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Malayalathamma: In a temple in Kalpetta, People worship Mother Malayalam

Preserving the culture of a developing civilisation

A temple in Kerala (representational image). Wikimedia

November 6, 2016: In an era where our ethnicity is lost in the whirlwinds of globalisation, we find ourselves drowning in the everyday urban life. In this confusion of a life, we often forget who we originally are and what we represent. The British while ruling over us for decades exposed our civilisation to an open land of opportunities and industrialisation without which we probably would not have been on such a mantle right now. But in the process of taking our country forward, did we forget what it means to be an Indian?

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Today, students in our country can graduate high school without even knowing the groundwork of their mother tongues. Our identities as citizens of this nation is defined by the diversity in our culture. But who are we if we are not familiar with the primary features of our culture?

In this juncture, our citizens are unaware and uninterested in the most trivial historical facts or mythological fables prevalent in the nation but have been mesmerised by the popular western culture. The youth in our country has been swept away by this huge wave of the western culture that they refuse to accept their traditional culture.

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In this mess of a generation, there are numerous instances of people fighting for their traditions, beliefs, and ethnicity. There are people who want to keep the essence of their country alive. Amidst such uprisings, there exists a temple in Kalpetta situated in the Wayanad district of Kerala where the preached deity is named after the mother tongue of the state, Malayalam. The deity is named Malayalathamma which means Mother Malayalam.

The deity of this temple on Rattakoli road close to the Kalpetta bypass has multiple stories owing to the explanation for her naming.

Legend says that Malayalathamma rescued the folks of the northern district of Wayanad sharing its limits with Tamil Nadu from smallpox.

The locals believe that the goddess reciprocates offerings by blessing the women who anxious about their marriages. After the establishment of Lord Shiva’s idol in the temple it became known as the Shiva-Bhadrakali temple now looked after the Kalpetta Ayyappa Kshetram Trust.

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It is invigorating to know that some of us are still rooted in our traditions and culture and take pride in it. No matter how successful we become, we should never forget our true identities and stay connected to our culture as who we are and what we represent is what matters ultimately.

– by Shivam Thaker of NewsGram. Twitter: @Shivam_Thaker

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Raja Chari: Indian American Astronaut chosen by NASA

Raja Chari, an American of Indian descent, has been chosen by NASA as one of the 12 astronauts for a new space mission.

Raja Chari. Twitter.
  • Raja Chari is an American of Indian descent chosen by NASA for the new batch of astronauts
  • Currently, he is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force
  • Chari will have to go through two years of astronaut training which begins in August

June 06, 2017: NASA has chosen 12 astronauts out of a record-breaking 18,300 applications for upcoming space missions. An American of Indian descent, Raja Chari, has successfully earned his spot in the top 12.

The astronauts were selected on the basis of expertise, education, and physical tests. This batch of 12 astronauts is the largest group selected by NASA since two decades. The group consisting of 7 men and 5 women surpassed the minimum requirements of NASA.

Born in Waterloo, Iowa, Chari graduated from Air Force Academy in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in Astronautical Engineering and Engineering Science. He went on to complete his master’s in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The astronaut is also a graduate of US Naval Test Pilot School.

Currently, Raja Chari is a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force. He is the commander of 461st Flight Test Squadron and director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

After Late Kalpana Chawla, Lt. Col. Raja Chari is the second Indian American astronaut chosen by NASA.

The 12 astronauts will have to go through two years of training. Upon completion, they will be assigned their missions ranging from research at the International Space Station, launching from American soil on spacecraft by private companies, to flying on deep space missions on NASA’s Orion Spacecraft.

The US Vice-President Mike Pence visited the Johnson Space Centre in Houston to announce and congratulate the new batch. Pence also said that President Trump is “fully committed” to NASA’s missions in space.

by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2393