Pakistani Hindus discuss their issues in Pakistan Hindu Council AGM

By : pakistanhinducouncil.org.pk.

The First General Body Meeting of Pakistan Hindu Council Cabinet 18-20 was held on 9th December 2018, Sunday at Global Marquees, Karachi. The meeting was started with Gayatri/Mool Mantar and then a welcome speech was done by Mr. Raja Bhawan (Vice-President) in which he welcomed all the members and applauds all the members for their contribution in PHC. The financial budget was presented by Mr. Bharat Kumar Manglani (Finance Secretary) in which all details were shared with the members. All Members unanimously approved the financial budget and praised the dedication of the Finance Secretary. Mr. Parshotam Ramani (General Secretary) described all the projects and events in front of members to show the performance and progress of this cabinet. As the main agenda was Forced Conversion so Mr. Gopal Khamuani (President) stated that forced conversion has become a big issue for Hindus and this should be resolved as soon as possible. He further said I think lack of caring and busy schedule of parents is also the reason for children to convert their religion. He also demanded in his speech that Marriage act law should be implemented on an immediate basis and the chairman of Evacuee trust property should be a Hindu so that no Hindu property get possessed illegally. To finish this matter from its roots, it is necessary to give our children the knowledge of religion, sacrifices and our norms along with basic knowledge. The President also discussed the future plans as he said that we are making committees at the district level so that we get knowledge about the people issues and we will also organize Dharmic quiz programs in different districts so that children get knowledge about our religion.

However, in open discussion, all respected members shared their thoughts and suggestions regarding this issue. Mr. Paman Lal Rathi (Joint Secretary) stated that these cases usually take place in lower areas like Thar and interior where people do not have enough to eat and also do not have the education so we should give them education and should help them in reducing the poverty. Mr. Hotchand Karmani (Advisor and Ex-President) stated that it is the responsibility of every member of PHC to help people and to solve their issues. Mr. Rajesh Kumar Hardasani (Advisor) advised that we should tell our children about our religion and about the life of girls who got victimized and sometimes parents are also responsible in this issues as they did not give time to their children and allow them to do by their own. Mr. Harish Sakhija (MC Member) stated that there are different reasons but we should handle these issues personally and did not let anyone do politics as this is the matter of many lives. Mr. Prem Talreja (Advisor) advised that we should not create difference and should help lower castes as well because we all are from one religion and human first. At last, Dr. Ramesh Kumar Vankwani (Patron) also shared its work and dedication towards this issues as he stated that people do politics in these issues that cause a negative impact on our community. He stated that we should stay combine and should fight boldly against these issues so that we could get over this issue. At last, the Patron answered the questions of members and then it was unanimously decided by all the Bearers, MC Members, Advisors, Observers, life members and associate members that parent should give time to their children and should give them religious knowledge as well so that they know about the actual meaning of Hinduism and the purification of this religion.

 

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Book Review – Hinduism and Nature

By : www.arc.org.

Penguin India publishes important new book on Hinduism and Nature

 

We have just received our copy of Penguin India on Hinduism and Nature by historian, environmentalist (and good friend of ARC) Dr Nanditha Krishna.

The book, published by Penguin India, is about the mythical stories and religious significance of many forests and mountains, lakes, rivers (and a few flat bits) of India’s varied landscapes. And how those stories and significances are one of the things that can and might protect India’s animals and places from the bulldozers of progress.

The basis of Hinduism is righteousness, or dharma, she argues, and the great epic texts of Hinduism show a clear appreciation of the natural world by people in India 5,000 years go. Even then, writers and thinkers wanted to urge people to manage natural resources and protect animals.

“I fell in love with sacred groves attached to Hindu temples,” Dr Krishna said to explain how she came to write the book. They were places “where not a twig may be broken and which are the remnants of ancient forests where sages lived in harmony with nature.”

She also was inspired by “rivers that gush from the hills and meander through the land; with the sacred tanks attached to each temple, the sacred plants and the animals respected by my religion; with the awe-inspiring mountains which reach up to the skies and where the Gods live.”.

In her long career as an environmentalist, the Chennai-based author of Sacred Plants of India and Sacred Animals of India has explored the divine relationship between human beings, plants and animals, “which are an essential part of every Hindu prayer.”

