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#1065 - April 17, 2005 12:32 AM International Hindu Communities
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Registered: February 07, 2010
Posts: 1030
Loc: KL
The Carribean Hindus


The Hindu Caribbean - Trinidad, Guyana, Suriname and Jamaica (and in an
extended way, the clusters of immigrants to UK, US, Canada and Holland
from the Hindu Caribbean) is a good study of the pan-Hindu experience.

All the different traditions; Shaivism, Vaishnavaism, Shaakta,
Ganapaatya and North Indian Folk traditions have harmonized in an
admirable way.

The construction of mandirs is evidence of this; it may be a nightmare
for the traditionalists and the expert on vaastu shaastra, but a
wonderful consolidation has taken place. One may even feel it is a
seamless reconfiguration; but probably this is abeted by our ignorance
of many things.

A generic word 'seewaalaaa' (shivaalaya) for mandir became a place for
all deities, sometimes a seewaalaa where there may not be an emphasis of
Shiva. While this is so, the main text remains Ramayan and the popular
prayer, Om Sidhi Budhi (prayer to Lakshmi) Gayatri Mantra and Twameva
Maataa....

It seems that Tulsidas Ji and the Ramcharitmaanas (Ramayan) has played
an important role in this shaping. The synthesis of Shaivite and
Vaishnavaite in the Ramcharitmaanas has greatly facilitated this. Of
course the circumstance of coloniaism and indenturedship and being
ignored by Mother India then left us to our own to find a way to survive
and shape our selves.

On the whole, however, all mandirs install a shiva lingam in the middle
of a raised platform. All deities surround them; the main deity amongst
them may depend on the particular tradition which evolve in the
community and may change with the pandit who leads or when another
generation of workers arise.

I think the Hindu Caribbean is a very important kshetra for studies.
Many US universities are sending students for a semester; some continue
their research. I have been given an opportunity to construct and teach
a programme called. "Hindu Trinidad'. Hindus in India however do not
seem to find any thing to learn from our experience, perhaps because it
is driven by a secularakshipu vision.

raviji

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#1066 - November 14, 2005 03:12 PM Re: International Hindu Communities
Pathmarajah Offline
Member

Registered: July 22, 2004
Posts: 375
Loc: Penang
Siam is Hindu Now


I have just returned from a trip with the kids to Phuket, Krabi, Pang Nga and Hat Yai - all in southern Thailand, and this being my 16th trip to that country over 23 years. Phuket is the single number one tourist destination in the world in case you didn't know. Next is Bali and then Hawaii. If you haven't been to these three places you haven't travelled then.

In '82 when I first went there, there were buddha shines in homes and offices, occasionally a four headed Brahma shine or a Siva shrine, here and there. This time I saw Brahma shines at most road junctions, in offices and hotels! And, this time on a Friday morning I witnessed a puja to Brahma at a shrine in Holiday Inn in Patong, Phuket attended by employees as well as hotel guests, complete with traditional Thai attire, buddhists monks, food offerings and plenty of incense. The puja in the lawn, to a Brahma murthi in a shrine lasted half an hour, and the chants in Pali of course, with the congregation participating.

In the evening we witnessed the similar event at a Toyota car showroom with about 100 attendees, all
attired as if going for a wedding, all sitting on chairs neatly arranged. You could say that the 'rich and famous' in Phuket attended that puja. In funky Phuket mind you!

The Kingdom of Siam (pronounced see um) changed its name in the mid 20th century to Thailand, so as to encompass the minorities who are malays,
myanmarese, loatians, khmers and chinese as well as the numerous tribal communities whom they annexed. The present king, Bhumipol Adulyadej, Rama the IX, is from a dynasty going back about 710 years, the second long lasting in asia, perhaps the world, after the emperor of Japan.

To be sure, I asked my kids and they said, yes, Thailand is a Hindu nation; they worship God Brahma and revere their prophet Buddha! They greet everyone with their palms together. They have rediscovered their ancient heritage. This which
I have seen with my own eyes is a religious tectonic shift. They are Hindus, though they may not describe themselves that way yet.

This I now boldly proclaim. Siam is Hindu now.

Regards.

Pathmarajah
11th Nov 2005

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#1067 - November 14, 2005 03:16 PM Re: International Hindu Communities
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HINDU GODS: A deathless fascination

The Nation
Bangkok's Independent Newspaper
By Pathomkanok Barnes
Published on November 13, 2005

India's pantheon still exercises its old power in the Buddhist city. For
generations, Hindu Gods and Goddesses have occupied a special place in the
hearts and minds of many Thai Buddhists as well as foreign visitors,
especially from other Asian countries.

One unique place in Bangkok where you may observe or worship these deities
is the Ratchaprasong intersection, where many of the cityís upscale
shopping and hotel complexes are situated.

Last Wednesday was a special day at the extremely popular Brahma shrine in
front of the Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel. Hundreds of Thais and foreign
faithful flocked to the shrine to pay obeisance and pray for fulfilment of
their desires.

Apart from the Brahma shrine, set up in 1956, there are five other
prominent shrines in the vicinity of Ratchaprasong intersection.

A statue of the elephant God Ganesh sits in front of Isetan shopping
centre, while the Trimurti, a form of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, the Hindu
Gods symbolising creation, preservation and destruction, adorns the front
of Zen department store.

At the Intercontinental Hotel near Gaysorn Plaza, Narayana, another name
for Vishnu, is mounted on his celestial vehicle Garuda, while the plaza
itself has the Statue of the Goddess Uma Parvati on its fourth floor.
Opposite Gaysorn is the Amarin Plaza, where the rain god Indra stands
majestically.

The property-owners view Hindu Gods and Goddesses as helpful for the
prosperity of their businesses. For instance, the owners of the original
Erawan Hotel decided to build a prominent shrine to the four-faced Brahma
back in 1956 after several workers lost their lives in mysterious
construction accidents.

Essentially, the shrine was intended to ward off misfortune. Since its
consecration, the shrine has become a model for similar ones nationwide.

But the power of Brahma in front of the Erawan Hotel is perceived to be so
enormous that when Central Pattana Plc took over the nearby World Trade
Centre two years ago it decided to dedicate a shrine to the trinity, which
includes Brahma, in front of its new property to ward off any potential
business misfortune.

Kitti Wattanamahatma, a well-known theologian, said: "Businesswise, it's
not good if the powerful Brahma faces the World Trade Centre, so the
Trimurti shrine is needed to resist Brahmaís power. However, the sculpture
of the Trimurti in front of the World Trade Centre [now called Central
World] does not show them holding weapons. Hence I think they might not be
in a position to check the power of the Erawan Brahma shrine."

Phanuwat Phanwichartkul, an astrologer and expert on Chinese fengshui,
observed that the location of Central Worldís Trimurti shrine was wrong.

