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How to Define Race in Today's America

Posted on 2002/4/14 9:45:02 ( 1036 reads )


DENVER, COLORADO, April 17, 2002: When it comes to race and how to define it, the subject has become controversial in America. The 2000 census form allowed Americans to choose from 126 racial and ethnic categories and they could pick more than one. Results of the census showed that around 7 million Americans consider themselves to be a blend of two or more races. Scientists, biologists, and anthropologists think that the concept of race no longer has validity. However, the average person on the street still identifies people according to race. A multiracial advocacy group called Project Race in Tallahassee, Florida, has been lobbying state governments to add "multiracial" as a category on government, school and medical forms. So far six states have adopted the new category. Evelyn Hu-DeHart, chair of the ethnic studies department at the University of Colorado at Boulder says, "Some young people are claiming race when they don't have to. In the bad old days, you would do your best to 'pass' as white because (being another race) was such a stigma." Now according to Hu DeHart, young people want to claim race because they want to identify with a deeper heritage and culture. Nina Roberts, a Ph. D. student at Colorado State University, whose father is white and whose mother is a blend of three other races, agrees that, "Environment, far more than genetics, defines race and the result is a learned culture." So the definition of race becomes further blurred as the U.S. census 2000 found that people now define their own race in terms of what they believe and practice. However, when comparing the census of 2000 with the one done in 1790, we see how far the American people have come. Back then the population was divided into three groups -- free whites, slaves and all other free persons (e.g., the American Indians).

Swami Shuddhananda on 13th Global Tour

Posted on 2002/4/14 9:44:02 ( 1069 reads )


KOLKATA, INDIA, April, 14, 2002: H.H. Swami Shuddhananda and Maa Krishnapriya would be leaving on April 22, 2002, for his 13th Global Tour, visiting U.K., USA, Germany and Norway. During the visit, Swami Shuddhananda will conduct meditation sessions and address the seekers in these countries to discover the peace and happiness of life in the very shrine of their own hearts. In Germany, he will also inspire those in the prisons to practice meditation and path of mindfulness as a way of life which can bring a change in their attitude to life. The theme of Swami's visit this time is to teach "Meditation as a Celebration of life." For details click "source" above.

How Many Temples to Lord Rama?

Posted on 2002/4/14 9:43:02 ( 1122 reads )


KAUAI, HAWAII, April 14, 2002: Hinduism Today is researching a short article on Lord Rama. We need to know approximately the number of Lord Rama temples in India. It would also be useful to know how many temples are specifically dedicated to Lord Krishna and to Lord Vishnu.

Lost City Found Off South Indian Coast

Posted on 2002/4/13 9:49:02 ( 1078 reads )


MAHABALIPURAM, INDIA, April 11, 2002: An ancient underwater city has been discovered off the coast of southeastern India. Divers from India and England made the discovery based on the statements of local fishermen and the old Indian legend of the Seven Pagodas. The ruins, which are off the coast of Mahabalipuram, cover many square miles and seem to prove that a major city once stood there. A further expedition to the region is now being arranged which will take place at the beginning of 2003. The discovery was made on April 1 by a joint team of divers from the Indian National Institute of Oceanography and the Scientific Exploration Society based in Dorset. Expedition leader Monty Halls said: "Our divers were presented with a series of structures that clearly showed man-made attributes. The scale of the site appears to be extremely extensive, with 50 dives conducted over a three-day period covering only a small area of the overall ruin field. This is plainly a discovery of international significance that demands further exploration and detailed investigation."

Beliefnet Filing for Bankruptcy Protection

Posted on 2002/4/13 9:48:02 ( 1047 reads )

Source: Religion News Service

USA, April 11, 2002: A co-founder of Beliefnet, a Web site devoted to religion and spirituality, said today that his company intends to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. A pending sale of the company fell through, and Beliefnet was forced into bankruptcy. It was an innovative concept, putting forward news, resources and discussions for each of the world's major religions, but like many Internet enterprises, was never successful in making money. The venture capitalists funding it backed out. The company has about 5 million e-mail newsletter subscribers, most of whom receive daily inspirational messages, including Bible passages, horoscopes and daily wisdom from Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish and Muslim sources.

