January 14, 2008
Over 75 ladies of two women's
group, 'We Are All Neighbors' led by Mrs. Andrea White,
wife of Houston Mayor Bill White and 'The Consul Ladies
of Houston' led by Mrs. Rina Gavai, wife of Consulate General
of India, Honorable Shashishekhar Gavai visited the traditional
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir.
Mrs. White's group focuses
on bringing Houstonians together through sharing cultural
understanding and Mrs. Gavai's group strives to expose the
group members to Indian culture.
Senior BAPS members of the
women's wing welcomed the honored guests in the traditional
Indian manner by applying a chandlo and tying a nada-chhadi
on the wrist thus symbolizing friendship.
The groups then proceeded for
the mandir tour and were instantly awe-struck upon seeing
the intricate carvings and architecture. The atmosphere
was charged with divinity when the arti was performed by
the guests and devotees. Thereafter, the guests enjoyed
a presentation on BAPS humanitarian services and how BAPS
strives to maintain Hindu traditions and preserve Indian
At the end of the visit, Mrs.
Gavai gave a vote of thanks to BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha
and volunteers for showcasing Indian Culture and Hinduism.
Mrs. White was overwhelmed by the hospitality received from
the volunteers and felt as if she was welcomed home. Mrs.
White remarked, "I would be returning for the evening arti
with my husband, if anybody would like to join me, you are
The women's group departed
from the mandir, charged with the spirit of love and devotion.