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UK Schools Spread Misinformation About Hinduism, Resulting in Bullying and Racial Hate Crime, a Report Suggests

Posted on 2021/1/17 11:22:51 ( 155 reads )


LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, January 16, 2021 (EIN News): A report published by INSIGHT UK today reveals that pupils leave school with an incorrect and sparse understanding of Hinduism. INSIGHT UK is an organization that aims to address the concerns of the British Hindu and British Indian communities. The document titled "A report on the state of Hinduism in Religious Education in UK Schools," includes claims of bullying and inferiority complex issues experienced by British Hindus because of the inaccurate teaching of Hinduism in Religious Education. It states some disturbing findings, including parents highlighting misinformation spread by UK schools, for example linking gender disparity in education in India to Hinduism and linking social issues from South Asia to Hinduism. A teaching book even suggested that Hindus were turning to terrorism.

The report also provides evidence that the subject is not available for most students taking GCSE exams, despite Hindus being the third-largest religious group in the UK. The project by INSIGHT UK was supported and guided by major Hindu organizations in the UK. Asmita Bhudia, a Hinduism Tutor and School Teacher, says, "The choice is taken away from pupils and parents to accurately study Hinduism in many UK schools." INSIGHT UK carried out consultations and research with SACRE members, academics, teachers, and parents followed by a national survey, which is being described as one of the most successful Hindu surveys in the UK in terms of responses and coverage. Data captured showed that the majority of British Hindus were dissatisfied with the teaching of Hinduism in UK schools and unhappy with teachers' knowledge of the subject.

Help Hinduism Today with Photos of Your Beautiful Hindu Home Shrine

Posted on 2021/1/17 11:22:38 ( 366 reads )

KAUAI, HAWAII, January 17, 2021 (HPI): Hinduism Today editors are assembling an article on the Hindu home shrine, with writers in London and a research team in Western Canada. We want to show readers some truly great home shrine ideas and so are asking HPI CyberCadets to send us high-resolution photos of shrine rooms that are special. Send to: sada@hindu.org

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2021/1/17 11:22:23 ( 88 reads )


"Learn to make the whole world your own. No one is a stranger, my child, the whole world is your own."
-- Sri Sarada Devi (1853-1920) wife of Sri Ramakrishna

Dharma and Diaspora: Pankaj Jain's Book Sheds Light on Impact of Indic Communities In USA, and the Possible Dangers That Await Them

Posted on 2021/1/16 10:40:00 ( 164 reads )


UNITED STATES, January 5, 2021 (Swarajya, by A. Neelakandran): Pankaj Jain came to New Jersey in 1996 on a H1B visa and is now Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion at the University of North Texas (@ProfPankajJain). His Indian employer gifted two American software experts, who had come to teach Pankaj Jain and his colleagues a programming language, a copy of the Bhagavad Gita, and a few albums of Indian classical music and this, Jain says, was his first wake-up alarm. "Dharma and Diaspora" skillfully combines his own personal journey with the larger history of how the Dharmic family of religions came to the United States and created an impact, faced challenges, adapted, survived and are flourishing.

Though there have been quite a lot of books on Hindus in the United States, he points out that most of these books do not study Indian classical music or Ayurveda making inroads into the Americas. It is interesting to note that the image of India -- from being a land of peculiar Deities and exotic animals during the period when the United States was under British dominion -- changes to that of a philosophical, ancient nation, through the transcendentalist movement. He gives the readers a brief tour of the influence of Vedantins, starting with Swami Vivekananda, and that of the theosophists, and moves to later-day gurus like Rajneesh Chandra Mohan (Osho). With a bird's eye-view of the conceptual and exotic influence Hinduism had on the Americas, he moves to the way indentured laborers in the Caribbean islands contributed to societal evolution there.

Much more of this review at "source."

Thai Pongal Harvest Festival Observed in Sri Lanka

Posted on 2021/1/16 10:40:00 ( 108 reads )


COLOMBO, SRI LANKA, January 14, 2021 (News First): Thai Pongal is a traditional harvest festival observed by all Tamils, Hindus and non-Hindus alike. It is celebrated in India, Sri Lanka and other parts of the world where there are Tamil communities. It falls in the month of Thai of the Tamil calendar (the tenth month in the Tamil calendar) and is held to thank the Sun God, Earth, the Rain God, other natural elements and the cattle for a good harvest. Pongal literally means boiling over. Sweet Pongal rice is offered to the Sun God during the Thai Pongal festival.

