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Posts Tagged ‘Hindu’

The beautiful temples of Bali

Posted by Admin on May 27, 2012

http://in.lifestyle.yahoo.com/photos–the-beautiful-temples-of-bali.html?page=all

The beautiful temples of Bali

The Indonesian island of Bali is home to the majority of the country’s Hindus. Balinese Hinduism is characterized by the worship of the supreme god Acintya, along with the trinity in Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The art and ritual of the Balinese Hindus trace back to influences from the 4th century when Hinduism reached the island’s shores. Balinese temples are ornate, beautiful and situated in visually stunning locales. LAKSHMI SHARATH traipses through Bali and returns with these breathtaking picture postcards.

Note from the Admin : – Please include Bali and Thailand as well to the glorious era of the Hindu Empire with strikingly similar architecture across the landmass as well as extremely similar mythological stories and lore of the same group of Gods who were worshiped and revered across the region as well, during the yesteryears of old.

By Lakshmi Sharath | Yahoo Lifestyle Entertainment – Tue 24 Jan, 2012 2:16 PM IST

A roadside temple in Bali

Roadside Temple in Bali, Indonesia © LAKSHMI SHARATH

If you think India has many shrines, think again. In Bali, Indonesia’s Hindu island, there are temples everywhere – in streets, atop mountains, clinging to cliffs, on the seashore, and in the courtyard of every home.

Devotees at the Mother Besakih temple

Balinese Hindus at the Mother Besakih Temple in Bali, Indonesia © LAKSHMI SHARATH

The Mother Besakih temple is one of the most important temples in Bali. It is located atop Mount Agung. It is not just one shrine but a cluster of 20 temples overlooking the villages and the green slopes of the mountain. Balinese believe that the good spirits along with their deities reside here and the shrines resemble houses built for them.

Goa Gajah

Goa Gajah temple in Bali, Indonesia © LAKSHMI SHARATH

Goa, I learned, is pronounced “Guha” as in many Indian languages. It refers to a 1,000-year-old cave excavated here that houses the Hindu trinity of gods and Ganesha, whom the Balinese know as “Gajah” (as in elephant). The 11th century site, called Lwa Gajah, was not discovered until the 1950s and was believed to be a sanctuary of a Buddhist monk. Carved images of the Buddha and smaller shrines and a step-well dot the green landscape here.

Uluwatu

Pura Uluwatu is one of Bali’s most spectacular temples © LAKSHMI SHARATH

Bali’s shrines are often located in the most exotic landscapes. This is Pura Uluwatu right atop the cliff. The scenery is breathtaking as you climb uphill through a small forested area patrolled by boisterous monkeys.

Bali’s royal shrine

Royal shrine in Bali, Indonesia © LAKSHMI SHARATH

Pura Taman Ayun, literally “beautiful garden”, is the shrine of the royalty in Bali. Built in the 17th century, this temple in Mengwi, south Bali, is believed to house the ancestors of the royal dynasty and their family deities.

Puppets galore

Puppets in Bali, Indonesia © LAKSHMI SHARATH

The sounds of performances fill the air as you walk into any of these temples. Wayang or shadow puppetry, the Kecak or fire-dance, and various other local dances like Barong, Legong and Pendet are some of the art forms to experience while you visit these shrines.

Sunset at Tanah Lot

Tanah Lot temple in Bali, Indonesia © LAKSHMI SHARATH

No trip is complete without a glimpse of the spectacular sunset in Tanah Lot temple, a tourist magnet located on a rocky oceanic island. The 15th century shrine, dedicated to the sea spirits, was built under the direction of a priest and is believed to be guarded by snakes.

Lakshmi Sharath is a media professional, traveler, travel-writer, photographer and blogger.

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What it meant to be a Hindu for me

Posted by Admin on May 26, 2012

http://cosmicstories.wordpress.com/2012/05/13/what-it-meant-to-be-a-hindu-for-me/

What it meant to be a Hindu for me

Even before I opened my eyes for the first time in this world, I was a Hindu. I was a Hindu by default because I was born in a Hindu family. I was marked with this word. Although, I didn’t know what that word really meant, I used to write my religion as Hindu in all the school and college forms. I still do that.