In her long career as an environmentalist, the author of Sacred Plants of India and Sacred Animals of India Dr Krishna has explored the divine relationship between human beings, plants and animals, “which are an essential part of every Hindu prayer.”

“The Earth is my mother and I am her child,” says the hymn to the Earth in the Atharva Veda. The human ability to merge with nature was the measure of cultural evolution. Hinduism believes that the earth and all life forms – human, animal and plant – are a part of Divinity, each dependant on the other for sustenance and survival. All of nature must be treated with reverence and respect. If the forests, clean water and fresh air disappear, so will all life as we know it on earth.

An Excerpt

“Forests have always been central to Indian civilization, representing the feminine principle in prakriti. They are the primary source of life and fertility, a refuge for the wanderer and a home for the seeker, and have always been viewed as a model for societal and civilizational evolution.

“Forests were places of retreat, a source of inspiration, for all Vedic literature was revealed to the sages here. Rama’s entire journey from Ayodhya to Lanka was through forests. In the Mahabharata, the big war is for urbanization and to capture the cities of Mathura, Hastinapur and Indraprastha. Yet the Pandavas spent their years of exile in the forest and made marriage alliances with forest tribes, a move that would help them later in the Kurukshetra war. They also learnt several important lessons from living in the forest, which became a source of knowledge and a place for learning higher truths. There were several classifications of the forest.

“The ancient forests have survived as the sacred groves of modern India. The seals of the Indus civilization contain figures of wild animals such as the elephant, water buffalo, rhinoceros, deer, gazelle, antelope, wild sheep and goat and ibex and tiger, which means that the area was once covered with dense forests. Rhino habitat ranges from open savannah to dense forest, while tigers live in swamps, grasslands and among trees, bushes and tall grass which camouflage them. Elephants are found in savannah and forests, where they can find fresh water to cool their thick dark skins. The large number of such seals suggests that the Indus–Sarasvati region was once a thick forest, not the agricultural fields or deserts we see today.

 

Hindu Environment week is one of the eco initiatives by Hindus today, inspired by the insights of their faith

The Vedas were composed in the Indus–Sarasvati region. In these texts, there is a fundamental sense of harmony with nature, which, in turn, nurtured a civilizational value. Forests were the primary source of life and inspiration, not a wilderness to be feared or conquered. The Vedas were written by sages living in the forest who saw it as a home and a source of revelation, exaltation and creativity. Some of the greatest verses of philosophy were written in forests. People drew intellectual, emotional and spiritual sustenance from the twin concepts of srishti and prakriti.

‘So may the mountains, the waters, the liberal (wives of the gods), the plants, also heaven and earth, consentient with the Forest Lord (Vanaspati) and both the heaven and earth preserve for us those riches’

One of the most beautiful hymns of the Rig Veda is dedicated to Aranyani, the goddess of the forest. She is an elusive spirit, fond of solitude, and fearless. The poet asks her to explain how she can wander so far from civilization without fear or loneliness. He creates a beautiful image of the village at sunset, with the sounds of the grasshopper and the cicada and the cowherd calling his cattle. She is a mysterious sprite, never seen, but her presence is felt by the tinkling of her anklets and her generosity in feeding both man and animal:

Aranyani Aranyani, who are, as it were, perishing there, why
do you not ask of the village? Does not fear assail you?
When the chichchika (bird) replies to the crying grasshopper,
Aranyani is exalted, resonant, as with cymbals.
It is as if cows were grazing, and it looks like a dwelling, and
Aranyani, at eventide, as it were, dismissed the wagons.
This man calls his cow, another cuts down the timber,
tarrying in the forest at eventide, one thinks there is a cry.
But Aranyani injures no one unless some other assails;
feeding upon the sweet fruit, she penetrates at will.
I praise the musk-scented, fragrant, fertile, uncultivated
Aranyani, the mother of wild animals
(Rig Veda, X.146. 1–6)

LINKS

Find Hinduism and Nature on Good Reads.

Penguin India on Hinduism and Nature

The Hindu Newspaper features vital work on green pilgrimage by ARC’s partner organisation in India

ARC’s partner organisation in India, ATREE

Building Stewardship in the buffer zone to protect biodiversity – Clean KMTR Campaign

(Source : www.arc.org)

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Dalai Lama endorses Hinduism as most tolerant

Muslim nations must learn about religion from India : Dalai Lama

There are various religions and traditions in India having population of over 125 crore. Muslim countries should learn from India. so that there is peace. There is coordination among all the religions here and due to non-violence principle, modern India is developing,” the Dalai Lama said.

