Guyana: love at first visit

first_imgDear Editor,Like most Americans, the only thing I knew about Guyana was that a very tragic event transpired some 40 years ago in the jungle that featured a megalomaniac preacher. There is a saying that we in the US can’t locate a country on a map until our military bombs it.Among all the things I learned over the past few years is that Guyana has a sizable Hindu population. Thankfully, attending the annual Hindu Mandir Executive Conference in Trinidad some four years ago resulted in a serious offer to visit. The trip would be sponsored by a few Guyanese along with my advocacy organisation, The Hindu American Foundation (HAF), where I sit on its National Leadership Council (HAFSITE.ORG). Though the A in HAF specifically indicates “America,” as in “the United States of…” the Board and staff agreed that we must not dismiss such sizable populations in close proximity.The scenery in Guyana is awesome but it is the people that really make the lasting impressions. I was immediately overwhelmed with great kindness and hospitality.The 1st few of my 9 days were spent at The Social Services Centre of Excellence in Woodley Park, WCB. This was founded by Pandit and educator, Ram Rattan, who currently spends most of his time in Florida but continues to maintain a presence in Guyana. This is truly a jewel of a place, offering classes for social and individual improvement. Sri Ramji was kind enough to provide me with a room and all meals when he learnt the purpose of my trip.  He even joined me for several of the lectures I gave in that general area.Since so many Indians who became indentured in Guyana were from Utter Pradesh, my experience allowed me to sample new tastes—seven curry on lotus leaves.One breath-taking trip was the ferry from Parika to Essequibo. Everything about it—the water, passing the beautiful islands, and the wonderful breeze, all contributed to a feeling of great content.Guyana has absolutely stunning homes. What impresses most is the originality of the designs and architecture. All the houses are unique, unlike our dull subdivisions.  I know that Guyana is not a “rich” country, but everyone in the US with whom I shared my photos would like to visit. I saw many inspiring temples outstanding among which was the one at Gay Park, overseen by female Pandita, Srimati Maraj. Our guide for the day, generous and always willing to help, Rudy (back shop) Rampersaud, made sure that we visited the site where indentured servants first landed in 1838.I would encourage Hindus from the US and India alike to take a lesson from the way pujas and yagnas are conducted in Guyana. We spend too much time in rituals that few can understand but in the land of endless summer, the rituals are briefer. There is always an accomplished harmoniumist and percussionist. The power of bhajans create an atmosphere of true bhakti. The kathas delivered by the pundits are the centre of attention. Drawing from the stories of the Ramayana (mostly) they engage the devotees in a way that I don’t often see in standard American Hindu temples. There are exceptions here, but they are rare.At US temples people overindulge in socialising.    No matter if it is a church, synagogue or mosque, members have to be constantly told to stop talking.  However, at a yagna with over 500 in attendance at Hampton Court on the Essequibo Coast, all eyes and ears were on presiding Pandit Lalaram from the Bath Settlement, Berbice. They were also very kind to me when I was asked to speak.Visiting and staying with Swami Aksharananda allowed me to speak for an entire day to the students at Saraswati Vidya Niketan, a private Hindu School at Cornelia Ida. The behaviour of the children, their rigorous schedule and the quality of the teachers, all contributed to its status as one of the best in the country.  If we could import that level of academic professionalism to the US we would have a greater nation.  Fixed in memory is a trip to the Stabroek Market, where I was able to purchase a beautiful gold necklace from the most venerable jewellery merchants in Guyana. I was warned that this was not the safest place for a white foreigner, but I was fortunate to have Swami with me.The purpose of my trip was to investigate the challenge that the Hindu community is dealing with what we call predatory conversion. While acknowledging the sanctity of a person’s decision to move from one religion to another, we know that some religious groups use methods on individuals and communities to persuade them to adopt a religion they wouldn’t normally join if not for pressure. This coercion can come in the form of bribery, medical aid, professional gains, etc.  It was thought that a white American who did, in fact, leave his birth religion of his own accord to embrace Dharma might have a positive impact on the devotees who have to deal with ideas of superiority that the European explorers took with them to their colonies. In my conversations with retired lawyer and Guyanese-Canadian writer, Ram Sahadeo, we discussed a lecture tour I completed back in 2005 when I crisscrossed much of India’s northeast states, speaking at local temples, schools and public venues in an attempt to resist the rampant predatory conversion practices there. There seemed to be much interest in our mission in Guyana. Several good connections were made and many ideas were discussed but much more coordination is needed to combat this problem using the Gandhian principle of Ahimsa.Anyone interested in a more detailed report can contact me at Fred@hafsite.orgSincerely,Fred StellaMember,NationalLeadership CouncilHinduAmerican Foundationlast_img read more

