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Langar means "free food for all". Langar is served by the community kitchens at all gurudwaras regardless of caste, gender, religion, economic status, or ethnicity. The idea behind langar is equality and "the light of God is in all hearts." Langar Sewa was started by the First Guru of Sikhs- Guru Nanak Ji. The meaning behind langar teaches us to come together, sit alongside each and eat as equals, no one has a higher status than another while sitting in the langar. It is a sanctuary of all where all are welcome, treated, and protected equally. The place where the food is cooked in Gurudwaras is referred to as "Communal Kitchen", which is usually managed by the volunteers, who do all the work from cutting vegetables, serving food to washing the dirty dishes. The notable fact about Langar is that all the food that is served is vegetarian, simple, and nutritionally balanced with roti, vegetable dish, lentils, and dessert.
The story behind Langar
The first Guru of Sikhs- Guru Nanak Ji started Langar in the Golden Temple located in Amritsar, Punjab. But what gave him the idea of feeding people all equally? The story goes as when Guru Nanak Ji was a child his father who was a well-known trader in his village gave Guru Nanak 20 rupees and asked him to go to the market and do 'Sacha Sauda' (a good bargain). His father wanted Guru Nanak who was then only a 12-year-old boy about their family business. So, did Guru Nanak went and did some worldly bargain in the market? No, instead he bought food with the money and fed a large group of saints who had been hungry for days and that is what he called was the "true business". The holy book of Sikhism "The Guru Granth Sahib" is kept in all gurudwaras, it contains numerous meaningful teachings of the Guru and is worshiped by the Sikhs. The three main pillars of Sikhism, "Naam Japo" "Kirat Karo" and "Vand chakho" (meditate the Guru's name, lead an honest life and earn an honest and dedicated living by walking on the path that the Gurus have made for us, share what you eat respectively) are the reason why humanity, equality and serving those in need are the primary actions taken by any Gurudrawa.
The volunteers working in the communal kitchen inspire selfless service for everyone outside their community and the outside world.homeneardarbarsahib.com
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Expansion of Langar
The Second Guru – Guru Angad Singh Ji took the initiative of langar i.e. "Satvik Meal" (free vegetarian food) for all and turned it into an all Sikh Gurudwaras' premise by establishing communal kitchens in all the gurudwaras. He set rules and training methods for all the Sevadaars (volunteers) who operate the kitchen. The Third Guru, Guru Amar Das Ji formally established the system as he believed that anyone who wished to have an audience with him first must have their stomach filled hence, must sit with the community and have langar. Even the Mughal King Akbar had to sit with ordinary people and share langar to meet up with the Guru. This depicts how langar is blind to any form of social status, religion, gender, and economic situation.
In today's date, Langar is served in all gurudwaras all over the world. The volunteers working in the communal kitchen inspire selfless service not just for their community but for everyone outside their community and towards the world outside as well. The Golden Temple in Amritsar Punjab is referred to as World Headquarter for Sikhism and has the World's Biggest Communal Kitchen that operates 24×7 and serves about 100,000 people each day.
What is the point of Langar?
The Langar served in gurudwaras not only aims to serve food to all, treat everyone with equality, respect and kindness; it is also about the act of selfless- service after all the people working in the communal kitchen are no one but Sevadaars(volunteers) who not only involve men and boys but also women and children. Women play a major role in the preparation of all the meals for langar, and children serve food to people sitting to be served. Langar is a medium to pass on our culture and tradition to the next generation one after another. The tradition reassures that we remain bonded with our dignified past as we move on to the modernized future.
Every child who grew up in the 90s and the early 00s has certainly grown up around Tom and Jerry, the adorable, infamous cat-chases-mouse cartoon. The idea of naughtiness and playing mischief had the standards that this particular series set for children and defined how much wreckage was funny enough.
The show's creators, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera initially named their characters Jasper and Jinx. They did not plan for the fame that Tom and Jerry brought them when they released a movie by the name of "Puss Gets the Boot". This movie featured a certain cat and mouse who were a notorious pair, named Jasper and Jinx. When the movie became a hit, the names of the characters were changed and the show shot to fame.
Tom and Jerry became a go-to cartoon for children in the early 00s, and it was one of those shows with a firm foundation, that had already been in the running for decades. The original template had been planned nearly 80 years ago, and the makers did not change it. The music that was played in the many episodes, made a breakthrough in its own way. It is the most easily recognizable melody with utterly nostalgic associations.
Today, Tom and Jerry is still a household name in homes where children love cartoons Image credit: wikimedia commons
A set of supporting characters were defined for the show, to occasionally take the focus off the original pair. There was a large, black woman named Mammy Two Shoes and a bulldog who took Jerry's side. Mammy Two Shoes was discontinued because her character portrayed racist tendencies. A tall white woman replaced her, who was kinder and loved mice. Either of the women's faces was never revealed.
Today, Tom and Jerry is still a household name in homes where children love cartoons. There are a host of other shows besides this that aim to replicate the same aspects of the cartoon but do not come close at all. Despite the immense amount of violence in the show, it is a beloved pastime of parents and children alike.
