DIWALI 2010 - MOST POPULAR FESTIVAL OF INDIA More...
According to Hindu reckoning, the date of Diwali falls on 15th day of the dark fortnight in the auspicious Hindu month of Kartik or the month of October/November in English calendar. This Diwali day falls on the amavasya or the no moon day. Diwali date comes 20 days after the popular festival of Dussehra or Vijaya Dashmi. Diwali 2010 date is on 5 November, Friday.
Diwali is an occasion wherein every member of a family is involved in the preparations weeks in advance. Right from getting the house cleaned and spruced up and painted, making elaborate rangolis, planning the special dishes, visits to the temples, friends, relatives and exchange diwali gifts. With the passage of time, Diwali has evolved into a community festival. People gather as a community for the celebrations. Even Diwali shopping is in its full swing days before the Deepavali day.
The Extended Divali Extravaganza Diwali festival celebrations are a five day affair. On the first day of Dhanteras, people buy new utensils ; on the second day of Chaturdashi or Choti Diwali, devotees take bath before sunrise as it is considered auspicious; on third day of Diwali, Lakshmi puja is performed to propitiate the goddess of wealth to fulfill one's wishes for prosperity; fourth day is for Govardhan puja, on this day cows are worshipped; and, on the fifth comes Bhai Dooj when brothers visit their sisters.
Welcoming Prosperity on Deepavali Diwali, or Deepawali, literally means rows of diyas (clay lamps). This festival is significant for its association with the uplifting of spiritual darkness in the souls of people. It also marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year and on this day Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed Hindu god, is worshiped. It is considered the right time for shopping, starting new ventures, business deals and house warming. On this day, doorways are lit and decorated with Rangoli or traditional patterns to welcome the Hindu goddess of wealth, Lakshmi.
Diwali - Meaning for Other Faiths Diwali Day is equally important for Sikh and Jains. During the festival time in 1620 the 6th Guru, Hargobind Singh Ji was successful in releasing 52 Hindu princes who had been falsely imprisoned in Gwallior Fort by the rulers of the area, the Mughals. The Golden Temple was lit with many lights to welcome Guru Hargobind Singh Ji and Sikhs have continued the celebration to this day. The Jainis also celebrate this occasion, in remembrance of the establishment of the Jain dharma by Lord Mahavira.
Diwali is the most auspicious Hindu festival, enjoyed by kids, youngsters and old parents.Diwali for kids is more than just fireworks and candy and it is very important to teach children about the true meaning of the Festival of Lights, which celebrates the triumph of good over evil. Diwali is about realizing and understanding the inner light that resides within all of us.
Teach Children About Diwali 1. Explain to children, using a Hindu calendar, when Diwali occurs every year. The 5-day festival is centered around the new moon phase of the Hindu month of Kartik, which is usually during late October and early November, like Diwali 2010 date is 5th November.
2. Teach children about the true meaning of the festival. The most popular version revolves around the return of Lord Rama from exile after defeating evil demons. Other versions focus on Lakshmi Mata, the goddess of light and prosperity, and the act of welcoming her into your home.
3. Outline the 5 days of the festival, and explain what should be done on each day. The first day, Dhanteras, is used to shop and prepare for the celebration. The second day, Naraka Chaturdasi, marks the beginning of the lighting of the lamps, as well as the setting off of fireworks to celebrate the defeat of demons. The third day is Diwali itself, the center of the celebration. The fourth day, Annakut, is marked by feasts. And Bhayiduj, the last day, is reserved for brothers and sisters to strengthen their bonds with each other.
4. Show the various ways in which people celebrate Diwali in India and overseas, such as sharing candy and sweets, lighting fireworks, buying new clothes, wearing gold and jewelry, decorating their homes, lighting lamps and diyas (small clay pots which are lit like luminarias), exchanging diwali gifts and painting designs on their hands with henna.
5. Reinforce the idea of Diwali as a time of personal enlightenment by teaching children how to participate in prayer services. Teach them how to perform various puja, like Dhanteras Pooja, Lakshmi Pooja which is a ritual involving meditation.
