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UNESCO Conference on Mystical Traditions Held in Spain
Posted on 2002/6/5 23:48:02 ( 641 reads )


Source: Press Release





CATATONIA, SPAIN, June 6, 2002: The UNESCO Association for Interreligious Dialogue and UNESCO Centre of Catatonia organized an international experts' conference from May 23 to 25, 2002, at Barcelona in collaboration with UNESCO. The general title of the conference was Mystical Traditions and Interreligious Dialogue. Discussions were held on The Worth of Diversity of Mystical Traditions, Interreligious Dialogue and its Relationship with Mysticisms, Mystical Experience as a Source of Ethical and Social Engagement and Mystical Experience as a Source of Environmental Engagement. Twenty-five persons participated and there were about fifteen observers. Swami Amarananda of the Vedanta Center, Geneva, and Prof. Arvind Sharma of Montreal represented the Hindu/Vedanta tradition. Bhaktidas and Jalil Barcena gave all a treat of Sufi and Hindu music on the evening of May 25.




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Goa's Catholics And Hindus
Posted on 2002/6/5 23:47:02 ( 582 reads )


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PANAJI, INDIA, June 2, 2002: The Portuguese may have created two different communities when they ruled the state of Goa but Catholics and Hindus here say that despite practicing different religions, they are ultimately Goans, at heart, according to this article. A majority of the Catholics here comprise those who converted from the dominant Hindu community. They make up 30 percent of Goa's total population of 1.4 million. But their traditions, lifestyle, cultures, food habits and attire remain similar to those of the Hindus. Converted through an inquisition order of the king in 1510 when the Portuguese invaded Goa, a decree forcibly converted the original natives and resulted in the destruction of many Hindu temples. A section of the Brahmin community was also forcibly converted and they later came to be known as Catholic Brahmins. Goan Catholics were later sub-divided into several castes, despite the fact that their religion does not follow any caste system. The old caste system is practiced covertly, especially while seeking marriage proposals. The communities take pride in the fact that Goa has never witnessed a communal riot.




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Bangkok Hindus Celebrate
Posted on 2002/6/5 23:46:02 ( 803 reads )


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BANGKOK, THAILAND, June 6, 2002: The Hindu Samaj will celebrate its 33rd anniversary on Tuesday, June 11, from 6 to 9pm. To mark the occasion, Swami Avadhesanand Giri, a spiritual leader, will preside over the celebration. For more information, call 02-225-1257.




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Fire Ceremony for World Peace in Tamil Nadu
Posted on 2002/6/5 23:45:02 ( 617 reads )


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KANCHIPURAM, INDIA, June 6, 2002: The Sri Kamakoti Ghatikasramam Trust is conducting a Sri Sudarshana Homam for World Peace and Prosperity at Srimatam from June 13 to 17, 2002. For details, click "source" above.




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Australian Newspaper Apologizes for Insulting Cartoon
Posted on 2002/6/4 23:49:02 ( 631 reads )


Source: HPI





SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, June 4, 2002: The Financial Review's editor, Glenn Burge, issued a formal apology today for a cartoon which ran in his newspaper. The cartoon (see HPI, May 29, 2009) showed a caricature of Lord Ganesha with four arms standing on a map of India. One hand juggled an atomic bomb, another sticks of dynamite, a third a chicken and the fourth gestured obscenely in the direction of Pakistan. The apology, direct to Dr. A. Balasubramaniam of the Hindu Council of Australia, who lodged the formal complaint with the paper reads: "I would like to formally apologize to you as chairman of the Hindu Council of Australia for the illustration that appeared in the Australian Financial Review by our cartoonist. I would appreciate it if you could circulate it to the broader Hindu community in Australia and internationally to acknowledge my sincere apology for the offense the illustration has caused to the community. As the apology notes, the misrepresentation of Ganesha in the illustration of the Kashmir conflict was not intended to insult the Hindu religion. As editor, I will ensure there will be no repeat of such an unfortunate incident."




