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Navaratri Reprised on Christmas

Posted on 2002/12/25 8:48:02 ( 941 reads )

Kerala Delicacies All The Rage In Britain

Posted on 2002/12/24 8:49:02 ( 837 reads )


LONDON, ENGLAND, December 22, 2002: It was dubbed Britain's Indian summer, a period when all things touched by the Indian subcontinent were deemed to be in vogue, from "Bombay Dreams" and Bollywood, to sari-inspired fashion shows. Now, as winter approaches, the trend shows no signs of abating, thanks to the ever-increasing popularity of Indian cuisine. Kerala restaurants are opening almost daily in Britain, and not only the new restaurants but also many established eateries are adding more South Indian dishes. When direct flights from London to Thiruvananthapuram began a few years ago, knowledge of Kerala's cuisine began to rise in England. That profile will get even more help with direct flights from London to Kochi beginning this month. However, there is something else about Kerala which seems to resonate with the British, who are lovers of India's spicy cuisine. "Our food is very healthy, far more so than the traditional Indian dishes that are served over here," says head chef Sriram of the Taj-owned Quilon. "We don't use cream or butter, and when we use coconut oil, it is always very sparingly. The British have become very health conscious, and our cooking accommodates their needs."

Michael Jackson Coming To India for Hanuman Film Debut

Posted on 2002/12/24 8:48:02 ( 944 reads )


MUMBAI, INDIA, December 21, 2002: After a gap of seven years since his last visit, Michael Jackson is coming once again to Mumbai. Confirming the news, Raju Patel announced that Mr. Jackson would come to India in February or March for the launching of "Hanuman," a film produced by Mr. Patel under the banner of Film Club. "Michael loves India and expressed an interest to visit the country again, so I suggested that this was a good occasion. Since the project intrigued him, he agreed." Michael Jackson is Mr. Patel's partner in the production company, Never Land Entertainment

Indic Journalists Association International Founded

Posted on 2002/12/24 8:47:02 ( 823 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, December 11, 2002: The Indic Journalists Association International has recently been founded by Francois Gautier and Rajeev Srinivasan. The association is open to any journalist or writer who is dedicated to the promotion and defense of India. The charter of the association states it is, "An Association of Journalists and Writers friendly to India." One of their tasks will be to monitor the manner in which India is reported abroad and, if necessary, to intervene when they believe India is unfairly maligned. Readers seeking information on membership may contact "source" above.

Did Columbus Really Name the Indians "Indians"?

Posted on 2002/12/24 8:46:02 ( 882 reads )


New York, U.S.A., December 18, 2002: There has always been confusion on how exactly to describe the indigenous peoples of the Americas. Tim Giago, editor and publisher of The Lakota Journal, in a recent article writes that the term Native American as opposed to Indian happened during the age of "political correctness." It was at the time when African-American, Asian-American and Hispanic-American came into vogue. "For as long as I can remember, we have always referred to ourselves as 'Indian.' Many elders will tell you that 'Indian' is not a bad word. They do not believe it was a word uttered by Christopher Columbus because he thought he was in India when he landed on the islands of the Western Hemisphere. Rather they attribute it to the Spanish Conquistadors and the padres who accompanied them to a land they dubbed 'The New World.' The Spanish padres saw the indigenous people as innocents. They called them Ninos in Dios (Children of God)," writes Mr. Giago. As the words became words of common usage they were shortened to "Indios," and the word "Indios" soon became "Indian" when repeated by the settlers from other European nations. Referring to this article, the South Asian Journalists Association (SAJA) would welcome any further information on this interpretation of the origin of "Indian" to refer to indigenous Americans. Readers wishing to offer input may contact "source" above.

India's Children's Temple is Not Child's Play

Posted on 2002/12/23 8:49:02 ( 1093 reads )

Source: Press Reports

KOLLAM, INDIA, December 17, 2002: At an age when most children play house, five school children in Kollam have built a temple and even manage its day-to-day affairs entirely on their own. In a profession where geriatrics rule, the head priest is a 14-year-old and the manager is all of 13. Initially, the people of Kollam shooed away the children, and their makeshift temple was demolished many times. But each time the children rebuilt it with renewed vigor. Their devotion didn't go unrequited for those who opposed and ridiculed it are today sworn devotees of the Velithuruthy Siva Temple. It all started two years ago when Jayan, Arun, Aji, Akhil and Sreejan, all students at the Guhanandapuram High School, made a mud Sivalinga. They placed it on a barren piece of land and put a thatched roof over it. The primitive structure was demolished by the panchayat (village ruling council.) But when the children, all in the age group of 12-15, kept rebuilding the temple, the elders held a Deva Prasnam (a meeting of astrologers) which endorsed the project. Soon people rallied behind the children, a plot of land was purchased and funds collected to build a permanent structure. Temple architects have been summoned from Tamil Nadu. "We have already collected US$10,400," says temple committee secretary K. Raghu, who is an adult and a bank manager.

