SOUTH SALT LAKE — In an effort to pass their values and traditions on to a younger generation, the local Bhutanese community will host a week-long religious event beginning this weekend.
The event, Shrimad Bhagawat Mahapuran Gyan Mahayagya, is typically held at least once a year within Hindu families in places such as India and Nepal, but this is the first time the event is being held in Utah, according to Bhutanese community board member Gyanu Dulal.
Bhutanese people have been resettled all over the country, Dulal said, and families have been broken apart.
During the event, priests will recite stories to the audience from the Hindu book, Shrimad Bhagawat Mahapuran.
"We need scholars who have a certain degree to recite and explain the story to the people," Dulal said. "In many states there are no priests and it is costly to hire from other states. People have to work and all the members many not be able to take days off at the same time."
Dulal said the main purpose of this event is to give the old generation the opportunity to listen to this holy book and the stories in it.
He added they are doing it "for the peace and brotherhood among us all in the world," and that they will be praying for the salvation of the martyrs of the peaceful demonstration in Bhutan and for those who died in the Nepal earthquake and natural calamities in other parts of the world.
The holy procession will occur Aug. 1. at 11p.m., where at least 100 Bhutanese locals are expected to participate. They will wear cultural dress as they travel from 3300 South and 500 East to 965 E. 3370 South, where the event will take place.
The inauguration of the event will take place Sunday at 9 a.m. The event will continue until Aug. 8 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The daily events will end early Aug. 8 so they can have additional programs, Dulal said.
Each day, priests will perform recitations from the Shrimad Bhagawat Mahapuran, which will teach audiences about the creation of the world and why the Supreme God created mankind, according to event leader and priest Dhana Bhattarai.
Because the book is written in Sanskrit, which most do not understand, one priest will recite while another will interpret in their own language.
"It is very important that these important things are passed on to the young generation," Bhattarai said.
During this event, cash prizes will be awarded to Bhutanese students in ninth to twelfth grade who have earned straight A's in school. This will encourage youths to perform well academically and to attend college, Dulal said.
Dulal added in the future, they hope to have a local Hindu temple where they can light oil lamps and incense sticks.