Ambulance Paramedics Mediator?

first_imgThere are still conflicting reports regarding the appointment of a mediator, in the two-week-old strike by B-C’s ambulance paramedics. Health Minister George Abbott agrees, a mediator appointed by the labour board has booked out — but says, from a legal perspective, he remains in place. Mr. Abbott says the official could return to the talks, if that’s what paramedics or the B-C Ambulance Service wants. – Advertisement -However, union spokesman John Strohmaier says, the L-R-B mediator is a government employee and could be biased — so he believes only an independent third party, such as veteran mediator Vince Ready, can break the impasselast_img read more

Conte faces Barcelona selection dilemma

first_img0Shares0000Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte (C) has said a hectic schedule is stretching his squad to breaking pointLONDON, United Kingdom, Feb 17 – Antonio Conte admits he has a selection dilemma on his hands for Chelsea’s Champions League tie against Barcelona after routing Hull City in the FA Cup.The Premier League champions impressed in their 4-0 fifth round win over the Championship strugglers, with Olivier Giroud netting his first Chelsea goal and Willian grabbing a brilliant brace. Conte had rested the likes of Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante, with half an eye on next week’s Champions League last 16 encounter against Barcelona.But after such an emphatic victory, Conte admits he now has plenty to ponder for the visit of the La Liga leaders.“For sure it was a positive night for us because we had the opportunity to rest important players, key players for us,” Conte told BT Sport.“But at the same time I saw players in good form. To have a lot of doubts before the Barcelona game is important, because I have different options. Now we have three days to decide on them.”Willian, in particular, made his case for a place in the starting XI against Barca after capping an all-round impressive display with two goals.“For sure, his performance was impressive,” added Conte.“I hope to see always this type of performance because, when Willy plays in this way, it is a great joy for me, the team, the club and our fans.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Wolves confirm former Porto boss as Paul Lambert’s replacement

first_img1 Nuno Espirito Santo Wolves have appointed former Porto and Valencia boss Nuno Espirito Santo as their new head coach. The 43-year-old becomes the club’s fourth manager in just 10 months after replacing Paul Lambert. Owners Fosun turned to Espirito Santo after Lambert’s exit on Tuesday just seven months after joining Wolves.Wolves main director Jeff Shi said: “I first got to know Nuno two years ago, and, at that time, we hadn’t taken over Wolves.“But when talking to him, I was impressed by his football tactics.“Since the very beginning of the Wolves project, Fosun has been very clear on our strategic thinking and philosophy, and has huge ambition and confidence to achieve our goals.“In a sense, we are very glad to find Nuno with a football philosophy that is similar to ours.“He has an impressive track record in the top divisions in Spain and Portugal, and took Porto to the knockout stages of the Champions League last season.“We are all looking forward to working with Nuno and his staff, and are excited about what he can achieve with Wolves as we go into the new season and beyond.”No details have been given over the length of contract but Espirito Santo has been joined by assistant Rui Pedro Silva, goalkeeping coach Rui Barbosa and Antonio Dias as fitness coach.Espirito Santo left Porto earlier this month halfway through a two-year deal having finished second in the Primeira Liga.It was Porto’s fourth straight season without silverware and they were also knocked out of the Champions League in the second round by Juventus.Espirito Santo also managed Valencia between 2014 and 2015, finishing fourth in LaLiga in his only full season in charge.He joins with a bloated squad which Lambert was preparing to overhaul following last summer’s poor business with only Helder Costa, who scored 12 times, being a success.Lambert only joined the club in November, replacing Walter Zenga, and guided Wolves to 15th in the Sky Bet Championship.But he disagreed with the club’s transfer policy with super agent Jorge Mendes, an associate of Fosun, having a large say in the deals.Fosun had previously sacked Kenny Jackett days after buying the club last July while they also dismissed Zenga in October.last_img read more

