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Arrangements For Amarnath Yatra Given Finishing Touches
Posted on 2001/5/20 23:49:02 ( 690 reads )


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SRINAGAR, INDIA, May 12, 2001: The Amarnathji Shrine Board is managing the yearly Amarnath pilgrimage for the first time. It is busy providing finishing touches to the arrangements and has made some major changes in the system of the yatra. The month-long pilgrimage is slated to start on July 4, and the first batch of "registered pilgrims" shall leave Jammu on July 2. They will have darshan of the ice lingam on July 5, according to a tentative schedule. The board was set up at the recommendation of a government commission after the August, 1996, tragedy, when 225 pilgrims were killed in massive snow-storm and avalanches. Although the pilgrimage has gone on for centuries, the highest number of pilgrims to have visited the cave was last year, when 173,000 people turned up.




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Militants Extort Missionaries
Posted on 2001/5/20 23:48:02 ( 707 reads )


Source: The Hindu





GUWAHATI, INDIA, May 19, 2001: Authorities revealed today that militant groups in Manipur have served huge extortion notices to educational institutions run by Christian missionaries. The announcement was made after militants killed three missionaries during a quarrel over extortion near Imphal. Father Jonas Kerketta said the militants entered the seminary premises and demanded money from the three priests at gunpoint before shooting them at close range. He has accused the Revolutionary People Front (RPF) of Manipur, an organization dedicated to driving India from Manipur, of serving the extortion notices which bore the letterheads of the organization. Father Jonas told reporters that each extortion notice ranged between US$10,800 and $54,300. At least 1,000 Christian missionary-run schools across the northeast remained closed on Friday in protest against the killings.




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India Supports Present Breastfeeding Guidelines
Posted on 2001/5/20 23:47:02 ( 672 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, May 13, 2001: Breastfeeding has been encouraged by the World Health Organization for at least the first six months of an infant's life. In poorer nations, breastfeeding up to this age is absolutely necessary to win the fight against malnutrition. Prompted by infant food companies, the World Health Assembly, meeting in Geneva on May 14, is proposing that the guideline be moved to four months of breastfeeding. India is outraged at the suggestion. Union Health Minister Dr. C.P. Thakur said, "India will oppose the proposal tooth and nail." Results of a nation-wide survey have indicated that around 55 per cent of infants under the age of six months receive their sole nutrition from breast milk. This percentage of exclusively breast-fed babies varies from state to state, with Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, and Meghalaya having less than 20 per cent whereas Andhra Pradesha boasts 75 per cent.




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A "Sinful" Slaughter in Hongkong
Posted on 2001/5/20 23:46:02 ( 713 reads )


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HONGKONG, May 21, 2001: A Buddhist temple yesterday carried out a ritual to compensate for what it called the "sinful cull'' of 1.2 million chickens in Hongkong, ordered after an outbreak of the potentially deadly bird flu virus. Reverend Wing Sing of the Western Monastery said that the deaths of so many birds was a sin which could not just be left to fester. He added that the three-hour ritual was held to avert the possibility of natural disasters, including typhoons and other illnesses and disease, hitting Hongkong and its people. According to Rev. Wing, the temple would release hundreds of fish as part of the ceremony to pacify the lost souls of the chickens, in addition to prayers.




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UK Pupils Breath-tested For Smoking
Posted on 2001/5/20 23:45:02 ( 676 reads )


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LONDON, May 21, 2001: Schools across Britain have begun to breath-test students in an effort to weed out those who are smoking. Teachers and nurses are using a new portable device, called the Smokerlyzer, to detect even minute traces of cigarette smoke. Children blow into a mouthpiece attached to a plastic box which has lights. The device analyzes carbon monoxide in the breath and indicates if the user smokes. A green light flashes on the device for a non-smoker, a yellow light reveals a moderate smoker and if a red light is triggered, it means the user is a heavy smoker. At present, parents will not be told if their children are found to be smoking, but this policy maybe reviewed. Instead, a "softly-softly" approach is being adopted by headmasters. Children found to be smokers will be lectured on the danger of cigarettes and classes that are found to be "smoker-free" will be rewarded with free passes to leisure clubs and even to cinemas. Teachers said that the shame of being identified as a smoker had led to many of the youngsters giving up cigarettes.




