaj on right, look on. Photo: Raja Bhatty, ITV Gold.

Several temple priests as well as leaders of the community were present at the lamp lighting ceremony and spoke at the event, including Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parikh, chairman of Parikh Worldwide Media, and publisher of Desi Talk and News India Times. Dr. Sudha Parikh and Dr. Sudhir Parikh were among those who participated in the puja.

5. Organizers of the Ganesh Utsav held Sept. 15, 2021, at Bellerose, Queens, NY, get together on stage. Photo: Raja Bhatty, ITV Gold.

Priest Pakabhai Patel spoke of India and Hinduism’s ancient traditions and contributions to the world. He urged everyone to stay united and “keep Hinduism alive”.

Dr. Parikh, who was recognized with an award for his contributions to the community, said the Ganesh festival “is the only way we can connect our second and third generations to our religion. That is very, very important because our kids should know where they are coming from; a connection to the family. This is the only way toteach them what is Ganeshji, this … God who helps everyone to remove the obstqacles in our lives. Jai Ganeshji! Ganeshbapu Morya!”

Dr. Sudha Parikh said the Ganesh murti was beautiful and the whole environment at the festival was wonderful. “We felt great joy,” she said in an interview to ITV Gold.

Jay Sircar said this festival reminds people to remove the negativity and materialism from their lives and embrace positivity.

6. A section of the audience at the Sept. 15, 2021, Ganesh Utsav held in Bellerose, Queens. Photo: Raja Bhatty, ITV Gold.
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