Texas Hindu Students' Council "Best on Campus"

Posted on 2002/4/13 9:47:02 ( 1024 reads )


TEXAS, April 13, 2002: For a second time, the University of Texas Hindu Students' Council has been recognized as the best campus organization. HSC at the University of Texas has done a great job in making the campus aware of Hinduism and the issues affecting Hindus around the world. This year, the organization has put on several programs that have made an impact on campus, including a Diwali Pooja and Navaratri Garba/Raas (which drew over 800 people), a Hindu camp for younger children (to teach children to be proud of their Hindu heritage and culture), movie nights to raise money for Sept 11 victims, SEVA projects, and several programs in support of the Dharma-Life project. HSC has also been part of many cultural programs in coordination with other groups at UT, including ICA (Indian Cultural Association), ISA (Indian Students Association), and TUC (Texas Union Council). For more information on the chapter, contact "source" above.

Delhi RK Mission Opens New School

Posted on 2002/4/13 9:46:02 ( 994 reads )


JAHLAKA, INDIA, April 10, 2002: April 4, 2002 was a special day in the life of Swami Gokulanandaji, secretary of Ramakrishna Mission, Delhi. The day marked the inauguration of his "cherished dream project" -- Vivekananda International School at the school campus, Ramakrishna Palli, in Jahlaka village outside Delhi. In his welcome note Debasis Bagchi, president, Vivekananda Trust, said: "It's a red-letter day in the life of everyone who is associated with the trust." Following the welcome note, S.M. Ghosh, principal of the school, spoke about how exultant he was to be a part of this project. "I have been a principal for the past 37 years, but never have I felt so much pride before. I was very happy to know that on the very first day when we started registering students for our first batch, we received 105 applications of which 29 are from states like Bihar," said Ghosh.

Teacher of Vipassana Meditation to Tour North America

Posted on 2002/4/13 9:45:02 ( 953 reads )


USA, April 10, 2002: S N Goenka, the internationally known teacher of meditation, will conduct a four-month tour of North America, April to August, 2002. He will teach and speak about the ancient Buddhist meditation practice of Vipassana throughout the United States and Canada. During the tour, Mr. Goenka will give public talks in 35 cities; participate in ten-day meditation courses in Massachusetts, Washington, and British Columbia; teach at numerous one-day meditation courses for returning students, and participate in a special ten-day retreat for leaders and executives. He will speak at the Spirit in Business conference in New York, address the United Nations to mark the Buddha's birth date, and meet with business and government leaders and with corrections officials where Vipassana courses are offered to inmates. For details click on source above.

Groups Seeks Information on Traditional Indian Games

Posted on 2002/4/13 9:44:02 ( 988 reads )


GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN, April 13, 2002: The International Forum for India's Heritage was formed in Delhi last November with 151 founding members. One project of the Forum is to collect information on games of Indian origins. It is considered of great importance to recording and preservation of Bhaaratiya culture and history. If you'd like to help with this project, contact Renu Malhotra at "source" above.

Seven Killed in Terrorist Attack in Udhampur

Posted on 2002/4/10 9:49:02 ( 1044 reads )


JAMMU, INDIA, April 8, 2002: Heavily armed terrorists shot dead seven Hindus, including two women and their daughters, and lobbed grenades on some houses in a village in Udhampur district on Sunday night after a fierce gun battle with the members of the Village Defence Committee (VDC), official sources said on Monday. The slain Hindus have been identified as Shoba Ram, Ganpati Devi and her six-year-old daughter Santosh, Lal Devi and her four-year-old daughter Srishtu Devi, Shanker Dass and Somi Lal. Three more Hindus, including a girl, were injured in the firing. The terrorists later lobbed grenades at some houses as a result of which ten houses were gutted. Though no terrorist outfit has so far claimed responsibility for the attack, intelligence sources said it could be the handiwork of either Jaish-e-Mohammed or Lashker-e-Taiba.

Plan to Restore Thaipusam 'Spirit in Malaysia

Posted on 2002/4/10 9:48:02 ( 1018 reads )

Source: Press Release

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA, April 7, 2002: The National Hindu Advisory board will be drafting guidelines on proper religious practices during the annual Thaipusam festival, Malaysia Hindu Sangam president A Vaithilingam stated. He said the Malaysia Hindu Sangam had received numerous complaints that the festival, celebrated during the full moon in the month of Thai in the Hindu calendar, has become commercialized rather than a period of spirituality. About one million people, including tourists, converge at the Sri Subramaniam Temple in Batu Caves, while thousands attend the Thaipusam celebrations in temples nationwide. Vaithilingam said there were complaints of high charges for archana (individual prayer ceremony), the carrying of kavadi and milk pots during the festival in Batu Caves, and calls to cut down the number of stalls and restrict them to selling religious paraphernalia. He said that although Hindu devotees or temples were not obligated to follow the guidelines, he hoped they would carry them out in the interest of the religion. The board comprises 15 members including three Hindu swamis. Vaithilingam said the board had been meeting regularly to discuss the proper ways to conduct prayers in temples, following a uniform Hindu calendar, overcoming the shortage of priests and drawing up the guidelines.