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108 Buried Siva Temples Found
Posted on 2002/6/4 23:48:02 ( 805 reads )


Source: The Hindu





SIDDAVATAM, CUDDAPAH DISTRICT, June 2, 2002: The surfacing of five ancient Siva temples partly in sand dunes along the Pennar river in Jyothi village in Siddhavatam mandal has led to the discovery that as many as 108 Siva temples have been buried under sand at the place. Besides the rare presence of 108 Siva temples dating back to 1213 ce, a silver chariot and a diamond crown said to have been presented to the Jyothi Siddhavateswara Swamy temple by Kakatiya Rudrama Devi were present in Jyothi village, according to inscriptions discovered. The 108 Siva temples were said to have been constructed by King Rakkasi Gangarayadeva and his aide, Jantimanayakudu, in the 12th century and were buried under sand during the Muslim Kings' rule, says Pothuraju Venkata Subbanna, a retired headmaster and chairman of several temples in Siddhavatam mandal. The main temple is called Jyothi Siddheswara Swamy temple. A life-size inscription in the temple has a swastika symbol on the left and the Sun, Moon and a sturdy bull on the right.




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South Africa Tamil Teachers Head to India for Training
Posted on 2002/6/4 23:47:02 ( 532 reads )


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DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA, June 2, 2002: A group of Durban Tamil teachers left for Chennai, India, yesterday to take part in an intensive cultural and linguistic program being hosted by the Tamil University in Thanjavur. The 10-day course is being funded by the South African Tamil Federation, which has embarked on a drive to promote and preserve the language locally. The president of the Natal Tamil Federation, Bala Naidoo, said the organization selected five teachers for the program to ensure that children and adults studying Tamil in South Africa would receive the best education possible. "Our language and culture are slowly being eroded. We are exploring different avenues to ensure that our heritage is preserved. This program is one of many ventures we have on the cards," said Naidoo.




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Siva Temple Consecrated in Mauritius
Posted on 2002/6/4 23:46:02 ( 526 reads )


Source: L'Express





PALMAR, MAURITIUS, May 31, 2002: The dedication ceremony of the Siva-Dakshinamurti temple on the grounds of the Arsha Vidya Ashram in Palmar will continue until June 6. Eminent religious heads of India, including Swami Dayananda Saraswati are taking part in the Kumbhabhishekam (dedication) ceremony. This new temple required investments of US$67,000. Two traditional craftsmen from India took part in the work which lasted two years. The ashram, situated on the eastern coast of Mauritius, was inaugurated by Swami Dayananda Saraswati in May, 1994.




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Low Birth Rate and Poor Health Plague Kashmir Hindu Pandits in Jammu Refugee Camps
Posted on 2002/6/3 23:49:02 ( 508 reads )


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JAMMU, INDIA, June 2, 2002: Ever since their forced exodus from the Kashmir Valley as a result of terrorism, Kashmiri Pandits have been subjected to psychological and metabolic stress, leading to rises in diseases and deaths as well as low birth rates in the refugee camps at Jammu, Kathua and Udhampur. Diabetes and hypertension have almost assumed epidemic proportion, according to a noted doctor and Panun Kashmir leader K.L. Chowdhary. Of the over 300,000 Pandits who were uprooted from the valley between February and June in 1990, most have got relocated in tented camps and rented houses in and around Jammu, the winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir State.




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Group Formed to Act on South African Singer's Anti-Indian song
Posted on 2002/6/3 23:48:02 ( 562 reads )


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DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA, June 2, 2002: Concerned members of the Indian community have banded together to consider issues raised in Mbongeni Ngema's controversial song, "Amandiya," and look at ways of improving Indo-African relations. The committee was formed at a closed-doors meeting in Durban this week facilitated by the 1860 Heritage Foundation. The committee said there are problems that exist between Africans and Indians. It wants to identified and deal with them. The committee also hopes to strengthen ties between South Africa's president, Thabo Mbeki, and the Indian community. The facilitator of the meeting, Krish Gokool, said the committee would plan a course of action to deal with the anti-Indian song. "This week we are planning a meeting with other race groups to discuss the Ngema issue. This is not an Indian issue. We need the support of other communities to plan a course of action." "Eventually we want to become a watchdog body on racism issues affecting all South African communities," Gokool added. Meanwhile, the Human Rights Commission has lodged a complaint with the Broadcasting Complaints Commission. Deputy chairman Jody Kollapen said the problem with Ngema's song was that it consisted of sweeping generalizations, contained harmful stereotypes of Indian people and had the potential to polarize rather than bring people together in social dialogue.




