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Priests Decide to Clean Ganga Ghats on Sundays
Posted on 2014/7/27 17:47:42 ( 154 reads )


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 ( 144 reads )


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 ( 145 reads )


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 ( 186 reads )


USA, December 18, 2011 ( 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 ( 145 reads )


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

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