Ganesh Chaturthi in BollyFit®, Bollywood and Beyond!


I was born in the U.S. and although I lived for a few years as a child in India, I primarily grew up away the physical roots of Indian culture.  My parents did their best to share aspects of our culture and religion with my sisters and I in America. They reminded us that we were barely scratching the surface of the depth of Indian holidays, customs, and religions. This is because of the vastness of Indian traditions is like the masalas in a curry – concurrently unique, connected, and numerous! How we mark them today is both rooted in ancient practices, and adaptive to modern life. We are so excited to highlight  Indian and global holiday and customs in this new section and hope you enjoy them. Whether they offer you new perspectives, loving reminders of your own experiences, or a masala of both, we hope you feel more connected with fellow human beings around the world.



Ganesh Chaturthi, which was observed on September 17 this year, celebrates the birthday of the elephant God, Ganesha, who is invoked and is especially grandly marked in the state of Maharashtra. As the god of beginnings, Ganesha is honoured at the start of rituals and ceremonies. In the U.S. families who celebrate this holiday do so both with their communities and in the privacy of homes. The modern festival involves installing clay images of Ganesha in public pandal (temporary shrines), which are worshipped for ten days. These are immersed at the end of the festival in a body of water such as a lake, along with the idol. Some Hindus also install the clay images of Ganesha in their homes. (Wikipedia)



Bollywood actors including Hrithik Roshan, Salman Khan, and Shilpa Shetty (among many others) celebrated with their families and communities, sharing their celebrations with fans on social media and the Internet!



BollyFitter Manisha followed a YouTube video for making Ganeshas and created a beautiful eco-friendly Ganeshas out of air dry clay, which you can see in the image at the top. The other one is also made of clay, which she, her husband, and son painted and then baked in a kiln while visiting India last year!



BollyFitter Shriti celebrated a bit more creatively as she did not have time to go to the Indian store to purchase the traditional offering of modak (a triangle-shaped sweet dumpling considered to be Ganesha’s favorite food). So she instead offered Toblerone as a stand-in – triangular and sweet! – to show how grateful she is for overcoming obstacles this year.



In classes, we incorporated the festivities by BollyFitting to hit songs such as Saada Dil Vi Tu (Ga Ga Ga Ganpati) from the hit movie ABCD!



Whether you celebrated like Hrithik, Manisha, Shriti, or in your own meaningful way, what’s most important are the intentions and treasures of the heart. And whether you celebrate Ganesh Chuturthi or not, we pray the all of the obstacles in your path be removed, and you enjoy immense happiness and boundless victories in life! xoxo Anuja

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