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US Census Counts 1.7 Million Asian Indians
Posted on 2001/5/19 23:49:02 ( 750 reads )


Source: India Abroad Center for Political Awareness





WASHINGTON, D.C., May 15, 2001: Indian-Americans now comprise a whopping 1.7 million of the total U.S. population of 281, 421, 906. This statistic is part of the U.S. Census 2000 results recently completed. Equivalent to the number of inhabitants in the state of Nebraska, Indian-Americans rank as the third largest Asian-American group next to the Chinese and Filipinos. From 1990 to the year 2000, the Indian Community increased by 106 percent. The growth can be attributed at least in part by the influx of H-1B visa holders and their families. In the year 2000 alone, 55,047 H-1B visas were issued to those from India. The 1.7 million Indians includes all religions, and as the religious division here follows that of India itself, there should be about 1.4 million Hindus among them. However, one doesn't know how the hundreds of thousands of Hindus from the Caribbean would have identified themselves. As well, minorities are normally undercounted in the census, especially those whose immigration status is less than clear.




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Traces of Ancient Civilization Found
Posted on 2001/5/19 23:48:02 ( 655 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, May 19, 2001: The Bhuj quake rekindled the theory that an earthquake was responsible for the disappearance of the Indus Valley civilization. Now the discovery of artifacts in the Gulf of Cambay in Gujarat dating to 4000 to 6000 bce has given a new dimension to archaeologists in understanding the Harappan civilization. Underwater images of several geometric (and therefore likely manmade) objects in the Gulf, have been taken by a team of scientists from the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT). Union Minister for Ocean Development and Science and Technology, Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, said an area spanning 9 km west of Hazira in Gujarat was found a metropolis-like image, partially covered by sand ripples at a depth of 30 to 40 meters. The possible existence of proper drainage system in the area, as well as a great bath measuring 41m x 25m with steps visible indicated the similarity of this new discovery to the great bath found at Mohanjadaro and Harappa. Among the findings was also a 44m x 19m structure with semblance to a temple, Dr Joshi said.




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Sanskrit Theatre on UNESCO Heritage List
Posted on 2001/5/19 23:47:02 ( 689 reads )


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NEW YORK, NEW YORK, May 18, 2001: A list of cultural traditions named "masterpieces of intangible heritage" by UNESCO, has included India's Kuttiyattam Sanskrit theater. The theater shares the honors along with a diverse, internationally chosen group such as the Kunqu Opera of China and the Garifuna language, dance and music of Belize.




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New York Gets Replica of Tamil Nadu's Sri Ranganatha Temple
Posted on 2001/5/19 23:46:02 ( 705 reads )


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NEW YORK, U.S.A., May 10, 2001: A US$2 million Hindu temple modeled after the famous Sri Ranganatha Temple of Srirangam in Tamil Nadu has come up in Pomona, New York, built by the Sri Ranganatha Seva Samiti. From May 23 until May 27, the temple will be formally consecrated. The complex, that stands on a five-acre plot, has a 6,000- square-foot temple, 5000-square-foot hall for religious, social and cultural functions and children's classes and library, and parking for 200 cars. The sanctum sanctorum features Lord Ranganatha or Lord Narayana, the form of Lord Vishnu in a state of repose on a bed of the five-headed serpent, Adisesha, the form found in Sriranagam temple.




