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Trinidad Youths Prepare for Krishna Leela in Tabaquite
Posted on 2014/7/30 16:00:18 ( 186 reads )

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TABAQUITE,TRINIDAD,July 25, 2014 (by Seeta Persad, Newsday): Massive preparations are now taking place for the second annual Shri Krishna Leela at the Guaracara Recreation Ground in Tabaquite. This ten-day drama based on the life and times of the Hindu God Lord Krishna is being staged by the Krishna Rama Shakti Mandir (KRSM) of Tabaquite. This play runs from August 1 to 10 between the hours of 6 pm to 8 pm. Members of the KRSM will be playing the various roles in this unfolding drama of Lord Krishna.

According to Pundit Lackram, Chan Krishna Leela drama production depicts the exploits of Lord Krishna (an incarnation of God), when He took descent on Earth thousands of years ago in India. This is a play similar to Ramleela and it consists of scenes depicting Krishna's appearance from a baby to his teenage days.

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Sri Lanka Supreme Court Allows Animal Sacrifice in Hindu Temple
Posted on 2014/7/30 16:00:12 ( 188 reads )

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COLOMBO, SRI LANKA, July 23, 2014 (Colombo Page): Sri Lanka's Supreme Court has ruled that the Hindu temples can perform animal sacrifice under controlled conditions. The apex court on Monday hearing an appeal filed by the trustees of the Sri Bhadrakali Amman Kovil at Munneswaram in Chilaw ruled that the Hindu Temple can slaughter the animals under the supervision of the Public Health Department.

In recent years the customary ritual of sacrificing hundreds of goats and fowl in the annual feast of the Munneswaram Sri Bhadra Kali Amman Kovil in Chilaw has come under severe protest from the animal lovers, Buddhist clergy and politicians. (HPI Note: The Buddhists of Sri Lanka are not vegetarians.)

The Chief Justice Mohan Peiris said he is not ready to ban the animal sacrifice since the practice was hundreds of years old. However, he said the number of animals slaughtered normally is too high and urged the devotees to talk to each other to bring down the number of animals killed. He ordered the temple authorities to slaughter one animal at a time in a specially designated enclosure away from the public view under the supervision of the Public Health Department.

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First Indian Diaspora Conference in Belize
Posted on 2014/7/30 16:00:06 ( 231 reads )



BELIZE, July 29, 2014 (Press Release): The Corozal Organization of East Indian Culture and Heritage (COEICH) and the National East Indian Council of Belize - Southern Chapter (NEICBSC), along with the National Institute of Culture and History of Belize (NICH) are having the first Indian diaspora conference in Belize August 6 to 10, 2014. The theme of the conference is: "Highlighting Indian Culture and Contribution in a Multi-ethnic Society." The first two days of the conference will be held in Corozal Town (Northern Belize) and the next two days will be held in Punta Gorda Town (Southern Belize).

Academic presentations will be given by presenters from the United States, the Caribbean and Belize. Other presentations will be given by elders and others from the Indian community in Belize. Some of the areas covered in the conference include race relations, entrepreneurship, dreams of young East Indians, medicine, identity, migration, indentured laborers, East Indian women, reparation, outstanding East Indians in Belize, and agriculture, including sugar cane and rice production and yellow ginger processing.

For more information, email sylviaperez1@yahoo.com.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/7/30 15:59:59 ( 166 reads )

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It is far easier to conquer others than to conquer oneself, because the former can be attained by recourse to outside means, while the latter can be achieved only with one's own mind.
-- Mahatma Gandhi(1869-1948)

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New Book Highlights Historic Temples of Pakistan
Posted on 2014/7/28 17:13:44 ( 318 reads )

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PAKISTAN, July 26, 2014 (ndtv): The book, "Historic Temples in Pakistan: A Call to Conscience," authored by Karachi-based journalist Reema Abbasi, focuses on minority Hindus who celebrate Indian festivals on the other side of the border. A result of extensive research, the book highlights around 400 photographs that cover different aspects of overlooked historical temples and shrines in Pakistan that few know about.

Madiha Aijaz who teaches photography at the Indus Valley School of Architecture, does justice to the book by beautifully capturing the multi-colored and vibrant images. "It is a subject that is just so less documented and it hasn't been talked about," she says.

Reema and Madiha travelled far and wide to various pilgrimage sites like Hinglaj, the abode of goddess Durga in Balochistan; the Katas Raj temple in Punjab, one of the holiest in Hinduism and known for providing refuge to the Pandavas; the Kalka cave temple in Sindh; the Panchmukhi Hanuman Mandir in Karachi, among others.

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New Hampshire Hindu Community Hosts Puran
Posted on 2014/7/28 17:13:38 ( 244 reads )

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CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE, July 11, 2014 (Concord Monitor): From the windows of the Heights Community Center auditorium in Concord, a man's monotone voice chants holy Sanskrit legends. This is Srimad Bhagavata Maha Purana, a week of devotion and community organized by the new Hindu Faith Trust of NH.

