Visitors from Tunisia, US soak in festive spirit

Sep 09, 2011, 08:23 IST | Vivek Sabnis

Invited over by common friend, 2 foreigners end up captivated by Ganapati atmosphere

Invited over by common friend, 2 foreigners end up captivated by Ganapati atmosphere

Jalal Sharaf, an English teacher from Tunisia was amazed to see the enthusiasm and Ganapati fever in the city despite the heavy rainfall. "This festival is not only famous all over, but it also appears to unite the people," he said.

Captivated: English Professor from Tunisia Jalal Sharaf (right)
with Ashwin Pandit. Sharaf said he was amazed to see how people
were united by Ganeshotsav. Pic/Digvijay Sabne

Sharaf visited the famous Dagdusheth Ganapati, Akhil Mandai Mandal and also the smaller Ganapati mandals in the city and was captivated by the festive atmosphere in the city.

"I had heard about the Ganesh festival in Maharashtra and especially in Pune. But this is the first time I am getting an opportunity to visit the city," Sharaf said. "Every Ganapati is different from the other and this is the beauty of the festival in the city.

I have seen 100 different kinds of decorations and there appears to be a healthy competition among them. I shall go with very nice memories to my country and tell my students about this festival. Now I realise why this festival is completing its 118th year in the city."

Earlier, US-based Dave Clark also paid a visit and took many pictures and videos to show his friends in his country. Ashwin Pandit, a Puneite and professor of English at Symbiosis College, said he had invited Sharaf and Clark to the city to show them this festival.

Pandit has taught English in New York for 15 years. "I invite many of my friends in Europe and even Gulf countries to partake in the Ganapati Utsav in the city and this gives me immense pleasure," he said.

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