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Eco-Friendly Ganesha Statues to be Cheaper this Year
Posted on 2014/8/1 17:14:44 ( 113 reads )

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MUMBAI, INDIA, July 27, 2014 (dna India): Even as only one month remains for Ganesh Chaturthi, the statue sculptors and manufacturers in the city are already applying the finishing touches to the Ganesha statues. In a bid to ensure an eco-friendly festival, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) have tied up with the Ganesh statue makers to ensure that more eco-friendly statues flood the market at reasonable rates.

While it is common knowledge that Plaster of Paris (PoP) statues are cheaper than clay statues, The manufacturers are making efforts to ensure that price difference between them idols made can be slashed from a comparative 50 per cent to 25 - 30 per cent this year.

The MPCB will also start with awareness and promotion programs to increase use of clay statues. "There will be advertisements in television channels and local newspapers, workshops for citizens and training for clay statue makers as well to help them understand how to promote the eco friendly statues. All this will start in early August," said J. S. Salunkhe, sub regional officer, MPCB.

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Bali: Nyelung, an Expression of Gratitude
Posted on 2014/8/1 17:14:38 ( 112 reads )

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BALI, INDONESIA, July 22, 2014 (Bali Daily): The people of Buahan, a village in Payangan, Gianyar, welcomed this month with a joyful spirit. The harvest was quite good and the time had come for them to organize Nyelung, a religious festival held once a decade. The peak of the festival fell on July 15, during which nearly all the villagers marched to the Pucak Pausan Temple on the northern side of the village.

It is said that centuries ago the village was nearly destroyed by a long drought that triggered widespread famine. Furthermore, the remaining crops were totally consumed by merciless pests. "Members of the local subak [traditional farming organization] then conducted a 6 mile pilgrimage to the temple and brought back holy water from it. They sprinkled the holy water onto the rice fields and plantations. Gradually, things got better, the plants thrived and the villagers were healthy," temple priest Jero Mangku Wayan Mahardika said.

To express their gratitude to the Deities at Pucak Pausan Temple, the villagers constructed a large wooden box, which they filled with various agricultural produce. The box was beautifully decorated and escorted in fanfare during a five hour-long march to the temple.

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Val-Morin Tamil Kavadi Procession
Posted on 2014/8/1 17:14:32 ( 110 reads )

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QUEBEC, CANADA, July 30, 2014 (Laurentides Express): Every year the celebration of Kavadi in Val-Morin attracts hundreds of onlookers who watch, with cameras in hand, the procession of devotees of the Tamil community in the streets of the municipality.

Several Hindu devotees are suspended horizontally by iron hooks piercing the skin of their back, triceps and hamstrings. "They fast for several days before the event", explained a young Tamil woman who makes her home near Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts. "They practice total abstinence - including their sex lives - to purify the soul. On Kavadi day, they go into a trance, possessed by the Deity to the point where they do not feel the hooks or needles that pass through their skin."

This celebration is a Hindu festival usually celebrated in January or February in the tropical climate of the southwest Indian Ocean. However, the Tamil diaspora in North America has chosen to celebrate this colorful festival during the hot season, in July, in Val-Morin, rather than in the sub-zero weather of January.

Colorful photos at 'source.'

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Madrid's Indian Film and Dance Festival
Posted on 2014/8/1 17:14:26 ( 115 reads )

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MADRID, SPAIN, June 7, 2014 (El Mundo): The seventh annual BollyMadrid Festival is being held on the streets and plazas of the Spanish capital for three days in June. The sponsor of the event, the government of Madrid's central Lavapies district, is anticipating that 30,000 people will come to participate in the festival. The festival includes a morning fair selling Indian fashion and handicrafts and holding workshops, such as rangoli drawing, for the children. There's an Indian food plaza with 25 booths staffed by the district's Indian restaurants. Over three days there will be 50 performances choreographed for 100 dancers. And in the evening after sunset, the latest films from Mumbai are being shown on the big screen over the stage.

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BBC Documentary: The Story of the Swastika
Posted on 2014/8/1 17:14:12 ( 161 reads )

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ocf8Nlq5Xiw

LONDON, ENGLAND, May 13, 2014 (BBC): At last, the BBC has produced an excellent video explaining how Hitler hijacked the swastika--a symbol of auspiciousness used by ancient cultures worldwide and held sacred by Hindus--and distorted its meaning so that the Western world now regards it with fear and loathing, as a symbol of hatred and genocide. Footage of Nazi Germany is contrasted with the swastika's uses and significance in Hindu culture and religious observances. Although the narrator doubts we can ever effect a complete recovery (even saying that Hitler "changed the perception of the swastika in the West forever"), the video ends on a very positive note, hypothesizing the day when each child's early exposure to the swastika will be in terms of its traditional, benevolent uses and meanings--and the later knowledge of Hitler's misuse of it will be met with the same sense of sock, horror and outrage that Hindus themselves feel. "And if we can get to that point, then Hitler will have finally been defeated."


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