The people inside pray for peace around the world, enlightenment in their own hearts and brotherhood in their community. From 9 a.m. until the evening, every day until Wednesday, people will gather in the auditorium to pray, chant, dance and sing, and receive blessings. Organizers from the Hindu Faith Trust said they expect people from across New England to attend over the weekend.

Though it has been organized mainly by Hindus from Bhutan, the event is designed to bring New Hampshire's Hindu community - from India, Nepal and elsewhere - together to worship and bond. Less than 1 percent of the population in New Hampshire is Hindu, according to a study released in April, but that population is growing and seeking to build places to gather for traditional services and festivals.

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Yoga %26 Memory
Posted on 2014/7/28 17:13:31 ( 396 reads )

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UNITED STATES, July 27, 2014 (She Knows): New studies suggest that regular exercise, and yoga in particular, plays a big role in keeping the mind active and memory intact. A series of studies published in Science and the Journal of Neuroscience showed that exercise can stimulate new brain cells, which can then migrate from one area of the brain to another allowing you in essence to "create a new brain," according to the author of "Brain Longevity," Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa, in an article published on Yoga Journal.

But the catch, according to Khalsa, is that in order to keep those new brain cells alive and active, one must be relieved of as much stress as possible. That's why the practice of yoga, which engages the mind, body and spirit, is the perfect solution to the problem.

"We took people with memory loss and prescribed 12 minutes of kirtan kriya [a technique used in kundalini yoga that combines meditation, mudra, chanting and mantra] every day," Khalsa states. "After eight weeks, you can see on our scans that after the meditation, the blood flow to the frontal lobe, the area responsible for attention, concentration and focus, is improved." Khalsa also noted that the main components of yoga -- exercise, posture, focused breathing and meditation -- are all good for the brain. "Because of that," he said, "yoga should go far in creating positive brain changes."

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/7/28 17:13:19 ( 208 reads )

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Just as the Earth bears those who dig into her, it is best to bear with those who despise us.
-- Tirukkural

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Priests Decide to Clean Ganga Ghats on Sundays
Posted on 2014/7/27 17:47:42 ( 301 reads )

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ALLAHABAD, INDIA, July 14, 2014 (Times of India): In a unique initiative of making the holy river clean and pollution-free, the priests of the city have decided to clean the banks of Ganga every Sunday. Many priests assembled at Sangam today and started cleaning the banks. They also created awareness among the people for keeping the ghats clean and making the river pollution-free.

General secretary of Prayagwal Sabha Rajendra Paliwal said: "Ganga is holy and sacred for us from time immemorial. It is our prime duty to keep the river pure and make it pollution-free. The responsibility of keeping the river clean is also on the priests. Therefore, we have decided to clean the banks of Ganga every Sunday and urge the people to join and lend support in making the river clean."

In the cleanliness drive, priests belonging to various organizations like Narayan Sewa Sansthan, Prayag Dharam Sangh, Beni Madhav Sansthan and others participated. They picked up polythene, flowers, garlands and other material lying scattered at the Sangam.

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Women Kanwariyas Flock Sangam
Posted on 2014/7/27 17:47:36 ( 251 reads )

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ALLAHABAD, INDIA, July 16, 2014 (Times of India): Driven by devotion and desire to offer prayers to Lord Shiva at Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi, a large number of women Kanwariyas (pilgrims) are joining hands with their male counterparts in walking the extra mile.

Dressed in saffron attire, the number of women carrying the decorated pot has increased manifold at Dashashwamedh Ghat and Sangam. Here the Kanwariyas collect water from Ganga before heading to Varanasi. Most of these women kanwariyas hail from rural area and are in the age group of 25-40 years. After collecting water from Ganga, these women walk barefoot to offer jalabhishek to Lord Shiva. The start of Shrawan month has already filled Sangam city's streets with saffron-clad Kanwariyas carrying decorated kanwars structure on their shoulders.

"It's a matter of devotion. Women are making a mark in all fields like education, engineering and medical. They are also strong enough to follow the custom and practice (taking kanwar on their shoulders) as men do" said Savita, a woman kanwariya from Soraon. She added "The number of women kanwariyas has increased in the last two to three years. Earlier, they preferred offering puja to the Deity at local temples."

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Guyana Dharmic Sabha Opens Multi-Million Dollar Home for the Vulnerable
Posted on 2014/7/27 17:47:30 ( 257 reads )

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GUYANA, May 8, 2014 (Kaieteur News): The Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha (GHDS) on Monday commissioned a multi-million-dollar home for abused women and children at Ankerville, Port Mourant, Corentyne. Doing the honors of cutting the ribbon to the majestic multi-wing edifice, Bal Nivas, was Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, President Donald Ramotar, Indian playback singer Sonu Nigam and President of the GHDS, Dr. Vindhya Persaud.

Dr. Persaud spoke about the project and thanked President Ramotar for giving them the land a few years ago. She thanked the donors who worked selflessly and voluntarily behind the GHDS and behind the project.

