So… It’s Mike here and I am going to keep this short because I don’t have the patience for this writing malarky but also because, quite simply it is difficult to put in to words the experience that spending 24 hours at the New Braj Festival with such amazingly loving, caring, crazy, spiritual, crazy, colorful, crazy & dedicated people provided us with.
We were lucky and honored to be invited to the annual New Braj Hare Krisha celebration festival in the mountains at Badger CA by our family Sadbhuja Madhavi and co. From the moment we arrived, it was clear that the belief and faith that these guys have in their religion is quite simply stunning and at the same time, completely alien to us!
Music with plenty of spiritual moshing going down, worship, plays to portray Krishna’s message and teachings as well as bucket loads of preparations (grub) which forms offerings to Krishna before being enjoyed by all were just a few of the important ritualistic activities taking place! There were around 300 people at the festival, and I overheard someone saying there were 1,000 preparations (dishes) on offer for all!!
For us, we had never witnessed anything like this, and such was the tornado of faith that we became swept up in, I really cannot and do not have the ability to do the detail justice! Suffice to say, these people knew that we were not part of their religion but welcomed us with open arms and we totally loved it!
Come the middle of the second day the kids were knackered, perhaps mentally from the sensory monsoon of music chanting and frantic activity (boy did they dance!!) but ultimately it was the heat up in the mountains at Badger CA (100+) that did for all 5 of us in the end ! And so we left after 1 day when we were scheduled for 2 leaving the guys to get stuck in on this hugely important and symbolic end to this week long festival. To be able to give the ferals this chance to experience an insight in to a faith which in many ways makes a whole loada sense, and to get them dolled up in face garment and turbans was something we will never forget! The experience for Kayleigh and I, was equally worthwhile.
Final few thoughts from me (don’t worry, Kay will be back soon) – Have faith, respect all beliefs and don’t shake an Indian by his left hand (huge insult if they shake you with a leftie, traditionally that’s the bum wiper):)