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Malaysian Youth Encouraged to Progress as Individuals and to Serve Their Community
Posted on 2002/6/3 23:47:02 ( 523 reads )


Source: Malaysian Hindu Sangam





MALAYSIA, May 26, 2002: Over 600 Malaysian youth leaders from different states in Malaysia congregated at the Sri Sithi Vinayagar Temple Hall on May 26, 2002 to discuss the future of Hindu youth in Malaysia. Organized by the Malaysia Hindu Sangam's Youth Services Committee, the conference centered around the effect globalization has on today's youth. Opening speaker for the conference, A. Vaithilingam, noted that, "About 30 years ago about 75% of Indians were settled in rural areas, but the National Census in 2000 shows that about 79% of Indians are now settled in the urban areas. The fact remains that the community largely lags behind the other communities in Malaysia in most fields." Vaithilingam also pointed out that some youth have pursued professional careers and started small businesses. Three main speakers at the event presented papers on globalization, its effects on Hinduism; the positive and negative effects of globalization; and the role Hindu youths can play in matching the effects of globalization. The conference also gave the youth an opportunity to inaugurate the formation of a Village Improvement Program to serve the poor in village and rural areas by focussing on tradition, religion, culture, education and other services.




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Farming Has Changed in Mysore
Posted on 2002/6/3 23:46:02 ( 568 reads )


Source: The Hindu





MYSORE, INDIA, May 18, 2002: Farming in Mysore has changed in the last 30 years. Favoring the use of chemical fertilizers, monoculture farming and hybrid varieties, the younger generation has lost sight of many of the benefits of traditional farming. As a result, many varieties of crops have either become extinct or they have changed in their characteristics. For example, the President of the Raitha Hithavakshana Horata Samiti says, "A case in point is ragi. Earlier, it was used as food, and the ragi straw was used as fodder for cattle. It had a distinct flavor and was popular. Today ragi continues to be used as a staple diet among the farmers in southern Karnataka. But the ragi stalk is no longer used as a fodder as it is inedible and unfit for consumption." Similarly, a variety of rice used to make idli, (a steamed rice and dal cake) called "attalli batta" is now extinct. When farmers used to plant ten different varieties of crop as opposed to one, the risk of disease was less. Soil quality has been reduced by chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Younger farmers have lost touch with the traditional methods that maintained genetic diversity and have yielded to market demands.




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US Secretary of State on India-Pakistan Tension
Posted on 2002/5/31 23:49:02 ( 530 reads )


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WASHINGTON, D.C., May 30, 2002: Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State, was interviewed on the Public Broadcasting System on the subject on India and Pakistan. An excerpt of this very informative statement of US position: "Moderator Jim Lehrer asks, 'How close are India and Pakistan to a war?' Powell replies, 'I am afraid that it is a very tense situation. I can't tell you how close to a war they might be. What we're trying to do is make sure they never reach that point. We are pressing President Musharraf very hard to cease all infiltration activities on the part of terrorist organizations across the line of control, and we are asking the Indians to show restraint until we can determine whether or not that infiltration activity has ceased.' "




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New Government Regulations Threaten Ayurveda Industry
Posted on 2002/5/31 23:48:02 ( 639 reads )


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What Were the Ten Most Important Events in Hinduism and Yoga in the Last Fifteen Years?
Posted on 2002/5/31 23:47:02 ( 531 reads )


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June 1, 2002: Researcher Stuart Sovatsky requests HPI readers to e-mail him at "source" with their list of the ten most important events related to Yoga or Hinduism in the US over the past 10-15 years. They are for his article on Hinduism in the US which will appear in the Columbia University Desk Reference on Eastern Religions.




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