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Multicultural Project In UK School

Posted on 2003/9/30 9:49:02 ( 796 reads )

Lincolnshire Echo

LINCOLN, UK, September 24, 2003: In a novel project to develop their drama, art and music skills, 14 children from the Beckett School and eight from Charles Baines are teaming up. Using the Hindu, African and Apache cultures as a spring board, they are working towards a performance in March to show how they have developed confidence and communication skills. Over the coming weeks, drama and art specialists will attend sessions to share their knowledge and skills. The initiative kicked off with Mrs. Basu explaining aspects of the Indian Hindu culture. Susan Hayter, headteacher at the Beckett School, said the project was "extremely exciting for all of us," and had been made possible through a grant from the Children's Fund for Lincolnshire. She said: "The aim is to raise awareness of children with a different range of needs and celebrate the diversity of life."

Rare Hindu Temple in Muslim Azerbaijan

Posted on 2003/9/30 9:48:02 ( 870 reads )


BAKU, AZERBAIJAN, September 28, 2003: In an old settlement of oil workers situated 18 miles from this Azerbaijani capital is a rare Hindu temple dedicated to Jwalaji or the Goddess of Fire, forgotten for decades but now catching the attention of tourists. The temple, called the Atishgah, in this predominantly Muslim republic of the former Soviet Union is a typical Hindu shrine with an iron trishula on its roof. Built in 1713, the Jwalaji temple stands in the middle of a courtyard, surrounded by rooms for pilgrims coming all the way from India to worship the Fire Goddess in its heyday. On the carved entrances of the rooms are stones plaques describing who built them and in which year. There are over 20 stone plaques, of which 18 are in Devanagari, one in Gurumukhi and one in Farsi (Persian) text. The temple was built on the spot where subterranean gas leaking out of the rocky ground used to burn day and night. Local records say that it was built by a prominent Hindu traders community living in Baku, and its construction coincided with the fall of the dynasty of Shirwanshahs and annexation by the Russian Empire following the Russo-Iranian war.

Music Maestro Kevin Cuts First Religious CD

Posted on 2003/9/30 9:47:02 ( 897 reads )


SOUTH AFRICA, September 29, 2003: Chatsworth, South African musician Kevin Pillay is determined to keep the Indian culture alive. Pillay, a percussionist, spent two years in Chennai, India, learning the art of playing a South Indian drum. He was offered a scholarship by the Natal Tamil Vedic Society to study under Indian drum guru Shri Karaikudi Mari. This week, Pillay's work and skills paid off when he released a CD, Kadavul, meaning God in Tamil. "It demanded a lot of discipline and attention. I stopped eating meat completely because I wanted to be sincere in the way I make the music. "It's very calming and it is made for the soul," said Pillay. His CD conveys a message to the Hindu community in South Africa that they must ensure the culture does not die. It contains 10 tracks of South Indian devotional music. Pillay said his father, Ariseela, also a musician, inspired him in his music career. He has been playing music since he was 11 years old and has played with South African artists such as Nadarajan Naicker. He and a friend, Rajive Mohan, worked for two months putting the CD together. Pillay did the beat work and vocals, while Mohan added keyboard and took care of all the musical arrangements. Said Mohan: "It was one of the most exciting projects I have worked on. It's a great contribution to the Hindu community. It has a lot of devotional and semi-classical music." Pillay's dedication to uplifting the Hindu culture has led him to leave his job as a digital document systems operator. He is now devoting his time to teaching young Hindu children South Indian music and how to play the drum. "Some of them are really into it, but, unfortunately, some are forced by their parents to attend classes," he said.

