April 16, 2011
Chaitra Shukla Trayodashi, Kaliyug Varsha 5113
UNITED KINGDOM: Any visitor to the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir could not fail to be awed. Everyone from Princess Diana to Jimmy Carter has paid a visit. On 27 October 2000 it broke a world record by serving 1,247 vegetarian dishes to mark the start of the Hindu new year.
The temple is in suburban north-west London, in Neasden, where it nestles incongruously near rows of Edwardian terraces. The site was chosen partly because of the region’s large number of Hindus, many of whom arrived from Uganda after being expelled by Idi Amin in the 1970s.
As Yogesh Patel, a spokesman for the temple, acknowledges, the suburb was attractive to Hindu migrants because of “better employment prospects … the choice of good schools and business opportunities”.
The temple, which has a highly successful independent school, is testimony to something significant happening in Britain, a shift that has been occurring largely without notice. Second- and third-generation migrant communities are on the move, driven by increasing affluence and aspiration. “We are seeing an emerging segment of dynamic young professionals, successful entrepreneurs and ambitious, resourceful wealth creators, all giving back to our country, enriching it economically, socially, culturally,” Patel said.
Source: Hinduism Today