"According to fengshui theory, the triangular logo of ìCentral World
Plazaî seems to be incorrectly placed in front of the shrine," he said.

Even as theologians debate the positioning of the Trimurti, the shrine is
being thronged by Thai teenagers. Many of them view the Trimurti as a
lovers shrine and visit the place to pray for romance and good
relationships.

Kitti noted that there might be a misunderstanding among the teens as the
Trimurti are not really associated with love or romance.

To ensure that its multibillion-baht property is adequately helped by
deities, Central World later decided to erect another shrine to Ganesh,
the God of accomplishment, wisdom, and success, on the other side of its
shopping complex.

As for the Intercontinental Hotel's Narayana shrine, Kitti said the image
seemed to have been built as if it was part of the hotel's decor,
surrounded as it was by fountains, rather than being erected as an idol
with a sanctuary.

"Any Hindu shrine needs a sanctuary to have any real power to protect the
business," Kitti said.

However, Phanuwat explained that both the Narayana and the Indra (in front
of Amarin Plaza) were supposed to protect the properties from evil forces
as they were situated next to the Skytrain mass-transit system.

Although some of the oldest Hindu texts dwell on a monotheistic concept of
Godhead, Hindus have for centuries worshipped deities in various forms.

Besides property-owners, all these shrines of Hindu Gods and Goddesses are
also immensely popular among local and foreign worshippers, especially the
Chinese from Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Chen Siek Hui, an Indonesian-Chinese, said she had returned to Bangkok
last week after a trip to Vietnam to offer prayers at the Erawan Brahma
shrine and thank the deity for answering her prayer.

"I prayed here last year when my business ran into trouble. I believed
Brahma would give me the courage and strength to solve the problems. Now
my business is running smoothly, so I came back to say thank you, and
while I was here I asked for better health for my mother," she said.

A relative of Hui, who accompanied her to Bangkok, said there were several
Brahma shrines in Indonesia, but Hui had great faith in the one at the
Erawan Hotel.

Besides Indonesian-Chinese, the Erawan Brahma shrine often sees
worshippers from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Malaysia, including celebrities.
Among these is Taiwanese movie star Nicolas Tse, who said that his prayer
had been answered after he visited the shrine.

Source:
http://nationmultimedia.com/2005/11/13/national/index.php?news=national_19142105\
.html

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#1068 - May 17, 2006 04:08 PM Re: International Hindu Communities
webmaster Offline
Member

Registered: February 07, 2010
Posts: 1030
Loc: KL
Hinduism in Vietnam

Gal 1 http://www.vedicempire.com/vedichampa.htm

Gal 2 http://www.vedicempire.com/vedichampa1.htm

Gal 3 http://www.vedicempire.com/vedichampa2.htm


[This message has been edited by Webmaster (edited May 17, 2006).]

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#1069 - May 28, 2006 03:02 PM Re: International Hindu Communities
Pathmarajah Offline
Member

Registered: July 22, 2004
Posts: 375
Loc: Penang
--- In akandabaratam@yahoogroups.com, "Koenraad Elst"
<elst.koenraad@...> wrote:
>
> Esteemed worthies, dear friends,
>
>
> From several sources I have received the following article, to which I have
added my comment at the end:
>
>
> Preserve Nepal as a Hindu country
> J.G. Arora
> jgarora@...
> Central Chronicle, Bhopal: May 25 and 26, 2006

-------------------------------------------------------

What I understand is that 35-40% of the Maoists are dalits. This battle makes
it the first military victory for the dalits against the upper castes in the
20/21st century. And Nepal is even more castiest than India.

And I understand that most of the maoists/PWG in India are dalit/OBC? Is
that correct?

'Maoist' is a cover term for the mass landless peasant uprising, much like that
the LTTE was called Marxist in the 80s. As we see today with hindsight, there
is nothing marxist about the LTTE.

Though the war is not over yet, the removal of the monarchy is removal of
varnashramist Hindu vested interests and structure. I am glad for this!

While the VHP has done credible work in combating evangelists and
reconversions of Hindus, insofar as promoting Hindu interests in a strategic
manner, as questioned by KE, they have been pathetic.

-----------------------------------------------------------

My dear friend Mr. Aurora,

Mr. Konraad Elst posted his comments on your article and with which I agree.

I think that you may be inadvertently on the wrong side of the concerns of
the common Hindus in Nepal. Those people demonstrating on the streets of
Kathmandu are HINDUS fighting to remove the vested interests of oligarchic
and varnashramic Hindus. (The maoists are in the countryside.) It is the city
Hindus that brought down the Hindu monarchy, not the maoists. It is the
maoists (read OBCs and dalit Hindus) that won military battles against
royalist upper caste Hindu 'kshatriya' soldiers and controlled the entire country
except for Kathmandu.

Maoism may be the horse they are riding at the moment and which led them
to victory. So its the common Hindus' victory, and nothing to cry about but to
be proud of a new Hindu resurgence fueled by the people!

Now I hope Pashupatinath Temple will be open to all including dalits,
foreigners and tourists. After this a new Hindu spiritual resurgence can start,
and we can bring back those who drifted to evangelists and maoism. The only
way to keep the people from drifting is to keep them in the temple!

I'm certain of it that all this is the doing of Lord Pashupatinath.

Please try to be on the side of the common ordinary Hindus, their economic
concerns and social justice, and expouse THEIR cause. The common Hindus in
Nepal, India and Sri Lanka are so disillusioned that they are willing to make
cause with maoists, marxists, christians and ISI. Not that they love them but
because they are desperate to move out of their existing economic situation
and social degradation.

I personally would like to see all Hindu structures gone, including the
hereditary priesthood and the smirthi shastras, leaving only the temples and
the wandering mendicant Hindu sannyasins to preach their sampradayas.
Because all the rest is burdensome baggage and bondage of the Hindus.

Please think about it.

Kind regards.

Pathmarajah

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#1070 - October 10, 2006 03:53 PM Re: International Hindu Communities
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Registered: February 07, 2010
Posts: 1030
Loc: KL
http://www.asiantribune.com/index.php?q=node/2382

<IMG SRC=\"http://img221.images...jpg\">

Giant Swing bows out after 224 years: Historic Bangkok landmark removed with ritual ceremony

Sun, 2006-10-08 05:47

Bangkok, 08 October, (Asian Tribune.com): After being scarred by weather for 224 years, the rotting Giant Swing underwent a ritual ceremony for its removal yesterday, paving the way for the installation of a new swing in December.The Swing - the red wooden landmark of the city, known in Thai as Sao Ching Cha, is a national historic site.

The red wooden landmark of the city, known in Thai as Sao Ching Cha, is a national historic site.

Bangkok Governor Apirak Kosayodhin led Hindi ceremony by Thai Brahmin and Buddhist ceremony at the auspicious time of 13.29 to worship and remove wooden pegs from the top of the swing on Bamrungmuang Road, in front of the Bangkok Metropolitan office. The swing will be completely removed on Monday.

