Monthly Feature


posted 25 Jan 2012, 16:15 by GujaratiSamajPenang   [ updated 17 Apr 2012, 06:39 ]

Dear all,

I am pleased to enclose a Press Release regarding admission to courses in Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy and Engineering in Government run academic   institutions in India for the academic year 2012-13.This scheme is opened to all Malaysian students who wish to study in India subject to academic eligibility criteria. For further details, please contact Mr. Meyyappan, Education Officer at the High Commission of India by email at by fax at   03-2092 2339

The last date for receiving applications is 31 March 2012.

Best wishes,

Sapna Tewari
Counsellor (Community Affairs & Labour)
High Commission of India
Kuala Lumpur

** Below is the attached documents

Jains fast for peace

posted 23 Sept 2011, 06:07 by GujaratiSamajPenang   [ updated 1 Dec 2011, 20:00 ]

22nd September 2011 in the SUN Daily

By Himanshu Bhatt

WHEN 29-year-old Kinal Vora recently ended her fast in a simple ceremony in Penang, it was for those who were present no ordinary moment. Kinal had gone 16 days without eating a single morsel of food, as an act of intense spiritual devotion.

She was not alone. All across Malaysia, numerous other followers of the Jain religion also fasted, some for longer periods, in the private confines of their homes. Many went about their daily lives, without their friends and colleagues realising the incredible personal feats they were undertaking – all as a gesture of peace to our universe.

Unknown to many, the small community observed this extraordinary fasting period in a tradition that is being kept alive in Malaysia. Every year around September, adherents of Jainism – a sister religion of Buddhism and Hinduism – numbering about a thousand in this country, mark the religious occasion called "paryushan". The moving spiritual observance involves a process of personal introspection that entails a form of deep self-cleansing to strengthen one's principles.

While performing prayer and meditation, many Jains also take an oath to fast for a number of days, by consuming only boiled water between sunrise and sunset. Some give up food for a day, while many choose to do so longer.

It is common to see Jains of various ages – teenage students to the elderly – fasting for eight or 16 days without taking any food.

Fascinatingly enough, the longest fasting period ever recorded in Malaysia by an individual is attributed to a Jain elder in Kuala Lumpur. In 1995, Pravin Damani went 55 days without food for "paryushan".

This great fasting ceremony is rooted in the concept of compassion and non-violence that is at the heart of the ancient Jain philosophy. Jains are strict vegetarians.

Jainism's main figure, the ascetic Mahavir, who lived in the Indian subcontinent 2,600 years ago, preached abstention from hurting living beings not just by physical acts, but also through mind and speech.

And so Jains across Malaysia, a majority of whom are ethnic Gujaratis, recently strove for peace by observing the "paryushan".

 In Kuala Lumpur, many Jains converged at the community's temple in Bangsar. In Malacca, a Jain school, or "jainshala", has been running since the 50s, passing down the values and beliefs of the culture to young children and youths.

And little known to most people, Ipoh is home to the one of the largest Jain temples in Southeast Asia – a majestic ornate-domed building in First Garden.

Interestingly, the first Malaysian to be ordained a Jain monk was a Penangite who in the 1940s was severely affected by the atrocities of the Japanese army during the occupation of Malaya.

Ratilal Muni Gathani was in his mid-20s when his eldest brother was killed by a Japanese bomb which fell in Penang Street, and the tragedy moved him deeply. He was so struck that he renounced all worldly possessions and went off to India to become a monk and seek to understand life through Jainism.

It is in this spirit of healing and atonement, that one of the key gestures of the "paryushan" is a moving ritual where every member of the community asks forgiveness from others for any wrongdoing or offence.

Each person expresses to another "Michami Dukhadam" which, roughly translated means "I ask forgiveness for any hurt". Many find the discipline purifying, and emerge from the experience with renewed vigour.

Many Jains even sent text messages seeking such forgiveness to each other and to friends. The expression is made to seek pardon from not just people one may know, but also all creatures that may have been affected by one's misdeeds – from the smallest living cell to the highest human being. This small but powerful gesture is symbolic of the Jain faith's reverence for all life.

