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India Prepares to Inaugurate the World's Tallest Statue

Posted on 2018/10/28 11:22:50 ( 736 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, October 25, 2018 (CNN): India is set to unveil the world's tallest statue next week, the towering figure of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, a popular political and social leader, who was part of the freedom struggle that resulted in India's independence from British colonial rule in 1947. Looming 182 meters (597 feet) above the Narmada River in the western Indian state of Gujarat, the statue is set to be unveiled on October 31, revealing a figure molded from approximately 1,850 metric tons of bronze.

"In the world, people talk about America's Statue of Liberty. We want to make a statue of Sardar Patel at twice the size of the statue of Liberty," said Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2013. The Statue of Liberty is 93 meters (305 feet) high, including its pedestal. The ambitious project was announced by Modi in 2010, when he was still the chief minister for the state of Gujarat. Built with funds allocated by the Gujarat state government, it has also received support from the federal government and individual contributions. The Statue of Unity is not the only one that is waiting to break records. A new statue dedicated to a famous Maharashtrian warrior, Shivaji, is being built in the Arabian ocean, just off the coast of Mumbai, set to reach a height of 212 meters (695 feet).

Photos at "source."

Grand Opening of South Dakota's First Hindu Temple

Posted on 2018/10/28 11:22:37 ( 780 reads )


TEA, SOUTH DAKOTA, October 15, 2018 (KSFY) - It's the first of its kind here in South Dakota. Oct. 14th was the grand opening of the Hindu Temple of Siouxland. After almost ten years, people who practice the Hindu faith were finally able to enter their newly finished Temple. The celebration was open to the public. Temple members say everyone is always welcome to the Temple regardless of your religion. "We have been dreaming about this temple for the last nine years, and today our dream has come true," Ramesh Singh, Hindu Temple of Siouxland president, said. "So, we all are very excited."

More than 100 people gathered at the Hindu Temple of Siouxland for the opening. Traveling for miles to practice their faith. But, the temple is not just for people who already practice the Hindu faith. "Our Temple is a Hindu Temple it's open to everybody," Singh said. "Anybody in the community they can come, they can just watch, they can worship." With gaining interest in the religion in South Dakota, many practicing the faith have seen it grow the past few years substantially. "Our community is growing, a lot of people there," Singh said. "And it's not only for those who have parents, but our second generation, our third generation. We wanted to teach our kids our future generations, what is Hinduism."

Short video at "source."

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2018/10/28 11:16:12 ( 641 reads )


To drink pure water from a shallow pond, one should gently take the water from the surface without disturbing the mud at the bottom. If you desire to be pure, have firm faith and slowly go on with your devotional practices without wasting your energy in useless scriptural discussions and arguments. Keep your mind like clear water, for God is above all arguments.
-- Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa (1836-1886)

Tens of Thousands Descend on Sugar Land Stadium for Diwali Celebration

Posted on 2018/10/26 11:40:47 ( 732 reads )


SUGAR LAND, TEXAS, October 20, 2018 (Houston Chronicle): The sounds of drums and Indian dance music echoed Saturday night through Skeeter Stadium in Sugar Land, a place usually filled with fans cheering to the crack of baseball bats. Yellow banners reading "Jai Shri Ram," or "Victory to Lord Rama," hung from the walkway's ceiling. Dozens of red-tented vendor booths strung together with twinkle lights showcased saris, linens, candles and jewelry. Gold bangles glittered under the fluorescent lights.

This year marks the seventh annual Diwali and Dussehra festival by Shri Sita Ram Foundation, a nonprofit that provides funding to programs that promote Vedic culture. The holiday, which falls around Nov. 7, is also called the Hindu Festival of Lights and recognizes the victory of good over evil. Kris Marepelli, event commander, said she expected a crowd of 10,000 people to come to this year's festival, which featured Gov. Greg Abbot as chief guest and U.S. Rep. Pete Olson as parade marshal. The Indian community is one of Houston's fastest-growing populations, jumping 83 percent from 2000 to 2012, according to the Migration Policy Institute.

Extensive slide show at "source."

Hindu Youth Group Seeks Growth, Service Opportunities

Posted on 2018/10/26 11:40:33 ( 720 reads )


HOUSTON, TEXAS, October 19, 2018 (Houston Chronicle): For Vijay Pallod, a board member of the Hindus of Greater Houston, attracting young people to his organization was sometimes a struggle. "It's always hard to find youth," he said. "We wanted to have our own youth council. We want to unite all the Hindu youth across Houston. We've been trying for a long time." But those efforts appear to have paid off especially after Komal Luthra came on board as an intern and now, Young Hindus of Greater Houston is a reality. Pallod said the Hindus of Greater Houston now hosts youth awards and has held a Hindu camp for children in the city. This past year, 435 students registered to attend. The group of young Hindu adults is inviting general members to join. Membership is open to individuals ages 18 to 40.