Reward for Recovery of Statue of Deity

Posted on 2003/9/30 9:46:02 ( 835 reads )

New Straits Times-Management Times

KLANG, MALAYSIA, September 25, 2003: The Sri Muniswarar temple in Southern Park in Klang is offering a US$132 reward for the recovery of a statue of a Hindu deity stolen last week. Temple trustee V. Vembarasan said the temple committee decided to offer the reward as there had been no leads. He said the bronze statue of Amman was a priceless item and it had been in the temple for more than 50 years. The theft was discovered about 6 a.m. on September 18, 2003, when the priest of the 100-year old temple in Lorong Jelutong arrived for prayers. A police report was then lodged. Vembarasan said the statue was used in daily prayers and was also brought on a chariot during festivals. He said those with information could call him at 012-2195704, or the police.

Arizona Temple's Ganesha Chaturthi Festival Photos On-Line

Posted on 2003/9/30 9:45:02 ( 1020 reads )


ARIZONA, USA, September 30, 2003: Photos of the colorful Ganesha Chaturthi celebrations at the Maha Ganapathi Temple of Arizona can be seen at the Ofoto site at "source" above.

Nine-Day Durga Festival Begins in Bhopal

Posted on 2003/9/29 9:49:02 ( 902 reads )


BHOPAL, INDIA, September 28, 2003: The nine-day Durga Utsav began with devotional songs in the state capital. The auspicious nine-day festival started with prayers offered to the first incarnation of Goddess Durga, the Shail Devi. Early morning saw large numbers of devotees paying visits at temples around the city. They offered sweets and showered flowers to bid farewell to the sour days (Pitra Moksha) and mark the advent of good days. Some political leaders participated in the morning religious offerings. Mayor Vibha Patel participated in the morning puja at Sarvadharm Durga Utsav Samiti Kolar Road, where she offered prayers to the Goddess. The coming nine days will see devotees offering prayers to all the nine incarnations of Goddess -- Maa Adi Shakti, the Mother of Love, Kali, Durga, Anandmayi, Sharda, Jagat Janani and Sarv Shakti Maa.

Navaratri Festival In Jersey City Expected To Draw Thousands

Posted on 2003/9/29 9:48:02 ( 859 reads )


JERSEY CITY, NEW JERSEY, September 26, 2003: Thousands are expected to converge on Jersey City's Little India neighborhood tonight and tomorrow night for the Navratri festival which organizers say will be celebrated in the streets for the first time in the United States. Traditionally a nine-day festival, Navratri is celebrated in honor of the Hindu Goddess Durga. The local Indian community usually holds the festival in a temple or hall, but this year organizers will be allowed to close off several streets for their event. That the festivities this year are spilling out into the street is a sign of the Asian Indian community's growing economic and political importance in Hudson County, said Raju Patel, president of the Jersey City Asian Merchant Association. "Because of the growing Asian Indian population in Hudson County and Jersey City, we decided to do something in our own community," said Patel, who is also president of the Govinda Sanskar Center. According to the 2000 Census, there are more than 20,000 Asian Indians in the county and nearly 13,000 in Jersey City. The Indian community's economic weight is also reflected in census statistics. The median income for a three-person Indian family is $50,710 in Hudson county and $50,000 in Jersey City. Patel said the festival will give the community the chance to share some of its good fortune. Organizers plan to raffle three round-trip tickets to India, a TV, and jewelry. Some of the money raised by the raffle, Patel said, will be donated to Hudson County Community College Foundation.

Plan to Develop Shrine to Planet Saturn in Thirunallar

Posted on 2003/9/29 9:47:02 ( 1008 reads )


CHENNAI, INDIA, September 27, 2003: The central government is studying the possibility of promoting the small temple town of Thirunallar, where there is a shrine of Lord Saneeswarar (Saturn), as a heritage site. Minister for Tourism and Culture Jagmohan will visit Karaikal, the small enclave near the union territory of Pondicherry on the Bay of Bengal, to assess the site in October. Pondicherry's Education and Tourism Minister, Kv. Lakshminarayanan, told a press conference Friday evening that a high-level committee of the territory's tourism department has urged the central government to provide US$2,000,000 to Pondicherry to help promote Thirunallar. Hindus from all over the world visit the shrine during Sani Peyarchi, an astrological event when Saturn moves from one planetary position to another every two and a half years. "Not less than 200,000 pilgrims visit the temple every Saturday and a Yatri Niwas (pilgrims' hostel) and other facilities are necessary," the minister said.