The festival of Bhai Dooj is popularly known as Bhai Bij, Bhaubeej amongst the Marathi and Konkani speaking communities in the states of Maharashtra,Goa and Karnataka. It is also known as Bhai-phota among Bengalis. Just as Bhaidooj celebrations in rest of India, Bhaubeej falls on the last day of five-day-long Diwali festival, on the second day of Diwali. This is the second day of the bright fortnight or Shukla Paksha of Hindu month of Kartika. On Bhaubeej, sisters pray for their brothers to have long and happy lives by performing the Teeka ceremony. Brothers give their sisters Bhav-Bij gifts. An important part of Bhai Bij in Maharashtra is a special sweet called Basundi Poori or Shrikhand Poori.
Bhaubeej (Bhai Bij) Ceremony
On the day of Bhaubeej or Bhai Bij sister's invite their brothers for a sumptuous meal often including their favorite dishes. The whole ceremony signifies the duty of a brother to protect his sister as well as a sistersblessings for her brother.
It may be noted that according to a popular Bhai Bij legend in Hindu mythology, after slaying Narkasur, Lord Krishna visited his sister Subhadra who gave him a warm welcome with sweets and flowers. She also affectionately applied tilak on Krishna's forehead. Since then the custom of celebrating Bhaubeej or Bhai Bij started.
Carrying forward the Bhaubeej ceremony in traditional style, sisters' perform arti of their brother and apply a red tika on the brother's forehead. This teeka ceremony, on the occasion of Bhai Bij signifies sister's sincerest prayers for the long and happy life of her brother. In return brothers bless their sisters and treat them with Bhaubeej or cash gifts.
As it is customary in Maharashtra to celebrate the auspicious occasion of Bhaubeej, women who don't have a brother worship Moon God Darpanagayesha instead.
In Nepal, this festival is celebrated as Bhai Tika and second most important festival after Vijaya Dashami.
Bhai Bij Celebration
Festival of Bhai Bij is quite popular in Gujarat,Maharashtra and Goa and is celebrated with lot of fervour and gaiety. Brothers and sisters look forward to the occasion with immense enthusiasm. To add charm to the occasion Bhai Bij Gifts are exchanged between brothers and sisters as a token of love and appreciation.
Bhav Bij is the time for family reunion as all brothers and sisters in the family get together. Close relatives and friends are also invited to celebrate the Bhav Bij in several families. Delectable Basundi Poori and Shrikhand Poori is relished along with several other festival special dishes.
Of 12.6 million children in hazardous occupations, India has the highest number of labourers in the world under 14 years of age.Although theConstitution of Indiaguarantees free and compulsory education to children between the age of 6 to 14 and prohibits employment of children younger than 14 in any hazardous environment, child labour is present in almost all sectors of the Indian economyCompanies includingGap,Primark,Monsantoetc have been criticised for using child labour in either their operations in India or by their suppliers in India.
Sectors involved in child labour
A survey conducted between 1994 and 1995 revealed that child workers comprise of more than 30% of total hired workers in thebeedimanufacture sector. TheUnited States Customs Servicesubsequently banned the import of Beedis made in Ganesh Beedi Works ofMangalore
International Labour Organizationpublished a report titled Child Labour in the Diamond Industry.claiming that child labour is highly prevalent in the Indian diamond industry, as child labourers constitute nearly 3% of the total workforce and the percentage of child labourers is as high as 25% in the diamond industry ofSurat. The ICFTU further claimed that child labour was prospering in the diamond industry in Western India, where the majority of the world's diamonds are cut and polished while workers are often paid only a fraction of 1% of the value of the stones they cut.
Fireworks manufacturers had long been criticised for their use of child labour. Although the manufacturers declare that child labour is no longer used, estimates suggest that at least 3,000 children still work at every stage of the manufacturing process. Child labourers at Sivakashi earn wages as low as Rs 20 per day. There had been protests by the manufacturers against the anti child labour campaign by various N.G.O.s , terming them as false allegations and conspiracies.Thousands of children die each year in the fireworks business.
Human Rights Watchestimates that at least 350,000 bonded children are employed by the silk industry in India.As per Human Rights Watch, children as young as five years old are employed and work for up to 12 hours a day and six to seven days a week. Children are forced to dip their hands in scalding water topalpatethecocoonsand are often paid less than Rs 10 per day.
Official estimates for child labor working as domestic labor and in restaurants is more than 2,500,000 while NGOs estimate the figure to be around 20 million.TheGovernment of Indiaexpanded the coverage of The Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act and banned the employment of children as domestic workers and as workers in restaurants,dhabas, hotels, spas and resorts effective from October 10, 2006.