Luthra was interested in connecting young adults in the Hindu community. Her vision included fostering the culture and religion of the group, as well as providing opportunities for networking and leadership. She started working with Raj Salhotra, 27, who serves as president of the Young Hindus of Greater Houston. He jumped at the opportunity to get involved. Salhotra hopes to see membership grow quickly and for members to feel more connected to the Hindu community and each other. "And most importantly, we can do some good," he said. He and Luthra plan to get the group together to volunteer with local organizations like Meals on Wheels and the Food Bank, as well as focusing on mentorship opportunities. Pallod is convinced that the young Hindu adults can make a major difference. "There are 125,000 Hindus in Houston," he said. "There are a lot of youth interested in working together and volunteering."

More at "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2018/10/26 11:40:19 ( 641 reads )


You may turn your bones to fuel, your flesh to meat, letting them roast and sizzle in the gold-red blaze of severe austerities. But unless your heart melts in love's sweet ecstacy, you never can possess my Lord Siva, my treasure-trove.
-- Tirumantiram Verse 272

India's Durga Puja Celebrates Divine Feminine with Modern Takes on Ancient Ritual

Posted on 2018/10/21 10:35:42 ( 889 reads )


KOLKATA, INDIA, October 19, 2018 (Religion News Service): Every year, Durga Puja is celebrated across India during the seventh month of the Hindu calendar, marking the victory of female power over the buffalo-demon Mahishasura. Durga Puja festivities, which took place this week, overlap with the nine-night Navaratri, also celebrating the divine feminine, in other traditions of Hinduism. But while worship of the 10-armed Goddess is primarily a religious occasion across most of the Indian subcontinent, in the state of West Bengal it is much more than that, a high point of the year that is seen as an expression and celebration of the once-dominant Bengali culture.

Kolkata, the cultural capital of Bengal, celebrates the five main days of the festival with fervor. Preparations for the carnival start months in advance, with artists and artisans vying to create the most innovative art works from scrap, recycled products and homespun ideas. Statues of the Goddess astride a lion are placed at elaborately designed pandals, where the art inside covers serious issues -- trafficking of women, child labor at tea shops or the plastic surgery obsession among young adults or scenes straight out of Bollywood movies. The elegance of Kolkata's Durga Puja also lies in the depictions of the Goddess in her many avatars transforming the city into a massive open-air art gallery with a profusion of themes.

Good photos at "source."

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2018/10/21 10:35:29 ( 798 reads )


Man arrives at immortality by breaking beyond the limitations not only of his physical self, but of his mental and his ordinary psychic nature into the highest plane and supreme ether of the Truth: for there is the foundation of immortality and the native seat of the triple infinite.
-- Sri Aurobindo (1879-1950)

Hindu Reformers Theme for Divali Nagar 2018 in Trinidad

Posted on 2018/10/20 10:47:41 ( 985 reads )

Paras Ramoutar

PORT-OF-SPAIN, TRINIDAD/TOBAGO, October 18, 2018 (Paras Ramoutar for HPI): The works and times of several Indian Hindu reformers will form part of the 32nd annual Divali Nagar of the National Council of Indian Culture (NCIC) schedule to commence Sunday October 28 to Monday November 5 at Divali Nagar Facility, Endeavour, Chaguanas, according to Surujdeo Mangaroo, public relations officer. Raja Rammohan Roy, Debendtanath Tagore, Ishwar Chandra Vidgesagar, Daboba Pamdurang, Sriddharalu Naidu, Swami Dayananda Saraswati and Swami Vivekananda profiles and their contribution to Indian society with specific reference to Hinduism and Indian Thought will be featured. Mangaroo said that the Folk Theatre will feature local artistes on a nightly basis showcasing their talents in song, music, dance, drama and folk items as well vegetarian food in the Food Court.
A precursor to the Nagar will be the annual Divali Yagna which will commence on Wednesday 17th to 23rd, featuring India-trained Pundit Abhedanand Persad Sharma, Mangaroo said. "Divali Nagar has been able to rekindle the thoughts and wisdom and message of our ancient Hindu tradition, and the stage has now become the epicenter of Hindu religious, social, cultural activities year round. Divali Nagar has now become a global brand name as hundreds of visitors from India, Europe, North America, and the Caribbean visit to learn more about Hinduism as there are several booths giving information of the several disciplines in Hinduism," Mangaroo said.