"After the ritual, officers need some time to put up a blind to hide the actual removal from the sight of p***ers-by. We are concerned that city people may be startled by the disappearance of a structure sacred to them," Apirak said.

After its removal, the old 21-metre-high structure will be kept at the "Devasathan" - Hindu temple (Shivas Temple) as an archaeological relic, and it may be moved to the city museum when construction finishes.

The swing's front arch, which is designed in cl***ic Thai style, will be sent to Ayudhya as a model for its replacement. "Devasathan" - Thai Hindu temple ( Lord Shivas Temple)

The new swing will be made from six teak trees over 100 years old felled in Phrae and is currently under construction in Ayudhya. Two will form the swing's pillars and the rest as its four props.

Construction of the new swing will be completed in November, and it will be installed at the site in December, when the BMA will petition the Thai King to preside over the ceremony.

The original swing was built two centuries ago during the reign of King Rama I, the monarch who moved the capital to Bangkok, while the present one was completed in 1920. The front arch is from the original.

The swing had been restored several times. It was once struck by lightning, and it was set on fire decades ago when a worshipper accidentally dropped a burning joss stick into a crack in a teak pole. The latest temporary restoration took place last year.

The Sao Ching Cha served an important function in the ancient Brahmin ritual of Thiruvembavai , one of 12 royal ceremonies held each month since the Sukhothai period. Thiruvembavai is sacred Tamil hymns sung by Hindu saint Manickavasagar one the 12 thirumarai in praise lord Shiva. The ritual was held to thank the god Shiva for the rice harvest and ask for his blessing. The two pillars of the Giant Swing represent mountains while its circular base symbolises the land and ocean.

The swing ceremony was discontinued in 1935 during the reign of King Rama VII because accidents and deaths were commonplace during it.

-Asian Tribune with excerpts from The Nation -



[This message has been edited by Webmaster (edited October 24, 2006).]

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#1071 - February 18, 2007 10:03 AM Re: International Hindu Communities
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Posts: 1030
Loc: KL
Japan's Hindu linkages still alive


By Indo Asian News Service

New Delhi, Feb 17 (IANS) Apart from the widely known fact that Buddhism in Japan has its origin in India, not many probably know that so many Hindu deities surround the life of a Japanese.

Speaking at a lecture titled 'Hindu Gods and Goddesses rooted to Japan' here Friday, Lokesh Chandra, the director of International Academy of Indian Culture, highlighted how deeply Indian religion and culture has influenced Japanese culture and tradition over the past centuries.

He said that many temples across Japan are full of Hindu deities.

Chandra said Japanese couples who desire to have a beautiful daughter pray to goddess 'Saraswati' even to this day. Saraswati is also believed as the patroness of writers and painters.

'In ancient times, Japanese generals prayed to Saraswati to be victorious in war,' Chandra told the gathering which was also attended by the Japanese Amb***ador to India Yasukuni Enoki and his wife.

Year 2007 is being celebrated as Japan-India Friendship Year to commemorate the 50th year of the cultural agreement between the two countries.

According to Chandra, who has travelled to Japan many times to study the country's culture and tradition, Saraswati is also worshipped as the 'goddesses of kitchen'.

Many traditional Japanese plays are dedicated to the Indian deity.

Sharing a trivia he said how in 1934, a Japanese woman had a vision that she was the incarnation of goddess Saraswati and stared writing in Sanskrit, a language she never heard off.

There is a suburban district in Tokyo named Kichijo, which traces its roots to 'Lakshmi', the Hindu goddess of wealth. Lakshmi was propagated to China along with Buddhism in the ancient time, to be known as Kichijo in its Chinese form and then reached Japan as a Buddhist goddess.

Chandra also spoke extensively about how Sanskrit language has influenced traditional Japanese calligraphy.

The Indian text was introduced into Japanese society many centuries ago. Japanese monks had to study Sanskrit in order to master Buddhism from original Indian scriptures and textbooks.

Lord Ganesha in Japan symbolises the joy of life that arises from the power rooted in the virtues of wisdom and comp***ion.

Young Japanese worship Ganesha to win in love whereas the old worship the deity to get success in business.

There are roughly 100 temples dedicated to Ganesha in Japan, Chandra added. An 11th century Ganesha temple is the oldest among them.

Together with Hindu gods and goddess, ancient Japanese society was also introduced to Indian dance forms and musical instruments.

A typical example is the 'Biwa', which actually had its origin from the Indian 'Veena'. One of Japan's largest lake is also known as Lake Biwa.

One can also see the influence of the Indian epic Ramayana in the traditional Japanese dance forms of 'Bugaku' and 'Gigaku'.

The yearlong cultural celebration was kicked off here last week that was attended by former Japanese prime minister Yoshiro Mori among others.

Copyright Indo-Asian News Service

http://www.dailyindia.com/show/115656.php/Japans-Hindu-linkages-still-alive

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#1072 - March 03, 2007 01:26 PM Re: International Hindu Communities
Brahmanyan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: February 15, 2007
Posts: 3
Loc: India
Some time ago while browsing through the internet I came across an interesting site claiming that "Philippines was a part of the India Empire"! From 4th to 10th Centuries The Philippines aloong with Malasia, Indonesia and Southern Thailand were part of the Indian Shri Vidyayah Empire (Hindu Sri Vijaya Empire). The greatIndian cl***ical epic " The Ramayana" has been preserved by the centuries old Maranao Tribe of the Southern Philippines as authentic oral tradition in the name of "Rajah Mangandiri". In recent times Princess Potri Ranka Manis daughter of Sultan of Maranao Tribe has staged this Epic in a dance drama in traditional form. It is said even today the the Hindu traditions and culture along with Islamic culture thrive in this region. For more details please visit the following URL
http://www.tabacofamily.com/jtabaco/india.asp
_________________________
Brahmanyan

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#1073 - May 30, 2007 02:56 PM Re: International Hindu Communities
webmaster Offline
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Registered: February 07, 2010
Posts: 1030
Loc: KL
Vietnamese Hindus


Bengals puja in Ho Chi Minh City

AYAN GHOSH IN SAIGON
It is said that whenever a few Bengalis get together, squabbles break out
and a Kali Bari comes up. In Saigon, the proverbial Kali Bari has been
replaced by a Durgotsav that entered its second year this year, and the
squabbles are well under control!

Although Saigon once formed a part of the Bengali consciousness Tagore
visited the city in 1930 and Subhas Chandra Bose was last in the city on
August 15, 1945, two days before his disappearance as Vietnam and India
looked inwards in the 1970s and 80s, many of these historical links were
forgotten.

Over the past decade, however, people from Calcutta (among other Indians)
have gradually started filtering back to what is now Ho Chi Minh City. Last
year, the numbers hit a record high of 11 families. More importantly, many
of the recent arrivals were like-minded, and the stage was set for the first
Durgotsav in Saigon.

