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Concert Revives Awareness of India's Classical Instruments

Posted on 2002/12/30 8:48:02 ( 1097 reads )


NEW DELHI,INDIA, December 29, 2002: A three-day concert was held in Bhopal to revive people's interest in classical music instruments. The instruments, which played a big part in palace concerts, are slowly on the way out with the advent of fast-paced music. Lack of trained musicians also have led to a decline in the use of such instruments like the veena, santoor and flute-like sundari. "We used to think that sarangi was dying down, santoor was dying down, and veena was dying down, but when shows like these are organized, people and artists get enthused and the artists start practicing with full vigor," said Om Prakash Chaurasia, organizer of the concert. Artists, who had come mainly from the cities of Lucknow, Kanpur and Varanasi, said they wanted to impart their traditional knowledge to the present generation.

Saris Lose Popularity in Tamil Nadu

Posted on 2002/12/30 8:47:02 ( 1019 reads )


TAMIL NADU, INDIA, December 27, 2002: South India is the treasure trove of silk saris with gold embroidery -- the six yards of fabric has been draped in styles seen today for centuries. However, today many younger women feel it's too cumbersome for daily wear. Younger girls for centuries have worn the half sari (pavadai thavani) consisting of a skirt and half a sari draped around the body. It is very elegant and something that mothers and grandmothers wanted their daughters to wear, especially at weddings. But the thavani is no longer popular, not even the pattu pavadai or silk long skirt. A sure indicator is that new malls coming up all across Tamil Nadu no longer display saris or thavanis on their mannequins. An entire generation of teenagers have taken to Western and north Indian attire. On college campuses, jeans and salwar kameez can be seen everywhere.

Source Correction for "Indian"

Posted on 2002/12/30 8:46:02 ( 1138 reads )


UNITED STATES, December 30, 2002: A recent story on the origin of the word "Indian" as it applies to Native Americans gave an incorrect source. Readers wishing further information or have information to add may contact "source" above.

Dakshineshwar Ganges Ghats to be Renovated

Posted on 2002/12/29 8:49:02 ( 1129 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, December 28, 2002: Renovation work on the historic Dakshineshwar ghats in West Bengal is expected to start within a month. Ghats are the steps, often hundreds of feet wide, which lead down into a river or lake, allowing easy access fetching water, bathing, etc. The central tourism and shipping ministries have also decided to undertake the repair of about 40 other ghats in Kolkata with the involvement of the state government. Stating this, Trinamool Congress MP Sudip Bandopadhyay said he had a meeting with the concerned ministers here yesterday to go over the details of the proposed project. The proposal is to renovate and beautify all ghats along the river.

Rajasthan's Famous Jain Temple Insured

Posted on 2002/12/29 8:48:02 ( 1036 reads )


JAIPUR, INDIA, December 28, 2002: The Akshardham temple attack in Gujarat last month opened the eyes of temple managements all over the India to the threat of terrorism. Taking steps to improve security in this direction, the temple management of the world famous Shri Jain Shwetambar Nakodha Parvathnath temple in Rajasthan has insured its property and pilgrims with the Oriental Insurance Company. The insurance, for US$9 million, which will cover the temple premises, temple jewelry and the dharmshalas against all kinds of threats -- fire, accident, earthquakes, riots and even attacks by terrorists.

Pregnant Women in Los Angeles Turn to Yoga for Exercise and Comfort

Posted on 2002/12/29 8:47:02 ( 962 reads )


LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES, December 16, 2002: Women in Los Angeles are turning to yoga for exercise, emotional support, and to be with others who are also pregnant. One class is taught by Seva Simran Siri Kaur Khalsa, a certified prenatal yoga instructor. She teaches chanting, stretching, deep breathing, strengthening exercises, and visualizations. Khalsa's goal is to ensure that the women attending her class have flexible spines, strong immune systems and healthy auras. "Anytime you are doing difficult things, remember, this is all preparation for labor. Think ... 'I am good. I am beautiful. I am a powerful woman,' " says Khalsa. The class ends with a prayer for the baby growing inside the pregnant women and a song about sunshine and love. After class, the women talk while drinking cardamom tea and eating graham crackers. Heather Catalena, who is eight months pregnant, attends the yoga class every week and says, "I come for the spiritual aspect of it. There is a sense of calm I get here that I do not get anywhere else. One night a week I can feel centered and focused on the pregnancy." Another woman says, "This yoga class is the one place in my high-speed life where I have the chance to slow down and reflect on the miracle of what is happening inside me."

