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Bali Observes Day of Silence

Posted on 2002/4/15 9:47:02 ( 1144 reads )


JAKARTA, INDONESIA, April 14, 2002: Indonesia's tourist island of Bali was eerily quiet yesterday, with the international airport closed and tourists confined to their hotels as residents observed the Hindu New Year or Day of Silence. Flights, including those passing over the island, were banned for 24 hours starting at 6:00 a.m. for Nyepi, a day of purification and self-reflection for Hindus. Shipping links to and from the island were also closed for 24 hours. Bali is predominantly Hindu. The rest of Indonesia has a Muslim majority. The holiday began on Friday night, when villages across the island held rituals to send evil spirits out to sea. The island was closed yesterday, according to tradition, to prevent the spirits from returning.

Bali's Day of Silence Marred by Clashes

Posted on 2002/4/15 9:46:02 ( 1010 reads )


JAKARTA, INDONESIA, April 14, 2002: Bali's normally solemn Day of Silence, a Hindu religious day of introspection, turned rowdy at the weekend when devotees went on a rampage in two villages. Brawls broke out during processions of the giant Ogoh-Ogoh puppets late on Friday, the eve of the Nyepi festival, leaving at least four people injured, including one with severe burns. The ghoulish effigies, up to 5 meters high and 2 meters wide, are paraded on the night before the Nyepi to banish evil spirits. Denpasar Police Detective chief Budi Wasono said the melees were a result of misunderstanding. Nyepi is observed throughout Bali for 24 hours, during which it is forbidden to light lamps or fires, work, travel or indulge in physical, social or business activities.

History of Celibacy

Posted on 2002/4/15 9:45:02 ( 0 reads )


NEW YORK, NEW YORK, April 14, 2002: "For a species that has transformed mating into an obsession, human beings over the centuries have shown an abiding interest in the opposite of sex -- celibacy," begins this interesting article. "The practice is in the spotlight these days because of the molestation scandal which has rekindled debate over whether the Roman Catholic Church should allow married priests. But it's actually been followed in many cultures since ancient times: by secluded monks, Rome's Vestal Virgins, and powerful leaders such as Mohandas Gandhi and Queen Elizabeth I. It remains an exalted ideal in several religions, and has become a trendy lifestyle choice for some people with no religious motives. ... In Hinduism, celibacy is considered an important virtue, practiced by supreme priests but not required of all priests. Many Hindus, Gandhi among them, believe abstinence is a way to convert sexual energy into spiritual energy." For the rest of the article, click "source" above.

PETA Ranks Oakland A's Ballpark Four for Meatless Fare

Posted on 2002/4/15 9:44:02 ( 872 reads )


SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, April 8, 2002: While the hot dog (a beef sausage in a bread roll, not a cooked canine) remains the overwhelming favorite at American ballparks (where baseball and American football games are played), fans are increasingly snacking on broiled tofu, boiled soybeans and other vegetarian fare. So big is the trend that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) recently ranked America's top-10 vegetarian-friendly ballparks. Oakland's Network Associates Coliseum placed fourth. PETA's Dan Shannon admits the survey was unscientific but says it shows sports arenas have learned that America's 17 million vegetarians who gain 1 million converts annually -- are a cash cow. "This is a trend you're going to see increase," he said. "Not only is it common sense, it's financial sense. These things sell." Until recently, baseball's vegetarian fans had to snack on junk food or go hungry through the game. Ballparks have long offered quasi-vegetarian snacks like cheese pizza, nachos and fries. But only in the past few years have they offered truly vegetarian fare like veggie dogs, veggie burgers and veggie stir-fries.

Request for Articles for Trinidad's Indian Heritage Day

Posted on 2002/4/15 9:43:02 ( 1071 reads )


TRINIDAD, WEST INDIES, April 14, 2002: The Indo-Caribbean Cultural Council (ICC) is inviting writers to submit their work for publication in its Indian Arrival Day 2002 magazine. This Indian heritage day, which commemorates the arrival of indentured laborers from India to Trinidad, will be observed as a national holiday on May 30, 2002. Writers who wish to contribute on cultural topics, socio-political issues, current events, or any other subject relevant to the history of Indians in Trinidad and the Diaspora are asked to submit their material in the form of articles, reviews, short stories and poems. The theme of the magazine is "Protection of Traditional Knowledge." The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) defines traditional knowledge as the information in a community transmitted orally form generation to generation that has not been documented. The deadline for submission of articles not exceeding 1,000 words is May 13, 2002. For further details e-mail "source" above.

Counterfeit Drugs Are a Problem in South-East Asia

Posted on 2002/4/15 9:42:02 ( 966 reads )


UNITED KINGDOM, April 5, 2002: Alarming research published recently in the British Medical Journal has revealed that a significant number of medical drugs sold in south-east Asia are counterfeit. Scientists have found that drugs used to treat malaria are fake, that a vaccine to prevent meningitis was made from tap water and that birth control pills were made of wheat flour. Imitating what legitimate drug manufacturers use for packaging such as a blister-pack design and holograms, fake drug production is suspected to be linked with organized crime. According to this article, the World Health Organization estimates that one in 10 pharmaceutical drugs sold around the world are counterfeit. In Cambodia alone, 60% of anti-malaria drugs are fake and five other SE Asian countries estimate that 38% of anti-malaria drugs used are ineffective. Dr. Paul Newton of Oxford University, who led the team conducting the research published in the BMJ says, "One third of all the anti-malarial drugs artesunate that we bought in south-east Asia was fake, containing none of the drug it was supposed to contain." Lambert Rago of the WHO further adds, "Counterfeit drugs kill people. There are a lot of case reports where vaccines do not contain anything and you just don't vaccinate people at all." The BMJ goes on to say that, "Drug companies have tended to avoid publicizing the problem for fear of damaging public confidence in medicines."

Thought For the Day

Posted on 2002/4/15 9:41:02 ( 1209 reads )

Source: Hinduism Today

Worry kills more people than work because more people worry than work.

Kashmir Pundits Criticize Silence on Their Plight

Posted on 2002/4/14 9:49:02 ( 943 reads )


NEW DELHI, April 14, 2002: As political parties vie with each other in expressing concern over the plight of communal violence victims in Gujarat, Kashmiri Pandits today criticized the political spectrum for "maintaining a deafening silence" over the sufferings faced by a populace of more than 350,000 after their migration from the Kashmir Valley due to militancy in 1990. "Kashmiri Pandits can understand the plight of victims of the Gujarat violence as we have also undergone similar sufferings," said Kashmiri Samiti President Sunil Shakdher. He, however, alleged that the Gujarat incidents had "exposed" the double standards of the political parties, particularly the "so-called secularists." "We find copious tears being shed for the Gujarat riot victims. But not even verbal sympathies have been expressed over the plight of Kashmiri Pandits, whose almost entire population of 3.5 lakh was uprooted because of Islamist terrorism," Shakdher said. "The political parties found nothing wrong in uprooting of an entire community simply because it does not constitute a vote bank," he charged.

Gujarat Politician Stabbed for Helping Minorities

Posted on 2002/4/14 9:48:02 ( 1023 reads )


AHMEDABAD, INDIA, April 14, 2002: When communal violence tore the state apart, Someshwar Pandya attempted to keep the social fabric together, according to this report in the Times of India. On Saturday morning, Pandya, of Sardarpura, a village where 32 members of the Muslim community were burnt alive on March 1, was attacked by six persons armed with sickles and lathis. He was admitted to the Civil Hospital here with deep wounds on the forehead. "They had threatened me with dire consequences for helping the Muslims in the village," Pandya told the Times. He has identified all six assailants and named them in an report lodged with the Vijapur police station. Pandya is the general secretary of the Vijapur unit of the Congress and is reported to have helped minorities to shift to safer places after March 1 attack. He is also said to have helped several riot-affected get their complaints registered which were not being accepted by the police.

RSS Honors Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

Posted on 2002/4/14 9:47:02 ( 947 reads )


BANGALORE, INDIA, March 15, 2002: Kaushalendra ("source" above), secretary for the Nagpur RSS offices, writes, "The meeting of the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha held at Jansewa Avasi Vidya Kendra, Bangalore on March 15, 16 and 17, 2002. Sarkaryawah Shri Mohan Bhagwat presided over the meeting. Param Pujya Sarsanghchalak Ma. K. S. Sudarshan and Ex-Sarsanghchalak Ma. Rajjubhaiyaji were also present at the General Body meeting. In the beginning, the meeting paid homage to Poojya Swami Sivaya Subramuniya at his attaining the Mahasamadhi by observing two minutes silence. It is a great loss to his organization and to the whole Hindu society world over. The A. B. P. S. shares the unbearable grief of the bereaved family and prays to the All Merciful to give fortitude to all his followers to suffer it. May his vision lead us all to enlightenment."

Tamil World Processor Released

Posted on 2002/4/14 9:46:02 ( 386 reads )

Source: The Hindu

NEW DELHI, INDIA, April 14, 2002: India's President, K.R. Narayanan, today released Tamil Word-2001, a Tamil word processor developed by Tamil Arasi, at a ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan here. While a copy of the word processor was presented to the President by M. Natarajan, Editor, Tamil Arasi, the Editor of Viduthalai Tamil Diary, K. Veeramani, received the first CD ROM, which has been described as a "milestone in the development of Tamil as a scientific language." At an audio-visual presentation, it was stated that the word processor was aimed at facilitating the work of the common man in the language known to him. In a note circulated at the venue, Dr. Natarajan said the development of word processors like MS-Word in English had influenced and compelled Indian languages to get into the process of modernization. Such facilities were essential for the survival of any language in the present century and in the Tamil language, too, there had been significant advancement in standardizing fonts and keyboards. While editing facilities and incorporation of language tools are yet to be perfected, the word processor provides software in Tamil, including fonts, editors and language tools similar to MS Works, Word Perfect and Word Star. The Tamil Word 2001 provides for user-friendly keyboards in Roman, Roman-Tamil, Tamil Typewriter and Tamil Net 99 and 15 different fonts besides editing facilities including Mail Merge, toggle between Tamil-English and English-Tamil calendar conversion. The software has a wide range of language tools such as spell-check, grammar check, "Sandhi" check, sorting, indexing, conversion of numbers to letters and vice-versa, transliteration (Tamil-Roman) and dictionaries.

How to Define Race in Today's America

Posted on 2002/4/14 9:45:02 ( 1057 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 ( 1092 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 ( 1141 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 ( 1098 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."

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