In this essay, I am not going to argue about what Hindu really means. I will do that in the next Blog. In this Blog, I will rather tell my readers about what I have experienced and how I see Hinduism. I am not religious anymore. I wonder if I was ever so religious. I was born in a Brahmin Family in one of the most underdeveloped states in India. It is necessary to talk about my birthplace because it has a good significance here. An underdeveloped state means that most of my family members and almost all of the society were too much inculcated with the idea of religion. But, can we here make a comparison of extremely religious Muslim or Christian society with an extremely religious Hindu society? How did I find my way out of this trap of irrational religious beliefs? Simple! Because Hinduism generally does not enforces its beliefs on anyone.

My friends in west or Pakistan are unable to understand how a Hindu really lives or practices his faith. That is warranted because they compare Hinduism with their own prejudices and religion.

Muslims laugh on Hinduism thinking that Hindus worship a million gods in Idols and drink Cow piss (Yuck!). I never did that. Nor any of my family members ever did that too. We have a few cows in our farm-house but we only used them to get milk. Yes, we did have idols of Gods in our temple at home, but they were just 3 or 4 of different kinds. Nobody can build a temple of a million Gods.

This is Goddess Durga

Goddess Durga is worshiped as the principle God in our family and village. We do consider all other Hindu Gods like Brahma, Vishnu or Shiva. A Hindu can choose what God he wants to worship. We worshiped Durga and had idols of a few other Gods in our temple. How many times did we used to worship? Well! My father worships everyday but mostly it was unnecessary. Anyone could worship or just bow his head sometimes before the idol, anytime of the day or week or even month. There are no strict enforced laws for worshiping-Every Hindu is to himself.

Yesterday, a few boys came in my Room with a collection of audio jokes in their mobile. Some of these jokes were sexual and directed towards Hindu Gods. Everyone just laughed- Even my room-partner who is a staunch believer in Hinduism. Even he laughed when his God was brutally mocked in the joke. One important thing to say: Nobody was killed. I was so astonished to see that. How can a believing Hindu joke crudely on his Gods? But that is a relieving truth that I have lived from the last 25 years. Hindus do not just get angry and kill anyone for mocking their Gods. Just think about what would have happened to those boys if we were Muslims and their crude jokes were directed towards Muhammad. *Stoning*??

River Ganga is considered Holy in Hinduism. It is said that anyone who dies at its banks gets heaven as reward in afterlife. I have never considered Ganga as a Holy river. It is just like any other river. I used to say that before my other Hindu friends in my early youth. None of them ever replied back with an angry tone, saying that I was offending Hinduism. No! All the other Hindus would easily accept that it was my choice. Anyways, I love River Ganga as I would love River Nile; it has served for centuries as the cradle of civilization.

There is a concept of heaven and hell in Monotheistic religions. There is some concept like that in Hinduism too. But I don’t know any Hindus in my friend or family circle who really think or care about that. Though, they all believe in Hinduism but still they don’t have the knowledge of any Heaven or Hell. They just live their life easily, doing their everyday duties. I was never frightened with Hell. I have never done anything good only because of some reward of heaven. That’s just a way of life for ordinary Hindus. What most of the Hindus think is that when you die, your soul becomes a part of the greater soul (God) or based on your actions, you reincarnate.

All of my family members think that God is everywhere. He is the creator and sustainer of life. He answers prayers and he loves his creation. Many of the followers of like Christianity and Islam think that Hindus worship idols thinking that idols are God. But this is not true- Many Hindus only worship idols because they think that they are worshipping an infinite through the finite- that they are worshipping an unknowable thorough a knowable object.

All of the scholars of Hinduism agree that Hindu is not specifically a religious term. It is a nationalistic term which means people living to the east of river Indus. I call myself a Hindu because of that definition only. I was born in India, therefore I am a Hindu. Like in the same way, a person born in America is American.