Thai Pongal is the only Hindu festival that follows a solar calendar (the days are fixed by the movement of the Sun) and is celebrated in mid-January each year. Pongal is also astrologically important as it marks the start of the Sun's journey northwards from its southernmost point. On Thai Pongal day, houses and places of worship are decorated with kolam or rangoli and families engage in Pongal activities. The main food preparation is Pongal; cooking takes place outdoors in a decorated clay pot. The main ingredients are rice, milk, green gram (mung beans), jaggery, spices, cashew nuts, and raisins. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in his message for Thai Pongal joined the Tamil brethren to share their joy and happiness.

Is Bengaluru India's Most Exciting City for Vegetarians?

Posted on 2021/1/16 10:34:47 ( 115 reads )


BENGALURU, INDIA, January 11, 2021 (National Geographic, by Liz Dodd): South Indian snack food is luscious and languid, with flavors that sing of the Keralan coast, and spicing as mellow as Goa trance music. Yet, in the city of Bengaluru, India's Silicon Valley, this is food eaten not in beach bars but standing -- accompanied by a shot of sweet coffee and a copy of The Times of India. A wealthy garden city of flowering vines and star jasmine, palaces, temples, perpetual spring and eternally gridlocked traffic, Bengaluru has seen an influx of tech companies in recent decades. As a result, the pace of life in the city -- formerly called Bangalore -- has accelerated at a rate that must have surprised even its most bullish entrepreneurs. Even rickshaws can be ordered on Uber now.

Bengaluru's darshinis (vegetarian, self-service snack bars) were seemingly made for this moment. The first, Cafe Darshini, was founded in 1983 at the start of Bengaluru's tech boom. It offered the Western fast food restaurant model, only reimagined for northern Karnataka state's predominantly Hindu -- and therefore largely vegetarian -- population. It started a trend, and there are now more than 5,000 darshinis in Bengaluru. Almost by accident, it's become one of the most vegetarian-friendly cities in the world.

For a glimpse into the many vegetarian cafe offerings of this city see "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2021/1/16 10:34:21 ( 113 reads )


No man is my enemy. No man is my friend. All men are my teachers. Some teach me what to do, some teach me what not to do.
-- Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-2001), founder of Hinduism Today

One Million Hindus Gather in India as Festival Goes Ahead Amid Covid Fears

Posted on 2021/1/15 5:27:02 ( 205 reads )


HARIDWAR,UTTARAKHAND, INDIA, January 15, 2021 (The Guardian): Up to a million Hindu pilgrims have gathered on the banks of the River Ganges in northern India, marking the start of a major religious festival that is taking place despite the risks of Covid infection. Millions more are expected to descend on Haridwar in the coming weeks for Kumbh Mela, one of the world's biggest religious gatherings. Pilgrims bathe in the Ganges in the belief that the sacred waters will cleanse them of their sins. Unesco has recognized Kumbh Mela as intangible cultural heritage. According to Hindu mythology, gods and demons fought a war over a sacred pitcher containing the nectar of immortality. Drops fell at four different locations, which now alternate as hosts.

Officials have said measures to prevent a surge in Covid infections include pre-booking to control numbers, strict social distancing and color-coded bathing areas. "The pandemic is a bit of a worry, but we are taking all precautions," said one of the organizers, Siddharth Chakrapani. Some pilgrims in Haridwar dismissed the threat from the virus. "India is not like Europe ... when it comes to immunity we are better," said 50-year-old Sanjay Sharma. India has recorded more than 10m Covid cases - the second highest number in the world after the US - and has recorded more than 150,000 deaths. However, the pandemic has been waning in India now for some months. On Saturday, the government will launch a vaccination drive, aiming to inoculate 300 million people by early August.

Nepal Celebrates Maghe Sankranti to Bid Farewell to Winter

Posted on 2021/1/15 5:26:50 ( 116 reads )


KATHMANDU,NEPAL, January 14, (La Prensa Latina): Thousands of people in Nepal on Thursday celebrated the end of winter solstice with Maghe Sankranti, among the most popular Hindu festivals in Nepal, despite the severe Covid-19 crisis in the country. The festival, also known as Maghi or Makar Sankranti, is held every year on January 14 to mark the ascent of the Sun into the northern hemisphere, and its transit through Capricorn, or Makar. "Today (Maghe Sankranti) is considered a holy day to bathe in sacred rivers and lakes to offer thanks to the Sun and wash away sins," Dipendra Adhikari, a Hindu priest in Bhaktapur, located 16 kilometers east of Kathmandu, told EFE.

