Ganesh Chaturthi Trivia: Did you know Indonesian currency has Lord Ganesha on its 20,000 rupiah note?

Amid the coronavirus pandemic and restrictions on public movement, the 10-day Ganesh Chaturthi festival commenced across the world, despite the usual pomp and glory missing this year.

The festival of Ganesh Chaturthi is also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi, marks the birth of the elephant-headed God.

It begins on the fourth day (chaturthi) of the month of Bhadrapada, the sixth month of the Hindu calendar, and concludes after 10 days on the day of Anant Chaturdashi, when the idol is submerged in the nearest body of water.

Lord Ganesha is considered an embodiment of wisdom and widely revered as the remover of obstacles.

While the festival gains its primarily in Mumbai and parts of Maharashtra, it comes as an astounding fact that the Indonesian currency rupiah has the image of Lord Ganesha on a 20,000 note.

It has an inscription of Lord Ganesha alongside a picture of Ki Hajar Dewantara in the front. The backside of the note has a picture of a classroom with children studying.

The name "rupiah" is derived from the Sanskrit word for silver, “rupyakam”.

Indonesia is touted as an Islamic majority country where 87.5% of the population are Muslims and 3% are Hindus.

However, despite the religious majority, you will come across plenty of Hindu motifs everywhere in the country.

For instance, there is a Krishna-Arjuna statue at Jakarta square, and the Indonesian military has Hanuman as their mascot.

Another theory behind the Ganesha idol on the rupiah has been stated by a Quora user, who wrote that RS MP Dr. Subramanian Swamy once asked the Indonesian Finance Minister about the image on the currency.

The minister explained that in 1997, the currency of several Asian countries was getting devalued. With several failed attempts, someone suggested to have an image of Lord Ganesha – hailed as the remover of obstacles and bringer of good fortune.

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