Hinduism is a strange religion. It gives a lot of space to its believers to paint any picture of God that he/she likes. It is not prescriptive and even an Atheist can be a Hindu.

A person can be a Hindu, even if:

He worships daily or even rarely in a year.

He eats whatever he likes or doesn’t eat Non- Veg. ever.

He thinks Ganga is holy or not.

He is free to respect or revile any of the Hindu Gods. But he will still remain a Hindu. You can’t take that away from him. There is a lot of space given in this religion. Do what you want!  But with all that freedom, you are still bound under the chains of irrational beliefs.

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A brief history of Hinduism

Posted by Admin on May 26, 2012

http://cosmicstories.wordpress.com/2012/05/17/a-brief-history-of-hinduism/

A brief history of Hinduism

May 17, 2012 by

|| Like mothers to their calves, like milch kine with their milk, so, Sindhu, unto thee the roaring rivers run.
Thou leadest as a warrior king thine army’s wings what time thou comest in the van of these swift streams. || [Rig Veda]

The word Hindu is derived from word Sindhu which means Indus in English. The religion of the people at eastern side of Indus was called Hinduism by Arabs and British.

When we didn’t have any answers to the questions of the universe, our ancestors used to invoke a super-natural entity to answer those curiosities. That Supernatural power is God. Religion is a set of cultures and beliefs which tells human-beings about how to live their life morally and connect their human self with a metaphysical self of God. Naturally, every tribe, culture, nation, race must have had their own set of supernatural beliefs. In India, different groups of people believed in different kind of Gods and performed different rituals to please them.

The oldest civilization in India established itself around the river Indus.  It was called the Indus Valley Civilization. This is considered one of the oldest civilizations in human history (est. 3300 BCE). Seals have been found during excavations which show that the Indus valley people revered a deity which almost looked like Lord Shiva. Also, seals of Swastika and remnants of fire altars have been found in the excavations of Kalibangan.

The Indus valley civilization declined around 1500 BCE. It was the time when Vedic Rituals and culture took over. We call this period as the Vedic periods because it was when the earliest Vedas were formed. Rig-Veda is the oldest Veda. Though it is very hard to determine the precise age and location where early hymns of Rig-Veda were formed but it can be argued that Vedas are thousands of years old. Rig-Veda talks about Soma as God; also Soma is an intoxicating plant that is currently found in western Pakistan. The other two initial Veda were Sama-Veda and Yajur-Veda. The last Veda to be compiled was Atharva-Veda during 1000 BC. It is a collection of hymns and chants for healing diseases. One point to mention here is that all the Vedas were propagated orally. That is, Teachers in different schools of thoughts in Vedic societies used to preach the Vedas orally. The students would cram those verses by heart and teach their own students. It was not until 300 BCE that Vedas were codified into written language. Think about the vast periods in which Vedas were just propagated orally? Anyone can easily deduce by logic that Vedas must have been corrupted and changed by some of the teachers in between. Fire-sacrifices, called yajñawere performed during this period, and Vedic mantras chanted but no temples or idols are

Seals of the Indus Valley Civilization. also showing Swastikas. British Museum. Personal photograph, 2005.

known.

Around 500 BCE, there were many schools of thoughts all over India. They taught similar or different concepts of the world. Many new texts were written during that time. Puranas are the texts which tell the stories about Gods, Philosophy, Universe, Morality and other things. Gods fight against the demons in these texts and humans get a reason to endure their earthly pains and hope for a good world by praying and believing in an afterlife through Puranas. According to Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam ; Puranas are the texts through which an ordinary individual can learn about the Vedas.

                                                       nārāyaṇaḿ namaskṛtya

                                                            naraḿ caiva narottamam

devīḿ sarasvatīḿ vyāsaḿ

tato jayam udīrayet”

[All men are not equal. There are men who are conducted by the mode of goodness, others who are under the mode of passion and others who are under the mode of ignorance. The Purāṇas are so divided that any class of men can take advantage of them and gradually regain their lost position and get out of the hard struggle for existence.]

Epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata were compiled during 500 BCE. They were also propagated through oral traditions.

Goddess Durga riding a Tiger.

Until now, my readers must have understood that several texts and cultures had come out in different parts of India during this period. Different groups in India worshipped different Gods; it was based on the school of thought with which they were influenced. Let us take the example of Goddess Durga. She is mostly worshipped in the Himalayan ranges of Uttrakhand (Indian state) or Bengal (The state that was once a dense jungle of Mahogany trees and Tigers). The major occupation of people of these places must have been to collect woods and other things from dense forests. They must have been afraid from Tigers and Lions living in those jungles. As we know, people start worshiping those things that they fear off. Is it a surprise that Goddess Durga rides a tiger? She is an embodiment of the fear that those tribal people felt, she is s goddess borne out of the fear of those people.

Buddhism and Jainism are offshoots of the early Vedic religions. These were the schools which did not believe in the superiority of Vedas. They taught their own philosophies of reaching a higher goal through breathing exercises, worldly acts and meditations.

Islam entered India during 7th century CE.  It was the period when many Indians converted to Islam through force and subjugation. The Indian philosophies about God we got highly influenced by the thoughts of Islam. Numerous Muslim rulers or their army generals such as Aurangzeb and Malik Kafur destroyed Hindu temples and persecuted non-Muslims; however some, such as Akbar, were more tolerant. It was during this period when Bhakti movement in India got prominence. There were many Indians in south that used to worship only one God. They were either Shaivites (Followers of Shiva) or Vaishnavites (Followers of Vishnu). They started preaching about one religion in India and they brought all the different rituals and cultures in India under one umbrella body of Hinduism. During the 14th–17th centuries, a great Bhakti movement swept through central and northern India, initiated by a loosely associated group of teachers or saints. Ravidas, Srimanta Sankardeva, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Vallabhacharya, Surdas, Meera Bai, Kabir, Tulsidas, Namdev, Dnyaneshwar, Tukaram and other mystics spearheaded the Bhakti movement in the North. They taught that people could cast aside the heavy burdens of ritual and caste, and the subtle complexities of philosophy, and simply express their overwhelming love for God. This period was also characterized by a spate of devotional literature in vernacular prose and poetry in the ethnic languages of the various Indian states or provinces. The word Hindu was borrowed into European languages from the Arabic term al-Hind, referring to the land of the people who live across the River Indus, itself from the Persian term Hindū, which refers to all Indians. By the 13th century, Hindustān emerged as a popular alternative name of India, meaning the “land of Hindus“. This was the time when Hinduism was really born. Before that it was just a collection of different faiths and cultures that were followed in different parts of India.

Hinduism can be called as a collective term for all the different traditions that were followed at the eastern side of river Indus. The Britishers who ruled India called Hinduism as a religion that was followed all over India. As per the above definition, Hinduism cannot be characterized as a religion like the western religions of Islam and Christianity. Some academics suggest that Hinduism can be seen as a category with “fuzzy edges”, rather than as a well-defined and rigid entity.

Hinduism does not have a common or single founder. It has evolved since the ages. Hinduism is flexible and accommodates any views that come to its vicinity. Therefore, there is no particular time at which we can say that Hinduism was born. Nobody can say about which book is the central book of Hinduism. Nobody can define who a Hindu is? Because of its weak and fuzzy boundaries, Hinduism is both a monotheistic as well as a Polytheistic religion. That depends on the followers. A follower can easily choose what he wants to believe into. There are numerous Hindus who believe in one God like Vishnu and Shiva and plus there are a million others who believe in millions of Gods.

Just remember that, if a person is from India and is not a Christian, Jew or Muslim, than most probably he is a Hindu. Even if his beliefs do not match with his neighboring Hindu – Hinduism allows for that variety. There is no common founder of Hinduism. It has evolved as things evolve with time and finally, it has found a name for itself.

