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Hindu Festival Lights Up Edinburgh
Category : January/February/March 2008

SCOTLAND

Hindu Festival Lights Up Edinburgh



The Hindu celebration was a surprisingly all-community affair, enlisting not only the drum and pipe bands, but even the inmates of nearby Saughton Prison. For the second year, the prisoners built the effigies under directions from the Hindu community. Mohindral Dhall, president of the Scottish Indian Arts Forum, expressed gratitude to the inmates, "The work they have done is amazing." Much more elaborate and considerably bigger this year--Ravana topped 46 feet. the figures were a challenge to transport. It took more than four hours to transport the giants up the hill.

This was the tenth year for the Dussehra festival in Edinburgh, which takes place after the nine-day Navaratri celebrations. Organizers expressed their pleasure with the high turnout of youth. The Scottish bagpipe is likely the closest Western instrument to the temple horns of India, and has become a favorite of the Hindu community in the UK for festivals.