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Clan Unites En Masse


Posted on 2000/12/26 8:48:02 ( 1882 reads )


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IPOH, MALAYSIA, December 25, 2000: The descendants of Marimuthu Ammal created history by holding the largest Indian family gathering, with some 480 relatives from peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, Singapore and New Zealand turning up. They comprised a third of about 1,200 descendants of the matriarch, who first came to Malaysia in the 19th century. The oldest in the group was third-generation descendant Sundari Kandasammy Ammal, 87, of Kuala Lumpur, who said, "I am so glad that this gathering has materialized. I hope everyone will stay united.'' Marimuthu Ammal, a contractor, and her husband Muthu Ramalingam Pillai arrived in Taiping from Karaikal in South India and were said to have built a fortune through railways, roads and sanitary contracts.






New Bill Allows Care Facility to Coincide with Patient's Faith


Posted on 2000/12/26 8:47:02 ( 1688 reads )


Source: Religion News Service





WASHINGTON, DC, December 22, 2000: The "Return to Home" legislation was passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton on Thursday, December 21. A coalition of religious groups collaborated so that Medicare patients suffering from severe illnesses could be treated at care facilities close to home or those affiliated with their faith. Previously, loved ones were forced to stay at facilities outlined specifically by their health-maintenance organizations even if they were far from home or in an environment not suited to their religious culture. The bill is widely supported by those who believe spiritual practices and the support of family and friends are essential for healing. The bill should apply to Hindu homes for the elderly in the USA.






Living Goddesses To Receive Pay


Posted on 2000/12/26 8:46:02 ( 1706 reads )


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KATHMANDU, NEPAL, December 24, 2000: Nepal, the world's only Hindu Kingdom, will begin paying a monthly maintenance allowance to its "living Goddesses," chosen girls worshipped by Hindus and Buddhists. The living Goddesses, all referred to as "Sri Kumari," are revered by thousands in Nepal. In accordance with Nepali tradition, a young girl is carefully chosen to serve as a living Goddess. She then moves away from home and resides in a special home, of which each major area of the city has one. She serves until the onset of puberty. Narendra Man Shrestha, a finance ministry official, announced the government would begin paying a monthly maintenance allowance of US$81.00 to the serving living Goddess and a $40.50 rupee monthly pension after retirement. The benefits are seen as a means to uphold the cultural and religious traditions of Nepal, as well as to compensate for the difficulty some of these girls have in getting married.






Contention Between Hindu Christian Groups in Gujarat


Posted on 2000/12/23 8:49:02 ( 1612 reads )


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GANDHINAGAR, INDIA, December 21, 2000: Christian religious conversions by enticement or force has segmented the tribal communities in Gujarat. As a result, the State Reserve Police has been called upon to restrain any violence that may be targeted against the Christian community during Christmas celebrations. Meetings between Hindu and Christian groups have attempted to curb the violence, but unrest between the two groups has been prevalent in the state since 1998.
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No Hometown Reception for India's Miss World


Posted on 2000/12/23 8:48:02 ( 1568 reads )


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LUCKNOW, INDIA, December 20, 2000: In a colorful ceremony, Priyanka Chopra,18, was crowned Miss World in London, England, in November of this year. However, upon arrival in her home state of Uttar Pradesh, no reception was given. Chief minister Rajnath Singh, supported by both Hindu and Muslim conservative, banned beauty contests in the state last week, declaring them to be a violation of traditional culture.






Animal Group Urges Boycott Of Indian Abattoir


Posted on 2000/12/23 8:47:02 ( 1762 reads )


Source: Reuters





MUMBAI, INDIA, December 21, 2000: An international animal rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), said it planned to urge some Middle Eastern countries to boycott meat from an Indian abattoir (slaughter house) because of its unhygienic and inhumane conditions. They will present a video of the conditions in the Deonar abattoir in the city of Bombay as evidence. Jason Baker, PETA's India head, said he would meet government officials in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar. Members of PETA are demanding that the government-owned slaughterhouse be closed until animal protection laws were met. "I will investigate the matter, and if it is true, then I will stop these practices," Hareshwar Patil, mayor of Mumbai, told Reuters. PETA estimates around 13 million cows are slaughtered in India every year for beef and hide despite their sacred status in Hinduism.






Christian Priest Reported Killed in Andamans


Posted on 2000/12/23 8:46:02 ( 2046 reads )


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ANDAMAN ISLANDS, INDIA: December 21, 2000: The Catholic news service Zenit out of Rome reported that Hindu radicals in India murdered a Catholic priest. A group of men raided the residence of Port Blair priest John Peter December 15 and killed him with knives and clubs, and left behind materials denouncing the priest's activities in converting Hindus, Zenit reported. Port Blair is the capital city of the Andaman Islands, located in the Bay of Bengal. Catholic officials urged the New Delhi government to find those responsible and guarantee the safety of Christians in the islands. No news of this event was reported in Delhi papers.