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Gita ban:Russian prosecutors to move higher court

Posted by Admin on January 28, 2012

http://in.news.yahoo.com/russian-prosecutors-move-higher-court-seeking-gita-ban-094509967.html

By Indo Asian News Service | IANS India Private Limited – 10 hours ago

Moscow/New Delhi, Jan 26 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Stung by a Siberian court’s rejection of their plea seeking a ban on Bhagavad Gita and branding it extremist literature, Russian prosecutors are now planning to move a higher court for appeal.

Insisting that the Russian translation of the Hindu textBhagavad Gita As It Is‘ should be banned for promoting “social discord”, prosecutors in the Siberian city of Tomsk have moved the local court seeking more time to file an appeal.

The deadline for the appeal expired Wednesday.

“The prosecutors are planning to file the appeal in a superior court. They have sought more time to move the appeal. They are yet to actually file an appeal,” Sadhu Priya Das, an Iskcon devotee based in Moscow, told IANS over phone Thursday.

The Tomsk city prosecutors have insisted that the Russian translation of the book written by International Society for Krishna Consciousness (Iskcon) founder A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada be banned as extremist literature, filing an appeal against an earlier court ruling, a RIA Novosti report quoted a Tomsk court spokeswoman as saying.

The report also quoted Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich as having said that the translated version may not be linguistically true to the original as it contained “semantic distortions”, which may have an effect on its meaning.

The Tomsk district court had Dec 28, 2011 thrown out the case of the state prosecutors, filed in June 2011.

After IANS first reported the case in December 2011, India witnessed a major uproar, including in parliament where MPs wanted the Indian government to immediately intervene in the matter, citing Hindu sensitivities.

India, both through its ministry of external affairs and embassy in Moscow, took up the matter with the Russian authorities and urged them to quickly resolve the matter.

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The beautiful temples of Bali

Posted by Admin on January 28, 2012

http://in.lifestyle.yahoo.com/photos–the-beautiful-temples-of-bali.html?page=all

The Indonesian island of Bali is home to the majority of the country’s Hindus. Balinese Hinduism is characterized by the worship of the supreme god Acintya, along with the trinity in Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The art and ritual of the Balinese Hindus trace back to influences from the 4th century when Hinduism reached the island’s shores. Balinese temples are ornate, beautiful and situated in visually stunning locales. LAKSHMI SHARATH traipses through Bali and returns with these breathtaking picture postcards.

By Lakshmi Sharath | Yahoo Lifestyle Entertainment – Tue 24 Jan, 2012 2:16 PM IST

A roadside temple in Bali
Roadside Temple in Bali, Indonesia © LAKSHMI SHARATH
If you think India has many shrines, think again. In Bali, Indonesia’s Hindu island, there are temples everywhere – in streets, atop mountains, clinging to cliffs, on the seashore, and in the courtyard of every home.

Devotees at the Mother Besakih temple
Balinese Hindus at the Mother Besakih Temple in Bali, Indonesia © LAKSHMI SHARATH

The Mother Besakih temple is one of the most important temples in Bali. It is located atop Mount Agung. It is not just one shrine but a cluster of 20 temples overlooking the villages and the green slopes of the mountain. Balinese believe that the good spirits along with their deities reside here and the shrines resemble houses built for them.

Goa Gajah
Goa Gajah temple in Bali, Indonesia © LAKSHMI SHARATH

Goa, I learned, is pronounced “Guha” as in many Indian languages. It refers to a 1,000-year-old cave excavated here that houses the Hindu trinity of gods and Ganesha, whom the Balinese know as “Gajah” (as in elephant). The 11th century site, called Lwa Gajah, was not discovered until the 1950s and was believed to be a sanctuary of a Buddhist monk. Carved images of the Buddha and smaller shrines and a step-well dot the green landscape here.

Uluwatu
Pura Uluwatu is one of Bali’s most spectacular temples © LAKSHMI SHARATH

Bali’s shrines are often located in the most exotic landscapes. This is Pura Uluwatu right atop the cliff. The scenery is breathtaking as you climb uphill through a small forested area patrolled by boisterous monkeys.

