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Val-Morin Tamil Kavadi Procession
Posted on 2014/8/1 17:14:32 ( 579 reads )

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QUEBEC, CANADA, July 30, 2014 (Laurentides Express): Every year the celebration of Kavadi in Val-Morin attracts hundreds of onlookers who watch, with cameras in hand, the procession of devotees of the Tamil community in the streets of the municipality.

Several Hindu devotees are suspended horizontally by iron hooks piercing the skin of their back, triceps and hamstrings. "They fast for several days before the event", explained a young Tamil woman who makes her home near Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts. "They practice total abstinence - including their sex lives - to purify the soul. On Kavadi day, they go into a trance, possessed by the Deity to the point where they do not feel the hooks or needles that pass through their skin."

This celebration is a Hindu festival usually celebrated in January or February in the tropical climate of the southwest Indian Ocean. However, the Tamil diaspora in North America has chosen to celebrate this colorful festival during the hot season, in July, in Val-Morin, rather than in the sub-zero weather of January.

Colorful photos at 'source.'

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Madrid's Indian Film and Dance Festival
Posted on 2014/8/1 17:14:26 ( 483 reads )

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MADRID, SPAIN, June 7, 2014 (El Mundo): The seventh annual BollyMadrid Festival is being held on the streets and plazas of the Spanish capital for three days in June. The sponsor of the event, the government of Madrid's central Lavapies district, is anticipating that 30,000 people will come to participate in the festival. The festival includes a morning fair selling Indian fashion and handicrafts and holding workshops, such as rangoli drawing, for the children. There's an Indian food plaza with 25 booths staffed by the district's Indian restaurants. Over three days there will be 50 performances choreographed for 100 dancers. And in the evening after sunset, the latest films from Mumbai are being shown on the big screen over the stage.

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BBC Documentary: The Story of the Swastika
Posted on 2014/8/1 17:14:12 ( 1363 reads )

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ocf8Nlq5Xiw

LONDON, ENGLAND, May 13, 2014 (BBC): At last, the BBC has produced an excellent video explaining how Hitler hijacked the swastika--a symbol of auspiciousness used by ancient cultures worldwide and held sacred by Hindus--and distorted its meaning so that the Western world now regards it with fear and loathing, as a symbol of hatred and genocide. Footage of Nazi Germany is contrasted with the swastika's uses and significance in Hindu culture and religious observances. Although the narrator doubts we can ever effect a complete recovery (even saying that Hitler "changed the perception of the swastika in the West forever"), the video ends on a very positive note, hypothesizing the day when each child's early exposure to the swastika will be in terms of its traditional, benevolent uses and meanings--and the later knowledge of Hitler's misuse of it will be met with the same sense of sock, horror and outrage that Hindus themselves feel. "And if we can get to that point, then Hitler will have finally been defeated."


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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/8/1 17:14:05 ( 393 reads )

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Love is seeing and feeling life everywhere. When your heart is full of love, you sense life pulsating through all creation.
-- Mata Amritanandamayi Ma, Kerala-based hugging saint

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South Africa Temple Celebrates Akhand Hanuman Chalisa
Posted on 2014/7/31 17:38:45 ( 493 reads )

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SOUTH AFRICA, July 29, 2014 (Indian Times): The Isipingo Dharam Mandir celebrated its 2nd Akhand Hanuman Chalisa on 25th May 2014 at the temple in Isipingo. The President of the Temple Society, Neelien Ramchand explain that the event included the recitation of the Hanuman Chalisa 108 times. Various satsang groups from the Durban area were programmed to perform the Hanuman Chalisa during this marathon recital. The recitation started at 6 am and ended at 6 pm.

The day's proceedings commenced with prayer at 4-30 am. Neelien said that the Akhand Hanuman Chalisa was a thanksgiving prayer to the Supreme Being in the form of Lord Hanuman to acknowledge our existence and give thanks to what we have in this world. Pundith Suman Singh, the officiating priest, said, "We are all servants of the Lord and our existence is by the grace of the Lord".

The origins of the temple started in 1963 when the community of Malakazi got together to start this organisation. It had very humble beginnings and has grown over the years. It currently has about 120 members of the temple society. However, during the major festivals and celebrations, hundreds of people from far and wide gather at the temple to offer prayers and pay homage to the Lord.

