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Story of a Jamaican Yogi who knows Sanskrit and teaches in China

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His name is Sasi, a Yogi, well versed in Sanskrit and he was born in Jamaica (a West Indian country with the influence of Indo-Caribbean culture). He follows Rastafari faith, teaches Yoga and lives in China. Well, let us meet an interesting globetrotter: Sasi Mair.

A divorcee and a language enthusiast who calls himself “a citizen of the world”, said “I still attract the same attention today as I did upon arrival a decade ago. There are not many black people in China. Certainly, not others who have hair looking like mine,” he laughs.

He was named Sasi by his Sanskrit master, Dr Ram Karam Sharma. “SASI” means: rabbit in the full moon’, reflecting the majestic and brilliant qualities of the lunar cycle.

Mair lives in one of the most famous cities of Chinese culture and history, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province.

Telling about his move to China he says, “I was recruited to teach yoga in China after a fellow yogi and friend also moved there to teach. I seized the moment because of my lifelong love affair with Eastern philosophies, culture and history. I also find the Chinese language a very fascinating aspect of their culture.”

Interested in learning Yoga? You might like this DVD on Yoga.

Mair has been studying Sanskrit past 10 years and has been teaching for three. Explaining about his love towards yoga he said, “The opportunity to teach yoga in China gave me the opportunity to verbalize Sanskrit in Chinese. Sanskrit is the language of yoga and it goes a long way back. It is an ancient spoken word.

Years after my initial interest in Sanskrit, I began to learn Sanskrit is also the root to many other Indo-European languages. My desire to study the yogic ancient text and exploring life and different approaches to speech all became a part of the influence on my life’s journey which led me to China.”

“Many people have wondered how I have learnt to master this language as a Jamaican,” said Mair, who also speaks French and Spanish. “I really wouldn’t say I have mastered any language, including English. I just have a passion to communicate and learn, so if learning another language gives me access to knowledge or allows me to arrive at a deeper understanding that is the path I will pursue. Learning the naked language is sometimes not the most acceptable way, but I find it’s the most effective way to get an understanding of culture.”

Having taught yoga for more than 20 years, he revealed, “I started yoga at age 15, growing up in rural Jamaica, so I guess you could say yoga found me, and since our introduction, we have never separated.”

“Everything goes back to the self, and yoga is about self-discovery. Ultimately, the older I get, the wiser I become. When I was a teenager, I wanted to save the world, but you soon realise that if you work hard on yourself, you can really make a difference. Self-awareness is a constant journey. Yoga is about transformation and a spiritual journey.”

Referencing the similarities of Rastafari and yoga, Mair concludes, “I have an inter-relationship and interconnection between my understanding of Rastafari and yoga. There is no clash, they complement each other. I embrace Rastafari as a constant evolution, a constant journey into self-discovery. An ongoing of creation, it’s not something that was created and then put down; it is a constant engagement, which is evolving, so there is no need for any dogma or any ‘isms’. Yoga and Rastafari are both focused on finding inner peace, and I have peace practicing both spiritual lifestyles.”

Telling about his 2016 resolutions, he said he has no time for monkey business.(Source-jamaica-gleaner.com)

Interested in learning Yoga? You might like this DVD on Yoga. 

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Shanghai Airport Gets Check-In With Facial Recognition Machines

Increased convenience may come at a cost in a country with few rules on how the government can use biometric data.

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Shanghai,
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection facial recognition device is ready to scan another passenger at a United Airlines gate. VOA

It’s now possible to check in automatically at Shanghai Hongqiao airport using facial recognition technology, part of an ambitious rollout of facial recognition systems in China that has raised privacy concerns as Beijing pushes to become a global leader in the field.

Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport unveiled self-service kiosks for flight and baggage check-in, security clearance and boarding powered by facial recognition technology, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

Similar efforts are under way at airports in Beijing and Nanyang city, in central China’s Henan province.

Shanghai,
Face recognition tool was first launched in 2012

Many airports in China already use facial recognition to help speed security checks, but Shanghai’s system, which debuted Monday, is being billed as the first to be fully automated.

“It is the first time in China to achieve self-service for the whole check-in process,” said Zhang Zheng, general manager of the ground services department for Spring Airlines, the first airline to adopt the system at Hongqiao airport. Currently, only Chinese identity card holders can use the technology.

Spring Airlines, Shanghai said Tuesday that passengers had embraced automated check-in, with 87 percent of 5,017 people who took Spring flights on Monday using the self-service kiosks, which can cut down check-in times to less than a minute and a half.

Shanghai,
Rana el Kaliouby, CEO of the Boston-based artificial intelligence firm Affectiva, demonstrates the company’s facial recognition technology, in Boston, April 23, 2018. VOA

Across greater China, facial recognition is finding its way into daily life. Mainland police have used facial recognition systems to identify people of interest in crowds and nab jaywalkers, and are working to develop an integrated national system of surveillance camera data.

Chinese media are filled with reports of ever-expanding applications: A KFC outlet in Hangzhou, near Shanghai, where it’s possible to pay using facial recognition technology; a school that uses facial recognition cameras to monitor students’ reactions in class; and hundreds of ATMs in Macau equipped with facial recognition devices to curb money laundering.

Also Read: Facial Recognition Technology Catches A Person With Fake Passpost At The US Airport 

But increased convenience may come at a cost in a country with few rules on how the government can use biometric data.

“Authorities are using biometric and artificial intelligence to record and track people for social control purposes,” said Maya Wang, senior China researcher for Human Rights Watch. “We are concerned about the increasing integration and use of facial recognition technologies throughout the country because it provides more and more data points for the authorities to track people.” (VOA)