Indeed, it is a gesture of forgiveness, rejuvenation and continuity that Malaysians from all walks of life can derive inspiration from as they go about their affairs in the mortal world.

Himanshu is the Sun's Penang bureau chief. Comments:

Jai Jai Garvi Gujarat

posted 11 Sept 2011, 19:20 by GujaratiSamajPenang

India's Gift To The World

posted 22 Jul 2011, 04:39 by GujaratiSamajPenang

Read FULL STORY here

Mind Blowing Water Laser Show in Ahmedabad

posted 24 May 2011, 20:13 by GujaratiSamajPenang

Fantastic Cooking Plant (India)

posted 22 May 2011, 06:16 by GujaratiSamajPenang   [ updated 22 May 2011, 07:03 ]

The kitchen from the outside

A three-storey building which uses Gravity Flow Mechanism developed in-house By our team.
Each kitchen has the capacity to cook between 50 000 to 100 000 Mid-day meals per day.
Costing approximately 9 crores to set up, they are built with funds from public donations.

The kitchen from the inside,
Consisting of rice cauldrons each of which Cooks up to 110kg of rice in 20 minutes.
Sambar cauldrons cook up to 1200 Litres of sambar in two hours.

It is washed thoroughly on the 2nd floor

Washed rice is sent down the chute to the 1st floor

Rice pours down into steam heated cauldrons For cooking.
The entire cooking process Takes place on the 1st floor

Super heated steam is used To cook food instead of flame.

When cooking is finished, it is Loaded into trolleys

Cooked rice is sent down the chute To the ground floor

It flows down the pipe into containers

Piping hot rice on its way to being Loaded into food vans.
Around 6000 kilosof rice are cooked daily In each kitchen.

Food materials in Kitchen

Stock in the kitchen

Washed dal and vegetables flows Down the chute into sambar cauldron on The 1st floor.

Vegetables and dal ready to be cooked

Sambar being cooked on the first floor

Cooked sambar is packed and sent to the Food vans to be loaded

Chapati dough is mixed

Heavy rollers flatten the dough into Thin sheets

Dough is cut into the classic round shape

Making chapatti

Collecting all the chapattis

Transporting akshayapatra food through bus

Happy Kids and Students benefited from akshaypatra

Rabindranath Tagore

posted 22 May 2011, 06:11 by GujaratiSamajPenang

Rabindranath Tagore
was born in Calcutta, India into a wealthy Brahmin family. After a brief stay in England (1878) to attempt to study law, he returned to India, and instead pursued a career as a writer, playwright, songwriter, poet, philosopher and educator. During the first 51 years of his life he achieved some success in the Calcutta area of India where he was born and raised with his many stories, songs and plays. His short stories were published monthly in a friend's magazine and he even played the lead role in a few of the public performances of his plays. Otherwise, he was little known outside of the Calcutta area, and not known at all outside of India.

This all suddenly changed in 1912. He then returned to England for the first time since his failed attempt at law school as a teenager. Now a man of 51, his was accompanied by his son. On the way over to England he began translating, for the first time, his latest selections of poems, Gitanjali, into English. Almost all of his work prior to that time had been written in his native tongue of Bengali. He decided to do this just to have something to do, with no expectation at all that his first time translation efforts would be any good. He made the handwritten translations in a little notebook he carried around with him and worked on during the long sea voyage from India. Upon arrival, his son left his father's brief case with this notebook in the London subway. Fortunately, an honest person turned in the briefcase and it was recovered the next day. Tagore's one friend in England, a famous artist he had met in India, Rothenstein, learned of the translation, and asked to see it. Reluctantly, with much persuasion, Tagore let him have the notebook. The painter could not believe his eyes. The poems were incredible. He called his friend, W.B. Yeats, and finally talked Yeats into looking at the hand scrawled notebook.