In the previous years, addas had been held in individual homes during the
Pujas. Being a small community, the organisers took pains to involve as many
people as possible, without losing the flavour of a Durgotsav.

One of the local Hindu temples (there are three in Saigon) was requested to
offer anjali on Ashtami.

The idol, a small terracotta image, belonging to one of the organisers, was
returned to grace the altar at home after the festivities, while flowers
used in the puja were cast in the Saigon river as bisarjan.

The emphasis, however, was more social than religious, and anyone interested
was welcomed to join in: Bangladeshi Muslims, as well as non-Bengalis who
have connections with Bengal.

Entering its second year in 2005, Saigon Durgotsavs focus continues to
remain social and cultural.

With the local Bengali population remaining stable at about 20 adults and 10
children, wider participation was expected from out-station guests from
Cambodia, Hanoi and India.

The festivities started with Panchami and Sashthi, celebrated in a casuarina
forest by the beach and a trip to mangrove swamps, 50 km away from Saigon.
The Ashtami anjali was offered at the Sri Thendayyutthapani Temple.

Built by Tamil merchants in the 1930s, the temple houses an eclectic
collection of portraits painted between 1939 and 1941 of Gandhi, Nehru,
Tagore and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, besides the usual pantheon of Hindu gods
and a large statue of the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy.

Anjali was followed by khichuri bhog, with a cultural programme, Prem Aar
Prakriti, staged later that evening.

On Navami/Dashami, a costume spectacle inspired by Parineeta and Devdas was
presented. New culinary heights were scaled with crabs, pabda, hilsa and
kasa mangsho featuring in the feast.

With Durga painted on lacquer (a special Vietnamese art form) as a memento,
Saigon Durgotsav 2005 was a memorable one. It brought back a piece of Bengal
to a land that once formed part of the old kingdom of Champa.

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#1074 - June 16, 2007 04:30 PM Re: International Hindu Communities
webmaster Offline
Member

Registered: February 07, 2010
Posts: 1030
Loc: KL
Check out all the links in this page as it covers Hinduism in Asia.

http://www.hinduwisdom.info/contents.htm

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#1075 - August 08, 2007 12:35 PM Re: International Hindu Communities
webmaster Offline
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Registered: February 07, 2010
Posts: 1030
Loc: KL
Shingon Buddhism


Kamakura, Japan, is a pilgrimage site and is famous for its very sacred Shinto Temple, the giant Kamakura Buddha and numerous shrines. The Shingon Deity, Nada Budake, is a healing Deity.

Shingon is a major Japanese school of esoteric Buddhism, and the most important esoteric school outside India and Tibet. Shingon arose in Japan's Heian period (794-1185) when the great monk Kukai went to China in 804 to study esoteric Buddhism. He developed his own synthesis of esoteric practice and doctrine, centred on the cosmic Buddha Vairocana. Many of the Shingon traditions and deities that been have passed down from ancient times are even today very close to the original Indian Hindu culture of its birth. Shingon Buddhists perform fire worship, use sanskrit mantras and mudras, send prayers to the devas through the fire and honor the dancing Siva and Ganesha among their pantheon of celestial beings.

http://www.himalayanacademy.com/taka/past/2007/August/August_07_2007/index.shtml

[This message has been edited by Webmaster (edited August 08, 2007).]

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#1076 - August 11, 2007 08:41 AM Re: International Hindu Communities
webmaster Offline
Member

Registered: February 07, 2010
Posts: 1030
Loc: KL

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#1077 - October 01, 2007 09:03 PM Re: International Hindu Communities
padn Offline
Junior Member

Registered: October 01, 2007
Posts: 7
Loc: Tamil Nadu
Most Cham in Vietnam are Hindus.

Vietnamese Champa Hindus are referred as Eastern Chams.

Important Hindu officials are priests who are chosen for life. Some of these priests learned religious rituals when they were only ten or eleven years old.

The two most important festivals of the Hindu Cham, are the Bon Kate and Bon Cabur

Bon Kate is celebrated over five days in late September or early October. Hindu Cham make religious offerings to the statue of their God Shiva.

Bon Cabur is held over five days during late January or early February. Cham gather to share celebrations and an elaborate feast

Tamil Hindus in Vietnam
-----------------------
A tiny and almost forgotten minority group are the Tamils, whose ancestors came from tiny French enclaves like Pondicherry and Karikal along the south coast of India. Their small community in Ho Chi Minh City, now only a few thousand. In the late 19th century the Tamil immigrants from the French colonies of South India erected the Mariamman Temple in Saigon.

Like small ethnic groups anywhere in the world, the minority peoples of Vietnam continue to struggle against absorption into mainstream society. Meager economic opportunities in the countryside have drawn many minority people to urban areas where they must adopt to the ways of the late 20th century. But, another force is also at work. Since the early 1960s, the communist regime in Hanoi has endeavoured to integrate minority groups into the dominant Viet population. However, parents continue to teach native minority traditions at home as many of Vietnams ethnic groups reach the verge of extinction.

http://www.shaivam.org/siddhanta/toivietna.htm

http://www.virtourist.com/asia/vietnam/saigon/43.htm

http://www.virtourist.com/asia/vietnam/saigon/20.htm

Tamil Hindus are around 5,000 mainly in Ho Chi Minh City.

Champa Hindus or Indigeneous Vietnam Hindus are 50,000 mainly in weaving village (My Nghiep), pottery village (Bau Truc).

Raglai tribes in Vietnam also follow Champa Hinduism

http://www.ninhthuanpt.com.vn/English/NinhThuan/Lichsu_vanhoa/Index.htm

[This message has been edited by padn (edited October 01, 2007).]
_________________________
Padmanab

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#1078 - October 01, 2007 11:19 PM Re: International Hindu Communities
Pathmarajah Offline
Member

Registered: July 22, 2004
Posts: 375
Loc: Penang
Thanks for the most informative post, padn. Obviously you have been to Vietnam. Upload any pictures that you took. I'll forward this post to other websites too.

Regards.

[This message has been edited by Pathmarajah (edited October 01, 2007).]

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#1079 - October 04, 2007 03:24 PM Re: International Hindu Communities
padn Offline
Junior Member

Registered: October 01, 2007
Posts: 7
Loc: Tamil Nadu
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Pathmarajah:
Thanks for the most informative post, padn. Obviously you have been to Vietnam. Upload any pictures that you took. I'll forward this post to other websites too.

Regards.

