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150th Birth Anniversary celebrations of Swami Vivekananda in Botswana

July 29,2013  IST

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The 150th Birthday Anniversary of the great Indian leader and monk, Swami Vivekananda, was celebrated in Botswana in the Capital City of Gaborone for four days, starting from Thu 18th Jul to Sun 21st Jul. The events were organised by a group of Indians but various Cultural and Spiritual organisations took part in it. The organising committee brought Srimat Swami Vimokshanandhaji, the spiritual head of the Ramakrishna Centre of South Africa to grace the entire programme. About 10 devotees of Sri Ramakrishna Center of South Africa accompanied Swami during his visit.
The function for day 1 was conducted at Sri Balaji Temple, Gaborone. The function started at 6.00 PM with a ritualistic welcome to Swami Vimokshanandhaji followed by a pious pooja to Lord Balaji. Then a group of devotees delivered a sequence of wonderful classical music programme and bhajans. Next to it, Swami Vimokshanandhaji delivered a speech to devotees and the function ended with maha prasad to all.
On the 2nd day the programme wad held at Sri Sathya Sai Center of Gaborone. The programme started at 7.30PM with a prayer. In this programme the youth leader from Sri Ramakrishna Center South Africa, Br.Yogan Naidoo delivered the Welcome address. Swami Vimokshanandhaji delivered the keynote address. Honarable Deputy Minister of Agriculture Mr. Oreeditse Moebatsi delivered the Guest of honor speech. Hon. Indian High Commissioner HE Madhav Chandra delivered a speech as well. A group of devotees sang bhajans. On this commooration day, Swami released the Souvenir about Swami Vivekanandha and the first copy was presented to the Minister. All devotees and publice were served with Maha prasad. Savonir
On the 3rd day morning, about 400 children of Old Naledi Day care center were served breakfast. The evening programme held at Botswana Hindu Society hall. This programme started by Vedic chanting by Balvihas children. This was followed by a couple of cultural dances by the pupil of the Indian School of Dance and Music. Master Spursh Govind, dressed like Swami Vivekanda's and mimicked his famous Chicago speech. Indian High Commissioner HE Madhav Chandra delivered a speech. Honorable Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Mr. Mr.M.E.K Masisi delivered the Guest of honor speech. Swami Vimokshanandhaji delivered the keynote address. Devotees of Sri Ramakrishna Centre of South Africa and a group of Bengali devotees from Botswana sung bhajans. Swami also presented the prizes for the  arts competition winners. At the end all the participants were served Maha prasad.
The programme for day 4 was none other than a Youth Development Programme. This programme was held at Mr.Nitin Shangi's home. Swami Vimokshanandhaji had a group discussion with several children and youth. Swami asked the participants about Swami Vivekananda. Based on their answer, Swami then narrated events from Swami Vivekananda's life and stories based on our culture and heritage. Finally Swami advised the children and youth to maintain our culture and heritage wherever they go and do not sacrifice it for anything.
In all his speeches Swami Vimokshanandhaji narrated events from Swami Vivekandha's life and stories from our Vedas, Culture and Heritage. Swami highlighted several of Swami Vivekanandha’s qualities such as fearlessness, Service to Mankind. Both Ministers wondered in their speeches about Swami Vivekanandha's preaching and ideology, which is suitable for all countries and all religions. Every day Swami Vivekanandha’s presence was felt by everyone. At end of every day, the audience happily left to their home with their hearts filled with the feelings of Swami Vivekanandha’s life, preaching and thoughts.
Botswana Indians had a great time for all the 4 days. The memories, messages and teachings of Swami Vivekananda were remembered, recollected and all were revitalised. This event is one the best Indian events that was held in Botswana in the recent time and truly turned out as an unforgettable and memorable event for all Indians in Botswana. Swami Vimokshanandhaji and His entourage and the audience appreciated the idea of celebrating the 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekanandha in Botswana, the efforts made by the organizing committee and its members to make this event a success, unforgettable and a memorable one. The organizing committee was also overwhelmed by the response from the Botswana Indian community and expressed their gratitude to the audience.
- Our Hony., Reporter Selvaraj Prabhu

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