Sunday, October 20, 2013

UNESCO's World Heritage mission

Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa’s Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world’s heritage.

What makes the concept of World Heritage exceptional is its universal application. World Heritage sites belong to all the peoples of the world, irrespective of the territory on which they are located.
The various Heritage Sites across the globe.

UNESCO's World Heritage mission is to:
·         encourage countries to sign the World Heritage Convention and to ensure the protection of their natural and cultural heritage;
·         encourage States Parties to the Convention to nominate sites within their national territory for inclusion on the World Heritage List;
·         encourage States Parties to establish management plans and set up reporting systems on the state of conservation of their World Heritage sites;
·         help States Parties safeguard World Heritage properties by providing technical assistance and professional training;
·         provide emergency assistance for World Heritage sites in immediate danger;
·         support States Parties' public awareness-building activities for World Heritage conservation;
·         encourage participation of the local population in the preservation of their cultural and natural heritage;
·         encourage international cooperation in the conservation of our world's cultural and natural heritage.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Nine days festival – Navratri

The nine forms of Shakti – the creative feminine power, are worshipped during Navratri. The different forms of Shakti – the primordial cosmic energy are Goddess Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati.

This year Navratri is being celebrated from October 6 – 14. October 14 marks the eve of Dusshera – to celebrate the triumph of good over evil !

Durga Devi puja are Sarvajanik mandal, Aquem, Margao, Goa, India
This festival is celebrated all over India, but with special enthusiasm in Kolkata.

The various powerful forms of the Goddess worshipped with great fervor on each of the days of Navratri are described herewith:

The beautifully lighted Shantadurga temple at Shantinagar, Aquem, Goa

Temple glows with lights...

Shantadurga Devi

Durga Devi puja at Fatorda, Margao, Goa, India

Day 1: First form: Shailaputri: The Goddess is depicted seated on a bull.

Day 2: Second form: Brahmacharini: She is depicted with prayer beads (Japmala) in the right hand and a prayer pot (Kamandal) in the left hand.

Day 3: Third form: Chandraghanta: Seated of a tiger, her forehead bears is adorned with the half moon shaped adornment. She is repesented with 10 hands which bear various weapons.

Day 4: Fourth form: Kushmanda: Also, known as Adi Shakti (who existed before the universe was formed) She is represented with eight arms, which bear various weapons and is seated on a tiger.

Day 5: Fifth form: Skandamata: Seated in a kamal (lotus) asan posture, on a lion, she is represented with four arms. And is also known as Padmasna Devi.

Day 6: Sixth form: Katyayni: She is represented with four arms and is seated on a lion.

Day 7: Seventh form: Kalratri: She is represented with a dark complexion. Seated on a gardhab (in Hindi, donkey in English) , she is four armed. She looks to be fearful, but bestows happiness.

Day 8: Eighth form: Mahagauri: The four armed Goddess is represented as fair skinned wearing pure white colored saree, and looks very peaceful, and is seated on a bull.

Day 9: Siddhidhatri: She is seated on a lotus and is represented with four arms.
The radiant Goddess of Shakti (power) 

“The nine days of Navratri are observed to perform spiritual practices for awakening of Shakti!”

Friday, October 11, 2013

I love Yarn Day - October 11

Today, October 11, is celebrated as 'I love Yarn day', which is very much applicable to me. As I love to crotchet with yarn (which includes thread, fiber and wool, however I prefer wool as it is easier to work with) and in this process, am always on the lookout for some interesting and colorful yarn.
My favorite colorful wool (yarn) creation...

A person like me may be referred as:
a) Yarn lover
b) Yarn diva
c) Yarn snob
d) Yarn geek
and the list goes on.....

And finally, I would say:
So much Yarn, so little time.........

Khadi - the fabric of Freedom !

The father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, revived the tradition of khadi – India’s traditional weave that the doubly handcrafted.
He used the Charkha to spin cotton into yarn. This yarn is finally woven by hand into fabric - khadi.

Mahatma Gandhi’s relationship with khadi started in the 1920s when he revived the long forgotten tradition in India of hand spinning cloth after around 5000 years to rebel against the British machine made cotton fabrics and the British rule. For Mahatma Gandi, Khadi was a symbol of Swaraj or independence from the British and the Charkha was a symbol of self - entrepreneurship.

Khadi holds and important place in the heart of India. Though Khadi is made of cotton, it can be made of silk or wool too.

A shop at the International Airport at Mumbai, with Khadi shirts and memorablia related to Gandhiji

Mahatmas Gandhi’s fabric of compassion is unique due to:
a) It’s flexibility - keeps one warm in winter and fresh in summer
b) it’s ecofriendly and sustainable nature!

Did you know: Each fabric of Khadi, also known as khaddar, is unique as it is handwoven and handspun.

Useful links about Khadi: ; Khadi and Village industries Commission

A link to the site which offers Khadi and natural products:

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

International Day of Non-Violence – October 2

October 2 marks the 144th birthday of the Father of the Nation – Mahatma Gandhi. Also known as Gandhi Jayanti, this day is a national holiday in India.
Worldwide, it is celebrated as the International Day of Non-Violence.

Gandhiji inspired millions of Indians and other countrymen during the freedom struggle movement in India. His life, his struggle, his speeches and thoughts continue to inspire us…..

Today, I would like to share a beautiful article written by Gandhiji about ‘Truth’:

Beauty in Truth

I see and find Beauty in Truth or through Truth. All Truths, not merely true ideas, but truthful faces, truthful pictures or songs are highly beautiful. People generally fail to see Beauty in Truth, the ordinary man runs away from it and becomes blind to the beauty in it. Whenever men begin to see Beauty in Truth, then true Art will arise.

To a true artist only that face is beautiful which, quite apart from its exterior, shines with the Truth within the soul. There is… no Beauty apart from Truth. On the other hand, Truth may manifest itself in forms, which may not be outwardly beautiful at all. Socrates, we are told, was the most truthful man of his time, and yet his features are said to have been the ugliest in Greece. To my mind he was beautiful, because all his life was a striving after Truth, and you may remember that his outward form did not prevent Phidias from appreciating the beauty of Truth in him, though as an artist he was accustomed to see Beauty in outward forms also.

Truth and Untruth often co-exist; good and evil are often found together. In an artist also not seldom [do] the right perception of things and the wrong co-exist. Truly beautiful creations come when right perception is at work. If these monuments are rare in life, they are also rare in Art.
These beauties ['a sunset or a crescent moon that shines amid the stars at night'] are truthful, inasmuch as they make me think of the Creator at the back of them. How else could these be beautiful, but for the Truth that is in the center of creation? When I admire the wonder of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in worship of the Creator. I try to see Him and His mercies in all these creations. But even the sunsets and sunrises would be mere hindrances if they did not help me to think of the soul is a delusion and a snare; even like the body, which often does hinder you in the path of salvation.

Why can't you see the beauty of colour in vegetables? And then, there is beauty in the speckless sky. But no, you want the colours of the rainbow, which is a mere optical illusion. We have been taught to believe that what is beautiful need not be useful and what is useful cannot be beautiful. I want to show that what is useful can also be beautiful.

Source: The Mind of Mahatma Gandhi

I salute to the Father of the Nation, Bapuji !