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Hey, Do you speak Hindu? #IAMHINDUAMERICAN

By : American Hindu Foundation.

#IAMHINDUAMERICAN

We’re teachers and parents, politicians and artists, cab drivers and entrepreneurs, doctors and lawyers, small business owners and engineers.

We give back to our communities every day in innumerable ways.

Yet the general American public knows very little about us and our traditions.

We want to change that. And we need your help.

Why now?

Knowledge about Hindus and Hinduism is very low among the general public in the US. This is despite the fact that Hindus are one of the most successful minority communities here and one with growing influence in politics.

#IAmHinduAmerican seeks to address this gap in a positive way by normalizing and celebrating Hindu Americans and how we contribute to our respective communities.

Here’s How.

You’re invited to be a part of an exciting campaign the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) will be launching TOMORROW 12/4 called #IAmHinduAmerican.

Click on the image above for a teaser of the video!

#IAmHinduAmerican is an online campaign that aims to raise awareness about Hindu Americans — who we are, what we believe, and what motivates and inspires us about Hindu teachings. The multi-platform initiative includes a social-media campaign, a 30-second public service announcement video, and a companion website to provide valuable resources about Hinduism and Hindu Americans.  

We will later expand the campaign with more in-depth stories to both inform and inspire all Americans.

Where you fit into this project.

STEP ONE: Participate and invite all the Hindu Americans in your life to also participate.  

All you have to do is upload a high resolution headshot and your story at www.IamHinduAmerican.org — starting tomorrow 12/4 at 9am ET. 

We want to make the #IAmHinduAmerican site a place where eventually thousands of Hindu Americans can share their stories with the rest of America, so we need Hindu Americans from across the country to join.  
 

The website will be updated frequently, so visit often to see your story go live.  Once your story is live…

STEP TWO: Share your participation in #IAmHinduAmerican  

We’re counting on YOU to help create a groundswell of support and excitement for the campaign.  

To do so, promote the campaign online with everyone you know — your families, friends, colleagues, neighbors, and social networks.  

Encourage them to invite the Hindu Americans in their lives to participate too!

Share on your social networks —that’s Facebook, Twitter, What’s App, and whatever else — on launch day and beyond.
 

Here’s some sample social networking language:

  • Hinduism inspires me to [fill in the blank]. @HinduAmerican wants to know how it inspires you. Help raise awareness and dispel myths. #IAMHINDUAMERICAN

  • There are many misperceptions about Hinduism. Let’s dispel them together. Will you join @HinduAmerican today? #IAMHINDUAMERICAN www.IAmHinduAmerican.org

  • With hate crimes and religious intolerance on the rise, now more than ever, it’s important to dispel misperceptions about what it means to be a Hindu American. How does Hinduism inspire you? Share your story with @HinduAmerican at www.IAmHinduAmerican.org #IAMHINDUAMERICAN

  • From yoga and meditation to karma and the decimal system, Hindu contributions are visible in everyday life. But do Americans understand what it really means to be a Hindu? Today, @Hindu-American-Foundation is launching the #IAMHINDUAMERICAN campaign to help raise awareness and clarify misperceptions. Learn more and share your story here:  www.IAmHinduAmerican.org

It’s that SIMPLE!

Be on the lookout TOMORROW and be ready to share your story and share #IAmHinduAmerican far and wide.  

Thanks in advance!

The HAF Team

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Voilence during shifting of Hindu temple in Malaysia

After Islamic insult on Hindu temple in Malaysia, Violence breaks out

Surya Jeya Kumar| Selangor : Vehicles were set ablaze when violence broke out near the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman temple in Selangor’s Subang Jaya  in the wee hours of Monday (Nov 26).

The fight between two groups was sparked by a disagreement over the relocation of the Hindu temple, Subang Jaya district police said in a Facebook post.

Hindu devotees were reportedly protesting the relocation of the 100-year-old Hindu house of worship when they were attacked by another group of Muslim people, news portal Malaysiakini said.

“Eighteen cars and two motorcycles were torched in the incident. A police patrol car was also damaged by stones thrown during the incident,” said Selangor police chief Mazlan Mansor.

