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Meet Avantilal Chavla: The ‘Turban Man’ of India

The World’s biggest Turban by Chavla, can be seen at the Western Zone Cultural Centre in Udaipur

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Avantilal Chavla awarded for having World's largest turban collection. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
  • Turban is a kind of headwear specially known for its binding
  • Avantilal Chavla, a turban maker from Vadodara has a World record of having the largest collection of Turbans
  • The World’s biggest Turban is found in Western Zone Cultural Centre in Udaipur

VADODARA:  72 year-old Avantilal Chavla has possibly the largest collection of turbans in India. Turban is a kind of headwear specially known for its binding. Turban is most commonly wore by men and is manually tied. The binding of the turban varies from communities to communities. Usually, a turban is made up of a cotton cloth and are vibrant to look at.

Shri Guru Nanak wearing turban. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Shri Guru Nanak. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

A turban is a pride for Sikhs. All the Gurus of Sikhs wear turban. A turban is also known as Pagree and Dastar in Punjab. Wearing a turban is an official policy among Sikhs and their last Guru, Guru Gobind Singh has made it mandatory to wear Turban. In Sikhism, a turban represents that the person wearing it shows respect of Sikh’s teachings and promote equality. It is one of the methods to preserve Sikh identity.

A TOI report said, not only Sikhs but also some Christians, Rastafaris, Islams and people believing in Judaism wear Turban. Turban is not popular only in India but also in various foreign countries like Fiji, Indonesia, Pakistan, UK, Greece, Myanmar, Pakistan, Armenia and others.

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Avantilal Chavla, a turban maker from Vadodra has a World record of having the largest collection of Turbans.  Chavla started making Turbans at a very young age. He had a record of making 20 types of turban in 25 years starting from 1988. Chavla was a professor in the Department of Dramatics in MS University and is currently retired. Chavla is the first person who is PhD on turban in 1989.

Avantilal Chavla with his turban collection. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Avantilal Chavla with his turban collection. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Chavla belongs from Ratlam and is now a perfect Gujarati. Chavla has been granted a sum of Rs 1 lakh to display  his collection at the workshop cum exhibition, which would be organized next month in New Delhi. The fund was granted to him by Sangeet Natak Academy.

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The World’s biggest Turban can be seen at the Western Zone Cultural Centre in Udaipur. The turban is  made by Chavla. The turban measures around 151 inches and has a circumference of 11 feet. It weighs around 30 kilograms and is 7 inches thick, said the TOI report.

World's largest turban. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
World’s largest turban. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Chavla collection also includes turban of Maharaja of Baroda, Thakore Sahibs of Jamnagar, Morbi, Limbdi, Wadhavan and others. Chavla can also bind a turban in just five minutes.

-This article is compiled by a staff-writer at NewsGram. 

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Hello Foodies ! You Can Spot These 8 Street Foods at Every Nook and Corner in India

Here is a list of delicious street food items, now available everywhere in India

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Delicious Street Food
Delicious Street Food in India. Wikimedia

Sep 02, 2017: Street foods in India is the new trend amongst foodies these days and are indeed delectable to savor. Previously, it was known that street food confined to a particular region. However, nowadays, a south Indian food can be found even in the north of the country and here is why you don’t need to go all the way to Assam to eat momos.

Many street food items have become quite popular throughout. Let’s have a look at these street food items.

Here is a list of delicious street food items, now available everywhere:

Vada Pao

Street Foods
Vada Pao in Delhi. Wikimedia

Vada Pao is the Indian style burger, quite famous in Maharastra. Fried potato dumplings are stuffed inside pao and are coupled with green chili and spicy chutney that add flavor to this Maharashtrian dish.

Chaat

Street Foods
Papri Chaat. Wikimedia

The sweet, tangy, and spicy taste of Aloo tikki, Gol Gappa, bhelpuri, Sevpuri, will tempt you. This is a mouth-watering street food from Uttar Pradesh. It adds extra taste to your buds when garnished with curd and chutney.

