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Bali's Female Puppet Master

Posted on 2002/3/8 8:46:02 ( 983 reads )

Source: Jakarta Post

BALI, INDONESIA, February 22, 2002: Ni Nyoman Tjandri is one of the few female puppet masters in Indonesia. Born to an artist father, Tjandri was familiar with and fond of all forms of the Balinese performing arts, especially the arja, a Balinese traditional drama that incorporates music and dance. The talented Tjandri gradually developed superb dance and vocal techniques through interaction with her father, I Made Kredek, and fellow artists. After her father's death, Tjandri decided to learn the Kawi language to continue his efforts to master Balinese literature. She went to the well-known dalang I Nyoman Ganjreng. Instead of giving Kawi lessons, Nyoman Ganjreng gave the girl four puppet figures. The puppet master told her she had to master the Kawi language through wayang stories, mostly derived from Ancient Indian and East Javanese epics and legends. In 1979 Tjandri decided to learn the art of the dalang seriously and intensively. All wayang performances present a story, which is told by a dalang. A dalang must master at least 100 stories and be able to enliven each of the characters portrayed with distinctive vocal sounds. Being a dalang, one must have plenty of physical stamina and a thorough knowledge of both the ancient Kawi language and high and low Balinese language, as well as its literature. Tjandri is frequently invited to perform both on local and overseas stages.

Skipping Stones Magazine Calls for Submissions

Posted on 2002/3/8 8:45:02 ( 921 reads )


EUGENE, OREGON, March 8, 2002: The Skipping Stones Youth Honor Awards recognize students ages 7-17 for their contributions to multicultural awareness, peace and nonviolence, social responsibility, and nature and ecology. The 2002 award themes are: 1. http: //hip /or hype? The Internet's Impact on Multicultural Issues, and 2. World Wide Web of Nature: Technology and the Web of Life. Ten articles, poems, and photos that illustrate these themes are selected for publication in Skipping Stones magazine (Vol 14, no. 4), a multi-cultural, multi-religious magazine for youth. The entry fee of $3 (Low-income: free) brings everyone who enters a copy of the issue featuring winners. Send by June 20, 2002. For more information, contact: Youth Awards, Skipping Stones Magazine, P.O. Box 3939, Eugene, OR 97403-0939; (541) 342-4956; or e-mail "source" above.

Where to Find Leather-Free Goods

Posted on 2002/3/8 8:44:02 ( 892 reads )


USA, March 7, 2002: The Vegetarian Resource group offers an online "Shoppers Guide to Leather Alternatives." The companies listed are separated into several categories. The Vegan Mail order section includes companies that sell only completely animal-free products. The Catalogs, Companies, and Stores section lists companies that sell or manufacture both leather-free and leather goods. The remaining sections of this guide list specific styles of shoes and goods and the companies who make them or the stores/catalogs that carry them. The above website offers sources for leather-free: athletic shoes, dress shoes, work boots, tool belts, coats and jackets, belts, bags, and wallets, ballet shoes, balls, baseball gloves and more.

International Hindi Conference Set for Trinidad

Posted on 2002/3/8 8:43:02 ( 930 reads )


TRINIDAD, CARIBBEAN, March 3, 2002: An International Hindi Conference organized by The University of the West Indies and The Hindi Foundation of Trinidad & Tobago, titled "Hindi Language, Literature and Culture: A Caribbean Perspective," will be held on May 17-19, 2002, at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad. Among the topics to be presented and discussed are: Experience in teaching Hindi (language, literature, and culture), and Improving the quality of Hindi courses available in the Caribbean. Academics and scholars are invited to contribute presentations in such areas as the development of materials for teaching Hindi as a foreign language and designing computer based activities. For details of the conference, including deadlines, registration, travel and accommodations, contact the above source.