Politeness Leads To Heart Trouble

Posted on 2003/9/29 9:46:02 ( 822 reads )


LONDON, ENGLAND, September 29, 2003: Experts have warned that the cultural trait among Asians of eating out of politeness everything that is served to them and not refusing seconds (and thirds!) is contributing to the already high levels of risk of coronary heart disease within the community in Britain. According to John Lawson of the University of Huddersfield, numerous studies carried out in the UK and in India and Pakistan tend to show that there is a higher risk of coronary heart disease and truncal obesity -- that is obesity around the middle portion of the body -- in Asian men. The fat tends to form around the stomach, which is a much riskier form of obesity, he told Eastern Eye. Sarah Delanie, a nurse from Coventry came to similar conclusions in a four-year study with Asian patients.There is a 40 percent higher risk in Asian men from coronary heart disease she said. "Generally," she said, "all of my patients felt that there was social pressure to eat all the food offered. To turn down food was disrespectful and rude. So they eat the food as a sign of appreciation even if they knew it was not going to benefit them."

Meteorite Strikes Orissa Village

Posted on 2003/9/29 9:45:02 ( 902 reads )


BHUBANESWAR, INDIA, September 28, 2003: Two people have been injured and several homes badly damaged by a meteorite crashing into a village in the coastal state of Orissa. The fiery object crashed to earth shortly after sunset. Witnesses reported a bright fireball briefly lighting up the night sky and causing panic among local residents, the PTI report said. Reports from several districts described an ear-splitting noise that shattered several windows as the object sped overhead. At least one part of the fireball came down in a village in Mayurbhanj district in Orissa, setting several homes alight and lightly injuring at least two people. The report said other parts of the meteorite may have crashed into another village, also setting at least one thatched house ablaze. Officials in the area have been asked to collect any remaining samples of the object for scientific analysis. Two five-kilogram pieces have been recovered.

Correction: Youth in the United Kingdom Gather to Celebrate Their Hindu Identity

Posted on 2003/9/29 9:44:02 ( 927 reads )


KAUAI, HAWAII, September 29, 2003: This article which ran yesterday in HPI was actually from 2002 points out the event's organizer, Bhavit Mehta. Bhavit said, however, they "have been involved in something even bigger this year! -- Diwali celebrations at Trafalgar Square (the center of London)." We look forward to a report.

Youth in the United Kingdom Gather to Celebrate Their Hindu Identity

Posted on 2003/9/28 9:49:02 ( 869 reads )


PRESTON, UNITED KINGDOM, September 17, 2003: Gathering together to celebrate their culture, faith, and identity, 3,000 Hindu youth participated in the "Get Connected" Hindu Youth Festival 2002. Every aspect of the event was a reflection of Hindu culture in some way, from the grand opening paying respects to Lord Ganesha to the greeting of guests by offering a sweet and kunkuna powder for the forehead. In the main hall, a Hindu priest explained the traditional Hindu marriage ceremony, young ladies were taught how to properly sport a sari and experts explained the science of Vaastu Shastra, the Hindu equivalent of Feng Shui. Young children were able to participate in games and coloring contests depicting Hindu epics. A special hall was set aside for speakers and debates about the origin of the Vedas, meditation, yoga and more. Prime Minister Tony Blair commented about the event, "This event provides young British Hindus with an important opportunity to explore their culture and their faith. It will provide a useful forum for participants to address the key issues facing young Hindus in Britain today. Events like yours play an important role in helping us to appreciate and celebrate this diversity and I wish you every success." Kailash Parekh, one of the coordinators of the event said, " 'Get Connected' provides a unique platform for youth of all backgrounds to voice their opinion on issues and challenges of common concern. The event has been an opportunity to discuss what it means to be a young Hindu in Britain today." Jayesh Ashra, a youth in attendance, summed up the spirit of it all, "Today has been fantastic fun and served as an inspiration for me to discover more about my faith, so that I am able to share it with the rest of the world, in a more informed way."