[This message has been edited by Pathmarajah (edited October 01, 2007).]
</font>


Hi Pathmarajah ,

I have not visited Vietnam.
But I have a fair idea of Champa Culture, which I gained by browsing the internet

The below links have Photos which you require

My SON- A Hindu Temple
http://impressive.net/people/gerald/2006/12/my-son.html

Hindu Temples of vietnam
http://www.molon.de/suche/?s=hindu&page=4

http://gilkergu.club.fr/champa/champa.htm

Kindly ask for more details if you require

Regards
Padmanabhan
_________________________
Padmanab

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#1080 - October 10, 2007 08:26 PM Re: International Hindu Communities
padn Offline
Junior Member

Registered: October 01, 2007
Posts: 7
Loc: Tamil Nadu
_________________________
Padmanab

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#1081 - October 12, 2007 12:47 PM Re: International Hindu Communities
hindweb Offline
Member

Registered: October 13, 2006
Posts: 6
I recently came to know there is a Hindu community in Belarus and there is a Hindu movement there known as Light of Kailasa.

http://dharma.indviews.com/

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#1082 - October 12, 2007 07:18 PM Re: International Hindu Communities
padn Offline
Junior Member

Registered: October 01, 2007
Posts: 7
Loc: Tamil Nadu
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by hindweb:
I recently came to know there is a Hindu community in Belarus and there is a Hindu movement there known as Light of Kailasa.

http://dharma.indviews.com/
</font>


Refer the website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinduism_in_Belarus
_________________________
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#1083 - October 13, 2007 07:34 PM Re: International Hindu Communities
padn Offline
Junior Member

Registered: October 01, 2007
Posts: 7
Loc: Tamil Nadu
Cham Temple in Nha Trang
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPA0BO-TetQ

A Cham dance with Hindu origins.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?
v=E4E8xYW3...onal%20mua%20vu


Phan Rang.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0GMATYm8G8

Dances folkloriques Cham au sanctuaire Champa de My Son, Viet Nam
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-2CTPzDyaU

My Son Champa ruins in Central Vietnam
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIpDP-1s4...siq ue%20Cham.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2L-anFasS...siq ue%20Cham.

Garudas of Champa, Vietnam
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KooNqoW8v8



[This message has been edited by Webmaster (edited October 25, 2007).]
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#1084 - October 15, 2007 11:05 AM Re: International Hindu Communities
Pathmarajah Offline
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Registered: July 22, 2004
Posts: 375
Loc: Penang
Good job Padmanabhan. You are enriching the world. Keep it up.

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#1085 - October 15, 2007 08:02 PM Re: International Hindu Communities
padn Offline
Junior Member

Registered: October 01, 2007
Posts: 7
Loc: Tamil Nadu
Hinduism in Russia
==================

An ancient Vishnu idol has been found during excavation in an old village in Russias Volga region, raising questions about the prevalent view on the origin of ancient Russia.
http://farshores.org/am07idol.htm

Present day there are 60,000 Indian origin Hindus in Russia.
ISKCON and Tantra Sangha are actively involved in spreading Hinduism in Russia.
ISKCON has 78 registered Krishna communities
Tantra Sangha has fifteen Spiritual Communities and Satsang groups with 250 Members in Moscow and other towns.
As of December 2005, the Federal Registration Service of Russia has registered only two Tantra Sangha branches.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinduism_in_Russia
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#1086 - October 25, 2007 12:04 AM Re: International Hindu Communities
padn Offline
Junior Member

Registered: October 01, 2007
Posts: 7
Loc: Tamil Nadu
This link in french will be highly helpful to know about Chams
http://www.agnesdefeo.book.fr/gal-1-1.htm

The English transalated version
http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=fr&u=http://www.agnesdefeo.book.fr/pic-1-11.htm&sa=X&oi=translate&resnum=7&ct=result&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dcamenei%26hl%3Den
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#1087 - January 05, 2010 05:38 PM Re: International Hindu Communities
Pathmarajah Offline
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Registered: July 22, 2004
Posts: 375
Loc: Penang
Who says murthi worship is not ancient?

Pathma


http://www.saigon-gpdaily.com.vn/Culture_Art/2010/1/77806/

2,000-year-old Crystal Shivalingam unearthed in Khanh Hoa

The Archaeology Institute and the Khanh Hoa Museum have unearthed thousands of artifacts from 2,000-2,500 years ago at the site of the ancient village of Vinh Yen in the south-central province.
Some of the thousands of artifacts excavated in Khanh Hoa belonging to a people who lived more than 2,000 years ago

Archaeologists found 2,000 stone objects, including tools like axes and graters, 24 metal objects like bronze bells and coins and iron nails,190 ceramic bowls, vases, pots, and jars, and more than 10 tons of pottery.

Among the more important findings were a lingam â€" the phallic symbol of the Hindu god Shiva -- made of rock crystal, moulds for casting bronze and iron objects, and jewelry.

There are also six tombs and 17 graves that reveal ancient burial practices.

After preliminary studies, the archaeologists determined that the ancient inhabitants who left the artifacts lived 2,000-2,500 years ago during the end of the Neolithic period and early Bronze Age.

Dr. Tran Quy Thinh, the leader of the excavation group, said the discoveries contribute significantly to knowledge of prehistoric development in the southern part of the central region.

The findings reveal that the ancient people in Vinh Yen did not only live separately in the easternmost part of the country but also worked and interacted culturally and technically with people living along the Mekong and Dong Nai Rivers and in Phu Yen, Quang Ngai, and Binh Dinh.

The site was excavated for the first time in 2006 and again from July to December in 2009.

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#1088 - July 07, 2010 10:03 AM Re: International Hindu Communities
webmaster Offline
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Registered: February 07, 2010
Posts: 1030
Loc: KL
Bujang Valley, Malaysia

http://www.thesundaily.com/article.cfm?id=49058

KUALA LUMPUR: The Cabinet is keen that research on the Bujang Valley archaeological site, where traces of a 2,000 year-old civilisation have been found, is furthered with an allocation under the 10th Malaysia Plan.

Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Utama Dr Rais Yatim said yesterday (6 July 2010) he is working on getting an as yet undetermined amount as there are significant cultural and economic prospects, including for tourism, at the area in Kedah.

I have informed the Cabinet about this find and it is keen that the research is continued, he added.

theSun reported on March 28 that Malaysian archaeologists had unearthed a monument dated 110 AD the oldest man-made building recorded in South-east Asia in Sungai Batu, Kedah.

Built with geometrical precision, the monument was found surrounded by remnants of advanced iron smelting facilities equipped with furnaces as well as brick jetties built along a river bank.

Rais stressed that the Bujang Valley is now set to take its place in history along a timeline earlier than that of major historic sites in the region like Angkor Wat (11th century AD) and Borobodur (8th century AD).

If indeed the Sungai Batu find in the Bujang Valley factually revisits the civilisation that existed in the 1st century AD, then the history of this country will almost certainly have to be re-written in its proper civilisational context, he stressed.

Rais said this while officiating at the International Conference on Bujang Valley and Early Civilisation in South-east Asia at the Royale Chulan Hotel here. Also present were Heritage Commissioner Datuk Prof Emeritus Zuraina Majid and USMs Centre for Global Archaeology Research (CGAR) Dr Mokhtar Saidin.

