On the 22nd May all the girls in Year 7 went on school trip to the Watford Hare Krishna temple.
Our first activity was going on a cart ride. There were bulls that were pulling the cart that we were in. After a few seconds the man who was guiding the bulls asked us if we wanted to drive. Everyone’s hand shot up immediately. He picked two of our classmates and they started to drive. As soon as they started to drive the bulls started to do what bulls do and excrete their waste while walking. Everyone started to laugh, saying it smelt awful. When we got to the temple’s farm there were cows and bulls and an adorable calf. The cows were super cute and quite calm. We all started to stroke them and didn’t want to stop.
After we finished at the farm we went back again to the cart and two different classmates drove then we went to the eco garden where we learnt about why Hare Krishnas are vegetarian. As we walked in we saw a little pond. On the little pond there was a murti of Ganesh. Around the whole garden there were little buddhas in random places, it was really pretty and there was lots of greenery to remind them to care for nature. We then saw the greenhouses full of Holy Basil, which is sa-cred to Krishna.
After the garden we went inside. We had a talk about various artefacts like flower garlands and lamps. Six of us dressed up as the trimurti, the three main gods, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva and their wives. After that we all got to wear saris. It was complicated to put them on but the peo-ple who worked in the temple were very helpful and a few girls in our year were very experienced and corrected all of our mistakes. When we had all finally got our saris on which were beautiful, we got bindis and bangles to finish the look. When we were all dressed up we went into the shrine room to see an act of worship. They were singing and it was called the arti ceremony. We saw the murtis, which are statues of the gods. There was Krishna, Rama and Sita, Rama’s brother Lakshmana and Hanuman. They were dressed in purple and gold and they looked incredible. Apparently they have one hundred and fifty outfits and they get a new one made at each of the six festivals a year. The murtis get six meals a day and are treated like real people. They even have night clothes.
Once the arti ceremony had finished we went to wash our hands and took off our saris and then went to have lunch. At lunch we sat on the floor in long rows either back to back or facing each other. For lunch we were given vegetable curry made with peas, paneer cheese made from the milk of their cows and a tomato sauce, it had some basmati rice, puri (a type of Indian bread) and fafa ( like a prawn cracker but made of vegetables!) with naturally coloured neon edges we also had some chips (not Indian food). For dessert we were each given a small round shortbread biscuit.
After lunch we got our faces painted with floral, swirly and dotty patterns. We also got to buy some things from the gift shop. You could choose from a lot of things ranging from string bracelets and china cows (which were meant to be lucky) to 24 carat gold plated mini statues! Once we had finished all of that we went for a short talk and we got to ask questions, most of it about when our souls moving on from one body to another and the cycle depending on how you have behaved in your past life. We saw a dance as a form of worship and heard some ragis (music). We all really enjoyed the trip and would like to thank all the teachers who organised it.
Avani, Rhiannon and Amy