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Java On the Shores of the Atlantic: 120 years of the Javanese in Surinam
Posted on 2014/7/31 17:38:38 ( 421 reads )

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SURINAM, SOUTH AMERICAJuly 29, 2014 (Geographic Guianas by Dominique Maison) Only a few minutes from the centre of Paramaribo is one of the beating hearts of Javanese culture. It has been there since the first Javanese migrants came across 120 years ago this year to this then Dutch colony from Indonesia, also a Dutch colony. Today there are over 70,000 Javanese who, to the sound of great festivities, are remembering their ancestors and the island they hailed from. These Javanese are today Muslims, and it is unknown how many Hindus were among the original migrants and what became of them. At the same time, Hindu immigrants were coming into Surinam and surrounding colonies from India.

Nowadays the 70,000 descendants of the Javanese migrants are to be found in all sectors of Surinamese society. They have managed to obtain numerous positions in the public sector (in health and teaching), as well as supplying the national parliament with its president in 2004.

In 1954 some of them undertook the arduous journey back to the land of their fathers. We have retraced their footsteps to recount their sometimes painful stories and to tell of the hopes of this community whose history is often but poorly known in French Guiana.

To read the interesting history of how Javanese culture has managed to survive over 12,500 miles away from the island where it originated, click on 'source' above.

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Include Yoga and Physical Activity in SLP Schools
Posted on 2014/7/31 17:38:32 ( 466 reads )

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SAN LUIS POTOSI, MEXICO, July 28, 2014 (Plano Informativo): San Luis Potosi (SLP) is a city of 723,000 located 250 miles north of Mexico City. Aiming to combat bullying in schools, the city's Department of Education will implement a program that includes the promotion of positive social values through reading assignments, and also includes the practice of yoga along with other physical activity.

Today, bullying occurs in almost all educational spaces. One of the main concerns of the mayor, Mario Garcia, is preventing this phenomenon and avoiding its negative impact on the student population. Therefore, plans to eradicate bullying are being implemented.

The program is now in the final planning phase. The pilot project will begin in September, conducted and overseen by specialists in the field.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/7/31 17:38:24 ( 429 reads )

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There is something beyond our mind which abides in silence within our mind. It is the supreme mystery beyond thought. Let one's mind and one's subtle body rest upon that and not rest on anything else.
-- Maitri Upanishad

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Trinidad Youths Prepare for Krishna Leela in Tabaquite
Posted on 2014/7/30 16:00:18 ( 472 reads )

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TABAQUITE,TRINIDAD,July 25, 2014 (by Seeta Persad, Newsday): Massive preparations are now taking place for the second annual Shri Krishna Leela at the Guaracara Recreation Ground in Tabaquite. This ten-day drama based on the life and times of the Hindu God Lord Krishna is being staged by the Krishna Rama Shakti Mandir (KRSM) of Tabaquite. This play runs from August 1 to 10 between the hours of 6 pm to 8 pm. Members of the KRSM will be playing the various roles in this unfolding drama of Lord Krishna.

According to Pundit Lackram, Chan Krishna Leela drama production depicts the exploits of Lord Krishna (an incarnation of God), when He took descent on Earth thousands of years ago in India. This is a play similar to Ramleela and it consists of scenes depicting Krishna's appearance from a baby to his teenage days.

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Sri Lanka Supreme Court Allows Animal Sacrifice in Hindu Temple
Posted on 2014/7/30 16:00:12 ( 466 reads )

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COLOMBO, SRI LANKA, July 23, 2014 (Colombo Page): Sri Lanka's Supreme Court has ruled that the Hindu temples can perform animal sacrifice under controlled conditions. The apex court on Monday hearing an appeal filed by the trustees of the Sri Bhadrakali Amman Kovil at Munneswaram in Chilaw ruled that the Hindu Temple can slaughter the animals under the supervision of the Public Health Department.

In recent years the customary ritual of sacrificing hundreds of goats and fowl in the annual feast of the Munneswaram Sri Bhadra Kali Amman Kovil in Chilaw has come under severe protest from the animal lovers, Buddhist clergy and politicians. (HPI Note: The Buddhists of Sri Lanka are not vegetarians.)

The Chief Justice Mohan Peiris said he is not ready to ban the animal sacrifice since the practice was hundreds of years old. However, he said the number of animals slaughtered normally is too high and urged the devotees to talk to each other to bring down the number of animals killed. He ordered the temple authorities to slaughter one animal at a time in a specially designated enclosure away from the public view under the supervision of the Public Health Department.