Mata Amritanandamayi's Birthday Celebrations Conclude

Posted on 2003/9/28 9:48:02 ( 871 reads )


KOCHI, INDIA, September 27, 2003: Curtains came down on the four-day birthday celebrations of Mata Amritanandamayi with several social service and charitable programmes being announced as the spiritual leader turned 50 today. Speaking at the valedictory of the celebrations, Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat applauded the humanitarian programmes and projects successfully launched by her. An all-India free legal cell comprising 1,008 lawyers was formed to serve the needy while keys of houses built as part of the Amritanandamayi Matt's "Amritakutterpam" project to build one hundred thousand free houses for the destitute and homeless throughout the country were handed over to the beneficiaries. A new care home for the elderly and a charitable hospital for tribals were also opened. Amma also solemnized the marriage of 158 destitute couples. From President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, Shekhawat, Deputy Prime Minister L. K. Advani and HRD Minister Murli Manohar Joshi to top business leaders like S. P. Hinduja, Sabeer Bhatia, Kanwal Reikhi and former American Senator, Larry Pressler, Hollywood actress Linda Evans were all here to participate in various functions in the last four days as also devotees from 191 countries. The highlight of the celebrations was the CEO meet held on Friday in which Kalam participated. Over 150 business leaders from India and abroad attended the meet which laid great stress on reaching education to all. As part of the celebrations, an inter-faith meeting was held in which spiritual and religious leaders from around the world came together to discuss and endorse resolutions and create a platform to foster healthy dialogue between faiths and religions. A women's summit resolved to fight the harmful social customs like dowry, female feticide and infanticide and promote awareness of the quality of motherhood. For complete coverage of the event, go to Ammaji's website here.

Indian Minister Attends Global Summit on Medicinal Plants in Mauritius

Posted on 2003/9/28 9:47:02 ( 806 reads )


SRINAGAR, INDIA, September 27, 2003: Minister for Health and Medical Education, Ch. Lal Singh attended the Global Summit on Medicinal Plants in Mauritius. More than one hundred participants from all over the world were present on the inaugural function. Speeches by the dignitaries of the different countries delivered on the different aspects of the medicinal plants and showed their keen interest to develop Ayurveda in their respective countries. They shared the knowledge with each other regarding prospects of Ayurveda medicines. In the inaugural speech, Ch. Lal Singh spoke about the concept of Ayurveda and said that India is the basic source of Ayurveda sciences. He reminded the gathering that Ayurveda is a science of God and it was Bhardwaj Rishi who brought this system of medicine on the Earth from Brahma. The Minister also discussed contractual farming with the top officials of Mauritius Government. Mauritius is having a very little source of Ayurveda plants, and Mr. Singh put a proposal to the Mauritius Government for contractual farming and other related matters in this field. He also held a meeting with the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and other Ministers of Mauritius Government to explore avenues in different fields like employment, sending students in various colleges for engineering and medical education and exchange of artists.

Malaysian Hindus are Advocates for Peace

Posted on 2003/9/28 9:46:02 ( 840 reads )


KUALA LUMPAR, MALAYSIA, September 23, 2003: Seeking peace and harmony, Hindus in Malaysia have worked with their communities and the government to establish harmonious relationships. Dato Samy Vellu, Malaysia India Congress president, spoke at the World Hindu Peace Pilgrimage and said, "The government recognizes each religion's existence as part of the religious mosaic of the country and had allowed people of all religions equal rights and freedom of worship." Vellu gave praise to the Malaysian Hindu Sangam for working closely with the government to alleviate problems related to places of worship. He also elaborated that Hinduism embraces peace but it is a challenge to maintain this concept internally and in the world.

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