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East Indians Struggle to Maintain American Identity
Posted on 2001/10/10 22:49:02 ( 749 reads )


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TROY, MICHIGAN, October 4, 2001: When the Michigan Association of Physicians of Indian Origin met in Troy after the September 11th terrorist attacks, the focus of conversation was on how south Asians will fare in America. Concerned that their community will be mistakenly identified with the Middle Eastern terrorists, many are reluctant to appear different looking. Dr. Kirit Tolia, a physician and professor of medicine at Wayne State University, said, "Some Indian-American women no longer feel comfortable wearing the traditional sari in public, and men are reluctant to don the Salwer-Kameez." The Detroit area has at least 100,000 south Asian people and about one-half are of Indian descent.




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Small Shrines Mushrooming in NY After September
Posted on 2001/10/10 22:48:02 ( 672 reads )


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NEW YORK, USA, October 8, 2001: Since shortly after the terrorist attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center, New Yorkers have been creating impromptu shrines, memorializing the victims. People have placed photographs of the dead and missing, together with flowers and American flags, in many places, including the walls in Grand Central Terminal, Pennsylvania Station and the 42nd Street subway stop, some of the city's most heavily traveled junctions. In the opinion of Stephen P. Huyler, a cultural anthropologist who specializes in India, these shrines mean that small portions of ordinary public space have become set apart, and sanctified, by what people have placed there. Such "sacred spaces," he said, "bring healing, allowing us to bridge our grief or find a form of solace, to be quiet at a time of turmoil." He is guest curator of an exhibition on Hinduism "Meeting God: Elements of Hindu Devotion" at the American Museum of Natural History. The exhibition, which he said is meant to introduce people to the intimacy of devotion as it is experienced in India, includes 11 small shrines like those commonly found in that country. In India, the variety of these shrines shows that there is no single, "right" way to approach the divine, that it is an individual matter, he said.




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Government to Strengthen Unani, Ayurvedic Medical Colleges
Posted on 2001/10/10 22:47:02 ( 758 reads )


Source: Times of India





GRAKHPUR, INDIA, October 7, 2001: The state government has regularized the service of 719 medical officers of Ayurvedic and Unani systems, both traditional medicines of India. UP Minister for Medical Education, NKS Gaur said that US$1.46 million had been released under the Prime Minister Rozgar Yojna to purchase ayurvedic and Unani medicines. The state cabinet has decided to introduce physiology, anatomy and drvya chikistha courses in the Ayurvedic College, Lucknow, he said adding that the government has approved $823,000 for strengthening the infrastructure of state ayurvedic and Unani medical colleges. According to Dr. Gaur the government has also decided to appoint 38 district homeopath medical officers in the state. The PG course would be started at Lucknow and Allahabad state homeopathic colleges soon.




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Afghan Food Airdrops Are Vegetarian
Posted on 2001/10/10 22:46:02 ( 955 reads )


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RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, GERMANY, October 8, 2001: The tens of thousands of food packets being dropped over Afghanistan are all vegetarian "Meals Ready to Eat" or MRE. The packets contained a day's ration of red beans, rice, fruit bars, peanut butter and strawberry jam, providing at least 2,200 calories. When the meals were developed for this relief purpose, researchers discovered that only food which contained no animal products would not violate any prohibition of any of the world's religions. Muslims, for example, do not eat pork. The United States has a stockpile of about 2 million of the food packets.




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V.S. Naipaul Awarded 2001 Nobel Prize for Literature
Posted on 2001/10/10 22:45:02 ( 661 reads )


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STOCKHOLM, October 11, 2001: Trinidad-born British writer V.S. Naipaul won the 2001 Nobel prize for literature on Thursday. Naipaul, long tipped for the prestigious award, won the $1 million prize for combining existing genres into a style of his own in works that compel readers "to see the presence of suppressed histories," the Swedish Academy said in its citation. Naipaul, considered the leading novelist to emerge from the English-speaking Caribbean, is a master of English prose style who is known for his studies of alienation -- an individual's sense of being on the outside of society. His works range from short stories to novels, to travel writing.