“About 50 men were in the compound of the temple and a group of men was outside. They traded insults that led to the riot,” he added.

In a Malaysiakini video, it is clearly seen that Jihadi people came out in streets with Allha-o-Akbar slogans to chase the Hindus to stranded them from their demand to save the dignity of the 100 years old Sri Maha Mariamman temple in the seafield area of Selangor’s Subang Jaya. The Allaho-ho-Akbar people were telling not to make trouble in their speech, but they were set to create violence against Hindu people connected with Sri Maha Mariamman temple

Police has taken control of that area tough came a little bit late, as local people reported.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Senator P. Waytha Moorthy has appealed to all Malaysians to stay calm over the scuffle at a Hindu temple in USJ25 early today within the jurisdiction of UEP (United Estate Projects) Subang Jaya.

He said upon receiving various Facebook postings and video recordings on the incident at the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple, he contacted Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Noor Rashid Ibrahim, Bernama reports.

“The minister has raised grave concern of the community on the affray which appears to be a threat to the breach of peace and peaceful co-existence of our multi-racial and multi-religious society as well as freedom of religion,“ said a statement issued by the Office of the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.

The statement said the Deputy IGP has promised that a thorough investigation would be conducted on the incident.

In SHAH ALAM, Selangor Mentri (Minister) Besar Amirudin Shari said the matter should be left to the police to investigate as it involved a crime, AMAR SHAH MOHSEN reports.

“It is best that we give our full trust to the police to investigate the motive behind the attack and what actually transpired.

“This involves crime and as such, I advise that everyone refrain from making statements, or take actions, that can lead to unwanted scenarios,“ he told reporters at the lobby of the Selangor state legislative assembly, here, today.

In GEORGE TOWN, Penang Deputy Chief Minister II Dr P. Ramasamy called on the local authorities and developers throughout the country to find ways to ensure that their development projects can co-exist with Hindu temples, IAN MCINTYRE reports.

Ramasamy, who is DAP central executive committee member, said that there needs to be a better way to settle disputes over the locations for places of worship, especially if the place of worship was established earlier than the proposed development project, he said in an interview.

Ramasamy, who plans to visit the site of the unrest, said the Pakatan Harapan government needs to make it a point to ensure that the co-existence of places of worship with new projects becomes a working policy.

“I am aghast over the incident, especially coming under the Pakatan tenure. We need to offer a solution to all parties,“ he said.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian Hindu Sangam (MHS) called upon the Hindu community to remain calm and not to retaliate with violence.

Its president Datuk R. S. Mohan Shan condemned the violence and urged Hindus, temples and Hindu non-governmental organisations to lodge police reports nationwide.

The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) also echoed Mohan’s sentiment and condemned the attack.

“The MCCBCHST calls upon the police to leave no stones unturned in bringing to justice all those who were involved in this ugly incident.

“Such acts of violence must never be condoned. A temple is a house of worship and its sanctity must be maintained at all times.”

A source in MCCBCHST says,the Indian Jihadi Preacher Zakir Naik,  now in Malaysia, is radicalizing the Malay Muslims youth against the Hindus residing there. Zakir Naik has established an internal connection with many Muslim Ministers, Politicians, Administrators and Police Officials in Malaysia, who treat Hindu Citizens of Malaysia as second class citizens.

Source : Hindu Existence

After Islamic insult on Hindu temple in Malaysia, Violence breaks out

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Giving Tuesday promoting vegetarian diet in New York schools

By : Kelley Wind, Giving Tuesday.
 

I didn’t think it could happen. I didn’t believe that a New York City public school would adopt a vegetarian menu… and then become one of the highest rated schools in the state. But I was wrong. 

 
When the school leadership and staff is fully on board, and there is a great partnership in place, the extraordinary happens. At PS 244, The Active Learning Elementary School in Flushing, Queens, health and wellness are woven into all aspects of the curriculum. And the students are thriving. Test scores are far above the state average, with PS244 in the top 11 schools in the state. Students are absent less, and teachers report they are more attentive after lunch. 
 
Our friend and partner, Principal Bob Groff, reached out and welcomed us into his school. And by working together with the NYC Office of SchoolFood, the menu went from vegetarian two days a week, to three days, and after we asked if they would consider a vegetarian menu, finally by 2013, five full days.
 