Momos

Street Foods
Cabbage Momos. Wikimedia

The white colored steamed snack of North East is getting popular amongst Indians these days. It makes an awesome combo when served with spicy red chutney and hot momos.

Also Read: “Regionality is What Sets Indian Food Apart” from the Cuisines Across the World, says MasterChef Australia Judge Gary Mehigan 

Poha Jalebi

Street Foods
Poha the staple breakfast of India, with Jalebi. Wikimedia

Sweet jalebis served with salty poha is a trademark street food of Madhya Pradesh. Now the combination is a hit amongst people of the country.

Idli Sambhar

Street Foods
Idli-Sambhar-Coconut chutney. Wikimedia

Idli Sambhar is the most popular street food of Tamil Nadu in India. It is a delicious combo of idli, sambhar and coconut chutney.

Chole Bhatura

Street Foods
Chole bhature. Wikimedia

Chole Bhature, a favorite dish of every Indian is chiefly a treat of Punjab.  It is served with green chilies, onions, and chutney.

Dhokla

Street Foods
Gujarati Dhokla (Khaman Dhokla). Wikimedia

The sweet-sour Dhoklas are a specialty of Gujarat state. It is a famous street food baked from the fermented batter of gram flour. This treat is also served with chutney and green chilies.

Pyaz ki Kachori

Street Foods
Rajasthani Pyaz ki Kachori. Wikimedia

Pyaz ki Kachori was originated in Jodhpur city of Rajasthan. The dish is now relished all over India. These crispy and flaky kachoris with onion masala, garnished with sweet tamarind chutney will throb your heart.


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Five Years of Massacre: Sikh Community in US Continue to Hail Act Of Kindness

Devout male followers of the Sikh faith, a monotheistic religion that originated in Northern India, keep long beards and wear turbans, and often are confused with Muslims

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Six people were killed when a white supremacist attacked the Gurdwara or Sikh Temple of Wisconsin five years ago. VOA

Aug 06, 2017: Over the past year, minorities across the United States have increased their outreach to the public and efforts to make their voices heard amid fears of a White Supremacy movement.

The Sikhs of Oak Creek, however, were working to raise awareness of their faith and uplift their community long before 2016.

On August 5, 2012, a white supremacist named Wade Michael Page killed six believers of the Sikh faith in their house of worship, a Gurdwara, outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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Mourners attend the funeral and memorial service for the six victims of the Sikh temple of Wisconsin mass shooting in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, Aug. 10, 2012. VOA

In the five years since, members of the Gurdwara have organized scholarships, blood drives, 6K walks and runs, and presentations on understanding the Sikh faith in local schools.

“My outreach is also a coping mechanism,” Pardeep Kaleka, whose father was one of the six victims, told VOA. “Processing my own pain and hurt… I’d rather just go into the community and make it better for everybody else.”

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Members of the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, prepare a communal meal for the community. VOA

Immediately after the shooting, the Sikh community increased its efforts to invite people of all faiths to come to the temple and learn about Sikhism.

But Navdeep Gill, who co-founded the temple’s outreach program, “Serve to Unite,” with Kaleka, says they soon realized they also needed to spread awareness outside the temple after members of the community said they were uncomfortable attending Sikh services.

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“Peacekeepers” at a Montessori school made this mural after a workshop with “Serve to Unite” – the organization started by the son of one of the victims of the 2012 shooting. VOA

“Whatever faith you practice, whatever community you come from, you should feel comfortable attending an event,” said Gill, who was tasked with organizing events commemorating the 5th anniversary of the shooting. “Whether that’s in schools, churches, telling other people who Sikhs are, as well as trying to learn about other people and see where the commonalities exist.”

Also Read: California Sikh community Raises Money to keep City’s Fireworks Show Alive

 Saturday’s 6K run is the 5th instance of the annual event. The blood drive was added three years ago to the August 5 activities.