The rest, as they say, is history. Yeats was enthralled. He later wrote the introduction to Gitanjali when it was published in September 1912 in a limited edition by the India Society in London. Thereafter, both the poetry and the man were an instant sensation, first in London literary circles, and soon thereafter in the entire world. His spiritual presence was awesome. His words evoked great beauty. Nobody had ever read anything like it. A glimpse of the mysticism and sentimental beauty of Indian culture were revealed to the West for the first time. Less than a year later, in 1913, Rabindranath received the Nobel Prize for literature. He was the first non-westerner to be so honored. Overnight he was famous and began world lecture tours promoting inter-cultural harmony and understanding. In 1915 he was knighted by the British King George V. When not traveling he remained at his family home outside of Calcutta, where he remained very active as a literary, spiritual and social-political force.

In 1919, following the Amritsar massacre of 400 Indian demonstrators by British troops, Sir Tagore renounced his Knighthood. Although a good friend of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, most of the time Tagore stayed out of politics. He was opposed to nationalism and miltiarism as a matter of principle, and instead promoted spiritual values and the creation of a new world culture founded in multi-culturalism, diversity and tolerance. He served as a spiritual and creative beacon to his countrymen, and indeed, the whole world. He used the funds from his writing and lecturing to expand upon the school he had founded in 1901 now known as Visva Bharati . The alternative to the poor system of education imposed by the British, combined the best of traditional Hindu education with Western ideals. Tagore's multi-cultural educational efforts were an inspiration to many, including his friend, Count Hermann Keyserling of Estonia. Count Keyserling founded his own school in 1920 patterned upon Tagore's school, and the ancient universities which existed in Northern India under Buddhist rule over 2,000 years ago under the name School of Wisdom. Rabindranath Tagore led the opening program of the School of Wisdom in 1920, and participated in several of its programs thereafter.

Rabindranath Tagore's creative output tells you a lot about this renaissance man. The variety, quality and quantity are unbelievable. As a writer, Tagore primarily worked in Bengali, but after his success with Gitanjali, he translated many of his other works into English. He wrote over one thousand poems; eight volumes of short stories; almost two dozen plays and play-lets; eight novels; and many books and essays on philosophy, religion, education and social topics. Aside from words and drama, his other great love was music, Bengali style. He composed more than two thousand songs, both the music and lyrics. Two of them became the national anthems of India and Bangladesh. In 1929 he even began painting. Many of his paintings can be found in

museums today, especially in India, where he is considered the greatest literary figure of India of all times.

Tagore was not only a creative genius, he was a great man and friend to many. For instance, he was also a good friend from childhood to the great Indian Physicist, Bose. He was educated and quite knowledgeable of Western culture, especially Western poetry and Science. This made him a remarkable person, one of the first of our planet to combine East and West, and ancient and modern knowledge. Tagore had a good grasp of modern - post-Newtonian - physics, and was well able to hold his own in a debate with Einstein in 1930 on the newly emerging principles of quantum mechanics and chaos. His meetings and tape recorded conversations with his contemporaries such Albert Einstein and H.G. Wells, stand as cultural landmarks, and show the brilliance of this great man. Although Tagore is a superb representative of his country - India - the man who wrote its national anthem - his life and works go far beyond his country. He is truly a man of the whole Earth, a product of the best of both traditional Indian, and modern Western cultures. The School of Wisdom is proud to have him as part of its heritage. He exemplifies the ideals important to us of Goodness, Meaningful Work, and World Culture.

Credits to :
Taken from

International Kite Festival

posted 4 Jan 2011, 23:54 by GujaratiSamajPenang

International Kite Festival
(Gujarat - India)
January 12 to 14, 2004

The International Kite Festival is always held at Ahmedabad on January 14, to coincide with the festival of Uttarayan or Makar Sankranti. The people of Gujarat celebrate Uttarayan with a lot of enthusiasm. It is also a celebration to mark the end of winter.                                                                                                   

It is a holiday when every family can be meet outdoors 'cutting' each other's kites and all business comes to a grinding halt for a couple of days. This immensely popular kite flying festival is held in all the important cities of Gujarat. The festival lures expert kite-makers and fliers not only from major cities of India but also from around the world. A plethora of designer kites are also put on display.     