We provide cafeteria staff training and support. We get as many of the recipes to be fully plant-based as we can. At Family Dinner Nights, we offer children, their parents/caregivers, and school staff a free fully plant-based meal featuring recipes from the lunch menu, and a nutrition education presentation for the adults. And during our after school classes, students make their own healthy plant based recipes.
 
With your support this GivingTuesday, we can make the unbelievable happen in more schools across the country. I don’t doubt it anymore.

 
Here are three ways you can help TODAY:
 
1. Donate by clicking here.
 
2. Sign up for the RoundUp app, a way to donate your spare change. You link your credit and/or debit cards, and each purchase is rounded up to the  next dollar. You can put a monthly limit on your giving. If we get 24 people to sign up on Tuesday, we’ll get $1000 from RoundUp.

 3. Whether you can give or not, please share this email with your friends, family, and co-workers. Ask them to donate to support healthy food and nutrition education in schools, or to sign up for the RoundUp app.  
 
Thank you for your interest in healthy school food. Together, we can make a difference! 

 
Sincerely yours,
 
Kelley Wind
Program Director

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Sikh Samadhi and Hindu temple of Gulyana Pakistan

By : Wali Imran.

Gulyana town Gujar Khan Pakistan that was destroyed twice

Courtesy : Wali Imran,
 
900 years old Gulyana town of about a 50,000 people, just a few kilometers South of Gujar Khan, was raised to the ground once several centuries ago, by raiders from the West. The second time it was destroyed during the 1947 partition riots.GulyanaBefore 1947, the Gulyana town center was mostly Hindu and Sikh. The Hindus and Sikh owned all the businesses in the town center and Muslims were their tenants, peasants and laborers. Muslims sold their lands to pay off their debts and also handed over their crop of wheat. The Dewan, Dutt, Mohyal Brahmin, and Singh families were always part of royal elite.

Bollywood Star Sanjay Dutt is from the same branch of warrior Brahmin Dutt and belongs to the same place.GulyanaLand owners were guaranteed protection from military’s presence in Gujar Khan from the North and a rivulet from the south. This land produced sheer gold and wealthy Sikhs and Hindus lived like kings in mansions make of stone, several storey high.GulyanaBakshi Tek Chand, Dewan Prithvi Chand Dutt, Bakshi Moti Ram and Tara Singh were the dominant names of those times.  They built temples, dug up wells for the 30-50 kanal holdings each and distributed these lands amongst their permanent serfs. They did however, treat their serfs with respect and gave them a good share of the crop — what do you expect from absentee landlords.The Sikh had a timber business. Logs from Kashmir valley were dumped into Jhelum River and recovered downstream near Jhelum city to be sold at Gujar Khan.

The Hindus were mostly traders, money lenders and retailers.GulyanaMuslims were mostly illiterate and poor and were destined to stay that way considering the only quality boarding school in nearby Gujar Khan had 95% non-muslim attendance.

During the 1947 riots, one Sikh Bali Singh and one Hindu Lady Banto were killed in the riots but the rest were whisked away with their gold, in the safety of Gorkha soldiers. The Muslim riot crowd burnt to the ground the several symbols of oppression and got rich in the process, during the looting.

One Hindu tehsildar had the magistrate’s powers to jail someone for 6 months.GulyanaWhen the British left suddenly in 1947, the carefully crafted social experiment in native subjugation came crumbling down within days.

 

Otherwise, one 100 years old resident of Gulyana tells me, “the Hindus and Sikh were very friendly towards the Muslims, their women played around with the boys, molvi were not trouble makers then; they cared about their serfs and neighbors’, built schools, hospitals and wells for the general public. No Muslim was allowed into their kitchen however. Balraj, Sita, Beera, Ramu Shikari, Gujrati, Peecha Singh, Mangat Singh, Jawals Singh, Raab Singh, Gurdyal, were the well-known Hindus and Labbu, Gurra, Jagdev, Santa, Paacha, Chatru were the known Sikh of the time. One Tek Chand Never left for India and embraced Islam. His wife and three sons left for India. Tek Chand married a Muslim lady and had seven children. They are all in poverty now. Several of the old mansion, one dhramsala, one temple, several bowlis (watering hole) have been lost to time.Gulyana

The surrounding farms around Gulyana were refreshing. The old styled spoke wells, Sikh Samadhi, Hindu temple and 100 years old Gujarati’s mansion still survives.I went into the temple inner sanctum and saw the most beautiful frescos of mixed Hindu and Sikh religious figures like hanuman, Krishna, Sita, Baba Guru Nanak, Bala, Mardana, etc.Gulyana

Pakistan government build a dam 5 km upstream, called the Ugahaun; it’s a lovely place to fish and boat around.