U.S. Children's Museum Exhibit Teaches About Other Cultures

Posted on 2002/12/23 8:48:02 ( 870 reads )

Source: The Richmond Times-Dispatch

RICHMOND, USA, December 10, 2002: Seven-year-old Alana Amrose stood entranced, looking at the fruits, animals, faces, symbols and writing of the Hindu calendar -- a Nakara Chaturdasi. She glowed with excitement at the Children's Museum of Richmond's "Our Community, One World in Celebration" exhibit featuring six miniature houses decorated with symbols of holidays observed around the end or beginning of the year. The girl's first stop last week was the Deepavali display. Alana Amrose also breezed through the Ramadan and the Chinese Lunar New Year exhibits to the display for Hanukkah. Amrose said the exhibition provided educational entertainment for parents and children. "I think it is a good way of exposing people to different cultures, all at once, in a small space without a lot of navigation," she said. "The exhibitions are in little houses, and kids love little houses."

American Advice Columnist Responds to a Hindu's Concern

Posted on 2002/12/23 8:47:02 ( 887 reads )


UNITED STATES, December 21, 2002: The following letter appeared in "Dear Abby," a syndicated column published in hundreds of U.S. newspapers: "Dear Abby, I am a Hindu woman living in the 'Bible Belt' [southern USA]. Many of my friends and acquaintances are Christian, and they are all wonderful -- except for one thing. Some try in small, subtle ways to convert me to their faith. With Christmas approaching, I know what's coming -- boxes of baked goodies with little brochures and pamphlets tucked inside all about Jesus and the Christian faith. I wish you would remind people that all of us in this diverse nation should respect the faiths of others. To try to convert someone to your faith implies that you consider your religious beliefs superior, and that is just plain wrong. I know these gestures are well meant, but I wouldn't dream of sending Hindu brochures with my holiday goodies. Abby, what is a tactful, but firm, way of dealing with this?" signed, Happy Hindu In The Bible Belt. Abby's response: Dear Happy Hindu, Much as you would like, you are not going to change people who feel it's part of their religious commitment to "save" you. Ignore the brochures and enjoy the goodies.

"Shahi Snan" Dates for Kumbha Mela Announced

Posted on 2002/12/23 8:46:02 ( 915 reads )


NASIK, INDIA, December 22, 2002: The dates for "Shahi Snan" (royal bath) during the Kumbha Mela of 2003, to be held at Trimbakeshwar, will take place on August 12. The auspicious dates for the second and third bathing will be August 27 and September 7 respectively, Swami Sagaranand and Mahant Govindananda Bramhachari announced. An estimated 1.1 million pilgrims are expected to pilgrimage to Trimbakeshwar for the 2003 Kumbha Mela.

Christmas Catching On in India

Posted on 2002/12/23 8:45:02 ( 944 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, December 24, 2002: A recent New York Times article describes Hindus in India taking to the Christian holiday of Christmas. While devout Hindus never start their day without lighting at least an incense stick and offering prayers to their chosen Hindu deity, come December many begin planning for Christmas. "It doesn't matter if I'm a Hindu. Christmas stands for love, affection, sharing, renewing family bonds. It's a festival for everyone," said one of the Hindus interviewed, as she shopped for tree decorations at New Delhi's upscale Ansal Plaza mall. Not surprisingly are the many echoes of complaints heard in the West about Christmas becoming commercialized. The popularity of Christmas does not extend to the religious themes associated with the festival. It's only Christians who attend midnight church services on Christmas Eve and nativity scenes can be seen only in Christian institutions and churches. For a Hindu perspective during this season of worldwide celebrations, see "source" above for a description of Pancha Ganapati, a modern festival or "Hindu Christmas," that is a time of gift giving and home religious observances honoring a family's love and togetherness, community harmony and cultural celebrations.

Teach Yoga to Children, Just Make It Fun

Posted on 2002/12/22 8:49:02 ( 1049 reads )


KERALA, INDIA, December 11, 2002: Mini Thapar, who studied yoga at Kerala's Sivananda Ashram, has teamed up with TV actress, Nisha Singh, to develop a creative way of teaching both hatha and ashtanga yoga to young children. Thapar says, "Children have to be taught in a fun way, with stories interlaced and by presenting the experience as something interesting rather than a daily chore." Nisha Singh adds, "Everything is done in a story format. We make it a creative process by weaving in stories with asanas." The partners began by teaching the postures as animal postures and later added a story theme. Children in their classes range in age from 3-11 years. Thapar concludes, "In the humdrum of routine, we often lose sight of our body, but with yoga you can never go wrong."

