Lisbon, Portugal—UPF representatives joined an interfaith celebration of the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth.
The UPF officials were invited by the Hindu Community of Portugal to attend the celebration at their temple on October 2, 2019.
The evening celebrations started outside the Hindu temple, with prayers and the laying of flower petals at a statue of Mahatma Gandhi and his wife.
The dignitaries included the ambassador of India to Portugal and an official from the Embassy of Mozambique. Despite the timing of the election campaign, Prime Minister Dr. António Costa sent a government minister to represent him. There were also several other government officials and representatives of various religions.
After the ceremony at the statue, the participants moved indoors, where readings and performances reminded them of Gandhi's life and peaceful struggle for human rights.
The most important moment was the historic release of an official postal seal of Mahatma Gandhi. This was the first time that a prime minister had officially and completely associated himself with such a celebration.
For UPF it was a good opportunity to get to know some of the individuals and institutions connected with the Hindu Community of Portugal, to make ourselves known and to strengthen the ties with this interesting Hindu community with an important interreligious scope.