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Zambia's First Lady Calls for More India Contacts

Posted on 2003/4/19 9:48:02 ( 862 reads )

The Times of Zambia

ZAMBIA, AFRICA, April 10, 2003: First Lady Maureen Mwanawasa of Zambia has called for more cultural exchange programs between Zambia and India, saying this will strengthen ties between the two countries. Mrs. Mwanawasa's remarks were made when she officiated at a cultural night of a visiting Indian dance troupe at Lusaka's Hindu Hall on Tuesday. She said there was need to support those involved in strengthening ties between different peoples through the cultural exchange programs. "If you love culture, then you need to support programs like this which bring two different peoples together. These are important because they go a long way in strengthening ties between the two peoples. It is good to learn that the Indian high commission in Zambia has lined up a number of programs this year that will go a long way in strengthening the relations between the two peoples," Mrs. Mwanawasa said.

Zambia's Hindus Donate Food to the Needy

Posted on 2003/4/19 9:47:02 ( 1024 reads )

The Times of Zambia

ZAMBIA, AFRICA, April 15, 2003: The Maureen Mwanawasa Community Initiative (MMCI) has received another boost of 50 tons of relief food for distribution to hunger-stricken Chibombo district. Presenting the donation, Hindu Association of Zambia president Ashok Oza said the donation was the second consignment. The first batch of 50 tons was received in January and was distributed in Gwembe and Sinanzongwe in Southern Province. MMCI chairperson, First Lady Maureen Mwanawasa, thanked the association for the continued assistance rendered to her organization and commended the association for fulfilling its commitment. "My association hopes that other organizations will emulate the Hindu Association of Zambia in the fight against hunger.

Gujarats New Anti-Conversion Law Perplexes Missionaries

Posted on 2003/4/19 9:46:02 ( 922 reads )


AHMEDABAD, INDIA, April 18, 2003: The Rt. Rev. Vinodkumar Malaviya, a Protestant bishop in western India, is accustomed to providing food, cattle fodder, clothes and medical care to anyone in need. But the new Gujarat law establishes prison sentences of up to four years, along with fines, for converting someone by force, fraud or allurement. Christians say it also sets up such broad definitions of what constitutes "force" and "allurement" that their mission to serve the poor and sick is threatened. For instance, the law says "any gift" or "material benefit" is an allurement to convert. "So from now on you can't help a person?" asks Malaviya. "I don't know how to deal with it." Sermons may also be affected. The law says that warning someone about "divine displeasure" -- telling them that God hates sin -- is a threat, and therefore an illegal use of force. HPI adds: Much of this New York Times article is anti-Hindu and pro-Christian.

Project Gutenberg Reports on Hindu Texts

Posted on 2003/4/19 9:45:02 ( 935 reads )


UNITED STATES, April 19, 2003: The Mahabharata, Vol. 1, has been proofread and is currently undergoing post-processing before being released by the Gutenberg Project, which is posting public domain manuscripts on the web with public help in the form of proofreading.

The Complete Valmiki Ramayana is currently being post-processed. Early releases of these maybe found at http://www.sacred-texts.com. The two books that are currently being proofread are Vol. 34 & 38 of the Sacred Books of the East, i.e. Vols. 1 & 2 of the Vedanta-Sutras with the commentary of Sankaracarya. The remaining volumes of the Mahabharata and other works are in the pipeline. The first book taken through this process, Sacred Books of the East Vol. 48 - Vedanta-Sutras with the commentary of Ramanuja - Translated by G. Thibaut, has been released and can be downloaded for free at zip file or for the text format go to text.

"Bhakti Utsav" Concerts Hosted in New Delhi

Posted on 2003/4/18 9:49:02 ( 1088 reads )


