Ram Sita Kalyanam Vivah in Parramatta 3rd November 2018

Hindu Council of Australia is celebrating Deepavali festival on 3rd and 4th of November 2018 in Parramatta Park this year also.

A special attraction of this year is likely to be an elaborate performance of Rama Sita Kalyanam or Ram Sita Vivah (marriage of Ram and Sita) being planned for 3rd November in Parramatta park location.

Ram Sita Kalyanam volunteers team meets to plan the event

Ram Sita Kalyanam volunteers team meets to plan the event

This is going to be a huge event and the planning has already started. Our Sai Ji is leading the initiative. A team of volunteers has already started preparations for this grand occasion. Some of the suggestions circulating among the team is to 

  • perform Rama Pattabishekam
  • procession/kolatam to carry idols to the mandapam in a palaki
  • Kalyanam or Vivhah before sunset.

We welcome your suggestions about this event and encourage you to come and join the volunteers team and shape this event.

To participate in making the event happen, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post. You can also visit Hindu Council web site and sign up as a volunteer specifying your interest in Ram Sita Kalyanam event.

Local government recognizes Hindu Council volunteers

Many Hindu Council members living in various local councils, give their time as a volunteer to help build the Australian community and to help Hindus integrate well in the Australian society.

Cumberland Council in Sydney recently held a session to thank all its volunteers including those from Hindu Council.

 

SBS TV records growth of Hinduism in Australia

SBS (State Broadcasting Services) is an Australian TV and radio network supported by Australian government and specializes in ethnic community news. Decades ago when there were very few Hindus in Australia and Internet had not been invented yet, SBS was a major (and sometimes the only) source of news and entertainment for new migrants to Australia.

In the age of Internet and beaming of TV from all over the world, SBS has reinvented itself as a channel for multicultural Australia. As part of recording religions in Australia, Abbey from SBS has produced a TV program on the growth of Hinduism in Australia. The program was aired on SBS TV and a link to the article is provided below. 

Hindu Council of Australia has recorded the growth of Hinduism in Australia on its website as a part of its eLearing course on Hinduism. A link to that internet based course lesson is also provided below.

Link to SBS program

Link to eLearn Article on Hinduism in Australia

Liverpool police community engagement

By:Somesh Sibal

Liverpool police community engagement program was attended by Somesh Sibal of the Hindu Council of Australia’s Chaplaincy team along with members of about 15 different cultural and religious groups in the area. The program was organised on 29th March 2018 to meet the new Liverpool area commander Superintendent Paul Albury. Paul addressed the attendees. Among the topic discussed how to have healthy community engagement with police with respect to both police and community. 

Liverpool police is currently working on improving protocols to:
 
Greetings:   What are the protocols with greetings each other within the culture (physical proximity and touching)
 
Cultural Influence in Interaction: Are there any religious/cultural practices which may influence the way people interact with police?

 Protocol for entering church/temple: Are there any special considerations when entering church/temple.
 
Protocols in Searching temple/Church:  Is there any protocol to follow in case police need to search the temple/Church, including religious objects such as statues, altar, tabernacle etc.

Role of Religious and community leaders: What is the role of religious and community leaders in case community protests, demonstrations or any other circumstances involving police and community confrontation.
 
Providing Specimens:  Does providing blood samples, body fluid or any other specimens for investigative purposes present problems? Are there any dates or religious significance when we should not approach an individual for an interview?

Team building exercise by Hindu Council

Hindu Council team had a one day workshop at Swami Narayan Temple today. About 35 office bearers and volunteers attended the meet. The day started with a sumptuous breakfast followed by some team building and mind games. It was followed by presentations and group discussions.

Pad Yatra A pilgrimage walk to temples in NSW Australia

By Sai Pravastu

Paada.yatra, pilgrimage to the temple by foot has started this time on auspicious #Chaitra #Purnima (full moon day), also known as Chait Purnima, its the Purnima in the #Hindu month of Chaitra. Chaitra Purnima is the first Purnima of the new year after #Ugadi, #Yugadi #GudiPadwa. This day is dedicated to Lord #Chitragupt, the assistant of #Yamaraj, who maintains the records of births and deaths of the whole world.Yatris (walkers) started turning up to Sydney Murugan Temple as early as 5:00 AM and took the #darsana of the deities and offering their prayers in the temple before commencing on the yatra (walk), we begun the yatra at 6:15 AM. brisky #walkers passed through the quite streets of City of Parramatta, Auburn, New South Wales, Homebush, New South Wales, Australia to Strathfield, New South Wales Sai Mandir Sydney. We joined the #Aarthi to #SaiBaba , had a scrumptious breakfast made by Sujatha Koneru and Ravi Bale family. From here a group of 50+ walkers soldiered on towards Sri Venkateswara Temple, Helensburgh, NSW, many of us had the good fortune of participating in the #SriSaiChitraYatra before continuing the walk / before dispersed back home.

We had walkers joining from interstate as usual (1 each from Canberra and Melbourne) It was quite a hot day , as temperatures soared to 35 degrees , but that could not slow down anyone in their pilgrimage , #yatris reached the #como park on banks of King George River around 2PM for lunch , were we had been served a home cooked lunch prepared by Uma Devi Abbineni garu and her friends and some back up provided by Raja Shekar Reddy his famous veggie biryani, after a tough walk , we rested and filled up ourselves and continued the walk towards Heathcote, New South Wales, Australia. #Weather has affected a few walkers who could not complete a portion of the walk in the afternoon and were looked after by our volunteer crew.

Sujatha garu, Santosh Vanka and their family has looked after the yatris with scrumptious dinner which made us all forget the challenges of the walk and sleep well. Sujatha garu and their family has been looking after the dietary needs of this #April PAADA YATRA – walking group since it has begun in April 2011. As a matter of fact , Uma Devi Abbineni garu, Shakunthala gar and their group of #sakis (sorry for not being able to name them all here) but they are always ready for the task to cook #breakfast for hundreds of us coming to Sri Sai Mandir in the morning. They cater for all who come to the temple, Raja Shekar Reddy as always preparing backup food whenever we are short of , at a short notice. blessed are these selfless volunteers without whom we would stumble in the whole process, we would like to addresses these people #Annapuranas and we thank them from the bottom of our hearts on behalf of all. That brings me to the next important group of volunteers who are always around us during every step of the walk, hydrating, energizing, nursing and motivating all along the way. Pavan Joshi lead the group in the morning, supported by Narasimha Rao Yerramsetty for the first leg of the walk, the experience of Bimal H Joshi, Nehru and Ravin Reddy has made sure they have motivated every new walker in finishing the #yatra to Sai Mandir Sydney. The afternoon charge was lead by Nehru and Ravinder. They distributed over 700 bottles of water , 200 packs of coconut water and one kind walker has sponsored mango lassi and salted lassi (yougurt drink) and another volunteer provide. We are blessed to have such a wonderful team with us who not only support in this initiative, but help it to grow stronger each year, and passing it on to the younger generations.

Another Successful Event… We couldn’t have done it without you #yatris. Despite being a long weekend, early start on a hot day, we had a good strength of #yatris, many new faces young and old. We are growing in numbers year after year, this walk was named as #WalkforEquality and #WomensDay and this year it also covered Sri Sai Chitra Yatra 100th year #Shathabdi of Sai Baba’s #Mahasamadhi. Rao Abbineni and Murali Krishna Koneru have organised a #Chitra #Yatra starting last year on #Vijayadashami (Dussehra) and will be completing this year on #Vijayadasham i.e. in October

Letsgive Hope organises this #walk with all formalities, under the auspice of Hindu Council Australia We would like to thank event registration team at NSW Premier’s department, RMS for Road Occupancy, Approval’s from various Councils, and NSW Police.

Samir Vyas Sanjeev Bhakri ISKCON Temple, North Sydney Minto Temple Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh-Sydney Shoba Deshikan Ramyavaran Vasu Manju Mittal Sameer Pandey Neelima Paravastu Sri Karphaga Vinayakar Temple Sri Mandir Jay Raman Renga Rajan Jyothi Reddy Arshanapalli Susai Benjamin Indu Harikrishna Anagan Babu Ramia Janardhanan Jyothi Ma Little Musicians Australia Paul McKenzie Akila Ramarathinam Aruna Chandrala
We hope to see you all again in our next walk!
Team @ paada yatra

HCA joins hands with Strathfield Council for a Diwali Art Exhibition

Hindu Council (HCA) has been approached by Strathfield council via our website. The Council said that it would like to run an Indian Art exhibition, hopefully in the theme of Diwali between Thursday, 8 November – Tuesday, 20 November 2018. The council has  a professional art hanging system at High St Library and wants to showcase local artists displaying their paintings on the theme of Diwali. Our media team member Akhil Verma met Kati Angelides, Community Services Officer, Strathfield Council to finalize the same.

Hindu council will be sourcing artists from within our community to show case their work on the theme of Diwali. We may also approach main stream art schools introducing them to Diwali and asking them to produce art work. The artists works will be displayed on a professional art hanging system at High St Library and they can sell or auction their work as well.

Hindu council is on the look out for artists who can produce high quality work related to Diwali theme in the art exhibition. If you are an artist or if you know such an artist, please send their details to Ajoy Ghosh our National Cultural Secretary, Ashwani Jain NSW secretary or to Akhil Verma both of whom will be coordinating this event on Hindu Council’s behalf. They can be contacted either directly or through our contact us page by [clicking here].

Hindu Council announces Winners of Gargi Woman Award 2018

The winners of Gargi Woman Award were announced today.

The winners of 2018 Gargi Woman Award are :

1. Jacinta Tobin – Service to her Aboriginal Community

2. June Bullivant – Academic Research

3. Dr Meenakshi Srinivasan – Educationist

4. Anju Kalra – Dementia Consultant

5. Jayanthi Ramnan – Carer Service

6. Poornima Sharama – Performer

7. Paramita Roy – Film Producer

In a function held as part of Parramasala festival in Sydney, Hindu council of Australia announced the winners of Gargi Woman Award at a function held to celebrate International Women’s Day 2018.

The event was attended by Deputy Lord Mayor Michelle Garrard, Federal MP Julie Owens, Federal MP Michelle Rowland, State MP for Parramatta Geoff Lee, State MP Julia Finn, State MP for Strathfield Jodi McKay, councillor Reena Jethi, councilor Sameer Pandey and councilor Suman Saha.

In this celebration, Hindu Council of Australia also recognized a young riser Pallavi Sinha and lifelong community service provided by Ms Akila Ramiratnam, Saraswathi Shashi and Amitha Saxena for their services to teach our languages, culture and religion to young students.

State of Teaching Hinduism in NSW Australia

By Vijai Singhal and Surinder Jain (Hindu Council of Australia) 1st March 2018

Apart from various temples and organizations running their own religious and scripture classes, Hinduism is being taught in primary and secondary Schools.

At Primary School level (SRE) – An hour of class time is allowed in state schools per week to teach about religion. The subject is called Special religious Education (SRE). In the state of NSW, this SRE education is provided in some schools by Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), and in some others by Chinmaya Mission. Saiava Manram provides SRE of Saiva Manram faith in some of the Tamil schools. In total about 70-80 schools out of 2200 Primary State schools in NSW have Hinduism SRE teachers. Each of the education providers (e.g. VHP, Chinmaya, Saiva) have their own Syllabus and their own teaching material.

From 2018, the department has insisted that ” a formal syllabus, vetting of teachers identity, working with children check, training of teachers, a formal complain making and handling mechanism are put in place and made mandatory “. Both VHP and Chinmaya Mission have developed their own syllabus and teaching material. They are required to put up the syllabus on their web sites, VHP syllabus for years 1 to 6 is at http://vhp.org.au/content/hindu-scripture-classes and Chinmaya mission for years K-10 is at https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1JV8vg1-bK3rIZzotDHNL3Beu7kfathKi.

Hindus in Australia need to develop a common syllabus for teaching Hinduism as SRE in primary schools.

The department of education provides the class room full of students and it is up to SRE providers (religious organizations) to provide teachers, teaching material etc. The department does not provide any wages or training to these teachers.  Almost all of the teachers are working on voluntary basis paying for their own travel expenses and teaching material like photo copying etc.

Hindu in Australia need to find a way to fund these providers and the teachers.

At Secondary Education level – in NSW we have 2 Unit Study of Religions course in Secondary schools. Hindu Council was consulted in framing the original syllabus. This course covers 5 major religions, Hinduism is one of them. The course material is prepared by Cambridge University Press. We have seen lots of misrepresentation about Hinduism in that material. In last 2-3 years HCA have had discussions with Cambridge Uni Press officials to make changes to the material. With great difficulty HCA could achieve some changes but they pointed out to us that they have to follow the syllabus in preparing the material. e.g. in this, the main emphasis is always linked with the Hindu caste System –  like Hindu Ethics according to different castes.

Hindus in Australia need to develop their own authoritative teaching texts on Hinduism.

The Federal Govt had set up ACARA – Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority to set common syllabus for all different Australian States. At the moment all Sates follow their own syllabi. Prof Jayaraman and Vijai Singhal from HCA had attended some of the meetings of ACARA about teaching of religion. Religion is not going to be a separate subject like the NSW “Study of Religions” subject but is a part of teaching of History.

Brisbane Buddhist temple appreciates Hindu Council

A Buddhist temple in Brisbane appreciates Hindu Council of Australia (HCA)’s presence at their annual Multi-Faith prayer for peace and harmony. Mr Surendra Prasad has been attending this event every year for the last 6 years on behalf of HCA.