Godly Stories Popular on Indian Television


Posted on 2000/12/22 8:49:02 ( 1755 reads )


Source: Indian Express





NEW DELHI, INDIA, December 21, 2000: India's Public broadcaster, Doordarshan, leads the way in capturing Indian mythologicals for telecasting on its various channels. Serials like "Ramayana" and "Sri Krishna" have been overwhelmingly successful. As a result, DD plans to expand its present mythologicals from five to eight. Producer Ramanand Sagar commented, "Serials based on religion instill values and a sense of duty among viewers."






Hindus May be Free to Worship in Pakistan


Posted on 2000/12/22 8:48:02 ( 1750 reads )


Source: The Tribune





AMRITSAR, INDIA, December 21, 2000: Hindu devotees may resume pilgrimages to Pakistan. The president of the All-India Hindu Shiv Sena has prompted Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, Prime Minister, to resume talks with Pakistani leaders to ensure the safety of Hindu pilgrims in that country. A recent pilgrimage by Sindhi Hindus was abruptly ended when they were ridiculed by Pakistani officials. However, thousands of Pakistani Muslims peacefully visit their holy places in India each year.






American Hindus Want a Divali Stamp


Posted on 2000/12/22 8:47:02 ( 1792 reads )


Source: Hinduism Today





WASHINGTON, D.C., December 21, 2000: Since President Clinton recognized the value of Hindu's contributions by way of a Divali message from the White House, American Hindus have started to promote the idea of a Divali stamp to be issued by the US Postal Service next year. Aside from Christmas stamps which are issued by the hundreds of millions, the Jewish holiday of Hannukah was commemorated by the U.S.P.S. by way of a postage stamp in past years. They have also announced that a stamp in celebration of the Islamic religious holiday, Eid Mubarak, is being designed for the year 2001. Hindu's are requested to send e-mail to pmgceo@usps.gov.






National Organic Standards Released


Posted on 2000/12/22 8:46:02 ( 1593 reads )


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WASHINGTON, D.C., December 20, 2000: The government released the first national standards for growing and processing organic foods. Foods that meet the new federal standards will bear a seal "USDA Organic" and replace dozens of local standards. The new regulations will ban the use of biotechnology or irradiation in organic products, which are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides. It will also ban the use of antibiotics in organic meat and require dairy cattle to have access to pasture. Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman called the rules "the strictest, most comprehensive organic standards in the world." Farmers and handlers will have 18 months to comply with the standards to earn the USDA seal.






Mauritius to Strengthen Links With India


Posted on 2000/12/21 8:49:02 ( 1520 reads )


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CHENNAI, INDIA, December 20, 2000: Mauritius has decided to strengthen its links with India to enhance its educational and training facilities. Mr. Ramduthsing Jaddoo, a former Minister for Human Resource Development in Mauritius and the brain behind a movement to revamp higher education is in India to establish links with some South Indian centers like Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. He told "The Hindu" newspaper that both Mauritius government ministries and institutions and the private sector needed modern, IT-friendly management training to equip themselves for the era of globalization. He visited the Indian Institute of Technology(IIT) and met educationalists, on the premise that a consultancy centre would be established very soon to source the talent from this region for Mauritius in both employment and in the training faculty. A package for Indians to both invest in Mauritius and take up professional appointments there would be unveiled by an official delegation visiting India in January.






Reactions Vary to Beauty Contest Ban


Posted on 2000/12/21 8:48:02 ( 1660 reads )


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UTTAR PRADESH, INDIA, December 17, 2000: Chief Minister Rajnath Singh's decision to ban beauty contests has caused heated debates among opposition parties and BJP allies. Comments range from total agreement by Muslim organizations and religious leaders, to total disagreement by a female opposition leader who described the ban as an attack on the fundamental rights of women. Middle roaders oppose the ban but support limitations on the beauty contests. Keeping a firm stand, Rajnath Singh is quoted as saying, "I would not allow beauty contests to be organized in the state at any cost."






Anti-Smoking Youth Program Abandoned


Posted on 2000/12/21 8:47:02 ( 1675 reads )


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SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, December 20, 2000: After 14 years and 15 million dollars, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has abandoned a project that was aimed at controlling tobacco use among the youth. 8,388 school children and 640 teachers in 40 school districts were targeted for the study. The curriculum, arming the children with tools to resist peer pressure and advertising influences, was taught from grade three through grade ten. However recent surveys indicate that the amount of smokers from this group mimics the general populace who did not participate in the program. Associated Press said, "24.4 percent of the girls and 26.3 percent of the boys were daily smokers by the 12th grade" -- no different from the rest of 12th graders. Richard Clayton, a University of Kentucky researcher, feels that the decision to smoke is an emotional one and the Washington State program focused incorrectly on a rational approach.






US Religious Organizations Love the Internet


Posted on 2000/12/21 8:46:02 ( 1665 reads )


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WASHINGTON, DC, December, 2000: The Pew Internet and American Life Project surveyed over 1,000 congregations to see to what extent they're using the Internet for religious work. The survey found that churches are using the Internet to offer virtual tours of their grounds, webcast their services, and post church bulletins, allowing consumers to shop for churches, just as they shop for goods, online. Clergy surveyed often turn to the Internet to get material for sermons, church-education programs and their own personal devotions. Most of the sites are made by members of the congregations. Although not part of the survey, many Hindu churches and temples around the world maintain websites.




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