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Spirituality Focus at Keralite Hindu Convention
Posted on 2001/5/25 23:47:02 ( 651 reads )


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DALLAS, TEXAS, May 25, 2001: A convention of 700 Keralite Hindus was held at the Thrimurti Nagar in Dallas, Texas, to facilitate a spiritual reawakening among the Malayalee-speaking Hindu community in North America. It was the first of its kind in North America, and was addressed by religious leaders from India and the United States, said K.G. Manmadhan Nair, organizing committee chairman. The future conventions will create a forum for children to share their common concerns and help them to continue the Hindu way of living, both socially and spiritually, strengthening the roots of Hindu culture among the younger generation, he said. Jagadguru Swami Sathyananda Saraswathi, head of the Ramadasa Ashram in Chengottukonam in Kerala, inaugurated the event. He suggested that a world parliament be formed for Hindus. Cultural programs included a concert and a Carnatic music recital.




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With an Asian Influx, a Suburb Finds Itself Transformed
Posted on 2001/5/25 23:46:02 ( 632 reads )


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FREMONT, CALIFORNIA, May 26, 2001: The change in Fremont was subtle. One day, Hillside Drive was renamed Gurdwara Road, for the Gurdwara Sahib Temple, which Sikh residents built there. There is little doubt that over the last ten years, a blue-collar, somewhat anonymous, community has essentially disappeared. In its place has arisen something dazzlingly different: a magnet for Asian immigrants, including many Hindus, forsaking urban enclaves to move to the suburbs in such numbers that they transform them. The new Fremonters include Silicon Valley engineers, entrepreneurs of every persuasion -- from Hindus owning convenience stores to Chinese chief executives living in Mediterranean palazzos -- as well as Fijian Indians, Filipinos and one of the country's largest concentrations of Afghan refugees. The latest census figures disclose that the Asian population doubled since 1990 in this city of 206,000 people, to 37 percent from 19 percent. Nationally, Asians now account for 4 percent of the population. Among cities of more than 100,000 people, Fremont is one of five with the highest percentage of Asian residents.




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Hindus May Lose Nepal Kingdom
Posted on 2001/5/24 23:49:02 ( 708 reads )


Source: Deccan Chronicle





KATHMANDU, NEPAL, May 24, 2001: Nepal may no longer be a Hindu kingdom if a bid by minority communities not to register themselves as Hindus succeeds in this year's census. After three centuries of being under the Hindu umbrella, the janajatis, or minority communities and tribespersons, are demanding the right to propagate their independent culture -- a move encourage by Christian missionaries as a way to divide the Hindus. Nepal has 20.3 million people and its minorities comprise roughly 60 per cent. If the janajatis succeed in their bid, and the ratio of Hindus to other religions becomes say 50-50 or even 60-40, a constitutional crisis may emerge, experts feel. According to a high-ranking official at Janajati Mahasangh (the umbrella organization of minorities), 49 percent of the Limbus, 65 percent of the Rais, 57 percent of the Thakalis and 96.5 percent of the Sunuwars registered themselves as Hindu in 1991.




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Malaysia Venue for World Renowned Tamil Poets and Writers
Posted on 2001/5/24 23:48:02 ( 850 reads )


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KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA, May 24, 2001: Some of the world's greatest Tamil poets and writers will converge here on Saturday for the fourth annual Tamil Writers Day where they will be honored for their literary works. The event, organized by the Bharathidasan Association of Malaysia, will be held at the Putra World Trade Centre. Bharathidasan was one of the greatest Tamil poets of the 20th century and a brave freedom fighter in India. Association president Datin Seri Indrani Samy Vellu said a number of poets and speakers from Tamil Nadu, South India and selected Malaysian Tamil writers would be honored at the function for their contributions to the Tamil literary world. "We have some worldclass poets and writers in the making and we aim to provide them the recognition and acknowledgement they deserve," she said. She said the association was aiming to create more "Bharathidasans among Malaysians."




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MacDonalds Tries to Make Amends
Posted on 2001/5/24 23:47:02 ( 703 reads )


Source: CNN





NEW YORK, May 24, 2001: The words "we apologize" and "we regret" are to be noted in a public apology MacDonalds posted on the company's U.S. web site. After a recent lawsuit by Hindu lawyer Harish Bharti, the fast-food chain has attempted to make amends. Vegetarian Hindus around the world were offended to find out that the so-called natural flavoring listed as an ingredient was indeed a beef flavoring added to the French fries at the MacDonald's potato processing plants. To add to the deception, the company advertised extensively that their French fries were cooked in vegetable oil. It would be natural to assume that the fries contained no animal products. In their own defense, the company stated it is not required by the U.S. FDA to reveal the use of beef flavoring.