Bali’s royal shrine
Royal shrine in Bali, Indonesia © LAKSHMI SHARATH

Pura Taman Ayun, literally “beautiful garden”, is the shrine of the royalty in Bali. Built in the 17th century, this temple in Mengwi, south Bali, is believed to house the ancestors of the royal dynasty and their family deities.

Puppets galore
Puppets in Bali, Indonesia © LAKSHMI SHARATH

The sounds of performances fill the air as you walk into any of these temples. Wayang or shadow puppetry, the Kecak or fire-dance, and various other local dances like Barong, Legong and Pendet are some of the art forms to experience while you visit these shrines.

Sunset at Tanah Lot
Tanah Lot temple in Bali, Indonesia © LAKSHMI SHARATH

No trip is complete without a glimpse of the spectacular sunset in Tanah Lot temple, a tourist magnet located on a rocky oceanic island. The 15th century shrine, dedicated to the sea spirits, was built under the direction of a priest and is believed to be guarded by snakes.

Lakshmi Sharath is a media professional, traveler, travel-writer, photographer and blogger.

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German company removes objectionable yoga mats with images of Hindu deities

Posted by Admin on January 23, 2012

http://in.news.yahoo.com/german-company-removes-objectionable-yoga-mats-images-hindu-131310254.html

By ANI | ANI – 9 hours ago

Nevada (US), Jan 22 (ANI): Germany based firm Yogistar has reportedly withdrawn from its websiteyoga mats carrying the images of Hindu deities, which upset Hindus had called inappropriate and asked for immediate withdrawal.

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, has thanked Yogistar for immediate action and for listening to the sentiments of about one billion strong worldwide Hindu community.

Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, in a statement on this issue on January 19, had said that Hindu deities were meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be trampled under one’s feet while doing yoga, as in some of Yogistar yoga mats.

Rajan Zed had argued that these deities were highly revered in Hinduism and inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.

Hinduism was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken lightly. Symbols of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be mishandled, Zed had stressed.

Some of the products shown on Yogistar website on January 19 that Hindu devotees would find inappropriate included yoga mats carrying images of Hindu deities Shiva, Lakshmi and Ganesha, which were classified as “Yogamatte Getter-Edition” with each carrying a price tag of 24.90 Euros (about 1623 Indian Rupees); and these were reportedly no longer seen on the website today.

Yogistar Vertriebs with tagline “designed fur yoga”, which sells online at “yogistar.com”, in addition to yoga mats also carries yoga related tops, pants, shirts, leggings, jerseys, CDs/DVDs/Videos, blocks, belts, bottles, bags, stools, T-shirts, books; besides malas, meditationshockers, meditation timers, netis, teas, ayurvedic kajals, meditation cushions, etc. Based in Wiggensbach (Germany) with contact information given in Wendelins (Germany) and branch in Switzerland, its Geschaftsfehrer (managing director) are listed as: Matthias Beck, Uwe Haardt. (ANI)

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Diwali Celebrations Around the World

Posted by Admin on October 28, 2011

http://in.lifestyle.yahoo.com/diwali-celebrations-world-082624838.html

Though Diwali is an Indian festival, it is not limited to only India.

Various other countries celebrate the festival with equal pomp and gaiety as Indians do. The ultimate essence of Diwali, i.e. the triumph of good over evil, is maintained throughout different places and time zones.

Here are some countries of the world that celebrate Diwali.

Diwali Celebrations Around the World

Mauritius

Mauritius boasts of a staggering 63% of its entire population to be of Indian origin, 80% of which follow Hinduism. Therefore, Diwali is a festival of great significance in the island country. The festival is celebrated around the same time as in India. Beautifully lit earthen lamps are placed around the houses turning the island into a picturesque landscape. Sweets are specially prepared for the occasion and people of other religious and cultural beliefs also join the Hindu counterparts in the celebrations. Diwali also symbolizes the arrival of the summer season in the country.

Diwali Celebrations Around the World

Australia

Australia has an estimated population of 100,000 Indians settled there, with the majority of them being Hindus. Diwali is quite a major festival in the country with large scale Diwali events, like carnivals and fairs, organized in cities such as Sydney and Melbourne. The events feature fireworks display, food stalls offering Diwali sweets and delicacies, musical performances and also burning the effigy of Ravana.

Diwali Celebrations Around the World

Japan

In the land of the rising sun, Diwali signifies progress, happiness, longevity and prosperity. The festival is not celebrated in the same way as in our home country. Instead of lighting their homes up, people go out to gardens and orchards and hang colorful lanterns and paper-made structures on the branches of trees. The places of worship are decorated with wallpapers so as to bring about a festive mood amongst those who celebrate the festival.

Diwali Celebrations Around the World

Malaysia

Despite having only about 8% of its population belonging to Hindu community, Diwali is an important festival in Malaysia. Known as Hari Diwali, it is a public holiday in the country. The traditional ritual of oil bath begins the festival which includes prayers at household altars and visit to temples. Temples are adorned with flowers and oil lamps while parades and concerts are organized in some of the major cities. Firecrackers are, however, banned in this country.

Diwali Celebrations Around the World

South Africa

South Africa, a country which fought a long battle against apartheid, is home to the largest immigrant Indian population in the world. Most of the descendants of the immigrant Indians are settled in the KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng provinces and comprise about 65% of the entire population there. Most of them, reportedly, trace their origins to Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat and the rituals are held in accordance with their communities, and in the same way as in India.

Diwali Celebrations Around the World

Thailand

Thailand is known to be a culturally rich country, hence a celebration of one of the most important festivals of the Hindus is an integral part of its itinerary. Here, Diwali is likened to ‘Lam Kriyongh’ which is also celebrated around the month of October/November. Here, the diyas are made of banana leaves instead, which hold candles, a coin and incense. The diyas are then set afloat on a river which makes it quite a spectacular sight for the people to witness.

Diwali Celebrations Around the World

Nepal

In Nepal, Diwali is known as ‘Tihar‘ and is celebrated in a grand manner over a span of 5 days. During these 5 days, animals like cows, dogs and crows are worshipped apart from Goddess Lakshmi. The people of the Nepali community play ‘Deusi’ and ‘Bhailo’ in which boys and girls go singing and dancing to different houses, giving them blessings while the owner of the house gives them either food items or money. The festivities end with ‘Bhai Tika’ where sisters give tika (colored powder applied on the forehead) and a garland of flowers to their brothers, praying for the brother’s long life and prosperity.

Diwali Celebrations Around the World

Singapore

Singapore’s Diwali celebrations are amongst the brightest in the world, with a spectacular display of lights throughout different cities. Diwali is one festival that is celebrated irrespective of ethnicity or religion, in the country. The place called “Little India” located in Serangoon Road, is fully covered with lights, colorful arches and garlands. Is is a custom to visit the temple to offer prayers and towards the evening, children and other grown ups go to open areas to light sparklers.

Diwali Celebrations Around the World

Trinidad & Tobago

Diwali holds a special place in the hearts of citizens of the Caribbean nation, with 43% of the population being of Indian origin. The day is officially declared as a public holiday and is looked at with much anticipation throughout the year. Celebrations of the festival begin 9 days in advance of the actual event. These 9 days are laced with dance performances, displays by Hindu religious sects, theatre, worship of Goddess Lakshmi and lighting of diyas. Areas having a strong Hindu population are decorated with blinding lights and the last day sees a spectacular display of fireworks.

Diwali Celebrations Around the World

Britain

Since Indians are the second largest ethnic minority group in Britain, Diwali is the highlight of the Indian calendar in the country. The festival, though primarily celebrated in much fervor by NRIs, does not remain limited to them. The festive spirit trickles down to people of other cultures and with it being celebrated at the House of Commons, gains even more significance. Leicester city is particularly noted for its major Diwali celebrations as a large number of people gather there to celebrate the Indian festival. (Special Features, MensXP.com)

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NASA Announces ‘Forbidden Zones’…On Moon!

Posted by Admin on September 30, 2011

http://beforeitsnews.com/story/1116/992/NASA_announces_forbidden_zones…on_Moon.html

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[Note from author: This story originally broke in India. The American media is ignoring it. Why? Moon to have no-fly zones by month end. – The Hindu … For those that may question The Hindu as a credible source, the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts believes The Hindu is a credible news source. They link to it themselves on this page (scroll on NIAC page to see link to The Hindu article about NASA’s future). This story is real.


Feeling the pressure of mounting investigations launched by citizen activists concerning alien structures and artifacts on the Moon and Mars, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration has made a bold and incredible move: NASA has announced No-Fly Zones on the Moon.

Although the space agency claims the purpose of the No-Fly Zones are to preserve and protect the historic landing sites of the Apollo astronauts, some question why the zones happen to include regions where heavy attention has been focused—areas where purported alien technology is lying scattered across the lunar soil.

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An alleged alien artifact photographed near an Apollo landing site. [From website Over the Moon]

According to official archives more than three dozen Lunar historical sites exist. It may be more than coincidence that many of the strange anomalies and structures are near, or in the same region as, all the Apollo landing and early Lunar space probe sites like Surveyor.

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Photo taken by LRO of a large artificial structure at Rima Hadley not far from where Apollo 15 landed.

A portion of the NASA statement declares: Apollo 11 and 17 sites [shall] remain off-limits, with ground-travel buffers of 75 metres and 225 meters from each respective lunar lander. [Science journal reported the full guidelines.]

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Aerial view of alleged complex at Gassendi Crater.

Despite the pronouncement, international attorneys do not believe the space agency has the authority to enforce such a proclamation, nor claim any regions offbounds by nature of “U.S. government property on the moon.” They argue that the United Nations 1967 Outer Space Treaty takes precedence and that no nation can lay claim to any portion of the Moon.

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Apollo 12: Photo taken by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC).

Despite that, NASA is desperate other countries will abide by its announcement—after all, more than 40 years of cover-up is at stake as well as the reputation and future funding of the currently beleagured agency.

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One of the many structures that just ‘happens’ to be in the No-Fly Zone.

While NASA takes pains that it’s only doing this to protect astronauts’ discarded food and feces, the argument itself is specious. The real purpose of the No-Fly Zones—alleged by some researchers—is to dissuade upcoming lunar missions by other countries including Japan, India and China from “spilling the beans” on what’s really up there.

Space probes from the European Space Agency have already uncovered the fraud NASA perpetrated for decades about the real color of the Martian sky. [See: “The color of Mars“]

A Japanese lunar space probe uncovered astounding evidence of the alleged base that exists on the far side of the Moon. Some insiders swear that America has a secret military base on the Moon and present evidence to support their charge. [See: Before It’s News Claim: America has secret base on Moon.]

Meanwhile, some NASA insiders have blown the whistle on the space agency and claim they have personally seen photographs and other evidence of artifacts, machinery—even cities—documented by robot and manned space mission from both the U.S. and former Soviet Union. [See: Before It’s NewsNASA whistleblower: Alien cities exist on Moon.]

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Photo of alleged American Moonbase. Notice the structures in the square-walled ‘crater.’

Publicly, NASA says they were moved to act because of the announcement by Google’s Lunar-X Prize. The Internet giant has created a contest awarding a monetary prize to the first private company that can land a robotic craft on the Moon, travel across the surface and transmit clear images. Google has sweetened the pot with the offer to add bonus money for a landing close to any of the Apollo sites.

Whether any of the up-and-coming spacefaring nations will abide by NASA’s No-Fly Zones—especially if they discover hard evidence of ancient alien artifacts—is unknown. They probably won’t abide by the NASA restrictions.

But unquestionably, the worried space agency desperately hopes they do.

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