This year Melbourne Australia has been honoured to host the 2014 International AIDS Conference. This year's theme of the Conference is ‘stepping up the pace’.
In recognition of the importance of this gathering, St Paul’s Cathedral at 209 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, hosted a special Interfaith Service event on Tuesday July 22nd at 7pm. The service involved Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, and Muslims, and was timed to follow-on from the Mobilisation March and the Candlelight Vigil in Federation Square (across the road from the Cathedral).
On behalf of Melbourne's Hindu community, HCCV's General Secretary Bhakta dasa was invited to present a prayer.
Basing the prayer on a verse from the ancient Upanishads, Bhakta dasa read:
Hari Om Tat Sat. Dear Lord, lead me from death to life, from falsehood to truth. Lead me from despair to hope, from fear to trust. Lead me from hate to love, from war to peace. Let peace fill our heart, our world, our universe. Peace, Peace, Peace. Om Shantih, Shantih, Shantih.
HCCV was invited to participate in an IFTAR dinner on Friday 18th July. It was presented and organized by the Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Association in conjunction with the Australian Intercultural Society and with support from the Victorian Multicultural Commission. The dinner was hosted at Vegie Mum, 27 Village Avenue in Doncaster.
Quoted from Wikipedia: "Iftar is one of the religious observances of Ramadan and is often done as a community, with people gathering to break their fast together. Iftar is taken right after Maghrib time, which is around sunset. Traditionally but not mandatory, three dates are eaten to break the fast in emulation of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, who broke his fast in this manner. Many Muslims believe that feeding someone iftar as a form of charity is very rewarding and that such was practised by the Prophet Muhammad.
AH Qasmi provides this information for breaking the fast to say this prayer at the time of Iftar: "O Allah! it is for thee that I observe fast and it is with Thine blessing that I break it."
According to the Majlis publication of South Africa: Allahuma inni laka sumtu wa 'ala rizqika aftartu - "O Allah! for thy sake I have fasted and now I break the fast with the food that comes from thee."
HCCV participated in celebrating Naidoc Week in an event at the Thomas Embling Hospital in Fairfield.
Our General Secretary Bhakta dasa was one of the speakers.
HCCV has received a request from Bunurong Memorial Park for the Hindu, Tamils, Sikh and Indian population in Melbourne to give information in regard to Cremation needs.
Bunurong Memorial Park is a Class A Cemetery that provides cremation facilities for the community. It is located at 790 Frankston-Dandenong Road Dandenong South and is managed by the Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust. The Trust is seeking to develop a range of dedicated facilities for the Hindu community. However it needs support from the community to establish whether there is sufficient need for these facilities – for example a dedicated ashes release waterway and small shrine with Hindu symbols.
The Trust have created a short survey to establish needs within the community. Could you kindly spend 10 minutes filling out the survey to support this project.
HCCV has received information for an Open Casting Call from McGregor Casting.
The new feature film will be from the same producers of The King's Speech.
Roles for men and women in their 20s and 5-8 year old boys of Indian Background are open to applicants available to film between September and December 2014.
For more information click here.
All students enrolled in a course at an Australian university, or tertiary education institution, are eligible to enter an essay writing competition. Discover the wisdom of the Bhagavad Gita and compete for a $10,000 prize.
All entrants receive a copy of 'Bhagavad Gita As It Is' by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the book on which the competition question is based.
The essay question to be answered is as follows:
"It is the year 2050 and a united, peace-loving world government has been formed. The leaders of that government have decided to implement Krishna's strategy for peace and happiness in the world. You have been tasked to succinctly summarise and promote Krishna's message in a convincing pamphlet that motivates obstinate elements in the population (who are attached to the former failed system) to implement these teachings in their lives and societies."
(Article taken from The Age, Friday May 23, 2014, written by Rachel Kleinman)
The dowry 'has huge links to domestic violence'. Photo: AP
Indian women living in Australia suffer domestic violence stemming from a tradition that some say should be
Jessica* came to Australia in 2012 after an arranged marriage in India. Her Indian husband already had permanent residency here and she left her family and country behind to start a new life with him in Melbourne's western suburbs. Back home, Jessica had completed postgraduate studies, she had a career and came from a family with liberal values. Now, just two years later, she is separated, recovering from the trauma of domestic violence and locked in a long legal battle to claim her dowry, which remains in India in the hands of her husband's parents. ''This is just a kind of torture for me and my family,'' Jessica says. ''I am all alone here. At least if I get back my dowry articles that would be fine … It would give me back a bit of financial security.'' To make matters worse, Jessica came here on a spousal visa. When the marriage broke down, her husband wrote to the Immigration Department saying he wanted to revoke his sponsorship of her. If she returned to India, Jessica would face the social stigma of being divorced. She is now applying for permanent residency, which her visa allows if she has suffered domestic violence.