Keywords: Tom and Jerry, Cartoon, Hanna and Barbera, Television
One of India's leading private museums, the Museum of Art & Photography (MAP) Bengaluru, has released new primary research conducted by the ReReeti Foundation, on audience behaviour in India's cultural sector. While more than half of the respondents thought the arts and culture are essential, they rarely manage to make time for it. The majority (60.6 per cent), mostly young people under 30, felt Indian museums could present more engaging content, and most perceived culture as anthropological/ sociological. Of the diverse categories included, music emerged as the most popular cultural activity.
The report is based on a survey of 500 people, which included school and college students, professionals across sectors, homemakers and senior citizens. The first initiative of its kind in the cultural space, the report shares valuable insights into the behaviour and expectations of Indian audiences engaging with a broad range of cultural activities. As part of MAP's mission to foster meaningful connections between communities and the cultural sector globally, which includes its innovative digital programme Museums Without Borders, the report shares a wealth of insights that can help museums across the country understand their audiences better. As much as 60.6 per cent said Indian museums are not experimental enough, and can do more to create engaging content that is also relevant to surrounding communities.As much as 60.6 per cent said Indian museums are not experimental enough, and can do more to create engaging content that is also relevant to surrounding communities.
As much as 60.6 per cent said Indian museums are not experimental enough, and can do more to create engaging content that is also relevant to surrounding communities. | Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
Speaking on the recent report, Kamini Sawhney, Director, Museum of Art & Photography (MAP), said, "MAP is focused on changing the notion of a museum in India, by enabling more relevant and inclusive programming, both online and in our space in Bengaluru. The audience research commissioned by MAP, and conducted by the ReReeti Foundation, provides valuable, and actionable insights which we hope will help museums across the country better understand their consumer base, improve decision making and deepen social impact." As much as 62.3 per cent college students and 47.6 per cent professionals/homemakers perceive culture as anthropological and sociological. Music was the most popular cultural event likely to be attended, followed by heritage tours and plays/comedy shows for Indian audiences.
Over 70 per cent of college students visit museums with family and friends; working professionals, homemakers and senior citizens also predominantly visit with groups/ spouses (indicating a need to focus on increased group programming/facilitation). As much as 68 per cent of people were optimistic about going outdoors for activities and events in 2021. As much as 60.6 per cent said Indian museums are not experimental enough, and can do more to create engaging content that is also relevant to surrounding communities.(IANS/MBI)
Keywords: Art, Culture, India, Museum, Music
What is the best way to save Goa from deforestation?
Drinking feni, may well be the answer, says the secretary of the Goa Cashew Feni Distillers and Bottlers Association Hansel Vaz, who on Thursday said, that sipping the state's unique alcoholic drink and making it popular would directly aid the greening of Goa's hills and other barren landscapes.
"To get more cashews, we need to plant more trees. I always say, by drinking feni you will save Goa, because we will be planting more cashew trees and we will have greener hills. The beauty of cashew is you do not need fertile land. You can grow it on a hill which can provide no nutrition. We will be able to grow more trees, if we can sell feni properly," Vaz said. Vaz's comments come at a time when the hillsides of the coastal state have witnessed significant deforestation for real estate development and for infrastructure projects. Feni is manufactured by fermenting and double distilling juice from the cashew apple.
Best way to keep Goa green is to grab yourself a glass of feni. | IANS
Addressing a press conference in Panaji, Vaz also said that the promotion of feni was also in sync with the Prime Minister's vision for India to go "vocal for local". "There is no conglomerate, multinational company owning the drink. So every time we sell feni, it is a direct cash injection into Goa. If you sell a feni cocktail in Calangute (a popular beach village), it makes a direct impact in Valpoi and Bicholim, because this money is going down there," the Association official said at a press conference in Panaji.
The Association held the media briefing to announce a road map ahead for the feni industry, especially vis a vis streamlining aspects related to production, standardisation and marketing of the brew to make it popular in other Indian states and abroad.
The efforts to streamline the state "heritage drink" comes a month after the Goa government notified a formal policy, 'Goa Feni Policy 2021', which covers 26 different varieties of feni distilled in the state. "There were many barriers related to feni, which the policy has now addressed," treasurer of the Association Tukaram Haldankar said. One such hurdle was the previous government classification, which described feni as "country liquor", which would deter tourists from purchasing the drink. The reclassification of feni as a state "heritage drink" has lent dignity to the brew which has been manufactured locally in Goa since the 16th century.
But there is more the government can do, along with the state's traditional distillers and manufacturers to promote feni, Haldankar said. | Photo by Ishvani Hans on Unsplash
But there is more the government can do, along with the state's traditional distillers and manufacturers to promote feni, Haldankar said. "We request the government to allow the sale of feni in duty free stores in airports and cruise liner terminals. The government should also support us through the department of Tourism, so that feni can be promoted in its programmes. iIf you go to Scotland, they promote Scotch. Goa should promote its feni to Goa," Haldankar said, adding that traditional distillers should also be given subsidies and other measures should be taken to standardise feni, which he said, "would require further subsidies and financial assistance from the government".
"It should be a standard product like scotch, champagne," Haldankar said. "Like Mexico's tequila, Russian vodka and Japan's sake, we need to export our feni across the country and the world and the local distillers should also benefit economically," president of the Association Gurudutt Bhakta also said. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: deforestation,cashew,distillers,association,government, goa, feni, India