Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Id Mubarak and Hindu Ceremony!

We would like to wish everyone a "Bakra Id Mubarak" (Happy Bakra Id)! This holiday, a national holiday in India, is celebrated amongst Muslims, as they observe this day with goat for dinner. Yesterday, the group of volunteers from Australia, two volunteers from the US, and one volunteer from the UK went to an orphanage, which particularly specializes in "Sanyasi" (giving up the material world for introspection), so that the volunteers could observe meditation and a Hindu religious ceremony, called a "Pooja," which the women at the orphanage hold twice a day, every day. The pooja lasted for two hours, and the foreigners were involved in the ceremony, as they received some "parsad" (offering to God) and participated in the prayers and chanting. After the pooja finished, the girls at the orphanage (ranging from ages 5 to 16) interacted with the volunteers, as each were eager to speak to one another. One girl in particular, Maneesha (14 years old), is very clever, and she is able to communicate almost fluently in English, as well as Hindi, Bengali, and Haryanvi. She, and a few others who could communicate in both Hindi and English, interpreted for the volunteers and the other children, and everyone had a pleasant experience. Here is a picture of them in the sanctuary at the orphanage!

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