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Victoria Hindus to host Saturday fundraiser for Nepal relief

Victoria Hindus, including members of the tiny local Nepalese community, will host a fundraiser on Saturday to help Nepal recover from a massive earthquake.
WORLD NEWS NEPAL-EARTHQUAKE.jpg
Shivaram Pariyar, centre, black handkerchief, walks through a quake-ravaged neighborhood near Katmandu's long-distance bus depot on May 5.

Victoria Hindus, including members of the tiny local Nepalese community, will host a fundraiser on Saturday to help Nepal recover from a massive earthquake.

Everyone is welcome to drop by the Victoria Hindu Temple in Central Saanich and make a donation for earthquake assistance. Suresh Basrur, temple spokesman for the event, said Nepalese members of the temple are expected to speak about what they and their families are going through following the devastating earthquake on the weekend of April 25.

Saturday is also the day the Victoria Hindu Temple marks the birthday of Buddha, of great significance to Nepal.

While most people in the country are Hindu, Nepal is recognized as the birthplace of Buddha, and about 10 per cent of the population is Buddhist.

In some cultural observances, Nepalese Hindus have adopted and celebrate elements of Buddhism, even in Victoria.

“The Nepalese families celebrate Buddha’s birthday every year at the temple,” Basrur said. “And we celebrate it together as a community.”

This year, however, the earthquake will cast a solemn note over the evening.

“We want people to join us in prayer for the earthquake victims in Nepal,” said Basrur. “We can send some monetary support, but we can also provide support in terms of our prayers and our hopes.”

Doors at the Victoria Hindu Temple, 1934 Cultra Ave., open at noon and will remain open until 9:30 p.m.

Prayers and chanting will begin about 6:30 p.m. About 8:30 p.m., everyone will be asked to join in a meal. For details, go to victoriahindutemple.com.