The three-day conference, organised by the National Heritage Department and USM, features 24 foreign scholars from Indonesia, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, China, India, USA and the UK.

The main focus of the gathering is the 4sq km area at Sungai Batu that has presented 97 new sites of the Bujang Valley civilisation. Thus far only 10 have been excavated. (The total number of sites found in Bujang Valley, around Gunung Jerai mountain, since the 1840s now comes up to 172.)

Rais noted that there had been earlier emphasis on the Bujang Valley as an Indianised outpost, with its strong Hindu-Buddhist influences from 6th to 12th century AD.

Knowing that some mantra inscriptions have also been found in the course of their (archaeologists) research I do hope that the Sanskrit mantra will serve as a lingual window to our past, he added.

I take a special interest myself in this area as Bahasa Melayu and Bahasa Indonesia are presently strewn with a massive array of Sanskrit words, he said.

With sites such as the Bujang Valley in Kedah and the Lenggong Valley (pre-historic finds) in Perak, the world will beat a straight path to our doorstep, to visit our rich cultural sites, enriching immensely or national identity and tourist industry, he added.

He said he had also instructed his ministry to give necessary funding required for the research and development of the site.

pix

http://www.thesundaily.com/article.cfm?id=49019

theSun had reported on March 28 that Malaysian archaeologists had unearthed a 1,900-year-old monument, scientifically dated to 110 AD, built with detailed geometrical precision in Sungai Batu, Kedah.

The settlers here had full knowledge of iron smelting and jetty construction. This means they must have been connected to other places in the world, he said.

Also found with the monument were various pottery and a Buddhist tablet with Pallava-Sanskrit inscriptions likely to have been made in the 5th century AD.

He also noted that Kedah had attracted rulers from South India, such as the Chola kings, to send their armies there in the 11th century.

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#1427 - November 18, 2010 02:49 PM Re: International Hindu Communities [Re: webmaster]
Pathmarajah Offline
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Registered: July 22, 2004
Posts: 375
Loc: Penang
Indias most successful export has been the gods of Japan

Pramit Pal Chaudhuri, Hindustan Times

Tokyo, October 26, 2010

A few hundred Japanese, mostly middle-aged women, congregate in the courtyard of the Asakusa Shrine in central Tokyo. The five-storey pagoda is ornate and immaculate, not least because it was rebuilt in the 1970s. A bespectacled monk sits at a stall as worshippers paid a few yen to burn incense or ritually rinse hands with spring water.

This is the Shoten-cho part of the Japanese capital, famous for its many temples and shrines. Less known is that Shoten, the Noble God, is the Hindu deity Ganapati. And there are temples to Sarasvati and Shiva to be found amid these crowded streets. In the 1830s, say scholars, over 100 Ganapati temples could be found here.

Few Japanese and fewer Indians realize most deities worshipped in Japan are of Indian origin. A majority of Japanese gods are actually Indian gods, was a common line of the former Japanese Ambassador to India, Yasukuni Enoki. Hindu deities were imported wholesale from the 6th century onwards. Between These Indian deities were introduced from China into Japan as Buddhist deities with Chinese names, writes Sengaku Mayeda of Japans Eastern Institute. Thanks to the centuries and translation hurdles, the names and appearances of the gods have become localized to the point of anonymity.

An example is Shichifukujin, the popular Japanese sect of the Seven Deities of Fortune. This pantheon includes Sarasvati, Shiva and Vaisravana under their Japanese names of, respectively, Benzaiten, Daikokuten and Bishamonten. Some names are direct Japanese translations. Daikokuten means great head god, a direct translation of one of Shivas names, Mahakala.

The absorption of Indian imports was probably eased by the common animist base of indigenous Shintoism.

Temples to Brahma, Kubera and other Hindu-derived deities are scattered all over Japan. The Shibamata and Katsushika wards of Tokyo have Indra temples. Many will show these gods on either side of a Buddha image. The suffix ten derives from deva and was once a way to denote a god with Indian origins.
Religion is a declining force in Japan. The country is half atheist. But, said one Japanese official when I asked him, troubled economic times has made the temple popular among the young again.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/Print/618172.aspx

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#1431 - February 12, 2011 11:19 AM Re: International Hindu Communities [Re: webmaster]
Pathmarajah Offline
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Registered: July 22, 2004
Posts: 375
Loc: Penang
Preah Vihear Temple and Hindu Civilization

Written by Shiv Shakti



Many in India might not be aware of a long protracted dispute over a Hindu temple known as Preah Vihear or Prasat Preah Vihear between Combodia and Thailand. The temple has become a bone of contention between the two countries since 1904 when the Siam and French colonial authorities ruling Cambodia started demarcating their borders through a joint commission. Although the International Court of Justice in Hague has awarded the temple to Cambodia the Thai authorities have not yet accepted the ruling completely.

Preah Vihear is not just a cultural issue but it can be a tourist bonanza apart from being a spiritual centre for both peoples like Angkor Wat. The natural access to the temple in the jungle-bound clifftop location is also from the Thai side. The dispute threatens the ASEAN unity.

The temple dedicated to Lord Shiva dates back to 9th century AD and has been declared a world heritage site. The temple was built during Khmer rule and it was continuously modified by successive rulers thus showing different architectural styles. Suryavarman -I and Suryavarman-II who ruled between 11th and 12th century are credited for having constructed most part of the temple. "An inscription found at the temple provides a detailed account of Suryavarman II studying sacred rituals, celebrating religious festivals and making gifts, including white parasols, golden bowls and elephants, to his spiritual advisor, the aged Brahman Divakarapandita. The Brahman himself took an interest in the temple, according to the inscription, donating to it a golden statue of a dancing Shiva."[1]

India has forgotten its long cultural links with South-East Asia and there is little effort to restore the rich traditions of the region which still represents wider Indian civilizational complex. For Indians, Sri Vijaya Empire, Sailendra Empire, Airlanga and Hindu Kingdoms of Eastern Java, Majapahit Empire, Varman Empire in Kambujdesha etc. are still alien nomenclatures having no place in Indian memory. The South-East Asian region was colonised by Hindus in the early period of 1st and 2nd century. It was a completely Hinduised region with live cultural contacts with Indian rulers and merchants. The empires were largely the results of the efforts by the Indian rulers who explored the region and build strong empires and brought the local populations under the ambit of Hindu civilization and culture.

Thailand was colonized by Hindus from both North and South India in the first two centuries of Christian era. "Excavations at Pong Tuk, 32 km. from Pra Pathom, the discovery of a Sanskrit inscription of 4th century AD near Pechabury, and Saiva and Vaisnava sculpture point to this part being a centre of Hindu culture. After the decline of Fu-nan (Phnom), of which Thailand had been a part, the Dvaravati Kingdom rose into importance. The Hinduised Mons who dominate this region extended their influence in the North as far as Haripunjaya or Lamphun. In the 10th century AD the Kambuja Empire extended over this region."[2] The indelible influence of Hindu civilizationa and culture is still visible in the Thailand culture which finds its manifestations in their lifestyle, beliefs, faiths and rituals.

