10/19/2017, 13.52
SRI LANKA
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Hindu Tamils celebrate Diwali, asking the god Ganesh to bless their future

by Melani Manel Perera

During the "festival of lights", the faithful offer rituals and prayers to worship the gods. Since the temple in Sri Siththi Vinayagar (Trincomalee) is undergoing renovation, votive rituals are celebrated in a temporary hut.

Trincomalee (AsiaNews) – Hindus also celebrate Diwali In Sri Lanka. Better known as the "festival of lights", the event symbolises the victory of good over evil, of light over darkness, and is marked by moments of prayer and puja (ritual offerings to gods).

Among Hindu Tamils in Kovilagama, a small village in Chainabay (Trincomalee District), home to about 110 families, people bring gifts and light candles in front of the statue of Ganesh to ask the god to bless their future and give thanks for the achievements of the past year.

According to Hindu symbolism, anyone who worships Ganesh, the deity with the face of an elephant, will be rewarded with good luck before starting any activity.

For this reason, worshippers at the Sri Siththi Vinayagar Kovil (the Tamil term for Hindu temple in the Dravidian architectural style), bring garlands of flowers and fruits, and sprinkle the god’s head with milk to gain his favour.

One of them is Singarasa Dinesh, a teacher at a Tamil Hindu religious school who expressed his gratitude at the temple "because last year I came to the festival of Diwali and asked the god Ganesh to help me pass my university exams. This is what happened in my Management course. Thus, I want to thank him and entreat him to bestow further blessings on the people of Sri Lanka so that Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslims can live without barriers."

This year Diwali celebrations were held in temporary hut near the temple. The latter, built more than 75 years ago, is currently undergoing renovation.

To this effect, S Ruban and N Govinathan, respectively president and secretary of the Kovil Committee, said that they were praying "because we need to finish the work and reopen the temple soon, but we lack the economic means. We entrust to the god Ganesh our intention."

Local school children have also flocked to the makeshift temple to "pray for our parents and our education."

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