Hundreds of Kashmiri Hindus from in and around London attended the 2nd Annual Kheerbhawani puja and hawan at Rama Krishna Temple in Romford (East London) on Sunday, 14th June 2015. Organised by the Kashmiri Pandits Cultural Society, UK the effort was to recreate the actual Kheerbhawani puja held in Kashmir and continue the religious traditions of the Kashmiri Hindu community. A scattered community of around 400 families across UK, the Kashmiri Hindus, the Pandits are a community in exile now in the 25th year. Through the years in exile, some of the community members have gone on to make careers and build their lives for the better however, owing to having been uprooted from their homes the struggle over the years has not only remained limited to the geo-political demand but also of identity.
KPCS UK for the last 4 years has made a huge difference to the community cohesion as well as awareness of not only the Kashmiri Hindu cause but also their religious, social, cultural traditions.
The puja held in Romford was the second one in the UK, the first ever having been organised in Southall at the Vishwa Hindu Kendra last year by KPCS volunteers. The hawan and puja was conducted in the methodology followed at the main Kheer Bhawani temple with the mother Goddess seated inside a water body and offerings made to her at the hawan.
"We had a wonderful puja and havan of Mata Tulmul Khir Bhavani (Kshira Bhavani) of Kashmir. Felt totally blessed. Thanks to all the Kashmiri Hindu members at KPCS," says Madhava Turumella, a Hindu scholar and priest who conducted the hawan along with the Shri Rama Krishna temple, Romford Priest Sanjay Pandit.
"It is wonderful to see our community connecting to roots and initating young children in these events," says Sunil Raina from New Delhi, India. "
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