Posts Tagged With: Religion

Paris Celebrates Lord Ganesh (Part 1)

In the North of Paris, on the last Sunday of summer holidays, Indian people from Paris celebrate Lord Ganesh. Going to the parade is a good way to go to India for the price of a Metro ticket.

As you probably know, it is the first school day tomorrow and I’m a teacher… I don’t have time to tell my charming morning with Ganesh and all his friends, but I’ve left you plenty of pictures and you can read the captions! I wasn’t the only one to take photos! I’ve never seen so many cameras! Some men could kill for a picture!

Coconuts ready to be broken. Each shop-keeper has its heap.


An altar dedicated to Ganesh in front of a shop. Shop keepers give drinks and food to the passers-by.

Street sellers sell flower guarlands. They smell so good! I don’t remember the name of these flowers but they are very popular in Hindu celebrations.

You can put these flowers in your hair!

So many photographers!


So many people! But the Security is there! I would like policemen to be dressed the same way!

Coconuts again!


Coconut breaking! For good luck and wealth!



Bare feet and purple feet…


That’s all for now! Next time, you’ll see photos of the parade itself. It’s not as big as in India but it is quite picturesque too!

Categories: India in pictures, Religion | Tags: , | 2 Comments

One Day, Two Mothers: Independent India and Virgin Mary

Indian Madonna

Today  is an important day because it is the day when Salman Khan’s new film Ek Tha Tiger is out. No, I’m joking! Today is an important day because the world celebrates two mothers: Mother India and Jesus’s Mother, Mary.

My Name is Marie:

 On the 15th of August, Catholics celebrate Mary’s Assumption; she was taken to Heaven after resurrection.   It is a really important day for the Catholics, especially in Corsica, my childhood area where I go on summer holiday and where religion used to be very important. By the way, many women have their names starting with Marie there: Marie-Pierre, Marie-Françoise, Marie-Jeanne and so on.  Myself, my first name is Marie-Laetitia. But for my blog, it’s Marilay.

So, yesterday, I went to the church because we celebrated Mary. Strangely enough, I wasn’t christened when I was a baby, so now I am considered as an atheist. When your parents are Hindu, you become Hindu naturally as soon as you are alive. In Catholicism, it’s different. Of course, I can join the Catholic Religion but I have to study for two years before being allowed to be christened. So, you must be very motivated! I can also choose another religion like Islam or Buddhism. But my culture is Christian and my parents are catholic, so I sometimes follow them when they go to the church.

I have no religion but I love religions. That’s why I love India because there are plenty of religions and believers. Spirituality still exists in India and it is part of people’s lives. In France, it’s different;  I sometimes feel that religion can be practiced only in churches, mosques, temples… But once you are outside, religion is nowhere to be seen.

 Some people say that religions are bad but I think they’re wrong. People are bad, but religions, never. Religion is a tool; human beings have to use it the proper way. That’s all. I wish I were religious. But it is difficult to believe in God when you have never been educated in religion. I remember this quotation by Mohandas Gandhi: Faith is not something to grasp, it is a state to grow into. I totally agree with it!

So during the mass, yesterday, I read a text from the Bible: I was really nervous because I was alone before the village people and the priest and I had to read a complicated text about resurrection and it was the first time I had done that. I also sang in the chore with the ladies from the village. It wasn’t very good but what is important is to do something for the village. It is not X Factor!

So today, it is Mary’s day. It is my day. My relatives are supposed to kiss me and give me presents. So if you are called Marie, Mary or Maria…, I wish you a good day!

Independent India:

I also wish a good Independence Day to Indian people, of course. This day in 1947 when India became free from the British is celebrated everywhere in India and in the media.  I didn’t know how to celebrate this event apart from publishing a Youtube thing or flags or anything else. There are so many things about Independence Day everywhere! So, I have found this picture of a sculpture by Philippe Ramette: The Installation (Inner Public Square), 2011. I took this picture at the famous exhibition at Beaubourg ( Paris-Delhi-Bombay). It is an Indian young woman who is climbing up to a pedestal. I found it was a great symbol of independent India but also the symbol of the status of women in India which is changing; the woman is climbing slowly to a place where only men used to be; the woman is climbing to independence and to freedom from the patriarchal rule.

