Saturday, September 20, 2008

Festival of India!

A couple of Saturday's ago...(I know I apologize for the lack of updates, the "private blog" life is dull...) I went to the Festival of India at the Sri Sri Krishna Temple. Can I just say amazing? My friends and I got there when it started at four. At first I was a little skeptical when it we were pretty much the only people there and it was blazing hot! But as five thirty rolled around things picked up. To start the day off I got a henna tattoo of lotus blossoms done on my hand, I thought it was pretty sweet, lol. The girl who did my henna was really interesting too!

After waiting in the ridiculously long line to receive my dose of henna, I walked over and watched a band playing traditional Hindu music. The melody though foreign and strange to my western ears were still beautiful. The early performances were divided between Indian dancers and musicians, sometimes they combined. One dancer was incredible! She preforms all over the world. One of the head honchos of the temple said how lucky we were to have her here, and how they try to recrute her as often as possible. After watching the performances for awhile I journeyed inside the temple to look.

Sorry I have to start a new paragraph for this part, the man I met on the top floor was so cool he deserves his own paragraph! Anyway, when I walked up the stairs I discovered a peculiar room with a man (the guru) sitting...lets see I will try to describe this....people sitting formed an angled fan shape around him and it was like he was sitting where the handle would be...? Lol, I know, I know crappy visual but its the best I could come up with at the moment. Anyway the room was designed to make everyone sitting feel included. The guru sat lotus style and read ancient Hindu text and answered questions people had. After that we all started dancing, and the guru who mind you looked very old, small, and frail had a wide grin on his face and was jumping higher than any of us combined!!! He yelled: "Come one dance!" "Dance!" as he thrust up his arms and beckoned to us! I couldn't believe it, I was inlove...(not in a romantic way mind you) with this man by the end of the night. I was blessed to meet with him later that night when things inside had settled down and people were flooding outside for the Ramayana pageant and have a good discussion with him. You could tell that he honestly believed in what he was doing. He sacrificed everything to come to the temple and help bring enlightenment to people. I am not of Hindu faith, but I can respect that. He was such a cheerful happy man. When I go back for the Festival of Color I hope to meet with him again.

Even though we were late exiting to get seating for the pageant, my friends and I were able to weasel our way up to a really good spot. I'll give Adam credit for that lol. Before the performance began there were several dance performances! It was beautiful. Then the pageant. Well...aside from the small town feel, was really good. And at the end Ram shot his arrow (a firework!) at the 10ft wood statue of Ravana which then lit on fire and literally exploded with fireworks! A new feature this year! I hope they can keep the tradition up.

I love learning about cultures and religions. I would recommend this festival to anyone, but don't show up till about six. We were two hours too early, lol. After that it was fantastic!

(Here is the Guru!)
(Here he is again!)
(Oh! I forgot to mention this, after the pagant they had a Hindi rock band perform! Pretty much was a blast!)
(The lady above is the one that has preformed everywhere.)

(Big Statue they burned!)
(Main performers! Woo-hoo!)

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