Similarly Cambodia also represents the same civilizational complex. The Chinese annals have some information on Cambodia which describes the area as ruled by Hindu rulers. Rulers like Fu-nan, Kaundinya, Jaya - varman, Rudra-varman, Bhava-varman and Isana-varman are credited for carving out the great empire in the region. "The dynasty of Bhava-varman raised the small principality of Kambuja into a big kingdom. Fun-nan gradually passed into oblivion and Kambuja took its place as the leading state. It established a powerful kingdom, comprising not only the whole of Cambodia and Cochin-China (Vietnam), but also a part of Laos. In spite of occasional vicissitudes of fortune, Kambuja continued its glorious career for nearly seven hundred years, and attained to a height of splendour and renown not acquired before or since by any other kingdom in Indo-China."[3]

It is unfortunate that Hindus are today not aware of their rich cultural past which flourished in the world outside India. The civilizational linkages with the countries in South-east Asia are not reassured and no attempt to nurture and revive those relations is seen in the making. The Hindus were great empire builders who founded great empires in this part of the world which survived for centuries. The glorious wars and victories of these empire builders and their efforts in establishing formidable states are now relegated to the background edging them out of the public memory. The conquering spirit of these empires is lost and vigour of those eras is now failing to get replicated in the Hindu psyche. The dispute like Preah Vihear points to the fact that the South-East region treasures it past and even ready to fight a long protracted battle for its cultural past. Hindus need to re-discover their past in South-East Asia and make serious efforts to nurture the broken ties so as to re-establish the civilizational linkages with the region. It will definitely strengthen the prospects of both the regions.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preah_Vihear_Temple

[2] Pran Chopra (ed.); Historical Period - Early History of India upto 1206; The Gazeteer of India - Vol - II; P-103-104

[3] RC Majumdar (ed.); The Hisoty of the Culture of the Indian People; The Classical Age; Chapter, 24; Vol. - III; Colonial and Cultural Expansion; P, 645

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#1435 - March 10, 2011 04:01 PM Re: International Hindu Communities [Re: webmaster]
Pathmarajah Offline
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Registered: July 22, 2004
Posts: 375
Loc: Penang
Cambodia and Hinduism

Listen to King Sihanouk at 7.10

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=7fc_1189348576

..with the acceptance of Hinayana Buddhism......tolerance, non violence, renunciation of wars, pacifism... the country and people became weak and fell, and ended the Khmer Empire.

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#1476 - November 01, 2011 11:28 AM Re: International Hindu Communities [Re: webmaster]
webmaster Offline
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Registered: February 07, 2010
Posts: 1030
Loc: KL
Borneo Tribe Practices Its Own Kind of Hinduism

Aubrey Belford for The International Herald Tribune

Ardiman, a ritual leader, chanted during a healing ceremony for a teenage girl a Tumbang Saan.
By AUBREY BELFORD,
September 25, 2011

TUMBANG SAAN, INDONESIA In this village near the heart of Borneo's great, dissolving rainforest, Udatn is regarded as a man of deep spiritual knowledge.

Religion in the Rainforest

Of all the people in this tiny settlement, he speaks better than any other the esoteric language of the Sangiyang, the spirits and ancestors of the upper world, known simply as "Above." His is a key role in the rituals of Kaharingan, one of a number of names for the ancestor-worshipping religion of Borneo's indigenous forest people, the Dayak.

"In the beginning, when God separated the darkness and the light, there was Kaharingan," said Mr. Udatn, as he sat smoking a wooden pipe on the floor of his stilt home. (Like many Indonesians Mr. Udatn uses only one name.)

The Indonesian government thinks otherwise. The world's most populous Muslim-majority country is no Islamic state, but it is a religious one. Every citizen must subscribe to one of six official creeds: Islam, Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, Buddhism, Confucianism or Hinduism. Kaharingan, like dozens of other native faiths, does not officially exist.

Even in this village, a frontier where land clearing and mining is fast erasing ancient forest, people have long seen their faith under threat from officialdom.

"When I was in school I was a Catholic," said Mr. Udatn. "For us, if someone wanted to keep going to school then they had to convert to another religion."

Now, however, things are changing, and the missionaries are being held at bay. That is because villagers have seized on a strategy being used by many Dayak: They are re-branding. On paper at least, most of the people of Tumbang Saan are now followers of Hinduism, the dominant religion on the distant island of Bali. Few here could name a Hindu god or even recognize concepts, like karma, that have taken on popular meanings even in the West. But that is not the point. In a corner of the world once famed for headhunters and impenetrable remoteness, a new religion is being developed to face up to an encroaching modern world and an intrusive Indonesian state. The point, in short, is cultural survival.

"The Hindus have helped us," said Mr. Udatn. "They're like our umbrella."

What exists in Tumbang Saan is a strange compromise, born of the Indonesian religious system, where government functionaries play a key role in allocating funding and guiding religious doctrine. Called Hindu Kaharingan, it is a religion for the Dayak of Central Kalimantan, one of the four provinces that make up the Indonesian part of Borneo. Just 30 years old, it is administered by Indonesia's official Hindu bureaucracy. It exists in no other province.

Hindu Kaharingan polarizes opinions. Some see it as a fake faith, invented for appearances; others hail it as a rediscovery of long-lost beliefs. But in both government offices and remote villages, Hindu Kaharingan leads a precarious existence.

At the complex that houses Hindu Kaharingan's Grand Council in Palangkaraya, the capital of Central Kalimantan, the head of the advisory board of the religion, Lewis Koebek Dandan Ranying, bristled with suspicion at questions.

"Christians are the ones who are pushing hardest into Central Kalimantan, and we're still in a fight to the death with them now," Mr. Lewis said.

Government officials in Jakarta, he alleged, routinely ignore Hindu Kaharingan's existence in the province, while Christian and Muslim bureaucrats at all levels deliberately undercount the religion's adherents so as to limit its funding and political influence.

In Mr. Lewis's view, the Dayak people have been Hindus for centuries; they just did not know it. The beliefs of the various Dayak tribes, he says, descend from the Kutai kingdom, an eastern Borneo state dating from the fourth century whose religion was imported from India. Over time this was lost amid colonization by the Dutch, and the Christian missionaries who came with them.

"That's what the Dutch, what Westerners do: divide and rule," Mr. Lewis said. "We don't want that to happen again. We're returning people to their original faith."

