The Radha Krishna Temple in Spanish Fork is world-famous for its huge festivals drawing tens of thousands of visitors to the Utah attraction, but COVID-19 changed everything.
Husband and wife team Prema Rupa Madhava Das and Prema Rupini Madhavi Dasi, who previously organized Bhakti Vriksha programs and “Harinama Party Buses” in their hometown of Buenos Aires, Argentina, launched the retreat when the pandemic halted those activities.
With everyone in self-isolation and practicing social distancing due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, devotees are coming up with more and more creative ways to associate with each other and hold events virtually that would previously have taken place in person.
Noticias.iskcon.org, ISKCON News’ Spanish language website, is back in action after beating off a hacker attack which targeted the site back on April 26th. “I received an email from an unknown sender asking for money in exchange for solving problems on the website,” says managing editor Baladeva Das, who also serves as the Communications Director for ISKCON Argentina. “I thought it was spam and deleted it.”
ISKCON Founder Srila Prabhupada’s masterwork the Srimad-Bhagavatam has been reprinted in Spanish after being out of stock for four years, to the delight of the Spanish-speaking world. It’s been a lot of work. Proofreader Gauravani Dasi in Mexico and designer Govinda Damodara Das in Argentina marathoned for sixteen-months nonstop to get the proofs ready.
Since it was launched in January 2014, readership of ISKCON News’ Spanish language sister website ISKCON Noticias (noticias.iskcon.org) has increased rapidly, now reaching around 7,000 every week, and growing. Readers are more far-flung, too. Although most hailed from Argentina, Chile and Uruguay when the site was first launched, today there are also readers in Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, Spain, as well as Spanish-speakers in the USA.
During the second week of April (7-13th), Cochabamba, Bolivia, South America received a visit from five representatives of the Spanish anguage branch of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. ISKCON News had the opportunity to interview the five participants and get to know about the plans and surprises that await Latin America and Spain in 2014.
India burst with color as Hindus observed the playful festival of Holi by dashing each other with colored powder. Americans partake of the spring festival, too.
ISKCON News, the official news agency of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, has launched the Spanish version of its website on January 1st, 2014. The website opens ISKCON News’ reach to a vast extent: Spanish currently has 410 million native speakers, and is a second language for a further 60 million, while it is the official language in 21 countries.