Vastu, a Registered Trademark in Germany

Posted on 2002/12/29 8:46:02 ( 1021 reads )


BERLIN, GERMANY, Dec 26, 2002: After the patents of neem and turmeric, it is now the turn of Vastu, an ancient Indian architectural philosophy. It was recently discovered by the Delhi-based Vastu Shastra Institute that Vastu had been registered as a trademark nearly five years ago by a German company. They are considering legal recourse against the registration. "We found out that the term Vastu is a registered trademark in Germany and under the World Trade Organization rules, companies in other countries cannot use the word Vastu in any commercial venture. We are planning to fight the registration and will examine what legal recourse we can take under the German trademark law," Ashwini Bansal, director of the institute, said in New Delhi. Bansal said the fact came to light during his interaction with German Vastu scholar Marcus Schmieke, who had been taken to court by a Germany-based company Samhita, which has registered the term, for using Vastu in his academy's name. Subsequently, he had to change the name of his academy from Vastu Academy to "Vasati." When contacted Schmieke said that the trademark for Vastu was given to Samhita, a Maharishi Mahesh Yogi run institute, sometime in 1998-99. Bansal said no Indian company has registered the term Vastu, even though the science has existed in the country since the Vedic period. "We find the mention of Vastu in the Rig Veda," he said.

Genetically Modified Crops Result in Herbicide-Resistant Weeds

Posted on 2002/12/29 8:45:02 ( 1064 reads )


UNITED STATES, December 29, 2002: With the introduction of GM (genetically modified) corn, soybeans and other crops, a debate has emerged over their long-term effectiveness and safety within the present biological environment. One concern has been the weeds would evolve to resist the herbicides used to destroy them, rendering them immune to the poisons. This concern voiced by some scientists appears to have become reality in less than a decade. GM corn is resistant to Roundup, a popular and effective herbicide. Farmers can spray their GM corn crop with Roundup to kill weeds, but leave the corn unharmed. But weeds resistent to Roundup have already appeared in many countries. Not only is the benefit to the crop being reduced or eliminated, "super weeds" have been created. For further information, see "source" above, which is not an environmentalist site, but one dedicated to commercial agriculture.

Lottery Winner Puts Family, God First

Posted on 2002/12/29 8:44:02 ( 1006 reads )


WEST VIRGINIA, UNITED STATES, December 26, 2002: Andrew Jackson "Jack" Whittaker J., a contractor in West Virginia, won the US$113.4 million Powerball payout from the Multi-State Lottery Association on Thursday. Mr. Whittaker said to interviewers that work, family and God have long been the three most important things in his life, and he said the winnings won't change that. Mr. Whittaker, who has tithed for many years, is going to give $17 million, or 10 percent of his gross lottery winnings, to three Church of God pastors to create a fund to help the poor. "I truly believe this is an opportunity for me to give testimony about tithing and spreading wealth." Tithing is also an ancient Hindu practice.

Radio Adhyatma Jyoti on the Air From Nepal

Posted on 2002/12/28 8:49:02 ( 2405 reads )


KATHMANDU, NEPAL, December 28, 2002: FM Adhyatma Jyoti 104.80 MHz is the only one full time (12 Hours) spiritual FM radio station from Nepal. Its purpose is to preserve and promote cultural, religious and spiritual norms and values in turn contributing what they can to make the world more peaceful and better to live in. Their programs mainly consists of extracting pearl-like knowledge from our ancestors. The lessons of love, brotherhood, meditation, yoga, etc. are still practical and up to date. the organization highly appreciates any form of help and support from outsiders to make their mission a success. Readers wishing to help or seeking additional information may contact "source" above.

Conversion Activity Among the Ethnic Nepalese

Posted on 2002/12/28 8:48:02 ( 1075 reads )


KATHMANDU, NEPAL, December 23, 2002: The following is a recent article from a Christian group sending missionaries into Nepal: "On December 2, twelve mothers and I left for Nepal to visit four branch churches in the Himalaya Mountain area. We went as far as we could by vehicle; then we walked from church to church. I taught the women, and the mothers from our home church shared their testimonies. In one place the mothers were very old -- one was 90. In every place, we had wonderful fellowship and the women received a special blessing from God. We slept in the churches at night and held our meetings during daylight hours. The believers from the host churches prepared our meals. We didn't have any night meetings as the political situation [activity of rebels in the area] is very unstable. The people of these places are very poor and live in miserable conditions. We were very touched to see their impoverished condition, but praise God that we were able to encourage them. The last place we went had a larger and better meeting hall than the others. We rested there and had fellowship with the mothers both old and young. The next day we went to a hill town where we rented two cars and drove two hours to the location of a watchtower on a hilltop. We all climbed up and from there we looked in all directions and prayed for Nepal...The mothers of our church are now praying to go out to other places and minister to our sisters in the Lord..." HPI adds: It is illegal to convert a person from one religion to another in Nepal, but the law is not enforced.