Child Abuse Revelations in Catholic Church Continue

Posted on 2002/3/8 8:42:02 ( 999 reads )


FLORIDA, USA, March 8, 2002: A Roman Catholic bishop has admitted sexually abusing a student when he was a rector at a Missouri seminary more than 25 years ago, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Friday. Calling his behavior "naive," Rev. Anthony J. O'Connell acknowledged the abuse of his former student, 40-year-old Christopher Dixon, in an interview with the newspaper Thursday night after he signed a statement that day with Florida's other bishops denouncing such abuse. Dixon, who became a priest but later left the clergy, accuses O'Connell of taking him to bed after he sought out O'Connell for counseling at St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Hannibal, Mo. Dixon said the abuse began in the ninth grade and continued through the 12th grade. Dixon made similar allegations against two other priests, including the Rev. Manus Daly, who allegedly abused Dixon at the Hannibal seminary, and the Rev. John Fischer, who Dixon said abused him at a Catholic school prior to Dixon entering the seminary. Daly was removed from a Marceline, Mo., church this week and Fischer was removed from the priesthood in 1993 after allegations involving other children. In a brief statement released Thursday, Florida's 10 bishops -- including O'Connell -- called sexual abuse "both criminal and sinful" and assured their 2.2 million followers that the church has procedures to deal with allegations of sexual misconduct. The statement was released in the wake of growing allegations of sexual abuse by priests in Boston and around the country. Sam Barbaro, a spokesman for the Palm Beach Diocese, had no immediate comment Friday and wouldn't say what action, if any, would be taken against O'Connell. O'Connell was named as a bishop in November 1998. Earlier in 1998, his predecessor in Palm Beach, J. Keith Symons, became the first U.S. bishop to resign due to sexual involvement with boys. In 1993, Archbishop Robert Sanchez of Santa Fe, N.M., resigned over involvements with several women, some teen-agers. Overseas, the Vatican is investigating allegations against Archbishop Juliusz Paetz of Poznan, Poland. Austria's primate, Cardinal Hans Groer, was accused of abusing boys in 1995 and went into exile but did not directly admit guilt. U.S. Archbishop Eugene Marino of Atlanta and Bishop G. Patrick Ziemann of Santa Rosa, Calif., resigned after sex scandals involving adults.

Kanchi Seer Offers New Peace Formula for Temple

Posted on 2002/3/7 8:49:02 ( 898 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, March 05, 2002: After a series of meetings with central ministers, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Muslim leaders, Swami Jayendra Saraswati, the Shankaracharya of Kanchipuram, the latest mediator on the Ayodhya issue, said that the VHP had agreed to await the verdict of the Supreme Court on the disputed site. He also endorsed the VHP stand that bhoomi pujan (land blessing) be permitted on March 15 on the land acquired by the Centre in 1993 and that this land should be handed over to the Ramjanmabhoomi Nyas well before June 2, when the 100-day yagna in Ayodhya ends. He asked the Muslim Personal Law Board to give its approval for the handing over of this acquired land. But VHP Vice President Giriraj Kishore said no such proposal had been made yet. The religious leader also held meetings with representatives of the Muslim Personal Law Board and other Muslim leaders. Board spokesman Kamaal Far ooqi said the seer had made a proposal for a solution which would combine "both dialogue and a court settlement."

Death Toll in Riots Reaches 677

Posted on 2002/3/7 8:48:02 ( 938 reads )


GANDHINAGAR, INDIA, March 7, 2002: Nine days after communal violence first broke out in Gujarat, the death toll now stands at 667, including the 60 persons who died in the attack on the Sabarmati Express on February 27. Official sources said the death toll in the attack on the train at Godhra had risen from 58 to 60 with the death of two persons who were seriously injured in the attack which sparked off widespread reprisals across the state. Figures available at the police control room in the state capital state that 820 persons with serious injuries are still admitted to various hospitals, many of them in a critical condition. Almost 157 of the deaths have taken place in stabbings and the rest have succumbed to burn injuries and gun-shots. Ten bodies were recovered from a village well at Ajanwaga in Godhra district on Wednesday. The victims were reportedly taking shelter in a primary school when they were surrounded by a mob and thrown into the well. The official statistics say that 99 persons have been killed in police firing. The security forces have fired 5176 rounds of ammunition at the mobs as well as 7276 tear gas shells. Nearly 2459 houses, 2082 shops, 1084 cabins and 448 vehicles, including 12 buses, have been set on fire.