Categories: Religion | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Krishna, Krishna, Krishna

Three pictures of Krishna. they’re made by contemporary artists. I love them!

Young Krishna, Gopal Krishna and well, Krishna made in France!

Bal Krishan by Devendra Bhardvaj

by Ajay Garg

Pierre and Gilles

Categories: India in pictures, Museum | Tags: | Leave a comment

Naga Panchami: Charming snakes!

Snake doused with milk

My Hindi teacher can’t understand why the French like lizards so much but as far as I’m concerned, I can’t understand why the Indians like snakes!  Actually, I’m going to tell you a secret: I think Indians have never liked snakes!  Snakes are very poisonous and kill between 20,000 and 40,000 people each year in India, according to The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. People got used to worshipping snakes to protect themselves from their terrible fangs! Now, of course, Naga is highly respected and has many temples dedicated to him throughout India and other countries like Cambodia and Thailand.

Today, it is Naga Panchami. Hindus and others celebrate snakes. In Hindu mythology Naga has several heads to be more protective but sometimes, it does not have snake heads; it can have dog heads or human faces… They are supernatural creatures, you see!

Life is sweet for Lord Vishnu!

Vishnu is often linked to Naga because the serpent is a protector and Vishnu himself is the God of Preservation: that’s why Vishnu is often represented sheltered by Shesha NagaLord Krishna, an avatar of Vishnu, is often related to Naga too; when he was a baby and had to be taken away from his evil enemy Kamsa, he was carried over the Yamuna River by his father Vasudeva, protected by a Naga. Later, he also defeated terrible Kalya Naag but this story is told by my colleague Françoise on her blog Indomaniaque , so, you can go and read this story  here.

As far as I’m concerned, I like the following legend which explains why people worship snakes: It happened a long time ago, when there were no rickshaws, no jeans, no mobile phones, no modern ploughing machines, nothing! A farmer was ploughing his field but he killed young snakes which were hidden in the earth. The mother of these serpents was very upset and she bit the farmer and all his family and everybody died except one of the daughters. The daughter had to pray and pray and pray again until the mummy serpent was satisfied and the family revived.

Today, there are still temples where you can pray and undertake rites to honor snakes. At home, different things can be done to worship the Nagas; you can draw them or stick pictures of them on your door. Unmarried women pray the Nagas to find a good husband. You can also eat food without salt for the whole day, since the snakes are said to have desalinated areas like Kerala to make them habitable and luxurious. One of the most common rites in Maharashtra is to douse a snake with milk. Milk is a symbol of purity and if the snake drinks the milk, it is a lucky sign and its poison will be less dangerous.

Despite all that, I think I finally prefer the rats in Karni Mata Temple!

Krishna dancing over Kaliyaa Naag near the Yamuna

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Victoria’s Indian Secret

You often discover uncredible things when you surf the Web! I typed something like « Amazing India » on Google and I found myself in Ireland!

Cause in the Irish county of Wicklow, there’s a park called Victoria’s Way. Nothing surprising, so far! But in this park, there’s also a strange place created by its owner Victor Langheld.

When he was younger, Victor travelled to Asia, especially to India; he was really attracted to spiritual stuff. When he came back home he imagined the Indian Sculpture Park. You get into it through a kind of vagina dentata gate and then you can have a walk in a world of hinduism and enlightment!

Follow me!

Is this the entrance to Nirvana?

This is a lovely collection of 8 Ganesh sculptures. They were made in Tamil Nadu with black granite.

Eight craftmen took one year for each statue!


Let’s have a walk in a field of stupas…

and let’s relax before the Nirvana Man…

Namaste, Lord Shiva!

Links I used to write this post:

Ganesh Pictures         The photo of Shiva       The site of Victoria’s Way

Categories: Museum, Voyages | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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