GAA NEWS: KILCAR U-16s TO FACE NA ROSSA

first_imgSeniorsOur seniors stay second place in the league following a good victory over St. Michael’s in our final home match of the season at the weekend on a score line of 4-16 to 0-09, the next game will be the championship quarter final against Glenswilly on Sept 15th in Ballybofey.The under 21 side have reached the quarter finals of the championship after defeating Naomh Mhuire last Thursday in The Banks by 2-15 to 1-11, they now play Dungloe on September 21st. Under ageOur under 16s were knocked out of the league at the semi-final stage by Four Masters on Friday last, this week the attention turns to the championship where they play Na Rossa on Wednesday in the second leg at 7pm. The Under 13 play Naomh Mhuire next Saturday at 12pm in Towney they were defeated by Naomh Conaill in their opening game on Sunday last.BingoThere was no winner of the bingo jackpot. Winners on the night were: Eithne Campbell, Maggie O’Donnell, Mickey McGinley, Letty Doherty, Bridget O’Gara, Deirdre McLaughlin. Jackpot next week will be €3,600 on 51 numbers. LottoThere was no winner of the GAA lotto Jackpot. Lotto numbers were 5, 7, 11, 18, the lotto plus numbers were 7, 15, 22, 27. Consolation prizes went to Hannah Carr, Churchtown, Margaret Haughey, Churchtown and David Kennedy, Drimnafinnagle. The lotto jackpot will be €1,700 next week. GAA NEWS: KILCAR U-16s TO FACE NA ROSSA was last modified: September 3rd, 2013 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:GAA NEWS: KILCAR U-16s TO FACE NA ROSSAlast_img read more

‘Southgate effect’ sees 35 per cent rise in waistcoat sales

first_imgThe man leading England’s quest for glory is also showing himself to be a leader in the fashion stakes.Gareth Southgate’s waistcoats have been credited with a 35 per cent jump in sales of the old-fashioned sartorial garment at Marks & Spencer, who designed the England team’s suits. A calculated choice Gareth Southgate: fashion icon Southgate has always cut a dapper figure Nineties Southgate is 100% your mate’s older brother who was later revealed to have lied about seeing Oasis at Knebworth pic.twitter.com/RQvywAtjzx— Ben Machell (@ben_machell) June 18, 2018“I know my strengths, and I know I’m no David Beckham. “It just shows anything is possible in life.” 3 But the Three Lions boss is unconvinced of the so-called ‘Southgate effect’.“I’m slightly concerned because as a centre-half that took a lot of knocks to the head, I’m not normally synonymous with fashion icon,” said the 47-year-old. 3 3 “That’s why the waistcoat’s there,” he said. “To cover the patches.”He might break a sweat on Tuesday, but he’ll still look cool as a cucumber.talkSPORT are with listeners all day and all night at this year’s 2018 FIFA World Cup™ with over 800 hours of World Cup content and all 64 games live across thetalkSPORT network. With the mercury reaching 30 degrees during the World Cup in Russia, Southgate admitted his choice of suit has another purpose – especially if England’s knockout game against Colombia goes to penalties.last_img read more

BAR POPULAR WITH DONEGAL GAA FANS CLOSED BY HSE

first_imgQuinn’s bar was closed for two days by the HSE.Dublin bar Quinn’s, regularly frequented by Donegal GAA supporters on match-days was closed down by the health service executive for two days.Quinn’s pub which is located in Drumcondra, is a popular watering hole for the legions of Donegal fans that descend to Dublin every summer to see Donegal play at Croke Park.With games against Armagh, Dublin and Kerry this summer Donegal fans had plenty of trips to the capital, and Quinn’s was the No.1 bar for the majority of Donegal GAA fans prior to the match due to it’s proximity to Croke Park. It would then be the first stop after the match for Donegal GAA fans left thirsty after watching their sides pulsating games at Croker.However, the pub’s closure was one of twelve that was ordered by the Food Safety Authority Ireland in September under rules that deem there to be “a grave and immediate danger to public health”.The closure order was served on Quinn’s under food safety legislation on Monday 8 September, the day after the drawn All Ireland hurling final between Kilkenny and Tipperary. It was lifted two days later.  BAR POPULAR WITH DONEGAL GAA FANS CLOSED BY HSE was last modified: October 8th, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:closureCroke ParkdonegalGAAHSEnewsQuinn’s pub Drumcondralast_img read more

