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Hindu leader asks people to experience cultural diversity

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LAHORE: Hinduism is the third largest belief system in the whole world, and different thoughts of this religion are manifested in celebration of festivals, including Diwali and the rituals that follow, was stated by Hindu Sudhar Sabha (HSS) President Amarnath Randhawa while addressing a post-Diwali event. In collaboration with the Institute for Peace and Secular Studies (IPSS), the Hindu Sudhar Sabha arranged the event at the Loyola Hall.

Addressing the gathering, Amarnath said their community development organisation had tried its level best to enable people from different communities to experience a snapshot of a rich tradition and cultural aspect of Hinduism.

At the start of the event, the participants lit earthen oil lamps, honouring an age-old tradition inside the Loyola Hall. The participants also prepared the rangoli, a colourful pattern created using different colours and flower petals inside and on the front side of the hall.

Besides Hindus, Muslims and Christians also participated in the event to show that harmony existed among people from various religions. The participants offered special prayers and set off fireworks. Pandit Deep Chand Chohan informed the participants that Diwali marks Lord Rama’s homecoming and subsequent crowning.

He said that Diwali was the most awaited festival among Hindus, celebrated to mark the return of Lord Rama to Ayodhya after a 14-year exile, as described in ancient epics. He said that followers of Hinduism celebrate Diwali with religious fervour, devotion, traditional zeal and great enthusiasm.

“Diwali was a Sanskrit word meaning ‘rows of lighted lamps.’ It is one of the most famous festivals celebrated by the Hindu community across the world. People light candles and mud lamps just to symbolise the triumph of good over evil,” he said.

Pandit Manghat Ram Sharma said that Diwali sends a message of brotherhood. According to Ramayana and Geeta, Rama and Hanuman defeated Ravana, who had kidnapped Sita (Rama’s wife) while the couple was living in exile in a forest, he said. IPSS Executive Director Sayeeda Diep and Thakur Kasturi Lal also addressed the event.

Singers Shafaq Ali, Asees Arshad, Mursil Butt, Arun Morari, Rahul Raj, Raheel Pitras, dancers Shahid Baloch, Kamran Baloch and Amina Bhatti also performed on the occasion.

 

Published in Daily Times, October 26th 2017.

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