Top US Peace Award for Ela Gandhi

Posted on 2002/4/10 9:47:02 ( 1022 reads )


DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA, April 7, 2002: Member of Parliament Ela Gandhi will walk in the footsteps of her famous grandfather when she becomes the ninth recipient of a prestigious international prize on Friday. Gandhi, a Hindu, was named as the recipient of the Community of Christ International Peace Award in December last year by the church group, based in Independence, Missouri. She will receive a bronze sculpture and a cash prize of $26,500, to be given to charities of her choice, at the organization's world conference. According to the organization's official website, the award is among the top seven peace awards in the US and one of the top 20 in the world. "The award is special because it is given to me by a Christian organization and I am Hindu. Yet, they have acknowledged the work I have done to promote inter-faith dialogue in South Africa," said Gandhi. The website said she had been recognized for her "non-violent commitment to overthrow apartheid in South Africa, her passion for working to overcome poverty and assist the vulnerable, and her work to build understanding among world religions." On Tuesday, Gandhi will visit the United Nations in New York where she and family members of the late Martin Luther King will present the Gandhi King Non-Violence Award. In Missouri, she will be hosted by several schools and women's groups and will also be honored by the mayor of Kansas City at a special ceremony.

New Jersey Children to Perform Play in Sanskrit

Posted on 2002/4/10 9:46:02 ( 1024 reads )


EDISON, NEW JERSEY, April 10, 2002: The Edison Balagokulam (children's school) is celebrating second anniversary of monthly Ramayan paat by Ramayan Mahilaa Samiti, New Jersey, on April 20, according to this announcement by Ramachandra Kamath ("source" above). During this celebration there will be a Ramayan play by 33 children, aged between 10 months and 11 years, with dialogues in Sanskrit, songs in Hindi and Sanskrit and narration in English. Please inform your friends and family and join us in encouraging our future generation to preserve our rich and powerful culture. There will be displays related to Ramayana. The event takes place at the Durga Mandir in Kendal, New Jersey. For more information, contact Ramachandra Kamath at "source" above, or phone at 908-822-1335.

Houston Student 2002 Jefferson Award Winner

Posted on 2002/4/10 9:45:02 ( 1151 reads )


HOUSTON, TEXAS, April, 5, 2002: A Houston Clear Lake High School student from the South Asian community has been recognized for her "outstanding public service" and has won the Jefferson Award for Community Service for the year 2002. Shruti Iyer was nominated for this prestigious award, considered the Nobel Prize of Volunteering, by the Scoliosis Association Inc. of Boca Raton, Florida. She is being honored for her exemplary community service in local, national and international stratas. An exceptionally gifted vocalist and violinist in the Karnatic style of music and a student of Lalgudi G. J. R. Krishnan and Vittal Ramamurthi, Shruti played regularly at hospitals as well as nursing homes, bringing music into the lives of patients. An avid artist, she has had her pastel artwork made into greeting cards benefitting the Scoliosis Association. Shruti has done extensive research in ways of reducing and eliminating musculoskeletal pain in children with idiopathic scoliosis and in those without scoliosis, making a significant impact globally. Shruti has also been profiled by the American Journal of Public Health, which hailed her as public health activist and a global researcher. Shruti is the daughter of Ravi and Hema Iyer.

Dance Expressions Portray Role Models for South Asian Women

Posted on 2002/4/10 9:44:02 ( 1065 reads )

Source: New Straits Times

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA, April 4, 2002: Trained in the classical dance art forms of Manipuri, Bharatanatyam and Kathakali from a very young age, Dr. Ananya Chatterjea now uses the dance form of Odissi to express strong woman characters with integrity and high self-esteem. " I think societies are generally afraid of women who are confident, intelligent and in charge of their lives. That is why inhuman practices have been instituted against them in societies across the world, " she says. As artistic director of Women in Motion (a performing company of South Asian women artists) in the United States, Ananya has been able to use the Indian classical Odissi dance to perform art centered around contemporary issues such as how women of color despite everyday struggles are able to assert themselves in as dignified manner. In 1978, she directed a hit performance centered around "A Wife's Letter," a suicide note by a young woman living in Hyderabad. Ananya inspired and instilled confidence in women and children from the surrounding community. Dr. Chatterjea has also portrayed women characters from the Hindu epics such as the Ramayana in a different manner. For example, Sita is depicted as a leader in peace movements. By these depictions, Ananya hopes to create images of strong, confident women as role models for South Asian women.

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