By Swati Sharan
ST JOHN’S: With the Indians growing in numbers in Newfoundland, the Hindu Temple in St. John’s hosted a mega celebration of harvest season New Years in various parts of India as well as Ram Navmi, Hanuman Jayanti and Mahavir Jayanti.
The event included harvest New Years of Tamil, Andhra, Kannadiga, Malayalee, Marathi, Bengali and Punjabi communities.
The Bal Vihar group performed a cultural program. The kids did a presentation about Ugadi and Vishu.
The Indian youth did plays, including the depiction of the Ramayana in both the traditional and modern context.
There was a play was about Saint Agastya imparting the Aditya Hridayam shlokas to Lord Rama and Laxman before Lord Rama eventually killed Ravan.
The modern take on the Ramayana included Hanuman speaking about how he’s worshipped around many corners of Mauritius with many outdoor statues big and small pervading everywhere.
A play was also performed about the birth of Lord Rama and his brothers. A play about Mahavirji was also enacted with a story from his toddler years about needing to only know how to count till one to know one thing and that was the soul. Bengali adults performed New Year folk songs and a folk dance to honour the New Year.
Brief explanations about the different New Year traditions were given by different members of the community, narrating how the New Years were closely aligned with the harvest season though religious implications had their place according to the given region. The program was followed by lunch. Overall, the celebrations were very joyous and lively.
(Indian journalist Swati Sharan lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland)