B+ ve: International
There is no alphabet which is not a Mantra (prayer), there is no root which is not useful for some medicine or other, there is no human being who is useless. It is rare to find a person who knows how to utilise these resources appropriately
Celebrating food and
Syrian Chef Mohammed has come up with a mouthwatering menu at Strasbourg’s La Ruche restaurant. He and his wife want ‘to show that Syria is more than just war’. Across Strasbourg, restaurant owners have thrown open their kitchens and invited chefs who have fled Syria, Afghanistan and Tibet to use their ovens and pots and serve their favourite dishes from their homeland to customers. For the refugee chefs, it is a joyful chance to show off the culture they have left behind. Iman Rahal and her husband Mohammed from Damascus are two of the refugee chefs that joined the festival, and are happy to have the chance to “show that Syria is more than just war”. The initiative has been supported by the UN refugee agency and the city of Strasbourg.
Cambodia’s Hindu heritage
continues to loom large
What makes Cambodia so interesting is that it is a country that has held strongly to its Buddhist identity for nearly 700 years, transitioning from Mahayana Buddhism to Theravada Buddhism following Jayavarman VII’s reign. In fact, many of Cambodia’s historical institutions mark “the beginning” of Khmer history with its development into a society that patronised Buddhism. Yet, so much of Cambodia’s cultural heritage—and a lot of its tourism dollars—are devoted to an era in which Hinduism was either the dominant religious tradition, co-worshipped with Buddhism, or patronized by Khmer rulers. Even at the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, much is made about a sword believed to have been given to the ancestors of the royal family by the Hindu deity Indra. At the national museum, the various forms of Hindu divinity dominate exhibit galleries, while visitors are unable to tell between the multi-armed form of Buddha (Lokeshvara) and Vishnu.
In a significant development that will further strengthen the argument that the people of the Indus Valley Civilisation used to worship Lord Shiva, a new research paper published in ‘Itihaas’, the Hindi journal of the Indian Council of Historical Research has claimed the iconic ‘Dancing Girl’ of Mohenjodaro is Goddess Parvati. According to The Indian Express report, the research paper authored by Thakur Prasad Verma, makes a case for the Vedic identity of the Indus Valley Civilisation and only reiterates the longstanding claim of Right-leaning historians that Shiva was worshipped by the inhabitants of this civilisation. Verma’s interpretation of the Dancing Girl, dating around 2500 BC, as a Hindu goddess – the first such claim – is in line with this argument. The research paper, titled ‘Vedic Sabhyata Ka Puratatva (Archaeology of Vedic Civilisation)’, also states that
several artifacts excavated from Mohenjodaro point to Shiva worship in those times.
According to Verma, a retired professor of Banaras Hindu University, the famous ‘Seal 420’, a seal of a horned figure sitting in yogic posture and surrounded by animals, is strong evidence of Shiva worship. The identity of the figure in the seal has often been the subject of debates. Earlier, archaeologist John Marshall in 1931 saw a “prototype of Siva” in this figure but historians have later differed with this interpretation and some have even suggested the figure is of a woman.
Upset Hindus urge Amazon to apologise and
withdraw Lord Ganesha skateboards
Upset Hindus are urging Amazon to remove skateboards, bed covers, duvet covers, and bedspreads carrying the images Hindu deity Lord Ganesha — calling it “highly inappropriate.”
In a Dec. 16 statement, President of Universal Society of Hinduism Rajan Zed, said that Lord Ganesha is highly revered in Hinduism and was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines, and not to put your feet on or touch with your feet or sleep on it. Zed also wants a
formal apology, in addition of removal of
Indian Teenagers Won Prestigious Global Photography Competition
Two young Indian photographers, Darpan Basak and Ankit Kumar have won the prestigious Travel Photographer of the Year award. Darpan (14) won in the Young Travel Photographer of the Year category, while Ankit (13) was awarded in the ’14 years old and under’ category. Both teenagers are avid photographers and have been behind cameras for some time now. Darpan learned photography on his own and began pursuing it seriously in 2012. He also received an honourable mention in the Royal Society of Biology’s Conflict and Survival photography competition in 2015. For this year’s award, he photographed the fishermen of Chandipur, Odisha, pursuing the theme of Places and Experiences. Ankit, on the other hand, is new to photography and began his journey when he received a camera as a gift for his 13th birthday. Currently a student of Class 8 in Singapore, Ankit won in the Places and Experiences theme category.
Applying for Indian passport to get easier
As per the recommendations of the inter-ministerial committee the Ministry of External Affairs announced a list of rules to be followed while issuing new passports. The ministry of external affairs has announced two major changes that will fast-track the process for first-time passport applicants and make it more convenient to secure an appointment at the local passport seva kendra. Citizens will be granted a fresh passport under the normal category in a week if their applications are accompanied by three documents—copies of Aadhaar card, electoral photo identity card (EPIC) and PAN card—besides an affidavit in the format of Annexure-I (declaration of citizenship, family details and no criminal record).
Until now, the process would take a month, with the police verification eating up a lot of time. Police verification of such applications will be conducted after the passport is issued. There will be no extra charge for the service. In another important initiative all applicants born on or after 26/01/1989, in order to get a passport, had to hitherto submit their birth certificate as proof of date of birth (DOB). It has now been decided that the applicants may submit any of the following documents as proof of DOB such as Birth Certificate, School Leaving or Transfer Certificate, PAN card, Aadhar Card, EPIC, policy bonds of the Public LICs or
Homes for the Homeless to Celebrate Daughter's Wedding
A wealthy businessman in India's Aurangabad in Maharashtra chose to celebrate his daughter's wedding by using the money for her wedding to build 90 homes for the homeless instead. Ajay Munot had Rs 70-80 lakh set aside for his daughter Shreya's wedding, but decided to put the money to better use and help those who truly needed it. The bride and groom were supportive of Munot's decision, and handed the keys to the new owners after the wedding. “I am very happy with the decision and will consider it as my marriage gift,” Sheyra said. The 12 by 20 square foot homes have windows, electricity and have been painted. Munot said. “We have some responsibilities towards our society and we tried to comply with it.”
Amul milk opens bank accounts for all 6.7 lakh member farmers
The Kaira District Co-operative Milk Producers’ Union (KDCMPU), a member union of GCMMF which markets its products under brand Amul, today said it has opened bank accounts for all its 6.7 lakh member farmers. KDCMPU claimed that between November 8 and December 20, 2.5 lakh more members farmers were brought under banking system.
“Out of our 6.7 lakh members, 4.2 lakh members had their bank accounts in nationalised banks. We opened bank accounts for remaining 2.5 lakh members,” KDCMPU chairman Ramsinh Parmar told reporters. Out of 617 villages under Amul Dairy, 154 villages have bank branch or ATMs within the villages, while 463 villages have ATMs or bank branches between 5 and 25 kms
distance, he said.