Hindu Mandir, Abu Dhabi – A Spiritual Oasis for Global Harmony

Marking a significant moment in the history of the UAE, around 5,000 devotees and well-wishers thronged to participate in and witness the foundation stone-laying ceremony of the BAPS Hindu Mandir. Volunteers began to arrive at the site location as early as 6:00 a.m., with participants arriving at 8:00 a.m. The Shilanyas Ceremony, which is an ancient Vedic ritual performed to bless and sanctify the main foundation stones, commenced at 9:00 a.m.

This ceremony signifies the beginning of the construction of the Mandir. The Vedic ceremony was performed by His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, the spiritual leader of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha. The occasion was also graced with the presence of His Excellency Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Chairman of the Department of Community
Development and Member of the Executive Council, His Excellency Dr Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, and His Excellency Dr Ahmad Bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Cabinet Member and Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills.
Also present were His Excellency Navdeep Suri, Indian Ambassador to UAE, Vipul, the Consul General of India, and Dr. B.R. Shetty, Chairman of Mandir Ltd. After laying the foundation stones in position, water from the three main holy rivers of India was showered on the stones by His Holiness and the distinguished guests. The enthusiasm and devotion of all participants and volunteers was evident as they arrived for the Vedic ceremony. Continue reading “Hindu Mandir, Abu Dhabi – A Spiritual Oasis for Global Harmony”

IFFSA: Voice of South Asian Cinema in Canada

On April 18th, IFFSA Toronto unveiled an exciting lineup of films and events for this year’s festival, which runs from May 9th to May 20th. As a film festival, every year IFFSA’s attempt has been to surprise the film lovers, to take us on new adventures.

To begin with,   IFFSA, is over the moon to have the opportunity and honour to share some very special films, with their audiences, as part of our celebration of the ‘Hundred Years of Bengali Cinema’,

IFFSA Toronto is THE LARGEST SOUTH ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL IN NORTH AMERICA. In its 8th year now, the festival has become an international icon and the voice of South Asian cinema in Canada.

This 12+ day extravaganza showcases a diverse, language independent, selection of the best feature films, featurette films, short films, documentaries and music films from around the world, on themes of South Asian cultures and identities. In the spirit of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – the world is one family”, a select number of foreign films are considered under Beyond South Asia segment.

In addition, the festival also features gala dinners, red carpet premiers, concerts, lounge parties, exhibitions, seminars, workshops and networking opportunities with government representatives, business leaders, local organizations that support film development, film stars, producers, directors, members of the media and more. Continue reading “IFFSA: Voice of South Asian Cinema in Canada”

President of India extends greetings for Ugadi, Gudi Padava, Cheti Chand, Navreh and Sajibu Cheiraoba

The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind in his message on the eve of Chaitra Sukladi, Ugadi, Gudi Padava, Cheti Chand, Navreh and Sajibu Cheiraoba has said: –

“On the auspicious occasion of Chaitra Sukladi, Ugadi, Gudi Padava, Chetti Chand, Navreh and Sajibu Cheiraoba, I extend my greetings and good wishes to all my fellow citizens.

Traditionally, these festivals mark the onset of New Year and the warmer months and they reflect values of prosperity and well being. Let the spirit of joy and happiness signified by these festivals pervade the heart of every Indian.

May these festivals strengthen the bonds of love and affection in our society as well as the spirit of fraternity among people across the nation”.

The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has also greeted the people on the joyous and auspicious occasion of ‘Ugadi, Gudi Padava, Chaitra Sukladi and Cheti Chand’. In a message, he said that all these festivals celebrated across the country with different names and customs, mark the beginning of traditional New Year and reflect the composite culture and rich heritage of our country. Ugadi marks the beginning of the New Year and brings new hope, new joy and happiness, he added. Continue reading “President of India extends greetings for Ugadi, Gudi Padava, Cheti Chand, Navreh and Sajibu Cheiraoba”

Abu Jani – Sandeep Khosla host Trunk Shows in NYC

The past year has seen its fair share of Indian celebrity weddings – from Anushka to Sonam to Deepika to Priyanka to Isha – and the House of Abu Jani – Sandeep Khosla has been there every step of the way to dress some of the most glamorous brides on their most memorable occasions.

Mirai, a brand-new fashion house bringing curated South Asian designer experiences exclusively to New York City, is proud to host this dynamic duo for TWO trunks shows at the Taj Pierre Hotel (2 E 61st St. & 5th Avenue) on January 18th and 19th from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., showcasing the following Couture, luxury and pret collections for women AND men:

ABU JANI SANDEEP KHOSLA – best known for their ability to infuse Indian craftsmanship and textile heritage with a European tailored silhouette. Their signature is to combine traditional aesthetics with modern design. This is their Couture and Bespoke line.

KHOSLA JANI – luxury womenswear line that specializes in Couture, Ready To Wear and Bridal, where stunning designs meet flawless execution as a myriad of processes combine to fuse Couture fashion with timeless and elegant style. This is the duo’s Western line.

ASAL BY ABU SANDEEP – the label carries forth the design philosophy of its parent, Couture, but is reworked in meticulous machine embroideries, Continue reading “Abu Jani – Sandeep Khosla host Trunk Shows in NYC”

“ What’s behind that door?”

Doors Open Markham features seven NEW sites

Have you ever wondered, “ What’s behind that door?” Doors Open Markham provides visitors with exclusive access to 19 locations that are not generally open to the public. This is a free one-day event to tour cultural and historical sites that reflect our community’s past, and experience the diverse cultures that contribute to Markham’s unique charm.