Although the authorities at Devghat, one of the country's main pilgrimage sites, did not organize the usual celebrations during this festival due to the pandemic, the country's important rivers and other localities witnessed thousands of devotees coming to take part in the celebrations. This year the number of devotees in Devghat fell by 40 percent, after more than 200,000 Hindus gathered at the site last year, Kiran Poudel, an official of the region's Development Committee, told EFE. Meanwhile, President Bidya Devi Bhandari extended her best wishes to all the Nepalese citizens at home and abroad on the occasion of the Maghe Sankranti. "I hope that this festival will help to preserve and promote the original cultural traditions and to further strengthen the broader national unity by enhancing mutual unity, friendship, cooperation and harmony among Nepalis of different geographical regions, castes, languages and cultures," Bhandari said in a message to the people.

For more, go to source

NCERT Says It Has No Info on Sources for Its Textbook's Claim That Aurangzeb Gave Grants to Repair Hindu Temples

Posted on 2021/1/15 5:26:37 ( 165 reads )


INDIA, January 13, 2021 (Swarajya): In September 2020, an RTI query was sent to the NCERT (National Council of Educational Research), asking it to shed light on the sources which it employs to make the claim that Mughal emperors like Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb gave grants to repair Hindu temples destroyed during wars. "All Mughal emperors gave grants to support the building and maintenance of places of worship. Even when temples were destroyed during war, grants were later issued for their repair - as we know from the reigns of Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb," is written in the Part II of NCERT's Theme of Indian History textbook's page 234.

Such claims of benevolence by the Mughal rulers came as a surprise to many considering Aurangzeb is well known for having ordered the destruction of the holy shrines in Kashi and Mathura. The RTI also asked NCERT to enlighten people over how many temples were actually repaired by Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb. The NCERT subsequently sent back a reply to the RTI last November. As seen in the reply furnished by Head of Department of Education in Social Sciences Prof. Gouri Srivastava, NCERT has no information about either the sources used for the claim, or for how many temples have been rebuilt by Mughal rulers like Aurangzeb and Shah Jahan. "The information is not available on the files of the department," writes NCERT in its replies.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2021/1/15 5:26:23 ( 106 reads )


You are a being that has unlimited power within.
-- Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-2001), founder of Hinduism Today

Haridwar Kumbh Mela: Court Asks Uttarakhand Government for Covid Procedures

Posted on 2021/1/9 11:18:39 ( 234 reads )


HARIDWAR, INDIA, January 7, 2021 (NDTV): The Kumbha Mela in Haridwar is set to begin on the auspicious day of Makar Sankranti on January 14. Thousands of Hindu devotees and seers are eagerly looking forward to the Kumbh Mela, historically known to be one of the largest religious gatherings in the world. The Nainital High Court on Wednesday, while hearing a petition, has directed the Uttarakhand government to present the standard operating procedures by January 11 for the Kumbha Mela. The petitioners want the government to help the poor people at the quarantine centers and Covid-19 hospitals, and provide better health facilities. He said a test for the virus will be a must for everyone before taking a dip in Ganga.

Penang Calls off Thaipusam festivities, Devotees Told to Stay Home

Posted on 2021/1/9 11:18:26 ( 199 reads )


GEORGE TOWN, MALAYSIA, January 8, 2021 (Free Malaysia Today): Penang's famous week-long Thaipusam festivities will not take place this year following concerns of a Covid-19 spike as the state's five districts are now red zones. Every year, about three million people from all over the country and overseas converge on the island to take part in a 4.35 mile chariot procession from Little India to Waterfall Road, in a tradition which began almost 150 years ago. At a press conference today, Penang Deputy Chief Minister P. Ramasamy also urged all devotees to stay home this Jan 28. "Stay at home. We are all in a red zone. We do not want a Thaipusam Covid-19 cluster. We plead to you to pray at home," he said.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2021/1/9 11:18:13 ( 255 reads )


At this time in the Kali Yuga, ignorance is equally distributed worldwide, and wisdom has become an endangered species.
-- Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (1927-2001), founder of Hinduism Today

Slideshow: Abu Dhabi's Hindu Temple Making Progress

Posted on 2021/1/8 10:24:43 ( 283 reads )


ABU DHABI, January 5, 2021 (Khaleej Times): The construction of the Capital's first traditional Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi is progressing rapidly. It is expected to be completed in 2023. Work on the hand-carved stone pieces for the BAPS Hindu Mandir being done in India and the foundation of the temple in Abu Dhabi's Abu Mureikha were both on track despite the challenges of the pandemic. The major portion of the stonework has been done in the Indian states of Rajasthan and Gujarat. The sandstone is from Rajasthan and marble from Italy. The temple will have seven spires and five domes. The complex will have a visitor's centre, prayer halls, library, classroom, community centre, majlis, amphitheater, play areas, gardens, books and gift shops, food court and other facilities.

The slide show at "source" above shows progress.

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