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UAE: Over 10,000 visitors gather at BAPS Hindu Temple to celebrate Diwali in Abu Dhabi – News

Colors, lights and food fused with tradition engulfed the atmosphere hosting several dignitaries, including the country’s Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence.

By web office

Published: Sun 30 Oct 2022, 7:32 PM

Last update: Sun Oct 30, 2022 8:15 PM

Abu Dhabi’s BAPS Hindu Temple celebrated the Indian Festival of Lights, known as Diwali, on Sunday, welcoming more than 10,000 visitors. Beautiful decorations of colored powder on the floor (rangoli) welcomed devotees to the temple, adorned with colored lights and flowers.

The celebrations began at 11:00 a.m. with an atmosphere engulfed in traditional festivities, greeting hundreds of dignitaries who joined the occasion, including Sheikh Nahyan Mabarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence of the United Arab Emirates.

After lighting a lamp, Sheikh Nahyan wished everyone saying, “May the light of Diwali fill your homes with abundance and bless your relationships with joy and laughter as you share in this wonderful celebration. I share your joy as you rejoice in your victory of light. over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance.

“Diwali is a global celebration that unites people regardless of religion, culture, nationality or caste. Here in the UAE, Diwali has become an important event that celebrates the culture and traditions of India.

“In the spirit of Diwali, Indians everywhere enrich the world – may this Diwali be a special time of new and rekindled relationships, may this day be a joyful occasion that brings you complete peace, may you and your families be blessed with good health, may this Diwali be an occasion to enrich and strengthen peace, love, tolerance and human brotherhood”.

Sheikh Nahyan was guided by Pujya Brahmvihari Swami, Head of BAPS Middle East, through the Mandir construction site. Seeing the stone structure, carvings and pillars, the Minister praised the craftsmanship: “This Mandir is going to be iconic and unique. The craftsmanship is intricate and amazing, and the place will help spread global harmony.

Other dignitaries included Sunjay Sudhir, India’s Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates. Jose Aguero Avila, Ambassador of the Republic of Paraguay to the United Arab Emirates.

Well-wishers enjoyed an intricate and decorative display of 1,200 foods known as Annakut (a mountain of food), as well as a thoughtful display celebrating 100 years of BAPS spiritual leader – Pujya Pramukh Swami Maharaj.

In preparation for the festivities, 400 volunteers, young and old, gave their time to help create decorations, prepare children’s Diwali and set the stage for the most important ritual of Diwali, “Annakut”, a traditional offering of food to God. to celebrate the start of the Hindu New Year.

Visitors were able to witness different deep-rooted cultural programs including devotional songs performed by prominent Indian communities.

Sharing some feelings from his visit, Sharad Parmar said, “My family and I had an amazing time celebrating and visiting BAPS Temple. As soon as we entered the site, we were greeted by courteous volunteers directly from the parking lot. »

Another visitor, Nikita Odedra from London, was particularly impressed with the marquee decorations after her first visit to the site with her family. She said, “I am deeply moved after reading the detailed history leading to the construction of the Mandir and the BAPS organization.

A fairground area for children was also set up, where they took part in various interactive activities and instructive games.

In line with Diwali and Hindu New Year feelings of thanks and expression of gratitude, a blood camp was held in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Blood Bank to enable visitors to support the community and people in the need.