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Pupils Will Study Two Religions in New UK Program
Posted on 2014/11/24 18:25:56 ( 267 reads )

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ENGLAND, November 19, 2014 (BBC): Pupils in England will have to study two faiths under government proposals for a new "more academically rigorous" religious studies GCSE. The aim is to ensure pupils have a strong understanding of the central role of religion on British culture, says the government. The Department for Education says it has worked closely with experts from "all the major faith groups" to develop the qualification which is due for first teaching in September 2016.

Under the proposals, pupils will study "the beliefs, teachings and sources of wisdom" of at least two religions for the first half of their GCSE. The second half of the syllabus will allow pupils to study one or both in depth: looking at religious practice, religious texts and how faiths tackle philosophical and ethical issues.

Students may choose from Buddhism, Christianity, Catholic Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism and Sikhism. The option to study a humanist or non-religious world view is not included in this list.

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How Hema Ramaswamy Found Healing Through Traditional Indian Dance
Posted on 2014/11/24 18:25:50 ( 203 reads )

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USA, November 19, 2014 (By Arun Venugopal, WNYC): Hema Ramaswamy, a young Indian-American woman with Down syndrome, performs her arangetram. After many years of preparation, Hema Ramaswamy of Middletown, N.J., is ready to unveil her arangetram, which literally means "ascending the stage." It is a major accomplishment that takes years of preparation. This moment, when a student of dance or music asserts her artistic independence, usually happens in the teen years. Ramaswamy is 23.

Ramaswamy, who has Down syndrome, originally began dancing for health reasons. "But then it became part of her, and she really loves and enjoys it, and it took her 13 years with a lot of challenges, midway, to complete this," explained her father, Ram. "And now today is a perfect day for her -- her graduating in this art." She was able to achieve this despite her diagnosis and despite two major surgeries for a dangerous leak of cerebrospinal fluid. Her father said dance has strengthened Ramaswamy's muscles and given her fine motor skills she simply didn't have before."I feel so happy in dancing," she beams, surrounded by a flurry of doting aunties while preparing for her performance.

Her father tells the crowd that Ramaswamy's arangetram was more than a dance graduation; it was the day she became, in the eyes of the world, a full individual. Having achieved this goal, Ramaswamy says, she now plans to go to college.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/11/24 18:25:43 ( 222 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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Three-day Global Hindu Conference Set to Begin in Delhi
Posted on 2014/11/20 17:30:00 ( 585 reads )

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NEW DELHI, INDIA , November 20, 2014 (by Deeptiman Tiwari, Times of India): HPI Note: Hinduism Today's editor, Paramacharya Sadasivanathaswami, will be making a presentation on Hindu media at this conference.

With the objective of bringing together Hindus at a time "when the community is beset by very serious challenges and is standing at a critical crossroad," a three-day conference will kick off on Friday with the blessings of the Sangh Parivar. Called World Hindu Congress (WHC), the event will have RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and Dalai Lama as part of the inaugural ceremony, while BJP president Amit Shah, Union ministers Smriti Irani, Nitin Gadkari and Nirmala Sitharaman will be key speakers among others.

According to the organizers, the event is expected to have 2,000 delegates from over 50 countries. This will include politicians from Mauritius, the Caribbean, Malaysia and Sri Lanka, where the Hindu population is significant. Organizers say the necessity for the event was felt because Hindus were not only being persecuted in countries such as Malaysia, Mauritius and Bangladesh, they were also discriminated against in their own country.

"World over, Christians and Muslims and even Jews have organized themselves and have global platforms to address their issues. We are one billion strong, but we don't have such a platform. Pandit said it was time the elite and the intellectuals among Hindus came together and introspected on the challenges facing the community and found a solution irrespective of the government. "We have realized, governments have political compulsions. It can only do as much," Pandit said. "Society needs revamped education that is not aping the West blindly, it needs impetus to business, market access, women's empowerment. That's what this conference aims to do by bringing together CEOs, engineers, doctors, politicians and economists on one platform," Pandit said.

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First Bhutanese American Advocacy Day
Posted on 2014/11/20 17:24:27 ( 515 reads )

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WASHINGTON, D.C., November 19, 2014 (Hindu American Foundation): A delegation of nearly 30 Bhutanese Hindus from across the country made history on Capitol Hill on Monday with the first ever Bhutanese American Advocacy Day. The unprecedented event, organized by the Hindu American Foundation (HAF), featured a congressional briefing along with meetings with the State Department and several House and Senate offices.

"The Hindu American Foundation is honored to have provided a platform to give voice to some 80,000 Bhutanese refugees resettling in the U.S., and the entire Diaspora in exile worldwide," said Suhag Shukla, Esq., HAF's Executive Director. "Equally notable is the documentary, The Refugees of Shangri La, that has given international focus to an otherwise untold story."

The briefing, titled Casualties of Gross National Happiness, was held in conjunction with the Congressional Nepal Caucus co-chairs Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-FL) and Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO). Panelists sought to educate policy makers on the challenges endured by Bhutanese Hindus resettling here in the U.S., as well as the ongoing human rights concerns in Bhutan. The day was capped off with a meeting between the entire delegation and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), the first and only Hindu in the United States Congress.

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