Yoga Heads the List in Helping Cancer Patients

Posted on 2002/12/22 8:48:02 ( 846 reads )


WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S.A., December 7, 2002: After three years spent reviewing more than 400 published studies on alternative treatments for cancer, Wendy A. Weiger and her colleagues at Harvard's Osher Institute have published their conclusions in the December 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine. The article says, "Only one form of treatment -- so called mind-body therapies, such as relaxation training, yoga, support groups or similar interventions that ease the psychological stress of living with cancer -- was found to be beneficial; it was recommended by the authors 'without reservation'." Seven other treatments such as moderate exercise, acupuncture for nausea, and soy supplements for prostrate cancer were mentioned but were only reasonably recommended. Nine treatments were found to have adverse affects such as high vitamin supplements and St. John's wort.

My Big Fat Indian Wedding

Posted on 2002/12/22 8:47:02 ( 870 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, December 14, 2002: Of the three great Indian obsessions, politics, cricket and marriage, the third comes first. Of the three great rituals that mark our lives -- birth, marriage and death -- marriage is the biggest and grandest of all. The poorest father will mortgage his house and drown himself in debt to provide for his daughter's wedding, reports Nina Martyris on the great Indian wedding. The weddings of India's wealthy are complete with thousands of guests, an outlandish theme, treasure chests of jewelry, family intrigue, romance and fun. They have long been the meeting ground of power, money and show biz. "Indian weddings are becoming bigger, louder and fancier," says Delhi designer Rohit Bal. "They're vulgar and completely out of control. I think a law needs to be passed to control people who've got so carried away. There was a time in the mid 90s, when I felt that maybe this madness might end, but simplicity is extinct. You have Hawaiian themes, Bollywood nights -- complete madness has overtaken people. Can someone please do a reality check on people spending filthy amounts of money on one evening?" Delhi wedding planner Geeta Samuel, adds that now the middle-class is aspiring to these superrich flash weddings too.

Hindus, The Last Of The Pagans?

Posted on 2002/12/22 8:46:02 ( 920 reads )


UNITED STATES, DECEMBER 9, 2002: What is called paganism, heathenism and polytheism is in fact the Natural religion of humanity, states this article. In areas where it has survived the onslaught of antihuman ideologies with their ego gods, the Natural religion has retained its self-respecting name. In Japan it is Shinto, in Taiwan Confucianism and Taoism, and in India as Hinduism, states this article by the Hindu Human Rights group. This article relates the fate of pagans in Europe after Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire and manifestations of the natural religion were condemned as sorcery, satanism and witchcraft, to what is happening to Hindus in India today. In Europe today Christianity presents a face, of compassion, equality, multiculturalism and interfaith pluralism. But this has not been the case throughout history. It is not the case now in India. The fundamentalist Christian propaganda machine, losing souls in Europe, portrays Hindus as Nazis, fundamentalists, and satanic followers in India. For the full article see "source" above.

Japan to Give US$87 Million for Ajanta Caves

Posted on 2002/12/21 8:49:02 ( 935 reads )


MUMBAI, INDIA, December 18, 2002: The Japanese government has okayed the release of US$87 million for restoration of the Ajanta and Ellora caves in Aurangabad -- the first time a foreign government is aiding an Indian Heritage site. But the aid has not come easy to the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC), which manages the site. After five years of working hard at sprucing up the area around the caves, the MTDC has managed to satisfy the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation, which is funding the restoration. MTDC had approached the bank a few years ago, asking for funds to restore the caves. The bank agreed, only, it said, the money would be released in two phases. The second donation would depend on the MTDC's performance in the first phase, during which it would have to set up the infrastructure (with the $26 million paid in the first phase) for the actual restoration work. MTDC did well, in fact, it even recently won the national award for the best executed conservation project for its infrastructure development near Ajanta and Ellora. The Buddhist murals and frescos of Ajanta, which go back to the 2nd Century BC, are considered to be the most beautiful expressions of Indian Middle Age art. The first mentions of these caves can be found in the writings of Chinese traveler Hiuen Tsang, who visited India between 629 AD-645 AD. He talks of 30 caves laid out in a massive horseshoe and nestling deep in a gorge in the Sayadri mountain range, whose walls had been converted into exquisite pictorial records of Buddha's life and teachings.

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