HAMBURG, GERMANY, September 26, 2017 (Deutschlandfunk, translated from German): The small Jyoti Maiyya Temple in the Stellingen district of Hamburg is well visited during these high holy days. The insignificant former office building is decorated with garlands. More than 200 people participate in ceremonies lasting more than one hour. Jyoti Maiyya is one of three Hindu temples in the city, 15,000 Hindus live here, including 4,000 Afghan Hindus.
Ram Prasad Bhatt is a Hindi lecturer at the Hamburg University and is familiar with the festival from India. “Navaratri actually means ‘nine nights’. These nine nights are devoted to the Goddess Durga, and the highest and all-powerful female power in the form of the mother Goddess is revered during the nine days.” “This is one of the most important Hindu festivals celebrated in all of India, especially in Bengal, where Durga-puja, is a very popular and a very important festival, celebrated by the Sikhs and Jains also. As I have seen, the Buddhists have also celebrated the festival, at least in the Himalayas and Nepal, and some Muslims are also celebrating,” says Bhatt.