Over 200 devotees of Birmingham Pragati Mandal (BPM) gathered last Saturday for the commencement of Shraadh, an important religious annual period in the Hindu calendar. Shraadh is observed over a fortnight and is a time when Hindus all over the world honour their ancestors and loved ones who have passed away. The days during Shraadh are dedicated to remembering and thanking with sincerity and faith, those who are no longer with us for the sacrifices they made and recognise that we owe our presence on this earth to them. A special tribute was paid to Her Majesty The Queen. Devotees hailing mainly from India and parts of East Africa, which were considered ‘jewels’ of the British Empire, sat in prayer and sang religious hymns, or bhajans. Vinay Parmar, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at BPM, also known as Shri Krishna Temple, said “Today as we remember our loved ones who are no longer with us and show gratitude for all they have given us, we also hold Queen Elizabeth dear in our hearts.” Hindus believe that the soul is not born nor does it die, it is immortal and remains eternal.