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Hindu Katha Festival: The 8-Day Festival in England encourages Youngsters to adopt a Grandparent

Hindu Katha festival is a religious event which will welcome the saint his Holiness Shri Rameshbhai Oza

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A woman with her grandfather. Image Source : Wikimedia Commons
  • Hindu Katha festival is a religious festival scheduled to be held from July 26 to August 2
  • The festival is encouraging the adoption of grandparents by younger people
  • It is going to be one of its kind festival in Leicester, England

Hindu Katha festival is nothing unheard of but there are more than one reasons that make this festival an interesting one. Taking place in Leicester, England and starting from July 26 to August 2, the 8-day festival is a religious event which will welcome the saint his Holiness Shri Rameshbhai Oza, who is popularly known as Bhaishri and is a living saint and scholar. He will read excerpts from the Bhagavad Gita and enlighten people who will be attending the festival.

Shri Rameshbhai Ozra. Image Source : totalbhakti.in
Shri Rameshbhai Ozra. Image Source : totalbhakti.in

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Another reason, that makes this festival an interesting one is that the young people will be encouraged to look after the elder people and will also get the opportunity to adopt a grandparent. While adopting children is nothing uncommon, but adopting grandparents truly are. Inculcation of this system will encourage the mingling of the younger generation with the elderly. Indian culture has always taught one to respect the elders of the family and otherwise. This value will be instilled in the younger people if they develop a bond with the elder people who will be attending the event.

Image Source : newsindiaonline.in
Image Source : newsindiaonline.in

The organisers hope that the bond that will be formed between the two generations and individuals will not remain within the confines of the Katha festival only, reported leicestermercury.co.uk. They are hopeful that the younger individuals would visit the lonely old grandparents that they had adopted during the festival even after the fest is over. It is their dream that these young ones will continue to strengthen their bonds by visiting them in their care homes.

Dipak Lakhani, one of the sponsors of the recital, said to leicestermercury.co.uk, “The youth will also benefit from potentially developing and establishing a long-standing bond with them. “We hope that the youth continues to meet these individuals in their care homes and spend time with as they would after the eight-day Katha.”

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Mahesh Thakrar, one of the organisers added, “We are all ecstatic; this is going to be a legendary Katha leaving a mark of love and spirituality into all our lives. We are honoured to be volunteers for this Katha by helping to sponsor it along with other businesses, too.”

– prepared by Atreyee Sengupta, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter : Etrui14

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Hindu Icons Which Have Spiritual Significance

These icons have to be treated with extreme respect and should not be touched or removed without the owners consent.

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rangoli
Rangoli, Toran, Aum and Swastika – optional display inside or outside the home. Pixabay

Hindu Council of Australia has compiled a list of Hindu Icons that Hindus may wear on their body and which have spiritual significance. This list has been made to remove confusion among non-Hindus about what is sacred to Hindus.

Hindu Sacraments worn on the body

Hindu icons all year round

bangles
Bangles worn on wrists by women – a cultural item. Pixabay

Scared Hindu icons that can not be removed

  1. Nose stud – essential for girls during puberty, can not be removed for one year.
  2. Yajnopavit/Janaue – essential for boys after their Yajnopavit right of passage, once worn can not be removed and worn again without extensive rituals (not even during swimming lessons)
  3. Sindoor/Mangalsutra – essential for married women. Removal is not permitted while husband is alive.
  4. Choti/Shikha – small hair tail for boys during a right of passage.
  5. Pagdi (Turban, A cloth wrapped around the head) – touching or removing it is disrespectful. It can be removed for a short period in privacy, like when having a shower and must be worn as soon as possible.
  6. Sivalingam (Veera and Adi Shiva people, Lingayat) or other Hindu Gods as pendant in a necklace.

Sacred Hindu icons that can be removed by the wearer

  1. Bindi – optional for women and girls, it can not be removed by others.
  2. Bangles worn on wrists by women – a cultural item
  3. Kondhani – a bracelet made of black thread worn around the waist
  4. Anklets (Pahjeb, Payal) – a metal bracelet worn on ankles
  5. Ear rings/studs for boys and girls in some families
  6. Gem stone on rings for special effects of planets
  7. Hindu Sacraments worn on Special Occasions

    Anklets (Pahjeb, Payal) – a metal bracelet worn on ankles
    Anklets (Pahjeb, Payal) – a metal bracelet worn on ankles. Pixabay
  1. Tulsi Mala – A necklace of Tulsi beads. During special religious observations.
  2. Teeka, Tilak, Vibhuti – essential during Hindu prayers, optional otherwise
  3. Mehendi/henna/turmeric – essential when getting married or when a close family member gets married, optional for married women during karva chauth day. Henna is a fast colour (looks like a emporary tatto) that takes a week or more to fade away
  4. Men are not allowed to cut their hair during Sabramalai month (Mid of November to January 14/15)
  5. Rakhi – a special bracelet worn on special festival day of Rakhi.
  6. Kajal/Surma (dark black eye ointment)
  7. Raksha/mouli – multi colour thread bracelet as a protective icon during special days
  8. Gajra – a flower arrangement by woman at the back of there hair.

Hindu icons in a Hindu home

These icons have to be treated with extreme respect and should not be touched or removed without the owners consent.

  1. Rangoli, Toran, Aum and Swastika – optional display inside or outside the home.
  2. Home shrine

(Originally Published: Hindu Council of Australia)