“This is a chance to explore Markham’s hidden gems, learn about our community’s history and cultural heritage … the possibilities are endless!” says Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti. “There is something for everyone: Markham Fire Station is a favourite for kids of all ages, architectural enthusiasts will be wowed by the Wong Dai Sin Temple and if you haven’t yet, be sure to visit the Aaniin Community Centre and Library, Markham’s newest facility!”

“One day + 19 fascinating locations + FREE admission = Doors Open Markham,” says Doors Open Committee Chair Kenneth Ng. “Visit first-time sites and past favourites, for their architecture, their heritage, or the interesting things going on. The Doors Open Markham Committee looks forward to seeing you there!” Continue reading ““ What’s behind that door?””

Panorama India to mark India’s Independence Day by showcasing India’s culture and heritage

INDIA DAY FESTIVAL AND GRAND PARADE EXPECTED TO DRAW OVER 50,000 PEOPLE AT CITY HALL

  More than 50,000 people are expected to converge at Nathan Philips Square to celebrate the 19th Annual India Day Festival and Grand Parade on Sunday, August 19, 2018.   Organized by Panorama India, with the support of Consulate General of India, the all-day event to celebrate India’s culture and heritage will present music and dance performances, a kids zone and an international bazaar with 100 kiosks exhibiting fashion, jewellery, handicrafts and an array of food.  The King of Bhangra Malkit Singh, Indo-Canadian singer Parichay and Indian Actor Pukhraj Bhalla will be on hand to perform for the massive crowds.

The event kicks off with the National Anthem at 1pm followed by the Grand Parade, marshalled by Bollywood actor Jimmy Sheirgill.  According to organizers, the grand parade will have 20 floats representing the various States of India put together by the diverse number of cultural groups in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The parade will begin at Nathan Phillips Square, journey west to University Avenue, turning North to Dundas, East to Yonge Street, South to Queen Street and culminating back at City Hall.

Consul General of India in Toronto, Amb. Dinesh Bhatia will preside over the India Day event with participation from several political dignitaries from all levels of government. Continue reading “Panorama India to mark India’s Independence Day by showcasing India’s culture and heritage”

University of Virginia offers “Medical Yoga for Health Professionals” course

The University of Virginia in Charlottesville, public research university and tier-one research institution with a nationally renowned health system, is offering “Foundations of Medical Yoga for Health Professionals” in Fall this year.

This three-credits course “will provide graduate students, medical students, and practicing health professionals with a foundational understanding of medical yoga to improve health and wellness from a historical, theoretical, and research perspective”, the announcement states.

It will explore history of yoga, theories and conceptualizations of medical yoga as a healing modality, review of significant research related to therapeutic yoga, applications of medical yoga for self and clinical care, etc. It will include both didactic and experiential components. Dr. Maureen Mala Cunningham, Clinical Assistant Professor of Nursing, is the instructor.

Highly selective University of Virginia, founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819, which claims to be nation’s #2 public university, has about 22,800 students and one of its “purposes” is “providing world-class patient care”. It recently established a “pan-university Brain Institute that will address important challenges on the frontiers of understanding, treating, and reverse-engineering the brain”. Teresa A. Sullivan and Frank M. Conner III are President and Visitors Board Rector respectively. Continue reading “University of Virginia offers “Medical Yoga for Health Professionals” course”

Kuumba Festival at Harbourfront Centre Celebrates Black History Month

Annual Black History Month festival takes on vital issues facing Toronto’s Black community through dialogue, photography and film, comedy, a spectacular vogue ball and more.
Each February, communities across the country take part in events to honour and explore the heritage, traditions and culture of Black Canadians. While Black History celebrations may originate in the 1970s, it was not until December 1995 that Canada officially recognized Black History Month. Twenty-three years ago, this first Canada-wide Black History Month was commemorated in Toronto with the inauguration of Harbourfront Centre’s Kuumba Festival. The longest-running Black History Month celebration in Toronto, the Kuumba Festival takes its name from the Swahili word for “creativity”, a component that is central to Harbourfront Centre’s long-standing commitment to providing relevant artistic, cultural, educational and recreational experiences.
“The history of the Black community is one of resistance, resilience, social justice, freedom, hope and love, and for some Canadians that history is still a part of their everyday life,” explains Laura McLeod. “Our goal is that Kuumba 2018 will continue the festival’s legacy as a forum for challenging perceptions, shaping conversations and providing learning opportunities designed to strengthen our understanding and appreciation for our fellow Canadians”.

Continue reading “Kuumba Festival at Harbourfront Centre Celebrates Black History Month”

Hindu Heritage Month Celebrations at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir

The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, locatedat 61 Claireville Drive, Toronto,celebrated Hindu Heritage Month, on November 25 and 26, in support of this initiative of the Government of Ontario. Visitors to the Mandir were greeted by volunteer tour guides and enjoyed the experience of arti, Abhishek and the Hindu Heritage Exhibition.

Special guests during the Hindu Heritage Month celebrations included:

  • The Honourable Ahmed D. Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
  • The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science

His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj inspired the creation of the BAPS Swaminarayan Mandir and many other mandirs around the world, including BAPS Swaminarayan Akshardham in New Delhi, to promote and preserve Hindu heritage and values for generations to come.

Pramukh Swami Maharaj’s 97th birth anniversary was also celebrated on Sunday November 26.

Devotees and the community came together to commemorate the many years Pramukh Swami Maharaj had dedicated to promoting Hindu heritage and guiding the lives of individuals all over the world. Children and youths rehearsed for weeks before the festival, practicing devotional songs and traditional dances to share their enthusiasm and appreciation for Pramukh Swami Maharaj. They also prepared skits and speeches reminiscing on the influence that Pramukh Swami Maharaj has had on individuals. Continue reading “Hindu Heritage Month Celebrations at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir”