Hindu Council to take up Nose Piercing restriction with Catholic establishment

By: Surinder Jain.

Hindu Council of Australia has taken up the issue of a Hindu student being kicked out of a Catholic school for a religious nose piercing with Catholic Educational establishment. According to Hindu Council’s multi-faith director, the recent misunderstanding among Catholic schools about Hindu culture and traditions has a potential of affecting the harmony between our communities in Australia and the reputation of Catholic schools among Indians.

Hindu Council believes that it is simply an issue of Catholics being unaware of Hindu traditions and that it can be easily resolved by making Catholic school teachers aware of Hindu sensitivities.
 
Hindu Council of Australia is keen on taking up the general issue of Catholic schools permitting religious symbols of non-christian students in their schools. It is understood that all Catholic schools permit Sikh students to wear turbans and similar exemptions exist for some other religions also. Hindu Council would like to explain that nose piercing is not a fashion or rebellion statement of a teenager but is a deep rooted cultural and religious ritual for girls going through puberty.
 
In Hindu culture, a girl who achieved menarche, or her first period, is feted, and pampered at a ceremony where family and close friends gather and lavish gifts on her. The girl would be bathed in fragrant water after applying oil, turmeric etc. she would be bedecked in fine clothes, flowers and ornaments – and her feet would be washed. This is because Hinduism celebrates, and does not abhor menstruation. The Shakti philosophy upholds it as a gift which is responsible for creation of life. Nose piercing of the girl and placing a metal stud is a ritual that is invariably accompanied. As is true of any cultural or religious tradition, most Hindu parents want to and do observe these rituals very sincerely.
 
Hindu Council of Australia, has asked Catholic establishment to meet a Hindu Council delegation. Hindu Council would like to discuss the issue of Nose Piercing by young girls with the Catholic hierarchy so that the information can be disseminated by them to all catholic schools in Australia.

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Hindu student kicked out of a Catholic school for a religious nose piercing

By: Hindu Human Rights – http://www.hinduhumanrights.info.

Hindu girl in Perth Australia, has been barred from her Catholic school after she had her nose pierced for cultural and religious reasons.

At Aranmore Catholic College, Sanya Singhal, 15, was ordered to remove the tiny new stud in her left nostril or go home. The Year 10 pupil showed teachers a note from her mother and tried to explain the stud could not be removed for 12 months for religious reasons, but was told she could not attend class until she took it out.

Sanya’s mother, Kalyani, said it was a spiritually significant custom in northern India for young girls to have a nose pin inserted to mark their transition to womanhood.

 

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Australia’s first Hare Krishna schoolies: No sex, drugs, alcohol, gambling or meat

 
Australia’s first all-Hare Krishna Year 12 class is shunning traditional Schoolies Week celebrations in favour of a trip to India, while vowing to forgo sex, alcohol, drugs, gambling and meat.

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Hindu Council connects with UWS students for Diwali

Hindu Council of Australia has made contact with University of Western Sydney (UWS) students and had a low key Diwali sweets distribution with them on 8th November 2018. UWS is one of the premier Universities of Sydney and has over 6,000 Indian students many of them from India, studying in it.

Soup

The University holds a light soup and bread session for its Parramatta campus students every Thursday evening at 6pm which provides free food and a place to mingle for all its students. The food distribution is managed by Parramatta Mission and is attended by about 30-40 students every week.

Hindu Council put up some posters about Diwali and supplied Kheer and Diwali sweets. The Mission agreed to our request to have vegetarian only soup and bread for the day. About 50 Australian, Asian and Indian students visited the soup kitchen. There was a visible smile on the faces of Indian students familiar with Diwali and their happiness could be seen beaming from their faces.

Kheer for Students on Diwali Soup Day

One of the students from Gujarat who has been in UWS for two years came up to me and asked if she can touch my feet as she needs blessings of an elder on this new year day. She touched my feet and her act touched my heart.

Students project of Hindu Council aims at connecting University going students with the existing Hindu Community here and to provide emotional support to overseas and away from home students. Bhupinder Chabra and Reshma Krishnappa are helping with this initiative.

Hindu Council Volunteers at UWS kitchen for Diwali

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Survey of University Students

Hindu Council of Australia is conducting a survey of University going students to understand their issues and see how the local community can help them. Take a Survey here.

1. What course are you studying?

MastersBachelorsDiplomaOthers

2. Name of the Institution where you are studying?

UWSUTSUSydUNSWTAFEMQUOthers

3. How was your experience in finding an accommodation in Sydney?

4. To what extent do you agree that you faced cultural shock?

5. How pleasant was your experience with the Australian education system?

6. Was it easy to find part time or casual work?

7. Are you an Overseas student? YesNo

8. What help can make your stay happier?



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Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam explained to Youth Parliament of World Religions

The Youth PoWR conference was organized by the Columban Centre for Christian-Muslim Relations to bring young representatives of different religions (Buddhism, Christianity, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, and Sikh) to one platform in order to share how each of these religions are contributing towards peace in the society.

Vincy Jain represented the Hindu faith and explained the concept of “VasudhaivaKutumbakam” – the whole world is a family to foster living in harmony by the people of different faiths. The members of the audience also participated in the breakout sessions to discuss a number of current issues. The facilitators of these groups collated all the responses which were published on their website.The conference was a great step towards bringing the different ethnic communities, especially the youth together to foster mutual understanding.

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The Indian-Australian millennials

ABC’s religion and ethics unit have published a story on why Indian-Australian millennials are choosing to have arranged marriages. Read about it here.

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Youth PoWR chooses a Hindu youth speaker

By:Vincy Jain.

A Youth Parliament of World’s Religions is being held next month. Hindu council of Australia is participating as one of the organizers.

Our youth member Vincy has been participating in its cabinet meetings and has sent the following report.

Our meeting was held at this year’s venue, the Soka Gakkai International in Olympic Park, where we had a proper site visit before commencing the meeting. Our caterers, AJs Indian restaurant catered this meeting by bringing samosas and vegetarian biryani, which everybody loved! The highlight of our meeting was Mark’s presence. Being a Youth PoWR rep in the past, he brought a lot of insight, advice and knowledge to the table to make sure this years event is fruitful. We decided on the agenda for the event, including interactive activities among the audience, and planning out how we will have the set up for the day. We also had some marketing completed, such as the group picture and video for the FB event page. “

Vincy will be speaking as the Hindu speaker in this year’s event. This year Youth PoWR will be held at SGI Australia, 3 Parkview Dr, Sydney Olympic Park from 2:00PM to 5:00PM on Sunday, 19th August.  There is free parking available at the place, however you will need to be in early before spaces run out. The venue is also a five minute walk from Sydney Olympic Park Station.

Youth Parliament of World’s religions is an annual conference for the youth and by the youth to raise and discuss issues affecting youth and is an interfaith event. It holds this event in the month of September every year. 

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Ashraya Band celebrates International Day of Yoga with concerts in Darwin

To celebrate International Day of Yoga, the kirtan band Ashraya will be joining the festivities in Darwin. On their second tour to the Top End, they bring their world grooves and mellow sounds with beautiful ancient mantras that soothe the soul’s inner-most needs. 

Weaving together the mantras with amazing music, Ashraya brings a unique and creative approach to kirtan – from heart-warming, mellow harmonium chants to upbeat kirtan dance grooves. They will be performing at a number of events:

24th June | Habit Breaker ~ Freedom Maker

 
Ashraya is a Sanskrit word meaning shelter. In the beautiful, heartwarming mantras sung in kirtan, we find our shelter from the storms of life. They have performed at a number of locations including the MindBodySpirit festival recently in Sydney and with Hindu Balinese community in the north east region of Bali. 
 
 
The band members are all long term practitioners of Bhakti Yoga in the Vaisnava tradition. Their passion is share the joy that kirtan and the deeper spiritual aspect of yoga bring to others regardless of their backgrounds. They have been inspired to share the yoga wisdom and teachings so that others may apply these in their own lives to optimise their whole well being. You can also catch Ashraya performing regularly on the Gold Coast at the Mantra Room in Burleigh Heads. 

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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

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