KREFELD, GERMANY, March 24, 2015 (RP Online): Krefeld’s only Hindu temple has been completely renovated. The colorful reopening celebration hosted many visitors. The reason for this big celebration: “According to our religious tradition we have, in the last few months, completely renovated our temple after twelve years and cleaned inside and out – we want to celebrate with all our supporters,” says Thanuja Baskaran.
One of these supporters is the Catholic priest Albert Koolen, the chaplain who came about 18 years ago to Krefeld and assumed care for the refugees, mostly Tamils, from Sri Lanka. To give them the opportunity to practice their faith, he helped them find a suitable place to set up an earlier version of the temple in Oppum district. Later space became available at the Mies van Rohe Business Park site.
From the outside, the Hindu temple is as austere industrial building. There’s no trace of the masterful Indian religious architecture inside. The basic requirements of the landlord was to make no visible structural change to the building’s exterior. However, the interior has been intricately remodeled and decorated. Some 300 Tamil families come to worship with traditional prayer; they come from Krefeld and the surrounding area.
Loud drums announced the grand entrance of “Shakira” the cow. Amidst great rejoicing she was led into the hall – one of the highlights of the four-day festival in Sri Nagapoosani Ampal Hindu temple on Girmesgath Street. “The cow is a sacred animal in our faith,” says Thanuja Baskaran, Deputy Chairman of the Tamil Cultural Association.