Washington Post Says "Provocation Helped Set India Train Fire"

Posted on 2002/3/7 8:47:02 ( 1311 reads )


GODHRA, INDIA, March 5, 2002: In this article by Rajiv Chandrasekaran of the Washington Post Foreign Service, Hindus are accused of provoking the attack on the Sabarmati Express. The article reads in part, "For two days, as the Sabarmati Express snaked across northern India, some Hindu activists in cars S-5 and S-6 carried on like hooligans. They exposed themselves to other passengers. They pulled headscarves off Muslim women. They evicted a family of four in the middle of the night for refusing to join in chants glorifying the Hindu god Ram. They failed to pay for the tea and snacks they consumed at each stop. When the train pulled into this hardscrabble town in western India on the morning of Feb. 27, the reputation of its rowdiest passengers preceded it. When they refused to pay for their food, Muslim boys among the vendors at Godhra station stormed the train. When the confrontation was over, 58 Hindu passengers were dead, incinerated by a fire that consumed cars S-5 and S-6. In retaliation, mobs of enraged Hindus descended on Muslim communities across Gujarat state, igniting riots that killed more than 500 people, India's worst religious violence in a decade. Indian officials have characterized the riots as Hindu rage for an attack on innocent activists. However, interviews with passengers on the train, witnesses to the incident and police and railway officials suggest that the train fire was not a premeditated ambush by young Muslims, but rather a spontaneous argument, provoked by the Hindu activists, that went out of control. 'Both sides were at fault,' said a police official here, who spoke on condition of anonymity. 'The provocation was there and the reaction was strong. But no one had imagined all this would turn into such a big tragedy.' B.K. Nanavati, the deputy police superintendent in Godhra, said the investigation does not support the contention by Gujarat's chief minister, Narendra Modi, that the assault on the train was a 'terrorist attack.' 'It was not preplanned,' Nanavati said. 'It was a sudden, provocative incident.'" The article goes on to say that word of the Hindus' behavior had reached the Godhra station where the vendors prepared for a fight. One did start, the train left the station, but was stopped half a mile later in a Muslim area where a large crowd gathered. Police say one or more Muslims started a fire between cars S-5 and S-6, where most of the people died.

Bookies Held for Taking Bets on Riots

Posted on 2002/3/7 8:46:02 ( 947 reads )


JAIPUR, INDIA, March 7, 2002: In one of the more bizarre developments surrounding the Godhra killings, Police have arrested 81 bookies offering bets on the likelihood of religious riots breaking out in a state bordering Gujarat, where hundreds of people were killed in Hindu-Muslim violence. Two of the bookies, Genda Lal and Satyanarain, were offering odds of 1-to-4 to 1-to-6 in favor of riots taking place in Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan state, Superintendent of Police Anand Shrivastav said Thursday. Shrivastav said the bookies had created panic in Jaipur by spreading rumors of impending riots to drum up their business. They offered odds on a curfew being clamped in the old part of Jaipur as well as on estimated casualties, he said.

California Voters Reject Building Proposal Because of "Bad Feng Shui"

Posted on 2002/3/7 8:45:02 ( 1022 reads )


SAUSALITO, CALIFORNIA, March 7, 2002: Voters rejected a proposal to build a $7.8 million police and fire building after a campaign alleged the facility would destroy this upscale town's appearance and violate its feng shui. Opposition to the Mediterranean-style facility arose in part because some said it would violate Sausalito's feng shui, the ancient Chinese art of placing things to ensure a harmonious energy flow. Feng Shui is akin to the Hindu system of home and building design and placement detailed in the Vastu Shastra, and perhaps in the future building proposals will be similarly rejected for violating vastu principles.

Business Solutions From the Vedas

Posted on 2002/3/7 8:44:02 ( 1012 reads )


CHENNAI, INDIA, February 25, 2002: Tatwamasi S Dixit at just 11, knew the Vedas by heart. At 29, the priest from Varanasi is the managing director of Info Vedic Services Pvt Ltd. He did his parallel education when he was still training to be a priest and then completed his CA. "After that I decided to use my Vedic knowledge in business development." He now creates CDs for improving human health, uses the principles of the Vedas in Kayalakpa, a centre for the body, mind and soul, in Chennai. A large part of his work is based on the belief that our scriptural practices are purely based on quantum physics. "I have divided human ambitions into two zones -- problem or desire management. According to which category they fit into, I provide solutions." It's Dixit's research unit -- Ojas -- that produces the vedic hymns. "My idea is to project our rich culture in the modern world using modern technology," Dixit says.

Society of Ethical and Religious Vegetarians Wants Hindu Input

Posted on 2002/3/7 8:43:02 ( 950 reads )

Source: www.serv-online.org

FEBRUARY 26 2002: The society of Ethical and Religious Vegetarians (SERV) is an interreligious group currently based in North America. Its aim is to help the promotion of vegetarianism among all religions and groups within religions. They currently have good representation from Jewish, Christian and Buddhist traditions, but Hinduism is not represented. They are especially looking for quotations from famous Hindus or from Hindu texts supporting vegetarianism and books promoting vegetarianism from a Hindu perspective. Also, Hindu activists who would be interested in working with SERV to further vegetarianism. To find out more about the group click "source" above.

