08 February 2011
Today is a holiday in Nepal. The Hindu religion does not have a special day of the week where people gather and worship, but this is done connected with the holidays. Each one is different, and the way of celebrating is different. Some are huge affairs and continue on for days or even a week. On this occasion, members of the community gathered around the little shrine across the street. A variety of acts were performed, including keeping the bell ringing, preparing food and offering it to the idol, a little dancing and shouting, chasing the dogs away from the food, lining up for a blessing of sorts from the man (in this case, not a Hindu priest) who seemed to be officiating. Folks passing by often paused to bow or participate for a few moments, then went on their way. Some of the people weeemed very involved and some were only spectators. I have no idea what they were hoping to accomplish or the significance of the various acts. I have been told that most Hindus also do not know, but they just follow along. Our parter, with whom I am living, kept his kids home from school today because all of these things are part of the Hindu worship and they were practiced in the schools as well. I started to write another paragraph, comparing this to similar situations in the Christian world, but I think most of the readers "get" it. While you are thinking about that, do return to the fact that every Hindu is a person uniquely created by the same God who created you, who knows him like He knows you, loves him like He loves you. But the Hindu man is bowing down to another god.