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First Indian Diaspora Conference in Belize
Posted on 2014/7/30 16:00:06 ( 552 reads )



BELIZE, July 29, 2014 (Press Release): The Corozal Organization of East Indian Culture and Heritage (COEICH) and the National East Indian Council of Belize - Southern Chapter (NEICBSC), along with the National Institute of Culture and History of Belize (NICH) are having the first Indian diaspora conference in Belize August 6 to 10, 2014. The theme of the conference is: "Highlighting Indian Culture and Contribution in a Multi-ethnic Society." The first two days of the conference will be held in Corozal Town (Northern Belize) and the next two days will be held in Punta Gorda Town (Southern Belize).

Academic presentations will be given by presenters from the United States, the Caribbean and Belize. Other presentations will be given by elders and others from the Indian community in Belize. Some of the areas covered in the conference include race relations, entrepreneurship, dreams of young East Indians, medicine, identity, migration, indentured laborers, East Indian women, reparation, outstanding East Indians in Belize, and agriculture, including sugar cane and rice production and yellow ginger processing.

For more information, email sylviaperez1@yahoo.com.

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Daily Inspiration
Posted on 2014/7/30 15:59:59 ( 393 reads )

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It is far easier to conquer others than to conquer oneself, because the former can be attained by recourse to outside means, while the latter can be achieved only with one's own mind.
-- Mahatma Gandhi(1869-1948)

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New Book Highlights Historic Temples of Pakistan
Posted on 2014/7/28 17:13:44 ( 929 reads )

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PAKISTAN, July 26, 2014 (ndtv): The book, "Historic Temples in Pakistan: A Call to Conscience," authored by Karachi-based journalist Reema Abbasi, focuses on minority Hindus who celebrate Indian festivals on the other side of the border. A result of extensive research, the book highlights around 400 photographs that cover different aspects of overlooked historical temples and shrines in Pakistan that few know about.

Madiha Aijaz who teaches photography at the Indus Valley School of Architecture, does justice to the book by beautifully capturing the multi-colored and vibrant images. "It is a subject that is just so less documented and it hasn't been talked about," she says.

Reema and Madiha travelled far and wide to various pilgrimage sites like Hinglaj, the abode of goddess Durga in Balochistan; the Katas Raj temple in Punjab, one of the holiest in Hinduism and known for providing refuge to the Pandavas; the Kalka cave temple in Sindh; the Panchmukhi Hanuman Mandir in Karachi, among others.

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New Hampshire Hindu Community Hosts Puran
Posted on 2014/7/28 17:13:38 ( 417 reads )

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CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE, July 11, 2014 (Concord Monitor): From the windows of the Heights Community Center auditorium in Concord, a man's monotone voice chants holy Sanskrit legends. This is Srimad Bhagavata Maha Purana, a week of devotion and community organized by the new Hindu Faith Trust of NH.

The people inside pray for peace around the world, enlightenment in their own hearts and brotherhood in their community. From 9 a.m. until the evening, every day until Wednesday, people will gather in the auditorium to pray, chant, dance and sing, and receive blessings. Organizers from the Hindu Faith Trust said they expect people from across New England to attend over the weekend.

Though it has been organized mainly by Hindus from Bhutan, the event is designed to bring New Hampshire's Hindu community - from India, Nepal and elsewhere - together to worship and bond. Less than 1 percent of the population in New Hampshire is Hindu, according to a study released in April, but that population is growing and seeking to build places to gather for traditional services and festivals.

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Yoga %26 Memory
Posted on 2014/7/28 17:13:31 ( 558 reads )

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UNITED STATES, July 27, 2014 (She Knows): New studies suggest that regular exercise, and yoga in particular, plays a big role in keeping the mind active and memory intact. A series of studies published in Science and the Journal of Neuroscience showed that exercise can stimulate new brain cells, which can then migrate from one area of the brain to another allowing you in essence to "create a new brain," according to the author of "Brain Longevity," Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa, in an article published on Yoga Journal.

But the catch, according to Khalsa, is that in order to keep those new brain cells alive and active, one must be relieved of as much stress as possible. That's why the practice of yoga, which engages the mind, body and spirit, is the perfect solution to the problem.

"We took people with memory loss and prescribed 12 minutes of kirtan kriya [a technique used in kundalini yoga that combines meditation, mudra, chanting and mantra] every day," Khalsa states. "After eight weeks, you can see on our scans that after the meditation, the blood flow to the frontal lobe, the area responsible for attention, concentration and focus, is improved." Khalsa also noted that the main components of yoga -- exercise, posture, focused breathing and meditation -- are all good for the brain. "Because of that," he said, "yoga should go far in creating positive brain changes."

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