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Cow Slaughter at Christian School
Posted on 2001/5/19 23:45:02 ( 735 reads )


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BREA, CALIFORNIA, May 18, 2001: Students of Carbon Canyon Christian school, located in a rural area in Southern California, witnessed the slaughter of a 1,000 pound steer they had raised at the school as part of a demonstration to teach them where meat comes from. Students as young as 5-years-old watched as the butcher used a stun gun to immobilize the 2-year-old steer named T-Bone. The animal was then cut apart with a knife, and skinned. The organs were removed, giving the students a close-up look at the heart, the tendons and other parts of the carcass. Most of the students were fascinated and school teachers regarded it as a valuable educational experience. Teen-age protesters from outside the school tried to stop the slaughter by forming a human chain to prevent the butcher from entering the school. Among the many animal rights groups shocked by the incident was Los Angeles-based Last Chance for Animals. A spokesperson for the group cautioned that the lesson may have a lasting effect on children and stated that, "Studies have shown that when children view violence against animals, it desensitizes them to animal cruelty and makes them more aggressive.




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RK Mission's Former General Secretary Passes On
Posted on 2001/5/19 23:44:02 ( 696 reads )


Source: The Telegraph





KOLKATA, INDIA, May 19, 2001: Swami Hiranmayanandaji Maharaj, former general secretary of Ramakrishna Mission, died at the Mission headquarters at Belur Math on Friday night. He was 91. He was suffering from stomach cancer, besides various other ailments. He was cremated at Belur Math. Initiated in 1929 by Srimat Swami Shivanandaji Maharaj, a direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna, he joined the order at Belur Math in 1933. He was elected a trustee of the Ramakrishna Math and a member of the governing body of Ramakrishna Mission in 1973. He served as the general secretary of the Order between April 1985 and February 1989.




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No More Dissections in India's CBSE Course.
Posted on 2001/5/18 23:49:02 ( 634 reads )


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NEW DELHI, INDIA, May 17, 2001: From this year, India's Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is scrapping dissections of animals completely, coinciding with the 2,600th anniversary of the Mahavir the founder of Jainism who preached non-violence. "The idea is to develop a steady hand, and one can learn how to make a fine incision on a pumpkin as well, so why kill an animal?" CBSE chairman Ashok Ganguly reasons. "The reason for dissections was to help develop skills necessary for students pursuing a career in medicine. Over the past few years, animal activists have targeted the use of animals for biology experiments in schools. Two years ago, the Supreme court made it optional.




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Hindu Temple Attacked in Tripura
Posted on 2001/5/18 23:48:02 ( 829 reads )


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KOLKOTA, INDIA, May 17, 2001: At least 14 people were injured, eight of them seriously, in an attack by separatist militants in Tripura on Thursday evening. D. Goutam, Superintendent of Police (Operations) said 15 militants of the National Liberation Front of Tripura stormed the Bholagiri Ashram, a Hindu religious place in the outskirts of Agartala at around 6 pm and fired indiscriminately from automatic weapons. A massive search has been launched to track down the assailants.




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Hindus in New Zealand Celebrate Mother's Day Indian Style
Posted on 2001/5/18 23:47:02 ( 689 reads )


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AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND, MAY 15, 2001: About 50 Hindu children washed their mother's feet in traditional Hindu manner to express their appreciation on Mother's Day. The Matru Puja (mother worship) began with an invocation to Ganesha followed by Sanskrit hymns sung in praise of mothers. The children prostrated to their mothers and washed their feet. They also put turmeric, kumkum and sandalwood on their mother's feet and forehead. The Auckland event was organized to illustrate the mothers' importance to their children and to show the way it is done back in India where Hindu mothers represent god and Mother's Day occurs 365 days a year.




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Kids Who Witness Violence at Home
Posted on 2001/5/18 23:46:02 ( 682 reads )


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SINGAPORE, May 13, 2001: Children who experience abuse in the family often bear emotional scars. A US study shows they sometimes grow up to be abusive parents themselves. At a symposium held in Singapore, Professor Jeffrey Edleson, director of the Minnesota Centre Against Violence and Abuse, said that a study of 500 American families which experienced domestic violence found that 17 per cent had seen violent behavior at home as children. Thirty to 60 per cent of wife-battery cases investigated in the United States included abuse of children in the family. And one out of three among the three million abused children in America grow up to be abusive parents. In Singapore, although there are no parallel statistics on children who have witnessed domestic violence, a service center specializing in dealing with family violence said that in the 568 cases it handled, 827 children had seen their parents, usually their mothers, suffer violence at home.




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