NEW DELHI, April 18, 2003: A blend of bhakti sangeet and classical Indian music, which even youth can enjoy, is the main attraction of the three-day Bhakti Utsav at Nehru Park that began on April 18. The show, first of its kind in Delhi, is organized by the Delhi Government and the Union Ministry of Tourism and Culture with support of the Hindustan Times. The Hindustan Times website will also present five hours of the show after April 20. Brain child of Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, the idea behind the Bhakti Utsav is to overcome religious bigotry and bring different forms of bhakti music on one platform. "We are experimenting with the idea. I pray that it works. It is true Indian music which we are offering to people," Dikshit said. A huge champa tree in Nehru Park will form the background of the festival stage. "About 300 meters of fabric will be draped around the tree and earthen pots with flames will be placed around. The idea is to play on the synergy between flames from earthen pots and bhakti," said Sanjeev Bhargav, one of the organizers. Many famous singers will be offering their talents, including Anup Jalota, Prahlad Singh Tipanya, and Vasundhara and Kalapini Komkali. One may hear the rare haveli sangeet, a form of Krishna Bhakti, from Pandjit Jasraj, while Gundecha Bandhu will perform dhrupad. Sufiana Qawwali will be rendered by Nizami Bandhu and mantras will be recited by girls from Varanasi Kanyapeeth.

The Essence Of A Spiritual Singer

Posted on 2003/4/18 9:48:02 ( 925 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, April 18, 2003: Though he is equally proficient in most classical and light classical forms of music, it is the Ramayana Path that Pandit Chhannulal Mishra will concentrate on at Nehru Park concerts on April 18. "I have given many classical performances," says Mishra, whose recitation is part of the Bhakti Utsav (see previous article), "but this is the first time that I will be concentrating entirely on Bhakti Sangeet." Mishra, who was initiated into music by his father, Pandit Badri Prasad Mishra, and later studied with Ustad Abdul Ghani Khan, will start his one-hour recital with Durga Stuti, followed by a Banaras ki thumri and then bhajanas from the Ramcharitmanas. "I have chosen those parts where the bhakti bhav is more prominent, like Kevat Ka Anurag and Ram Nam ka Mahatva," says Mishra.

Ready To Eat Curry Meals Gain Popularity in India

Posted on 2003/4/18 9:47:02 ( 886 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, April 13, 2003: In a growing number of middle-class homes in the cities, the ritual of people cooking painstakingly elaborate meals is increasingly a memory. "Ready-to-eat is the future of food, with the growing number of double-income nuclear families," says celebrity chef Jiggs Kalra. When both partners go to work, it is so much simpler to have a ready-made packaged meal "which you just put into boiling water and serve," he says. The business in India is only beginning to pick up now. Processed foods account for less than two percent of total food consumption in the country. ITC, a giant in the food industry, estimates the current size of the ready-to-eat food market at around US$6 to 10 million. "It's convenience food," says Monojit Chintey of the Confederation of Indian Industry's agribusiness desk. There is growing acceptance for the genre, he says. "You just have to visit the local grocer to see the change." Shop shelves are stacked with a variety of cans, sachets and retort pouches of one-minute foods, and there are chains of supermarkets that have a wide range of ready-to-eat items. There's one aspect in India's food business that the West does not have, mainly cheap labor. People can, and do, hire cooks because it costs little. However, companies are marketing the "high-class gourmet" aspect of their products to get past this.

Deranged Man Damages Hindu Temple in Houston

Posted on 2003/4/18 9:46:02 ( 1086 reads )


HOUSTON, U.S.A., April 13, 2003: An apprently deranged man drove his car into a Hindu temple in southwest Houston this morning, set a small fire and began smashing statues inside the temple. The man, whose name has not been released, was taken to Ben Taub Hospital, where he is being treated for possible psychiatric disorders. The man crashed into the Dharma Mandir Temple about 7:45 a.m., police said. Witnesses told police the man got out of his car, took off his clothes, set a small fire inside the temple, then smashed the temple's marble statues. Police arrested the man as firefighters put out the fire. Significant damage was sustained to the Temple and the Deities, but no one was injured.

Hindu Hospitality Correction

Posted on 2003/4/18 9:45:02 ( 1070 reads )


KAUAI, HAWAII, April 18, 2003: In our April 14 request for assistance on a major article on the subject of "Hindu Hospitality," the contact address was left out. Those interested in helping may e-mail ar@hindu.org.

Bangladesh Hindus Take Holy Dip in Brahmaputra

Posted on 2003/4/14 9:49:02 ( 1008 reads )


DHAKA, BANGLADESH, April 10, 2003: Thousands of Hindus on Wednesday took a dip in the Brahmaputra river at Langalbandh, near Dhaka, in an annual event. It was estimated around 30,000 devotees had converged to bathe in an offshoot of the Brahmaputra river. "We are taking a dip to wash away sin, and the atmosphere is festive as more and more people are arriving," one devotee said. Organizers said usually more than 100,000 Hindus from around the country as well as neighboring India, Nepal and Sri Lanka join in the two-day ceremony.

