On sunday Nov 12, we rented a cab and went clear across town to participate in the celebrations of the Birth of Baha’u’llah.
The Baha’i center is in the process of moving to this new center that looks like an old school with a nice enclosed area on a fairly busy street. It took us an hour to get there on Sunday traffic. I can imagine that it would take twice as long on a week night.
We were earmly welcomed by the friends. Two young girls handed us a flower as we entered the area. We were directled to an open area under a tree. They set up a stage, a mike, and about 100 chairs.
The progrm started around 11:15 AM, and consisted of two young men acting as MCs. One was an American (from his accent) and the other was an Indian who would sometimes transalate in to Kannada, the local language. They started the program with some music and sing alongs including some we hear in Corvallis – “If you are happy you can clap..”, “Down by the riverside”, some songs in Kannada. Then the formal program started by the MCs inviting an older couple (Persian) to come and light a lamp. The lamp (an oil lamp) in a tall brass stem standing on the floor, somewhat like what you would see in many hindu temples.
Then they invited three children and come and sing, followed by a larger group of children. The then had two kids one reciting a sanskrit passage that told the story of the two great Hindu epics the story of Rama, as well as the story that the Bhagavad Gita forms a part of. There was a number of people holding symbols of various religions as they introduced the story of Baha’u’llah and used the opportunity to invite the audience to join in bringing out the highlights of His message.
After some prayers, they had a game of charade with aout half the audience participating. We had participants from Malaysia, Africa, the US, Europe, Thailand, China, Tiwan, Singapore and people from several other states from India. Sometimes they had to translate in more than one language.
Then they were going to serve lunch. But because of our tight schedule, we left after the program. We probably will not see the friends again here. We will probably go to a feast on Nov 22 in Hyderabad where they will be speaking a different language Telugu (that is my mother tongue).
We met Kevin, an American who has been in India for 3 years with his wife Brianna and two kids. He is involved in getting software companies set up to international standards. he said his father lived in Oregon many years ago.