Rodallega’s winner gives Fulham victory

first_imgFulham 2 Newcastle 1Hugo Rodallega’s 63rd-minute goal gave Fulham their first win in eight matches.After Steve Sidwell’s deflected shot gave Martin Jol’s side a 19th-minute lead, Hatem Ben Arfa embarrassed Mark Schwarzer by equalising with a long-range effort early in the second half.But Rodallega’s header from Damien Duff’s right-wing free-kick ended Fulham’s worrying recent run.Duff, playing against his former club, also set up the opening goal.He pulled the ball back for Sidwell, whose shot ended up in the net after striking first Newcastle defender Mike Williamson and then the underside of the bar.After three matches without a goal and nearly two months without a victory, the breakthrough was a much needed boost for Fulham – as was skipper Brede Hangeland’s return from suspension.They should have been two up soon afterwards, when Dimitar Berbatov dodged Fabricio Coloccini to leave himself one-on-one with Tim Krul only to shoot straight at the Magpies keeper.Berbatov again fired straight at Krul eight minutes later, this time from point-blank range, before Newcastle came close to equalising when Coloccini’s header was cleared off the line by Sascha Riether.And Riether produced another goal-line block just before the break, denying Demba Ba at the far post after Fulham had failed to clear a corner.Newcastle continued to press after the restart and were hauled level by Ben Arfa’s strike – a surprise attempt from near the right-hand edge of the penalty area.It deceived keeper Schwarzer, who anticipated a cross and also wasn’t helped by a deflection off Whites full-back John Arne Riise.Undeterred, Fulham regained the lead and then rode their luck when Coloccini’s curler from the edge of the box hit the bar.Fulham (4-4-2): Schwarzer; Riether, Hughes, Hangeland, Riise; Duff, Baird, Sidwell, Kacaniklic (Dejagah 62); Rodallega (Petric 86), Berbatov. Subs: Etheridge, Senderos, Karagounis, Richardson, Diarra. 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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

GEM: A year to remember

first_imgFor the Going The Extra Mile project, 2017 was a year of milestones and great successes, with volunteers from around the country banding together to make a difference in their communities. Take a look back at a few of the organisation’s achievements last year.“There are so many positive actions taking place and so much joy and happiness being spread,” says Camilo Ramada, co-founder of GEM with David Shields.Mathiba MolefeFor the Going The Extra Mile (GEM) project, 2017 started off well enough, with its volunteer community growing steadily as word spread of its work, but few could have guessed the scale of its success.In 2017, Going the Extra Mile touched the lives of more than 30,000 people, with about 4,000 of them being direct beneficiaries of the efforts of the many volunteers who gave up their time to work towards improving lives.Throughout the year the project listed more than 370 events in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape, working with 45 non-government organisations.At more than an event a day, GEM offered almost everyone an opportunity to make a difference at some point during the year.“There are so many positive actions taking place and so much joy and happiness being spread,” says Camilo Ramada, co-founder of GEM with David Shields.“There’s a social activity for everyone on the GEM app and if you haven’t already, download GEM project & check it out for yourself.”Onwards and upwardsHaving raised the bar in 2017, GEM is gearing up to make similar strides in 2018 with the continued support of its volunteer and stakeholder community.“We’re definitely keen on going nationwide,” explains Ramada. “What we want to do is identify champions in the communities we haven’t reached yet and get them to help us spread our reach and build our network of non-profit organisations and volunteers.”Currently working in three of the country’s nine provinces, in 2018 GEM aims to offer people across the entire country an opportunity to work for the greater good while earning rewards either for themselves or the listed organisation of their choice.Getting as many South Africans actively involved in the improvement of society as possible remains key to building a country that all residents can proudly call home. This is a view shared by Brand South Africa and, through partnerships such as the one with GEM, it is definitely a possibility.“We hope that the nation will continue to contribute to positive change because a nation of people who care deeply for one another and the environment in which they live, is beneficial for everyone,” says Sithembile Ntombela, Brand South Africa’s general manager of marketing.Getting as many South Africans actively involved in the improvement of society as possible remains key to building a country that all residents can proudly call home.Get involvedRamada concludes: “South Africa is one of the best countries in the world, so why not get involved, why not work together to do good, feel good and be good?”To find out how you can volunteer for one of GEM’s projects, check out the GEM website and download the app or simply dial *120*GEM1# to get started. You can also follow GEM on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.last_img read more

Former India cricketer Karsan Ghavri stable after heart attack

first_imgFormer India and Mumbai cricketer Karsan Ghavri suffered a heart attack in the early Sunday morning and was rushed to a local hospital in Shimoga. His condition is believed to be stable but will remain under observation.Mumbai Cricket Association joint secretary Dr PV Shetty confirmed the news.”Yes, Mr Ghavri suffered a heart attack earlier this morning. He was rushed to a local hospital. He has undergone angioplasty today and the doctors said that his condition is stable,” Shetty told PTI today.The 65-year-old Ghavri is the coach of the West Zone Under-19 team currently participating in the NCA Zonal Under-19 tournament.It was in the wee hours of Sunday morning that he complained of chest pain and was immediately taken to a private hospital where an angiogram was performed.Ghavri was one of the earliest new ball partners of legendary Kapil Dev during the late 70’s and early 80’s, having played 39 Test matches and 19 ODIs for the national team. In the Tests, he took 109 wickets with four five-wicket hauls and 913 runs with two half-centuries.He had 452 first-class wickets and 4500 runs in 159 matches. He had also coached the Bengal Ranji Trophy team back in 2004-05 season.(with PTI inputs)last_img read more