Conversion Activities in Meghalaya

Posted on 2002/12/28 8:47:02 ( 1376 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA: December 23, 2002: The leader of a vigorous evangelistic Christian church-planting ministry in India spoke recently among hill tribe people in the North Indian state of Meghalaya. According to the article, which may be exaggerated, thousands of people attended the revival sessions, with a night meeting attended by 5,000 people and "over 1,200 people stepped forward to accept Jesus, forsake their sinful life and start a new one." When asked about the success of the revival, the organizers said, "They had read books about the pulling down of strongholds and claiming the land. In April they had gone to a high mountain, which locals believe to be the throne of the Goddess of this hill area, but they could not find it. They fasted and prayed. Then God revealed the secret location of this Goddess to a young man in an open vision. So 39 people climbed that mountain again and searched and found it. That is where the non-Christian tribal people go every year and sacrifice animals. The believers did spiritual warfare and cast out the strong man (which in this case was a female deity). Then they went in groups to the meeting site every Wednesday and walked around the ground in prayer cleansing the area. All this had had gone on before the meetings took place. They said as we worshiped the Lord that Sunday night that they saw the demonic spirit leave the area like a huge, dark bat." Organizers say they are sure that they will be successful converting the entire population. No indication is given if authorities were aware of this group's desecration of a Hindu holy place.

World's Fastest Mehndi Artist

Posted on 2002/12/28 8:46:02 ( 1422 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, December 23, 2002: He has a degree in forensic science, but at the age of 23, it is as the fastest mehndi artist that Ash Kumar's name appears in the Guinness Book of World Records. If that isn't enough, this London-born counts the likes of Julia Roberts, Madonna, couturier Calvin Klein and British super model Sophie Dahl among his regular clients. At the moment, Kumar is in Mumbai for the ongoing wedding season. It was about two years ago that officials from Guinness Book of World Records got in touch with Kumar for the record. "At that time I didn't know that, not only was I the youngest of the seven contestants, but also the only male," says Kumar with his trademark smile. He literally swept the floor with the new record of 134 hennaed armbands in an hour. "I drew a different design, seven inches across and two inches broad, every 11 seconds." Past clients on the receiving end of his signature style -- bold, traditional-meets-contemporary -- include Victoria Beckham and Demi Moore. Most of Kumar's work is either the regular, bridal mehndi or mehndi as a fashion accessory. Now that Kumar is an established name in the world of fashion, he is hoping that no one breaks his world record for another three years. "If my record is not broken for a total of five years, it would become a golden record, and will also be a part of the record books. What better way of being immortal?" he says.

Maneka Gandhi Removed From Animal Rights Committee

Posted on 2002/12/25 8:49:02 ( 1055 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, December 24, 2002: Recently removed from the Cabinet after a public disagreement with former Health Minister C. P. Thakur over the use of animals in medical research, Maneka Gandhi has now been relieved as chairperson of the government committee for control and supervision of experimentation on animals. "Her activism had caused problems for medical research. The establishment has taken a view that she's taken it too far," sources in the Ministry of Environment and Forests acknowledged. Gandhi's committee was raiding research institutions and seizing lab animals being abused. Institutes at the receiving end of Miss Gandhi's activism included Delhi's National Institute of Immunology, AIIMS and the Bio-Tech Research Institute in Hyderabad. However, it was her stand on the antidote for snake venom which precipitated Miss Gandhi's removal. The antidote is prepared from the blood of horses and its production had been halted after her committee objected. Horses are injected with nonlethal doses of venom and then develop antibodies to the venom. They are bled -- as often as weekly -- and the antivenom derived from their blood. Horses had died in the process. The antidote now is imported.

Navaratri Reprised on Christmas

Posted on 2002/12/25 8:48:02 ( 1087 reads )

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