The shelter, which will become fully operational by July, will house more than 60 children and their mothers. Additionally, it will encompass a Skills Training Centre which will be opened to the community and a Counseling Unit, "so we offer this facility to serve you, the Guyanese people."

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The Story of Jack Cole, jazz and the "Hindu Swing" of the 1950s
Posted on 2014/7/27 17:47:23 ( 295 reads )

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USA, December 18, 2011 (cinemanrityagharana.blogspot.com): HPI Note: We came across by chance today this long article on a noted dancer of the 1930-50s, Jack Cole, who had learned--from whom is uncertain--a fair amount of Bharatanatyam dance style. He then developed a form of jazz dancing using some of this style, including for movie dance choreography. This blog, whose author identifies herself only as "Cassidy, a white chick" wrote up a long article on Cole in 2011, along with clips from the old movies, some of which are absolutely fascinating. Her article begins:

Ever heard of choreographer Jack Cole and "Hindu Swing?" Four weeks ago I had not either, but I think this could be one of the grooviest discoveries I've ever made on this blog.

While researching films about India and Orientalism for my "Indian Dances in Western Films About India" post series, I came across the article "The Thousand Ways There Are to Move: Camp and Oriental Dance in the Hollywood Musicals of Jack Cole." Clearly an interesting article just from the title, but as I read it my fascination was piqued when I read that Cole fused ethnic movements (most notably East Indian) into his choreography, started out as a Denishawn dancer, and studied with Uday Shankar! A Hollywood choreographer that studied with Uday Shankar? Tell me more! Tell me more!

The article discussed in detail the number "Not Since Nineveh" that Cole choreographed for the Arabian-themed Hollywood film Kismet (1955) and it emphasized his use of clear signifiers of Indian dance. OK, I figured there would maybe be some Indian-inspired hand gestures, some pretty arm movements, some namaste hands....

but nothing prepared me for THIS:

"Not Since Nineveh" - Kismet (1955) -link to video

I don't think I've ever seen a dance in Hollywood so brilliantly inspired by the geometry and precision of Bharatanatyam! I'm simply in awe. The Indian inspiration coupled with the syncopated jazz music makes for a completely new visual experience.

Much more at "source" above.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/7/27 17:47:17 ( 230 reads )

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Today is in your hands. Tomorrow the chance may never come.
-- Swami Sivananda (1887-1963), founder of Divine Life Society

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Colorful Indian Festival Held in Pegognaga, Italy
Posted on 2014/7/24 16:55:46 ( 443 reads )

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PEGOGNAGA, ITALY, June 1, 2014 (Gazzetta Di Mantova): A thousand people belonging to the Hindu community in Northern Italy participated in the second annual Pegognaga Shoba Yatra, organized by Shri Hari Om Mandir together with the Municipality of Pegognaga. In a festive folkloric atmosphere, with music, songs and prayers, the faithful gathered in the square of the Coop and then proceeded in a long procession along Avenue San Lorenzo to arrive in Piazza Matteotti, where the religious leaders of the Hindu community and the crowd were greeted by the mayor Dimitri Melli.

In the days preceding the festival, a reading of the the Ramayana scripture was held at the Mandir on via Martin Luther King, where they venerate statues of Shiva, Kali and ten other Gods that were gifted by the Indian state. Svamini Hamsananda of Savona, vice president of the Italian Hindu Union, says that a meeting of representatives of all the temples in northern Italy, with the participation of the president of the Italian Hindu Union, took place during this time.

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Akshardham Temple Coming up in New Jersey
Posted on 2014/7/24 16:55:40 ( 430 reads )

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AHMEDABAD, INDIA, Julu 22, 2014 (by Bharat Yagnik, TNN): The Bochasanvasi Akshar Purushottam Sansthan (BAPS) has envisioned an Akshardham temple at Robbinsville in New Jersey, US that will be spread over a mammoth 162 acres. BAPS has earlier established two Akshardham temples at Gandhinagar and New Delhi as religious and cultural centers. The US project -- aptly named Akshardham Mahamandir -- started in 2013 with a stone-laying ceremony, realizing the 15-year-old dream of Pramukh Swami, the religious leader of the sect, to construct an Akshardham at New Jersey. The area has sizable Gujarati and Indian population. The leaders are hopeful that the temple will be ready in 2017. Pramukh Swami will visit the site next month when he will be in the US.

Sadhu Brahmprakash of BAPS told TOI that the work is going on at Rajasthan where more than 2,000 artisans are laboring over various parts of the temple at Dungarpur, Pindwada and Sangwada. "The finished parts are shipped to US where they are assembled by master craftsmen," he said. Italian marble and marble from Rajasthan's quarries is being used and the parts are shipped from Mundra, added officials. In US, a 5,000-strong team is looking after various aspects of the construction and design.

The main building will have four floors. The complex will have an exhibit dedicated to Indian history and culture, a youth activity center and much more. The artisans have taken elements of both south and north Indian temples. The embellished temple will have ornate pillars and panels depicting scenes from the Ramayana and Mahabharata and ancient scriptures. The halls will have full-size idols of important leaders of the sect.

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