Hackney Hindus call for temple at Sai Baba Palkhi procession
- Credit: Savio Mathews
Hackney's Hindu community held an annual procession over the weekend where a priest spoke of the need for a new temple to be built to meet the community's needs.
Devotees from the Hindu Sai Baba Temple on Downham Road carried an idol as part of the annual Sai Baba Palkhi procession on October 9 which is based on a 1,000-year-old tradition.
They followed a set route accompanied by hymns and chants and were joined by former Hackney speaker Kam Adams and representatives from the Mayor's office.
Councillor Kam Adams said: “This is a testimony to the diversity of Hackney."
The councillor also shared his fond recollections of the Diwali celebrations, also known as the festival of lights, organised at Hackney Council while he was speaker.
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The Hindu temple's cultural event had religious hymns, instrumental performances featuring traditional instruments such as a Sitar and Mridangam as well as violins, guitars, flutes and a Bharatnatyam dance performance.
The dance is a form of Indian classical dance that originated in a region known today as Tamil Nadu.
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Swami Moorthy, the priest of the Sai Baba Temple, shared his plans for the constructions of a new temple to meet the needs of the Hindu community in Hackney and the City.
Speaking about the urgent need for a temple he said: “Hackney has churches, mosques and synagogues but no Hindu temple or hall to meet the needs of the community.
"Hindus have to make their way to places like Croydon and Ilford for religious ceremonies and weddings.”
Swami Moorthy also thanked Hackney Council for their encouragement and support of the many diverse communities in the borough.
Throughout the Covid pandemic the Sai Baba Hindu temple also cooked and served more than 1,500 free hot meals to hospital staff at Homerton Hospital.
Devotees at the temple funded this service through donations.
Newham General Hospital staff also received free hot meals through the Ayyappa Temple in Manor Park, also managed by Swami Moorthy.
The Sai Baba temple also conducts meditation classes open to all every day from 9-10 am and can be contacted on 020 7254 5045 and 07513 669664 for further enquiries and support.