Wednesday June 20, 2018

Hindus happy as East Meadow adopts Diwali as Official Holiday in all 728 New York School Districts

Diwali was declared as an official holiday by the Nearby Syosset Central School District also

Diwali does not mean you will have to compromise on your health, Wikimedia

New York, Dec 17, 2016: Hindus have happily welcomed reports of East Meadow School District in Westbury of New York, adopting Diwali, the most popular and pompously celebrated of their festivals, as an official holiday on the calendar for the 2017-2018 school year.

Reportedly, Diwali was declared as an official holiday by the Nearby Syosset Central School District also very recently.

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Rajan Zed, a Hindu Activist urged all other private schools and public school districts in New York State to do the same, in a statement in Nevada today; describing it as a step in the right direction.

It would be a positive thing to do due to the presence of a substantial number of Hindu pupils at schools around the state, as it was extremely important to meet the spiritual and religious needs of these students.

Zed further stated that schools must make attempts to accommodate the religious requirements of the Hindu students and show proper respect to their faith by not conducting scheduling classes and regular business on Diwali. “We did not want our students to be put at an unnecessary disadvantage for missing assignments, examinations/papers, class work, and etcetera for taking a day-off to celebrate Diwali. If schools had declared other religious holidays, why not Diwali,” Zed asked. He also added, “Holidays of all major religions should be honoured and no one should be penalised for practicing their religion.”

Rajan Zed urged all New York State schools, both private and public, to seriously look into the issue and declare Diwali as an official holiday, realising the intersection of education and spirituality. Zed indicated that awareness about other religions thus created by such holidays like Diwali would make New York State students well balanced, well nurtured, and enlightened citizens of the future.

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Zed urged New York State Education Department Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, and New York State Commissioner of Education Mary Ellen Elia- to work towards making Diwali an official holiday in all the 728 school-districts, and simultaneously persuading the private schools to follow the same.

Hinduism is rich in culture and festivals and religious festivals are very sacred and dear to Hindus. The festival of lights, Diwali, aims to dispel the darkness by ending evils and illuminate the world and stands for a symbol of the victory of good over evil. Apart from Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists also observe Diwali, which falls on October 19 in 2017.

Zed thanked Marcee Rubinstein, the President of EMSD Board of Education and other Board members for supporting Diwali as a holiday. Over 7400 students in nine schools of East Meadow and Westbury communities of Long Island are served by EMSD. Mission Statement of EMSD, established in 1814, states “Understand our cultural heritage”. Leon J. Campo is Superintendent of Schools.

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Hinduism is the oldest and the third largest religion in the world with about one billion adherents and “Moksha” or liberation is its supreme goal and there are about three million Hindus in USA at present.

–  prepared by Antara Kumar of NewsGram with Merinews inputs. Twitter: @ElaanaC

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FIFA World Cup 2018: Indian Cuisine becomes the most sought after in Moscow

Indian cuisine in FIFA World cup
Indian dishes available in Moscow during FIFA World Cup 2018, representational image, wikimedia commons

June 17, 2018:

Restaurateurs Prodyut and Sumana Mukherjee have not only brought Indian cuisine to the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 here but also plan to dish out free dinner to countrymen if Argentina wins the trophy on July 15.

Based in Moscow for the last 27 years, Prodyut and Sumana run two Indian eateries, “Talk Of The Town” and “Fusion Plaza”.

You may like to read more on Indian cuisine: Indian ‘masala’, among other condiments spicing up global food palate.

Both restaurants serve popular Indian dishes like butter chicken, kebabs and a varied vegetarian spread.

During the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

The Mukherjees, hailing from Kolkata, are die-hard fans of Argentina. Despite Albiceleste drawing 1-1 with Iceland in their group opener with Lionel Messi failing to sparkle, they believe Jorge Sampaoli’s team can go the distance.

“I am an Argentina fan. I have booked tickets for a quarterfinal match, a semifinal and of course the final. If Argentina goes on to lift

During the World Cup, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia
FIFA World Cup 2018, Wikimedia Commons.

“We have been waiting for this World Cup. Indians come in large numbers during the World Cup and we wanted these eateries to be a melting point,” he added.

According to Cutting Edge Events, FIFA’s official sales agency in India for the 2018 World Cup, India is amongst the top 10 countries in terms of number of match tickets bought.

Read more about Indian cuisine abroad: Hindoostane Coffee House: London’s First Indian Restaurant.

Prodyut came to Moscow to study engineering and later started working for a pharmaceutical company here before trying his hand in business. Besides running the two restaurants with the help of his wife, he was into the distribution of pharmaceutical products.

“After Russia won the first match of the World Cup, the footfall has gone up considerably. The Indians are also flooding in after the 6-9 p.m. game. That is the time both my restaurants remain full,” Prodyut said.

There are also plans to rope in registered fan clubs of Latin American countries, who will throng the restaurants during matches and then follow it up with after-game parties till the wee hours.

“I did get in touch with some of the fan clubs I had prior idea about. They agreed to come over and celebrate the games at our joints. Those will be gala nights when both eateries will remain open all night for them to enjoy,” Prodyut said.

Watching the World Cup is a dream come true for the couple, Sumana said.

“We want to make the Indians who have come here to witness the spectacle and feel at home too. We always extend a helping hand and since we are from West Bengal, we make special dishes for those who come from Bengal,” she added. (IANS)