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Lawyer Rejects McDonald's Apology
Posted on 2001/5/24 23:46:02 ( 881 reads )


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SEATTLE, U.S.A., May 25, 2001: An apology by McDonald's Corp. for any confusion about the beef flavoring in its U.S. french fries won't affect three lawsuits, the lawyer who filed the cases says. Harish Bharti would continue to pursue the cases he has brought in King County Superior Court and in British Columbia and California. He took issue with the language of the apology. "From my point of view, 'confusion' is not the appropriate term," Bharti said. "They launched a media campaign of deception."




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US Lawmakers Urge Intervention Against Taliban
Posted on 2001/5/23 23:49:02 ( 657 reads )


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WASHINGTON, D.C., May 24, 2001: More than 100 US lawmakers have written to President George W. Bush urging him to intervene against Afghanistan's ruling Taliban militia's edict that Hindus in the country identify themselves by wearing labels on their clothing, according to this report by India Abroad. Dozens of other news stories have appeared on this edict because of the similarity of the move to the Nazi's treatment of the Jews. In fact, the story has been several times the lead story of the AP wire service, and once the second to top story on the New York Times. In all cases, the stories are completely sympathetic to the Hindus. The lawmakers wrote to President Bush, "We are writing to you today because we are extremely concerned after hearing news reports which indicate that the Taliban leadership in Afghanistan plans to force Afghan Hindus to wear labels on their clothing to differentiate them from Muslims. We urge you to immediately take steps that will convince the Taliban to withdraw this proposal. History has shown over and over that segregation of this kind can lead to genocide. This action alone is enough to raise that specter."




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Dalai Lama Attends U.S. Conference on Meditation Research
Posted on 2001/5/23 23:48:02 ( 721 reads )


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MADISON,WISCONSIN, May 20, 2001: Collaborating with the Mind & Life Conference consisting of Western philosophers and scientists, the Dalai Lama will attend the University of Wisconsin on May 22 and May 23 to observe a research session on emotions and the brain. The highlight of this session will be research conducted on the brain of Buddhist monk and French biologist, Matthieu Ricard, a dedicated meditator. High-tech equipment at the University's $10-million-dollar laboratory is able to track biochemicals in the brain and observe how the brain responds to different emotions. A huge 16-ton magnet in what is called a MRI scanner can track the brain as it processes information and emotions while PET uses radioactive tracers to measure chemical activity.




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400,000 Australians Fast
Posted on 2001/5/23 23:47:02 ( 742 reads )


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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, MAY 21, 2001: More than 400,000 Australians took part in a nationwide fast lasting 40 hours. World Vision, an Australia-based Christian body, organized the "40-Hour Famine," to raise funds for bonded child workers in India and other deprived people the world over. According to World Vision, the objective of the fast was to "help to secure the right to adequate levels of food for populations facing starvation and help them guard against future tragedies." The organization is particularly concerned with the children in India who are in bonded labor and often work under harsh conditions from early morning to late evening. Part of the estimated Australian $6 million raised from the fast will be used to buy the freedom of many bonded children. Funds will also be used to clear land mines in Cambodia and provide food and healthcare for deprived children in many parts of the world.




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Atlanta Temple Gets Good Press
Posted on 2001/5/23 23:46:02 ( 737 reads )


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ATLANTA, GEORGIA, May 19, 2001: The Atlanta Journal Constitution, one of America's leading newspaper, has provided a respectful report on one of the many places in metro Atlanta where people regularly gather to pray and seek spiritual fulfillment, the Hindu Temple of Riverdale, Atlanta. The article describes the temple as one modeled on the 5000-year-old Tirupathi of South India, and goes on to give a history primer on Hinduism mentioning that the goal of human life being to realize the divine essence within ourselves and ultimately to become one with God. There are 40,000 Hindus in metro Atlanta and 1.3 million in the United States. The temple worship protocol is described, such as the removal of shoes, with worshippers sitting on the floor. The story is well researched, with people from the community interviewed. Symbolism of the deities are detailed, and the philosophy of karma, whereby every action having a consequence, is described in context.




