Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

Hindu and Non-Hindu

Toronto, Ontario

Highway 50 became the location of a Ratha Yatra festival hosted and organized by the Hindu community. The sun blazed on us chanters as we were propped up on a cart with Oriyan sacred images of Jaganatha, Baladev, and subhadra behind us. The harmonium pumped powerfully, hands slid and tapped on a mrdunga drums and kartals (hand cymbals) clanged to back up mantras.

After the sun moved to the West, I was transported to the temple for a photo art gallery exhibit. The photos excellently captured impressions of India. Photographer Haidee Malkin was excited to have her best shots on display in the temple's Govinda's Dining Room. People came and feasted their eyes on spirit-catching images of rural and industrious India. The attendance was predominantly non-Hindu. They, however, got to see classical Indian dance and also were entertained by mantra chanting by musical group "Gaura Shakti".

I had a few minutes on the microphone. People were shocked when I recommended that the best shoes for long distance walks are crocs.

While these function took place our youth were engaged in a sankirtan festival. Twenty two youths hit the streets with homemade veggie friendly cookies and soul friendly books for distribution. There was no discrimination as to who gets these little treasures.

Response was good. The sun shone.

7 KM

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