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BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London

Saturday 10 April 2010

CELEBRATING WOMEN OF THE PAST: Revealing how Hinduism has empowered women

The opening day of the two-day conference illustrated the role of Hindu values in empowering women of the past.

The auspicious beginning of the conference was signalled in emphatic yet traditional style with the sounding of shankhs (conch shells). Vedic mantras and corresponding visuals on the wide backdrop screen all accompanied a traditional ‘divo dance’ (using lighted lamps) to warmly welcome the delegates to what promised to be an enlightening experience.

Additionally, the deep pragatya (sacred lighting of the lamp) was conducted by a group of invited guests, including Sarah Teather (Liberal Democrat Candidate for Brent Central), Dawn Butler (Minister for Young Citizens and Youth), Councillor Ann John OBE (Leader of the Brent Labour Group) and Councillor Anjana Patel (Schools and Children’s Development Portfolio Holder for Harrow).

The grand opening ceremony perfectly set the stage for what was to follow – a theatrical musical production portraying inspirational Hindu women of the past. Titled Haridarshan, the 75-minute musical introduced female exemplars of faith, wisdom and devotion from various Hindu eras. The over 180-member cast and crew delivered a flawless performance that left the audience riveted to their seats. [Click here to learn more about this thrilling performance.]

An exhibition further supporting the achievements and roles of Hindu women was also on display for delegates as they made their way for dinner. The buffet meal was served with light entertainment including magic, stand-up comedy and live music.