Tirumala To Build Temples For Scheduled Castes and Tribal Colonies

Posted on 2003/4/14 9:48:02 ( 942 reads )

Deccan Herald

TIRUMALA,INDIA, April7, 2003: Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam chairman P. Chalapathi Rao on Monday said the TTD Board of Trustees had approved the proposed construction of Geeta Mandirams in Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe ("untouchable") colonies across the state. Rao said the decision followed a two-day meeting of the Board members. As planned earlier, a total of 7,200 new temples will come up in the State with the government spending around US$3,000 on construction of each temple. The TTD will invite donations for the purpose and local residents are expected to share 10 percent of the cost incurred on the temple construction.

Younger Generation Seeks Darshan Online

Posted on 2003/4/14 9:47:02 ( 861 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, April 12, 2003: In their hectic lives of long work and study packed days, and temples a fair distance from home, devotees of the younger generation are tuning into God online. A survey has shown that "...young urban Indians, in the 16 to 24 age group, showed (that) a significant number of people observed religious rituals by praying at home and places of worship, observing fasts and celebrating festivals."Of those surveyed, 51% identify strongly with their religion. However, the average 20 year-old coping with work and school has a hard time visiting the temple daily. At www.onlinedarshan.com you can log on to many temple sites and attend or conduct a puja. Twenty-four-year-old Neerja Jain says, "I log on once in the morning and anytime I feel down. For me, darshan like this means you carry God with you everywhere. "Third-year Delhi University student Payal Jha adds, "I really don't have the time to visit a temple, but it's kind of cool to log on for my tryst with God."

Traditional Designs Capture the Fashion Scene in India

Posted on 2003/4/14 9:46:02 ( 931 reads )


KOLKATA, INDIA, April 6, 2003: Traditional fashion in the form of kurtas (Indian-style shirts) are still being worn this year by college students in India along with denim trousers. Designer Rashmi Kapur has promoted traditional designs with a new flare for the last eight years. Kapur says, "Kurtas are the ultimate in fashion and it's time one flaunted a kurta before they go out of the fashion radar." Using georgette, crepe, chiffon and khadi with embroidery, Kapur explains that many of her pieces are affordable and washable. Kapur's entire women's wear line consists of ornate cocktail saris, Parsi embroidery on kurtas or even Indo-Western kurtas with straight pants in fruity colors of lime, green and oranges. Kapur plans to expand into formal Indian menswear fashion and started by designing a kurta for her own son's wedding. She also plans to focus on the sari by making it more appealing to the young women.

Head Start Program Teaches Yoga in Maryland

Posted on 2003/4/14 9:45:02 ( 929 reads )


BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, April 7, 2003: Yoga, a popular household word across the U.S. is now popping up in early childhood education. Head Start, a federal preschool program designed to give low-income children a better chance in elementary school, has now adopted yoga at a center in Baltimore. More than 400 children have participated in the program at the Meade Village Head Start Center. Children enter the classroom greeting each other with a traditional namaste. By using storytelling and songs, the children are led through breathing exercises and yoga poses. "They have stress in their life too. I want them to respect each other. I want them to see that everyone has a light that shines within them. "Oliver also recalls, "One little girl, after a session, said to me, 'I feel beautiful'. I think she just didn't know how to put into words that she was relaxed."

Multiple Sclerosis Patients Benefit from the Practice of Yoga

Posted on 2003/4/14 9:44:02 ( 860 reads )


OREGON, U.S.A., April 5, 2003: Findings from research conducted at the Oregon Health and Science University indicates that exercise and yoga can help patients with multiple sclerosis. Sixty-nine MS patients were divided into three groups. Group one participated in a weekly yoga class adapted for people with MS. Group two took a weekly exercise class using stationary bicycles combined with home exercise. The third group maintained normal activity levels. At the end of six months, the participants from all three groups took cognitive tests and answered questionnaires about their mood, sleepiness, fatigue and general quality of life. Barry Oken, MD and professor of neurology at the OHSU School of Medicine says, "While neither yoga nor aerobic exercise appeared to impact cognitive function, there was significant improvement in fatigue for the two intervention groups when compared to the waiting list group."

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