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Rath yatra in the middle of Manhattan

June 11, 2007
Mama, why are these men and women dancing in the streets," a young girl asked her mother as the annual Hare Krishna Ratha Yatra was winding its way down New York's Fifth avenue. "They are Hindus, they are like us," the mother said. "They are showing their devotion to Lord Krishna. Dancing and singing is one way to show others that religion gives us happiness."

"But mama," the girl who could be eight or nine said, "Look, many of them look different. They are not Indians."

The mother then went on to tell the girl that next time someone tells her Hinduism is an Indian religion, she ought to tell them it is a world religion and that people who were born into other religions are also accepting it.

"Look, they do not feel shy to be Hindus," she continued. "They do not afraid to tell people they are not killing animals so that they have their hamburgers."

Image: Devotees dancing down Fifth Avenue, New York, on Saturday, June 9, as the ISKCON rath yatra winds its way
Photographs: Paresh Gandhi

Also see: Following the Puri Jagannath yatra

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