While India was celebrating Janmashtami in its traditional way with small ‘Jhankis’ and ‘Dahi Handis’, Jews in the small town of Harish in Israel were celebrating the festival in their own unique way.
Harish is home to many ‘Hare Krishna’ devotees in Israel. On the occasion of Janmashtami, hundreds of devotees, most of whom are Jews, reach the small town chanting “Hare Rama, Hare Krishna”.
According to India Today, most of the devotees of Hare Krishna in Israel are settled in Harish.
Though a majority of the ‘Hare Krishna’ followers are Jews, they express their devotion freely in the town.
They follow the same practice that they had learned during their visits to the city of Vrindavan and Mayapur in India. Thus, on the occasion of Janmashtami, they become the centre of attention in Israel.
Karen, a follower, said:
“I have a strong attraction towards Indian culture but this group has also contributed majorly to the strong inclination and I haven’t missed out on these celebrations since I was introduced to them some 14 years ago.”
During Janamasthmi, just like in India, many portray the life of Krishna and sing and dance late into the night. They also have ‘Krishna Prasadam’ – 108 vegetarian dishes – served to the guests at the end of the cultural programs.