Religion in the Rainforest

Under the dictatorship of Suharto, from 1968 until his forced resignation in 1998, the government promoted mainstream religions as a counterbalance to communism, while seeing tribal religions as an impediment to modernization. Government rules require an official religion to have a holy book, so Dayak leaders in Central Kalimantan created one, the Panaturan. A clergy was needed, so priests were trained. Religious rituals once held in fields and homes were transformed and placed inside new worship halls, called Balai Basarah.

At the Grand Council's complex in Palangkaraya, a town where Christianity and Islam dominate public life, Hindu Kaharingan appears to have found purchase. Scores turn up for weekly services of chanting and prayer. But upriver, where both missionaries and bulldozers have made less of an impact, the new religion appears to have put down few roots. Getting to Tumbang Saan requires a jolting 12-hour ride by car and motorcycle over dusty, pot-holed roads and then 45 minutes on foot along a mud-slicked track. Mobile phone reception is nonexistent, and the only electricity comes from a handful of generators.

Here, past a shifting territory of Dayak tribes with different legends, different languages and different words for Kaharingan, rituals follow the cycles of life. On one night, much of the village crowded into a single home for a healing ritual as a medium, Ardiman, smeared in white paint, prayed over a prostrate girl.

Outside, wooden poles topped with likenesses of human heads stood in clumps as commemorations of deaths and marriages. Simbur, one of the village elders, explained the poles were "like a church, like a mosque." Down a dirt path, the Balai Basarah, built with government funds, stood empty. It was being used as a kindergarten. In the district capital of Puruk Cahu a boomtown with imposing new government buildings the Balai Basarah was similarly empty.

"Let's say you came to this village from India. You would see absolutely nothing that you would recognize as a symbol of Hinduism," said Morgan Harrington, a doctoral candidate in anthropology from the University of Melbourne, who has lived in Tumbang Saan since early this year. "There are no swastikas. They do not know who Shiva and Vishnu are. None of the Hindu rites take place in this village."

The senior Religious Affairs Ministry official for Hinduism in Central Kalimantan, Sisto Hartati, veers between seemingly contradictory positions on the new faith. Hinduism has always been part of local beliefs, and Hindu Kaharingan was no "made-up religion," she said. At the same time, she conceded, the holy book, rituals, bureaucracy even the name of the faith would not have existed without Indonesian government rules mandating adherence to one of the six official religions.

"If the rules hadn't existed back before 1980 when we integrated" with Hinduism, and indigenous beliefs had received legal recognition as a religion, "the term Hindu Kaharingan probably wouldn't exist," said Ms. Hartati, who is herself a member of a Dayak group.

"I feel that it's a tool to protect ourselves," she said.

But spreading the influence of the new religion is a challenge. "Our own people will say `I'm not Hindu,' even though what they're doing is in line with the teachings of Hinduism," she said.

Back in Tumbang Saan, the signs of change are everywhere. Using newly acquired air rifles, villagers have killed off much of the game in the forests. At the next village downriver, the water is so polluted with mercury from mining that it is unsafe to drink. People name their children after Indonesian soap opera and sports stars, and food wrappers litter the ground. There is eager anticipation of the building of a mining road that would reduce the village's isolation, and locals have begun fighting over the expected windfall from land sales.

Many villagers appear overwhelmingly enamored with modernity, even when it poisons the water and scars the land. When it comes to religion, however, they are wary.

Mr. Udatn, the medium, said he was thankful that local tribes had been able to shield themselves behind Hinduism, but regretted the compromise. "We should be free to practice our religion," he said.

Some Dayak have been arguing for a push to create Kaharingan as a separate official religion. But Mr. Udatn said Tumbang Saan was still too poor, isolated and uneducated to stand up to the organizational clout of the established religions. For now, he said, strength lies in adaptation.

"I tell them `Don't do it,"' he said. "We need to bide our time."


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#1479 - November 07, 2011 09:47 AM Re: International Hindu Communities [Re: webmaster]
webmaster Offline
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Registered: February 07, 2010
Posts: 1030
Loc: KL
Hinduism spreads in Ghana, reaches Togo

ACCRA: From just two dozen people in the mid 1970s to 3,000 families now, Hinduism is spreading in Ghana and has also made its way into neighbouring Togo.

Hindu worship began to grow in Ghana after African spiritual leader, Essel ji, was initiated by Swami Krishnanda ji Saraswati into the Holy Order of Renunciation in 1976, said Kwesi Anamoah, national president of the African Hindu Temple here.

"Today, there are 2,000 to 3,000 families worshipping all over the country which is a big increase from the 24 people who participated in the first-ever training camp in 1976 to become disciples," Anamoah said.

"We have not achieved this through the winning of souls as other religions do, but have attracted people into the practice of Hinduism simply by the lives we lead," he said, adding: "Our lives shine in the community to attract people."

Christians form nearly 70 percent of the 24 million population of Ghana while the population of six million in Togo includes nearly 30 percent Christians and 20 percent Muslims.

Anamoah said that the practice of Hinduism as a religion and its unique philosophy is helping to change the lives of those who have accepted the faith.

He said the first ever Hindu monastery has been built in Ghana and it is from here that Hinduism is spreading.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/nri/o...ow/10633447.cms

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#1538 - August 26, 2013 04:20 PM Re: International Hindu Communities [Re: webmaster]
Pathmarajah Offline
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Registered: July 22, 2004
Posts: 375
Loc: Penang
Unravelling the links Tamils had with China in ancient times

Unravelling the links Tamils had with China in ancient times could soon be a reality, as the Archaeological Survey of India has said it is willing to lend its expertise to that country if a request is made through appropriate government channels.

"We would love to research the link of Tamils with China. However, we can do this only if a request comes through appropriate authorities like the external affairs ministry," ASI additional director general BR Mani told PTI.

There have been reports of Hindu temples in China and its links with South India and Tamil traders dating to the 13th century.

Historians believe the Chedian shrine may have been a network of more than 12 Hindu temples or shrines, including two grand big temples built in Quanzhou and surrounding villages by Tamil traders who lived here during the Song (960-1279) and Yuan (1279-1368) dynasties.

Quanzhou Maritime Museum vice curator Wang Liming had said China would welcome any help from Indian scholars "as this is something we need to study together."

While stating that ASI would like to research links of Tamils with China, Mani said expeditions of Indians to far away places had always been a subject of interest and pointed out that Sindhi traders had built the Baku Fire Temple in Azerbaijan centuries ago.

"Not only in Azerbaijan, but in several other countries like Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Jawa, many structures have been built by various Indians in different times," he noted.

Asked to shed more light on the Tamil link to ancient China, noted archaeologist and historian S Ramachandran said the Tamils shared a very long history with the dragon nation.

"The Thirukaneeswaram inscriptions belonging to the 14th century speaks of a Shiva temple near the Canton port area in China," he said, adding the inscription was documented by TN Subramaniam in the South Indian Temple Inscriptions series published by Government Oriental Manuscripts Library in 1957.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news...e1-1113034.aspx

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