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Ayurvedic Hospital to Be Set Up in Delhi
Posted on 2001/5/23 23:45:02 ( 815 reads )


Source: The Hindu





NEW DELHI, INDIA, MAY 21, 2001: The Union Health Minister, Dr. C. P. Thakur, following an agreement reached in principle between his ministry and the Urban Development Ministry and the Delhi Development Authority for site allotment, announced that a state-of-art National Ayurvedic Hospital will be set up at Sarita Vihar in the capital. The hospital will be set up in natural surroundings with medicinal plants supported by a mini-pharmacy. It will offer specialized Ayurvedic programs. The Department of Indian Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy has allocated funds for the project with well-equipped hospital and post graduate teaching and research facilities. Dr. Thakur and Ms. Shailaja Chandra, secretary, Department of Indian Systems of Medicine, said that a digital medicinal library project, aimed at protecting the medicinal plants and herbs from being patented by others, was underway and would be completed by the end of this year. It would document medicinal plants and herbs with their botanical names and properties.




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Arrangements For Amarnath Yatra Given Finishing Touches
Posted on 2001/5/20 23:49:02 ( 727 reads )


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SRINAGAR, INDIA, May 12, 2001: The Amarnathji Shrine Board is managing the yearly Amarnath pilgrimage for the first time. It is busy providing finishing touches to the arrangements and has made some major changes in the system of the yatra. The month-long pilgrimage is slated to start on July 4, and the first batch of "registered pilgrims" shall leave Jammu on July 2. They will have darshan of the ice lingam on July 5, according to a tentative schedule. The board was set up at the recommendation of a government commission after the August, 1996, tragedy, when 225 pilgrims were killed in massive snow-storm and avalanches. Although the pilgrimage has gone on for centuries, the highest number of pilgrims to have visited the cave was last year, when 173,000 people turned up.




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Militants Extort Missionaries
Posted on 2001/5/20 23:48:02 ( 771 reads )


Source: The Hindu





GUWAHATI, INDIA, May 19, 2001: Authorities revealed today that militant groups in Manipur have served huge extortion notices to educational institutions run by Christian missionaries. The announcement was made after militants killed three missionaries during a quarrel over extortion near Imphal. Father Jonas Kerketta said the militants entered the seminary premises and demanded money from the three priests at gunpoint before shooting them at close range. He has accused the Revolutionary People Front (RPF) of Manipur, an organization dedicated to driving India from Manipur, of serving the extortion notices which bore the letterheads of the organization. Father Jonas told reporters that each extortion notice ranged between US$10,800 and $54,300. At least 1,000 Christian missionary-run schools across the northeast remained closed on Friday in protest against the killings.




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India Supports Present Breastfeeding Guidelines
Posted on 2001/5/20 23:47:02 ( 713 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, May 13, 2001: Breastfeeding has been encouraged by the World Health Organization for at least the first six months of an infant's life. In poorer nations, breastfeeding up to this age is absolutely necessary to win the fight against malnutrition. Prompted by infant food companies, the World Health Assembly, meeting in Geneva on May 14, is proposing that the guideline be moved to four months of breastfeeding. India is outraged at the suggestion. Union Health Minister Dr. C.P. Thakur said, "India will oppose the proposal tooth and nail." Results of a nation-wide survey have indicated that around 55 per cent of infants under the age of six months receive their sole nutrition from breast milk. This percentage of exclusively breast-fed babies varies from state to state, with Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, and Meghalaya having less than 20 per cent whereas Andhra Pradesha boasts 75 per cent.




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A "Sinful" Slaughter in Hongkong
Posted on 2001/5/20 23:46:02 ( 750 reads )


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HONGKONG, May 21, 2001: A Buddhist temple yesterday carried out a ritual to compensate for what it called the "sinful cull'' of 1.2 million chickens in Hongkong, ordered after an outbreak of the potentially deadly bird flu virus. Reverend Wing Sing of the Western Monastery said that the deaths of so many birds was a sin which could not just be left to fester. He added that the three-hour ritual was held to avert the possibility of natural disasters, including typhoons and other illnesses and disease, hitting Hongkong and its people. According to Rev. Wing, the temple would release hundreds of fish as part of the ceremony to pacify the lost souls of the chickens, in addition to prayers.




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