Nepalese community in Vancouver organizes food drive for Surrey Food Bank

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THE Hindu Buddhist Foundation of Canada (HBFC), a Canadian charity organization established by Nepalese community in Vancouver, last Saturday organized a “Panch Daan” program at Surrey Central Library for donations for Surrey Food Bank.

HBFC secretary Dr. Sunil Hamal welcomed everyone and invited Ramesh Sthapit to say a few words about “Panch Daan.” Sthapit explained that “Panch Daan” is an age old tradition of giving away five righteous donations that includes khir (rice pudding), food grains, pulses, salt and money.

Sangita Sthapit chanted Pancha Shila Prarthana (prayer) and everyone in attendance repeated after her. At the conclusion of the prayer, some of the donated foods trays were passed on from one person to another before finally being offered to Lord Buddha. The passing of the trays enabled everyone to touch the tray and symbolized group offering of food items. HBFC President Madhu Acharya recited the Punnyanumodana (Daan Gatha) Mantras in Sanskrit after which the remaining food trays were passed on from one person to another before being offered to Lord Buddha.

Acharya said that the Nepalese community do not have their own temple or cultural centre in the Lower Mainland, so the HBFC is planning to establish a Nepalese mandir very soon in Vancouver and needs everyone’s support.