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UP Gives Tax Breaks on Puja Material
Posted on 2001/10/7 22:49:02 ( 691 reads )


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UTTAR PRADESH, INDIA, October 6, 2001: The Bharatiya Janata Party-led Rajnath Singh government in Uttar Pradesh has exempted puja related items such as mukut, icons, trishuls, havan kund, deepak, etc, from trade tax. Significantly, the decisions have come at the onset of the festive season and when preparations for Ramlila are in full swing all over the state. The demand for puja items skyrocket during festive season beginning from Durga Puja later this month. In Surat most garment store owners across the city are saying that the market is hit by heavy recession with hardly any shoppers on the eve of Navratri this year at all. They have prepared themselves for a spell of low-profits despite myriad discounts and other schemes being announced by most shopkeepers to attract buyers. But some merchants harbor the hope that sales could pick up at the last minute.




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Obesity a Growing Challenge to Indian Health
Posted on 2001/10/7 22:48:02 ( 652 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, October 4, 2001: A new report, published in the October issue of the Journal of Nutrition, underscores obesity as a growing nutritional problem. Several studies since the late 1990's have shown that obesity is on the rise in India, particularly among more affluent women living in urban areas. In a country where more than 50% of women are anemic and more than half the children below the age of five are seriously malnourished, nutritionists believe obesity has often been ignored as a health problem. In a survey of 4,032 women in cities and villages in the state of Andhra Pradesh, 37% of the women in the cities were overweight or obese. Across the state, 12% of the women were overweight and two percent were obese. "Obesity is becoming a chronic problem with many Indian women because of the improper, unbalanced diet they consume and the sedentary lives they lead," says Ishi Khosla, a senior consultant nutritionists from New Delhi. Khosla notes that obesity, besides increasing the risk of high blood pressure, type two diabetes and other serious health problems is often a sign of poor nutrition. Consumption of white rice is one notable contributor to the onset of type two diabetes, which is caused by poor diet.




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China Recreates Afghani Buddhas
Posted on 2001/10/7 22:47:02 ( 755 reads )


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LESHAN, CHINA, October 5, 2001: After the destruction of its most famous archaeological monuments -- the giant stone figures known as the Bamiyan Buddhas -- by the Taliban-controlled government in Afghanistan, one of the buddhas is rising again in Western China. A team of 300 workmen are carving a replica figure into a cliff face in Schuan. The Chinese project aims to recreate the Afghan buddha the way it used to be before its erosion and destruction. The figure will be 120 feet high, the same as the smaller of the two Afghan statues. The Afghan statue is the brainchild of a Chinese businessman, Liang Simian, who runs a Buddha theme park near Leshan. Professor He Ining, one of the sculpture professors who is advising the project, says the lower part of the face matches the original, but the detail had to be recreated from scratch as had the whole upper part of the face, using Afghan Buddha busts of the same period.




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Antony Recalls How He Got Spiritual Solace
Posted on 2001/10/7 22:46:02 ( 754 reads )


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MRITAPURI, INDIA, October 8, 2001: Has the atheist Chief Minister Antony become a devotee of the woman-saint Mata Amritananda Mayi? Antony, a member of the Congress party, would not call himself a devotee but he admitted that he had found solace in the presence of the Mata, who is lovingly called Amma. "I am no believer nor do I practice a religion, but I do not harbor ill will towards any faith or creed," he said at the birthday celebrations of the Mata at Parayakadavu in Kollam district. "I met her for the first time in a Kochi-Delhi flight in1994. I noticed a radiance and love in her visage. Then in 1996, when I was chief minister, I inaugurated the Amrita project for free houses to the poor and widowed women. Ever since that I insist on meeting her whenever possible." Anthony's philosophic origins lay with Nehru socialism, but many of Kerala's communists have similarly shifted back toward their Hindu roots.




