Hindus urge Norwegian brewery to not use Lord Ganesha image on beer bottles

Upset Hindus are urging Egersund (Norway) based Berentsens Brygghus brewery to not use Hindu deity Lord Ganesha’s image on its IPA beer bottles, calling it highly inappropriate.

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts or symbols for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.

Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, indicated that Lord Ganesha was highly revered in Hinduism and he was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be used in selling beer. Moreover, linking a deity with an alcoholic beverage was very disrespectful, Zed added.

Hinduism was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken frivolously. Symbols of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be mishandled, Rajan Zed noted.

In Hinduism, Lord Ganesha is worshipped as god of wisdom and remover of obstacles and is invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking.

Berentsens Brygghus AS was established in 1895 by Captain Wilhelm Berentsen and is currently run by the fourth generation Harald Berentsen as CEO with the belief that “natural taste never goes out of fashion”. It claims to be the Norway’s first producer of fermented cider.

Its Bombay India Pale Ale, which carries Lord Ganesha image, is described by some as “full-bodied” and “a good balance between sweetness and bitterness” and is said to be of golden brown color with 7% alcohol volume.

Egersund, along the southwestern coast of Norway in Rogaland County, was established in 1798, although humans have reportedly lived in the area since Stone Age. Stated to be one of the best natural harbors in Norway, it is home to some of the best preserved buildings of wood. Notable people associated with it include guitarist
Øystein Aarseth and footballer Johan Lædre Bjørdal. Odd Stangeland is the Mayor.

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