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Cow gives blessing for Hindu temple in Germany

January 17, 2018

A German milk cow called Madel has given her approval to a proposed site for a Hindu temple at the edge of Bremen. The local Hindu community borrowed the animal to suss out whether the land would be good for a temple.

Cow tests out potential sacred ground in Germany
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/C. Jaspersen

A Hindu priest and a group of Bremen Hindus led the milk cow to the field dedicated to building a temple on Wednesday. The animal, considered sacred in the ancient religion, was required to indicate her approval or disapproval of the site.

The religious ritual is commonly practiced among Hindu communities in India and Sri Lanka.

"If she stays there, it's a good place to build a house or a temple," community leader Pathmakaran Pathmanathan told the German epd news agency ahead of the ceremony on the outskirts of Germany's northern city of Bremen.

Read more: Germany returns Hindu statue to India

According to the custom, the cow is required to stay on the field of her own accord and show no signs of discomfort. Otherwise, the building would need to be moved to a different site.

The parcel is located in the Blockdiek neighborhood in east Breme
The parcel is located in the Blockdiek neighborhood in east BremenImage: picture-alliance/dpa/C. Jaspersen

On Wednesday, the cow named Madel was taken to the meadow by its owner, local farmer Frank Imhoff. A Hindu priest blessed the animal and decorated it with a cloth, flowers and powder paint.

Read more: Right-wing Hindu groups target Christmas in India

With Madel not attempting to leave the field, her behavior was soon deemed favorable to proceed with construction.

"We will build the temple here," community leader Pathmanathan said. "There are lots of people here and yet the cow feels happy nonetheless."

According to Pathmanathan, the port city of Bremen boasts around 300 Hindu families. Around 100,000 Hindu people currently live in Germany.

dj/kms (dpa, EPD)