Uni Glos RPE students immersed in major Hindu festival.

After 18 months of lock down and several major Hindu festival dates missed Religion, Philosophy and Ethics students from University of Gloucestershire were really privileged to be invited to the Shri Sanatan Dharm mandir in Alperton, West London, to join the community as they celebrated the New year Annakhut. This is one of the most important dates in the Hindu calendar which falls the day after Diwali and revolves around the ritual offering of pure vegetarian food to the deities. Students found themselves immediately immersed in the crowds of pilgrims and devotees as they circulated the ritual route of the mandir. We engaged in the reciprocal sight of darsan with the murtis of the divine and then we were invited to partake in the aarti ceremony accompanied with a full explanation by the mandir pandit. A little later we were invited to partake in some food with the temple chairman Narendrabhai Thakrar and the experience was a taste bud sensation. We indulged in a little sacred retail therapy in the various shops that line the Ealing Road, especially the ones that sold images and pictures of the deities and came away having had a full on and immersive experience all round. Many thanks to the West London Hindu community and happy new year.

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