Indian expats celebrate Janmashtami in Abu Dhabi
Thousands of Indian expatriates marked Janmashtami, the annual Hindu festival celebrating the birth of Lord Krishna, with various events across Abu Dhabi, the media reported on Sunday.
Festivities started on Saturday at the BAPS Hindu Mandir site and various associations across the capital and Al Ain during the evening hours, the Khaleej Times reported.
The celebrations included singing devotional songs, recitation of holy book Bhagvad Gita, praying together for peace and harmony, dance-drama plays, swinging the cradle of baby Krishna and more.
There were close to 4,000 devotees at the BAPS Hindu Mandir site.
"The festival is a celebration of the victory of good over evil and one that reminds us of our personal responsibility to live righteous lives," volunteer Pranav Desai said.
BAPS Hindu Mandir priests and officials thanked the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Indian leadership for the historic and first-of-its-kind festival.
"We are all blessed to be living in a nation that supports the universal values of tolerance and harmony," the Khaleej Times quoted senior priest of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, Swami Brahmaviharidas as saying.
"I believe this is as much a celebration of this Year of Tolerance and it is of Janmashtami," said BAPS Hindu Mandir chairman Dr B.R. Shetty.
Vipul, Consul-General of India in Dubai, attending on behalf of Navdeep Singh Suri, Indian Ambassador to the UAE, said the upcoming temple and the festival were symbols of the shared values and friendship between the two nations.
In another event, some 2,500 blue-collar workers from various workers' accommodations took part in an event hosted by ISKCON. IANS