In Hinduism, when a family member passes away the son performs puja (prayer) for their soul to rest in peace. On the anniversary of their death every year, the son goes to the temple for shraadh: to offer prayers with the help of a Hindu priest. This is a very important ritual to Hindus because we pray for the soul of the departed and all of our ancestors. A part of these prayers is feeding crows by placing small balls of rice on a banana leaf.
Hindus believe that their ancestors come in the form of crows to eat the offerings. It’s a way to show that we haven’t forgotten our ancestors. If they come to eat what we’ve offered, it’s a sign that they haven’t forgotten us either. Once that’s done, food is prepared in the temple kitchen to feed the sons and their families. Before the food is offered to humans, it is fed to the cows, as we believe that they are sacred. Once the cows have eaten, the people are fed. In the picture of the calf, she has ‘kheer’ on her face, which is the Indian version of rice pudding. The calf lives in the temple with her mother.