The union council in 1947 had more financial powers than it does today.GulyanaIn short, all the entrepreneurs, educators, administrator, jurisprudence people, revenue people, land record people and large scale farmers left in 1947.

GulyanaI am astonished how Pakistan survived with an illiterate mass of people, steeped in poverty — traumatized by exploitation and mass killings.

Other interesting places in Potohar region are:

Bedi Mahal, Pharwala fort, Malot fort, Sangini fort, Rawat fort and Mankial Stupa.

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Diwali Tradition – by French Association of Singapore

By: Fayrouz Yataghane.

Deepavali illuminates us from September 29th to
November 6th


Deepavali also named Divali or Diwali is one of the most
important cele-bration for the Hindu community. It is
celebrated for three consecutive days with the main day
being on November 6th this year. In Singapore preparations
have started end of September in Little India but not only
there…
Deepavali is celebrating the successful fight of Rama,
considered in Hinduism an avatar of Vishnu God, against
Ravana, the demon king. Deepavali refers to the light of
the “dip”, a traditional oil lamp, that people who were
living in Ayodhya town would have placed “in rows”
for welcoming Rama’s return. That is the reason why,
according to the tradition, Indian families illuminate their
houses and streets for Deepavali.

Deepavali all over the world

Deepavali is celebrated by many generations in India and
by Hindu peo-ple all over the world, as confirms Snehal
Thaker, president of the Hindu Council of Australia – HCA.
This organization, which was established in 1998, aims to
unite the Hindu community in Australia and to promote
its culture and tradition. “The HCA has organized the
Deepavali Festival in Australia each year for the last twenty
years. In 2017, over 6000 people from different ethnic
background and ages gathered to attend the celebration.
A success due to the joined efforts of the Hindu
representatives of eight countries: India, Nepal, Bhutan,
Fiji, Bangladesh, Tibet, Indonesia and of course, Australia.”
“This year again, the HCA will organise the Festival. Due
to the large success of the Festival in the past, this year it
will take place at the Adelaide Show Grounds, to respond
to the at-tendees’ expectations in terms of space and
comfort. All is planned to welcome them, and to protect
them against the rain!” says Snehal Thak-er.

Deepavali through the generations

 

Shaheen Sivji

Shaheen Shivji is an Indian woman. She has a fifteenmonth-
old daughter and she is currently working part time
at the French Alliance of Singa-pore. She studied French at
University, back in India, and she continues to learn French
here in Singapore, where she moved to, with her husband
two years ago.
Shaheen doesn’t celebrate Deepavali for religious reasons
because she is not Hindu but Muslim. However, she
explains that this celebration is gathering Indians from all
religions. “Above the myth and the religion, Deepavali
symbolizes the Light. Lights from many different sources
and colour are flashing happily in our streets during the
Festival. For children, this period is really very exciting and
synonym of holidays and sweets! During those three days,
we prepare both savoury and sweet food to of-fer them to
our guests, family and friends. After the prayers, we launch
the fireworks, and everybody can try to make Rangoli, a
drawing de-signed with coloured powders. The women
are wearing a special Sari, particularly well decorated,
and for the men, trousers with a tunic, that depending of
its style, providing some information about the social position
of the person.”
During this period, respect and goodwill are the values
that are highlight-ed: “This moment is a large gathering for
all people, not only family”, says Shaheen.

Sujatha Sundaram is Indian and Hindu. She has been living
in Singapore since 2010. She was born in South India and
lived in North India.

