UK Hindu school
Pupils have begun classes at the UK’s first state-funded Hindu school. The Krishna-Avanti Voluntary Aided Primary School in Edgware, north London, serves a community where almost a third of people are Hindu.
Although the school lessons will follow the national curriculum, the education experience will be based on Hindu values and beliefs. Pupils will also have the opportunity to practise meditation and yoga, and school lunches will follow a strictly vegetarian diet. There will be lessons in the classical Sanskrit language.
The intake of 30 five-year-olds are presently in temporary accommodation in a neighbouring school, while their five-acre, £11m site is completed. Hindu community leaders say they hope it will be the first of many such schools in the UK.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Hindus gathered on the banks of the River Mersey in Liverpool for a special religious ceremony. The Mersey is worshipped by British Hindus as a holy river.
Many boarded the Royal Daffodil ferry for the ceremony of immersion which involves clay figures representing the Hindu Lord Ganesh, the elephant deity riding a mouse, being submerged in the river from a ferry boat. Followers also threw flowers, pictures and coins into the river.