Kite flying begins at dawn and continues without a pause throughout the day. Friends, neighbors and total strangers battle one another for supremacy and cries of triumph rend the air when someone cuts the line of a rival.

"The sky is the limit," they say, for those who wish to achieve something. And Monday was one such day for a lot of national and international kitists. As the kites soared high in the clear blue sky, the participants along with the spectators, including a large number of non-resident Gujaratis, joined in the celebrations.

It was not a breezy day in Ahmedabad but this did not deter them from displaying their kites, in all sizes and colours, till the sun descended. Beating the heat (it was a warm day today), they took time off to have snacks and then once again came out in the open on the Police Stadium Ground to delight the spectators.       

For many kitists, who have been taking part regularly at international kite festivals, it was an opportunity to meet each other on yet another occasion. Language was no barrier for them. The event saw participation from 18 countries, including USA, China, Holland, Brazil, Chile, Australia and Italy.

"In Gujarat, we have not seen a kite festival organised in such a manner before," they said, when spoken to separately. But for many there was only one hindrance. As a kitist from Holland said, "There is very little space to fly kites and people (spectators) stand very close to you."

But before the second half of the function, when the actual kite-flying began, the masses were entertained with a Suryanamaskar presentation, a Bharatnatyam dance, a small programme by singer Falguni Pathak, a guest appearance of actress Juhi Chawla as well as the lead cast of the Star Plus popular serial.

The crowds could hardly control their excitement when Smriti Irani, Juhi Chawla, Aman Verma, Jaya Bhattacharya, Sudha Shivpuri and the rest performed garba on the stage to the tunes of Falguni Pathak.

The stage appears to be set for Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee's visit to Gujarat on Tuesday to inaugurate the Vishwa Gujarati Parivar Mahotsav.

And to gel with the situation, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for once gave a non-political speech. The festival, he said, is an example of Gujarat's cultural strength. Like the kites, Gujarat wishes to soar high, he said. Mr Modi wished that the "best in the world" should be in India and added that Monday's function was just a humble attempt in this direction. To conclude, he said that fighter kites (in which the kites are tangled and cut) is the property right of Gujarat. "It's a kind of patent," he said.

A tremendous variety of kites are seen and the connoisseur can choose precisely what he wants. Experts specially prepare the lines with which the kites are flown on the great day.

Special mixtures of glue and ground glass cover the lines, which are dried and rolled onto rears known as firkees. So sharp are these lines that, carelessly used, they can cut a finger.                                                                                     

The excitement does not end with nightfall, which is the time for illuminated box kites, often in a series strung on one line, to be launched into the sky. Called tukals, they add a touch of splendor to the dark sky.

One of the sidelights of the festival is the Patang Bazaar,

which is open  24 hours a day in the heart of Ahmedabad during the Makar Sankranti week. 

A visit to this bazaar in the middle of the night proves beyond all doubt that the entire population of the city is obsessed with patangs and they crowd the streets and buy their stocks while haggling and enjoying through the night.

People of all ages gather on terraces or rooftops and engage in kite flying. There is music in the air and traditional delicacies are especially prepared for this day.

The Gujarat State Tourism Corporation organizes an International Kite Festival every year.

Speaking on the occasion, chairman of the Essar Group S N Ruia said that the festival of Uttarayan is an ideal platform  to forge greater social harmony, which is the foundation and harbinger of economic and social prosperity. Kite flying, he said, represents a deeper symbolism, meaning and social significance than just gathering together for fun and frolic.

Bhanubhai Shah of the Kite Museum was also felicitated at the function and a book on 'Strings of Timeless Tradition',  written by Skyie Morrison from Canada, was released on the occasion.

Rising of India & China

posted 8 Dec 2010, 03:30 by GujaratiSamajPenang   [ updated 8 Dec 2010, 03:35 ]

Some Laughter - Gujarati Desi Spiderman

posted 21 Nov 2010, 18:42 by GujaratiSamajPenang   [ updated 21 Nov 2010, 18:47 ]

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