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A Call to Action for Area Sikhs:
Posted on 2001/10/7 22:45:02 ( 778 reads )


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YUBA CITY, USA, October 8, 2001: Since the September 11 terrorist attacks, Sikhs across America have been the target of hate crimes by misguided bigots who think Sikhs with turbans and beards are linked to Osama bin Laden. A bad situation has become the catalyst for better understanding, said Dr. Jasbir Kang, a Yuba City physician and founder of the Punjabi American Heritage Society. "This woke us up that we had to get involved," Kang said. "And it woke America up to who we are. What's happened in the last few weeks has created a new activism among Sikhs. We want America to know who we are." For more information on Sikhs, look on the Internet at www.sikhnet.com.




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Free Issue of MeeRa E-mail Publication
Posted on 2001/10/7 22:44:02 ( 685 reads )


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October 5, 2001: The goal of a new e-mail service being offered by MeeRa Publications is to provide information, ideas, and analysis to understand and celebrate Indian culture and heritage. The service is especially focused on youth and families with young children. The first issue offers a welcome letter, this year's Diwali Calendar, ten ways to make Diwali memorable to your children, and what to expect in future issues. To subscribe to this free service send an email to mail@meerapublications.com




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State Government Sponsors Prayers for Rain
Posted on 2001/10/6 22:49:02 ( 633 reads )


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ISAKHAPATNAM, ANDHRA PARDESH, INDIA, October 6, 2001: Driven to despair at the unrelenting drought affecting the state this year, the government decided to invite divine intervention. Accordingly, the endowments department directed the executive officers of all temples in its jurisdiction to perform special abhishekams (ritual bathing of the Diety) on October 7 to invoke the blessings of the rain god to save the farming community from the drought. It granted US$104 per temple for this purpose. Just the thought was sufficient, for by the time the executive officers of all Siva temples in the state received the announcement, the state experienced torrential rains. The temples went ahead with the ceremonies anyway, to give thanks. In some of these ceremonies for rain, which are historically quite effective, an icon of the Deity will be immersed in a container of water.




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Encroachment Threatens Archaeological Sites
Posted on 2001/10/6 22:48:02 ( 747 reads )


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SANCHI, INDIA, October 1, 2001: Growing encroachment around places of archaeological importance, including the world heritage sites of Sanchi and Khajuraho, and over-zealous tourists not only pose a threat to their safety but also hamper conservation work. Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) Superintending Archaeologist S B Ota told UNI that most of these encroachments by influential people have been caught in legal wrangles. Also, tourists, in their zeal, apply vermillion and other ritual pastes to protected statues, affecting their conservation. As a result, monuments in Gwalior, Mandu, Kundalpur and Chanderi are facing neglect, he added. A private hotel has been constructed within the prohibitory zone in Khajuraho in violation of ASI norms. Small shops and other business establishments, as well as new road construction, also pose a serious threat to the the safety of deteriorating heritage sites in Madhya Pradesh.




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Amnesty International Details Attacks
Posted on 2001/10/6 22:47:02 ( 733 reads )


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LONDON, ENGLAND, October 4, 2001: Despite calls for tolerance and restraint by the authorities, at least 200 attacks on Sikhs and 540 on Arab-Americans have been reported in the USA in the week following the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington, international human rights watchdog Amnesty International has said. "Mosques, Hindu temples and community centers have been attacked and vandalized in countries as diverse as India, the UK, Poland and Denmark," Amnesty said in a report. Amnesty International documents evidence of a backlash against Muslims and people of Middle Eastern or Asian origin or appearance in at least 10 countries.




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American Native Indians Want End to Columbus Day
Posted on 2001/10/6 22:46:02 ( 682 reads )


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DENVER, COLORADO, October 6, 2001: About 1,500 marchers converged at the state capitol Saturday, beating drums and waving flags as they called for the end of Columbus Day. The "Transform Columbus Day" rally was organized by American Indians and other activists who say Christopher Columbus was a slave trader whose explorations set off centuries of abuse for indigenous people. "The legacy of Columbus is something Indian people live with every day: the federal laws, the loss of 96 percent of our land base,'' said Glenn Morris, a member of the American Indian Movement. The Native American Indians also lost their religions as a result of the Christian missionary activity which began with Columbus.




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