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CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Okinawa’s Hindu community has invited everyone to join in celebrating one of the major Hindu holidays, Dasara, on Sunday at the Camp Foster Chapel.

Anuja Sabnis, the lay leader of Chinmaya Mission West, said Dasara, also known as Dusharah, is one of two main Hindu holidays to be celebrated every October in India. This year it falls on Monday

“The mode and the festivities vary a great deal across the subcontinent,” she said. Depending on the place, celebrations vary from a day to an entire month.

“It is celebrated by appreciating all tools that help one earn one’s livelihood,” Sabnis said. The tools — books, pens or computers for “knowledge workers”; ploughs and other agricultural tools for farmers; machinery for industrialists; and cars, buses and trucks for drivers — are decorated with flowers and “worshiped on this day invoking God’s blessing for success in coming years,” she said.

“Soldiers or warriors also polish their weapons and decorate them in anticipation of success with the gods’ blessings,” she said.

Sabnis said some parts of India celebrate the holiday with communal dances and that festive food is another important part of the celebrations.

She said she is available every Sunday at noon at the Hindu Room in the Camp Foster Chapel. Each regular service includes the invocation of deities through chants and prayers, readings from the Bhagavad-Gita and a DVD discourse by Swami Chinmayananda.

For more information about the services, celebrations and to learn more about yoga, meditation and other spiritual activities, contact Sabnis at commercial 956-4820 or by e-mail at: anujasabnis@yahoo.com.

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