Sujatha Sundram

Sujatha celebrates Deepavali each year as she was doing
back in India. According to her, it is the most important
Festival for Hindus: “We cele-brate it in every place in India,
each region in its own way: in the South, we celebrate it
in the morning, in the North, it is usually in the evening. But
there are also common points: we decorate the house, we
buy new clothes and gold jewellery. We draw Rangoli on
the floor at the entrance of our house, we make cakes for
friends and family, who are invited or visited. And in the
evening, we switch on the lights around the house and
fireworks are launched everywhere! In the past, in India,
we were a big family, living very close to each other. Now
that we are a bit more dis-persed, that event is more social
than religious. The children are still waiting for Deepavali
with great anticipation. They appreciate the conviv-iality
and the festive ambiance and of course the gifts!”

Deepavali through the flavours

Manjunath Mural

La Gazette pushed the doors of the Michelin Star Restaurant
“The Song of In-dia” to meet its famous chef, Manjunath
Mural. He offers to share the Deepavali delights through a
special menu, as a trip across India…

What do you propose for Deepavali celebration?

I’ve prepared a 4-course set menu specially for the
occasion. As per our mis-sion “Journey Through India”, the
menu highlights the specialities of each region all over India –
from North, South, East to West. Of course, no cel-ebration
is complete without enjoying the traditional Indian Mithai
sweets which are a symbol of goodwill and friendship.
Where does the celebration of Deepavali come from?
The origin of the Deepavali festival most likely started out as
a fusion of har-vest festivals across ancient India.

How does the Indian/Hindu community usually celebrate
Deepavali?

Deepavali, or Diwali symbolises light triumphing over
darkness. We Indians of-ten celebrate by decorating our
homes and offices with bright lights and can-dles and
setting off fireworks displays. Of course, we also have our
Mithai sweets that we will give to our friends and family.

What do you aim to share with people through your
cooking?

My philosophy has always been to present a Journey
Through India, that is why the food served at The Song of
India is inspired by traditional recipes from North, South,
East and West India.

Could you tell us about your personal experience as a
chef? And the way that has lead you to the cooking?

During my training in India, I had the chance to meet and
learn from these two chefs both women were originally
from Thailand. While observing them, I was so impressed
with their passion for food and the respect they earned
from the guests and team. It made me realise that this
profession is full of respect and passion and it was at

that moment that I decided to become a chef. My guests are
my motivation. I’m always inspired to create new exciting
dishes that will keep them coming back for more.
Restaurant: The Song of India: 33 Scotts Road 228226
www.thesongofindia.com
Special Deepavali menu available from 3rd to 10th of
November 2018

Deepavali in Singapore

Deepavali Festival in Singapore will mainly take place
in Little India from September 29th to November 6th with
many highlights that should not be missed!
Find more information on the website https://www.littleindia.
com.sg, in-viting you to live the Deepavali experience.
“Head to Little India where the streets are transformed
into a fantasyland of colourful arches and stunning lights.
Wander through the bazaars with their glittering gold and
gems, exquisitely embroidered saris and gleam-ing golden
oil lamps. Inhale the scent of marigolds, roses and jasmine,
thickly braided into lush floral garlands mingling with the
perfume of sweet incense and the fragrance of Indian
spices and Ayurvedic mas-sage oils …”
Let’s just admit it: we are tempted!

Fayrouz Yataghane

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Exhibition on Vietnam Hindu Cham Brahman Community Opens

An exhibition featuring the 2018 Kate Festival, the most important annual celebration of the ethnic Cham Brahman community, opened in the central province of Ninh Thuan on October 8.

On the occasion, Mukha Linga and Po Long Girai statues, along with Nandin, Patil, and Banal sacred bulls, costumes, and musical instruments were introduced to the public, contributing to maintaining, preserving, and upholding values of national cultural heritage. 

Le Xuan Loi, Director of the Research Centre for Cham Culture in Ninh Thuan, said the display aims to popularise the unique culture of the Cham ethnic group in Ninh Thuan amongst domestic and foreign visitors. 

On the occasion of Kate festival 2018, antique collectors from across the nation and abroad donated 14 valuable objects of different materials and dates to the centre, which offer visitors an insight into the iron casting, pottery making, and fabric weaving of the Cham people. 

Since 2010, the centre has received over 900 valuable artifacts from antique collectors.

Source: vietnamtourism.com

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Japanese town of Kichijoi is named after Hindu Goddess Lakshmi

Recalling the influence of India on Japanese culture and society, Kitagawa, Consul General of Japan, said many think Japan and India were different, though they are not, as is evident from the many temples in Japan being dedicated to Hindu gods.

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