Israel celebrates Janmashtami
Harish (Israel): The chants of 'Hare Rama Hare Krishna' reverberated the air in this small Israeli town as devotees, irrespective of caste and creed, descended from all over the country to celebrate the Krishna Janmashtami.
Harish has become the home of Krishna devotees, popularly known as 'Hare Krishnas', who have settled down here and formed a small community.
They staged plays revolving around stories of Krishna's childhood, besides singing and dancing just like devotees in India. The event was accompanied with a somptous feast of 108 dishes, a number that has come to be identified as pious by the faithful.
Ithamar Theodor, who teaches Indian culture at the Department of Asian Studies of Haifa University, said, "There is a general attraction towards Indian culture. It is not just a religious attraction but more of a cultural attraction."
"The process of Americanisation in Israel has left a void which is very well filled by the Indian cultural aspects ranging from its spirituality, philosophy, music and a whole range of other alternatives," he said.