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A man completes the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin’s 6k “Chardhi Kala” Run with a high five. VOA

This year, members of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin had their first float in the 4th of July parade. Though organizers were initially skeptical, Gill said it was well received and prompted non-Indian neighbors to strike up conversations with participating Sikhs.

Devout male followers of the Sikh faith, a monotheistic religion that originated in Northern India, keep long beards and wear turbans, and often are confused with Muslims.

And while some minorities across the country have expressed feeling less safe since U.S. President Donald Trump’s election, Oak Creek Sikhs say the political climate hasn’t affected their community.

“Honestly, nothing has changed,” Navdeesh Toor, an Oak Creek resident and member of the Gurdwara for the past eight years, told VOA.

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People gather in Lafayette near the White House, Aug. 8, 2012 to participate in a candlelight vigil against hate violence. VOA

Toor said that although hate crimes have received more media attention in the past year, which some attribute partly to divisive rhetoric heard during President Trump’s campaign and first few months in office, she doesn’t see any impact on her community.

“A vast majority of Wisconsinites voted for Trump, including minorities and a lot of desis [South Asians] I know,” she said, adding that she didn’t fault her neighbors for voting for “the lesser of two evils” in 2016.

Regardless of politics in Washington, survivors of the 2012 shooting, along with their friends, family, and fellow members of the Gurdwara, have not lost momentum in their pursuit of engaging the community.

“It’s not just about organizing 5Ks, it’s about… what we’re really being asked to do spiritually,” Kaleka said.

“I think there’s a reason [the shooting] happened, a reason those people who stood up made that sacrifice. This community has really stood up.” (VOA)

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India Has the World’s Largest Ship Graveyard in Gujarat

From being the focal point of the world where ships were to be sent, Alang is left behind with scarcely any work

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Ship Graveyard
Ship Graveyard. Wikimedia

July 24, 2017: Ships have a life. Does it sound peculiar to you? After you get down from the wonderful journey you probably never think about the ship again, however, ships also have an existence cycle, similarly as we do. Alang in Gujarat has the biggest ship graveyard on the planet where voluminous tankers and luxury ships are rejected on the Alang shore front. Here, things are distinctive and it notices a greater amount of old things than newly composed ones.

A Ship graveyard is a place where ships are sent to be decomposed.

 

Ship graveyards are the ones that are made particularly for decomposition of the ship. Alang has a 10 km long coastline where ship breaking is done. The First ship was brought here in 1983 and from that point onwards 6,900 ships have been disassembled there.

Despite the fact that 60% of the world’s aggregate ship breaking is done in Alang, the place has seen lots of ups and down. From being the focal point of the world where ships were to be sent, it is left behind now with scarcely any work.

This recycling industry is valued at 6,000 crores. In the year 2010-2011, they had utilized 20,000 laborers and generated more than a lakh employments. The ships that once rode the high oceans ended up on the shores of Alang. With the passage of time, the oil-drenched shoreline looks infertile, with just a couple of ships dotting the skyline, their rusted anchors, and chains is an evidence of a shoreline that once cut down hulks.

Ships that once carried many vacationers to exquisite areas and carried voyages to far-flung ports are among the vessels from all the world that have wound up on Alang’s shores post the termination of working lives. They are scrapped for their steel which can be sold for use in development.

Alang’s shoreline as a ship breaking yard benefitted from this labor-intensive exercise of crushing these vessels. Such work can be carried out in nations with cheap labor and lesser restrictions in terms of dealing with hazardous substances, for example, India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.

Japan and the Gujarat government have held hands to redesign the current Alang ship breaking yard. This is a part of the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor, a venture between the Japanese and Gujarat government. The venture’s point is to make this shipyard the biggest International Maritime Organization-compliant recycling shipyard in the world.

– prepared by Naina Mishra of Newsgram. Twitter @Nainamishr94