New Spanish-Language Twitter Channel on Hinduism

Posted on 2018/10/20 10:47:28 ( 881 reads )


BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO, October 20, 2018 (Twitter): A new Spanish-language Twitter channel features quotes from Hindu saints and scripture and occasional news articles featuring Hinduism in Spanish. New tweets posted four or five times a week via Twitter from Baja California, Mexico. Follow/Seguir at "source" above.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2018/10/20 10:47:14 ( 939 reads )


Oh, if you only knew yourselves! You are souls; you are Gods. If ever I feel like blaspheming, it is when I call you man.
-- Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902)

Hindu Temple in an Former Church Building Desecrated by Vandals in Sydney

Posted on 2018/10/19 10:50:00 ( 548 reads )


SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, October 19, 2018 (Hindu Council AU): A Hindu Temple situated at Regents Park in Sydney Australia has been set on fire and all statues and icons of Indian Godheads have been smashed and left in ruin. They do not know who has done it but it has caused lot of pain and anguish to devotees celebrating the festival NavRatri or nine nights dedicated to worship of God in female form. The temple has been there for about twenty years and but for an incident of stone throwing ten years ago, the Fiji Hindu community has not had any problems until now.

When devotees came at 6pm to open the temple on Sunday evening 14th October 2018, they found smoke coming from inside their temple. Upon investigation, they found some people inside and when challenged, the miscreants jumped out of the window and vanished. The head priest of the temple Pandit Paras Ram Maharaj was in tears on seeing his Gods broken and strewn all over the floor. The Vandals had not only desecrated the God statues and icons but had also shamelessly thrown prayer material around. They had even set the altar on fire. Luckily the fire was quickly brought under control before it could do any further damage to the temple and the building.The big worry we have now, said the temple president is to restore the temple building back to its earlier glory. The temple is visited regularly by about 250 devotees who come from all over Sydney.

Mexico Gets a Taste of Indian Unity in Diversity: Bollywood, Puppets and Music Enthrall the Audience

Posted on 2018/10/19 10:48:13 ( 561 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, October 13, 2018 (Financial Express): For the first time ever, India participated as Guest of Honour at the 46th Cervantino International Festival in 2018 in Mexico City from October 10- 28. Talking to FE Online, Muktesh Pardeshi, ambassador of India to Mexico said that, "Almost 125 artists will travel from Tijuana to Yucatan, making the largest ever participation from an Asian country in the Latin American Region. This is an honor which no country has ever received before and this will help us in building our soft power footprint in the region." At the inauguration (with an 8.000 plus audience) "A passage to Bollywood" by Ashley Lobo was performed to promote Bollywood in the region. India is participating in 110 cultural events, covering almost 33 cities in Mexico.

According to Pardeshi, there is unity and diversity as the groups participating are from the south, east, west and north of India. Sponsored by ICCR, ten groups from India including dance, music, theatre and puppets, focussing on classic, folkloric and contemporary styles are participating. The general director of Promotion and Cultural Festivals and the International Cervantino Festival, Marcela Diez Martinez, said that working with India has been "a huge discovery, to find a country that has many things in common with ours, with a strong tradition and a deep rooted in their thinking and in their original peoples." In the commercial complex located in Plaza del Baratillo, in the middle of the city House of India will be set up where visitors can buy food, clothing, handicrafts and furniture.

Daily Inspiration

Posted on 2018/10/19 10:47:59 ( 554 reads )


The learned have prescribed penance for the murderer of a pious man, a drunkard, a thief or for one who has violated a solemn vow. But there is no pardon for the ungrateful.
-- The Panchatantra

Racism and Stereotypes in Colonial India's Instagram

Posted on 2018/10/18 11:01:49 ( 591 reads )


LONDON, U.K., September 30, 2018 (BBC): Picture postcards pieced together stories about life in British Indian cities. In the early 20th Century, picture postcards served as a kind of Instagram, giving Europeans a glimpse of the life their family and friends led in British colonial India. A recent exhibition at London's SOAS university showcased more than 300 such postcards that were sent from India to Europe between 1900 and the 1930s. This display was drawn from the private collection of Dr. Hughes and Emily Rose Stevenson. They bought postcards on websites such as eBay, and at ephemera fairs, which sell things like antique and second hand books, and manuscripts. "We don't want the postcards to be a vehicle of colonial nostalgia. It is the opposite of that," Stephen Putnam Hughes, a co-curator of the exhibition told the BBC. "We wanted to provide enough evidence from the colonial past and allow people to look at the images critically."

One set of postcards belonged to a popular series, called Masters, produced by a Chennai-based publisher in the early 1900s. It was meant as a "humorous" comment on the master-servant relationship at the heart of British rule in India, according to the note explaining the postcards. But it also played on "British anxieties" and "insecurities" about what the "servant" would do when the "master" was not around. The result: postcards depicting Indians "mocking their masters' lifestyle choices." They are shown drinking beer, smoking and reading with their feet up, all of which "were not equal opportunity activities" at the time. The postcards also reflect how Indians were often stereotyped based on ethnicity, gender, religion or caste. Some of these photos were carefully staged in studios, part of a common photographic genre known as the "native type," according to the curators. Indians performing menial jobs for Europeans were also a common feature of these postcards.

Many of the postcards on display can be viewed at "source" above.

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