Revelations of Child Abuse Continue to Surface in Catholic Church

Posted on 2002/3/7 8:42:02 ( 842 reads )


T. AGATHA, MAINE, March 5, 2002: "The Catholic roots of this far-northern valley are about as deep as they get," begins this Associate Press Report. "More than two centuries after Catholics marked the land with a large cross, people in and around this town named for a martyred saint are still steeped in the faith. So naturally they were stunned last month when the Rev. Michael Doucette, under orders from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Maine, announced that 22 years ago he was "intimately involved" with a 15- year-old boy in another parish. "You could hear a pin drop in that church," said one parishioner, Carole Plourde. But since then, the community has faced what many consider an even more painful trial. The diocese asked the parish council here to decide whether it wants to keep Father Doucette or have him removed. After the accusations of child molesting by priests in Boston, several dioceses, including New Hampshire's and Philadelphia's, immediately suspended any priests ever accused of abusing children. In recent weeks, diocese after diocese across the country have publicly acknowledged that they tried to rehabilitate priests accused of molesting children rather than remove them. The issue is of concern to Hindus, some of whom send their children to Catholic schools because they believe them to be more disciplined.

Kanchi Shankaracharya Meets With India's Prime Minister

Posted on 2002/3/4 8:49:02 ( 863 reads )


NEW DELHI, March 4, 2002: As part of efforts to end the Ayodhya impasse, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Monday night held consultations with Shankaracharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, Sri Jayendra Saraswathi. The pontiff met the Prime Minister after holding wide-ranging discussions with VHP top brass and other Hindu religious leaders, who have vowed to go ahead with shifting of carved stones to the Ram Janambhoomi site in Ayodhya on March 15. According to VHP International Working President Ashok Singhal, the seer would urge Vajpayee to hand over the undisputed land acquired by the Government to the Ram Janambhoomi Trust and lift restrictions enforced in the temple town. President of Ram Janambhoomi Nyas (Trust), Mahant Paramhans Ramchandra Das, Singhal, VHP senior Vice-President Acharya Giriraj Kishore and its General Secretary Praveenbhai Togadiya also met the Shankaracharya who arrived here on a "peace mission" on Monday morning, sources said. The Shankaracharya, whose visit to the capital was kept "very secret" till the last minute, is on a mission to prevail upon the VHP leadership to postpone its temple construction plan, according to Mutt sources.

Killings Reach 572

Posted on 2002/3/4 8:48:02 ( 969 reads )


AHMEDABAD, INDIA, March 5, 2002: Stray incidents of violence continued in Gujarat on the sixth day even though the scale of violence came down considerably. The toll in the last six days of violence in this riot-torn states now stands at 572, including the 58 persons killed in the attack on Sabarmati Express in Godhra last Wednesday. The state police control room in Gandhinagar has confirmed that 514 deaths have taken place in the post-Godhra aftermath, including 97 persons who have been killed in police firing. The figures have shot up from 430 to 514 during the last 24 hours mainly due to recovery of more bodies and conformation of killings by the police control room. Fresh violence has been reported in North Gujarat areas, particularly in Sabarkantha and Banaskantha districts, where mobs were targeting specific communities till late in the night. Trouble broke out in Halad and Danta towns of Banaskantha and Vijaynagar in Sabarkantha where the police had to open fire at violent mobs. According to unconfirmed reports, at least six persons have been burnt alive in Navaseshan village of Sabarkantha. Police sources said that two persons had been killed in Vijaynagar and six others in Halad and Danta overnight. The situation was still very tense on Monday morning when reports last came in. In Meda Adaraj in Mehsana district, one person was killed in police firing. The Central Gujarat districts of Anand, Kheda, Panchmahals and Dahod were also very tense following fresh incidents of violence in the villages. Incidents of violence have been reported from Mehamdabad, Kathlal and Kapadvanj areas of Kheda district overnight. Ahmedabad was relatively quiet on Monday evening though there were four stabbings incidents in Vejalpur, Shahpur and Kalupur in which the Vejalpur victim succumbed to injuries. The police claimed that some 534 people had also been arrested in connection with the riots in the city that followed the Sabarmati Express carnage.

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