The use of child labor can be found in the construction industry too. Children are found in construction of both home and office buildings. In 1982, for the construction of the Asian Games Village, the contractors had employed child labor, for they had to be paid less, making it a giant issue.
Each year, thousands of children are rescued from brick kilns, working in awful conditions. Some of the children are actually sold to the brick kiln owners, and are not paid.
Initiatives against child labour
In 1979, the Indian government formed the Gurupadswamy Committee to find about child labour and means to tackle it. The Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act was enacted based on the recommendations of the committee in 1986. A National Policy on Child Labour was formulated in 1987 to focus on rehabilitating children working in hazardous occupations.The ministry of Labour and Employment had implemented around 100 industry-specific National Child Labour Projects to rehabilitate the child workers since 1988.
The Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act (1986) bans employment of children in occupations related to
§Transport of passengers
§Manufacture and selling of crackers and fireworks
TheAsian Games, officially known asAsiad, is amulti-sport eventheld every four years amongathletesfrom all overAsia. The Games were regulated by the Asian Games Federation (AGF) from the first Games inNew Delhi,India, until the1982 Games. Since the1982they have been organised by theOlympic Council of Asia(OCA), after the break up of the Asian Games Federation. The Games are recognised by theInternational Olympic Committee(IOC) and are described as the second largest multi-sport event after theOlympic Games.
Thailandhas hosted four Asian Games, more than any other nation, after twice having secured the Games from crisis. In its history, only nine nations have hosted the Asian Games. 46 nations have participated in the Games, includingIsrael, which was excluded from the Games after their last participation in1974.
Before the Asian Games were held, there was a gathering known as theFar Eastern Gameswhich was first mooted in 1912 betweenEmpire of Japan, thePhilippine IslandsandChina. The first Games were then held inManilain1913and ten further gatherings were held until1934. However, against the backdrop of thesecond Sino-Japanese Warin 1934, in the face of Japan's insistence on includingManchu Empireas competitor nation in the Games, China announced its withdrawal from participation. The Games scheduled for1938were cancelled and the organisation was discontinued thereafter.
After World War II, a number of Asian countries became independent. Many of the newly independent Asian countries wanted to see a new type of competition where Asian dominance would not be shown by violence but would be strengthened by mutual understanding. During the1948 Summer OlympicsinLondon, a conversation between sportsmen from China and the Philippines raised the idea of restoring the Far Eastern Games. However, the Indian International Olympic Committee representativeGuru Dutt Sondhithought that the restoration of the Games would not be sufficient to show the spirit of unity and level of achievement in Asian sports, so proposed to sports leaders the idea of having discussions about holding a wholly new competition — the Asian Games. This gave rise to the agreement to form the Asian Athletic Federation. A preparatory committee was set up to draft the charter for this new body. On 13 February 1949, the Asian Athletic Federation was formally inaugurated in New Delhi, alongside the name Asian Games Federation, with New Delhi announced as the first host city of the Asian Games which were scheduled to be held in 1950. In the event, the planned first Asian Games were delayed until1951due to preparation problems. However, they were successfully organised from 4-11 March 1951 with 489 athletes from 11 countries taking part. The Games grew from one meeting to the next. In1958, the motto "Ever Onward" was officially announced as the official slogan of the Games.
Crisis, reorganisation, expansion
Starting in1962, the Games were hit by several crises. First, the host countryIndonesia, refused to permit the participation of Israel and the Republic of China due to political and religious issues. As a result, the IOC removed its sponsorship of the Games and terminated Indonesia as one of the IOC members. TheAsian Football Confederation(AFC),International Association of Athletics Federations(IAAF) andInternational Weightlifting Federation(IWF), also removed their recognition of the Games.
In1970,South Koreadropped its plan to host the Games declined due to national security crisis, however the main reason was due tofinancial crisis, forcing the previous host Thailand to administer the Games again inBangkokusing funds transferred from South Korea.Prior to the Games,Japanwas asked to host the Games, but declined due toExpo '70inOsaka.This edition also marked the first time the Games have a televisionbroadcastingthroughout the world.In1974, the Games formally recognized the participation ofChina,North KoreaandMongolia. Israel was allowed to participate despite the opposition fromArab World, while Taiwan was permitted to take part despite its status was abolished in general meeting on November 16, 1973 by Games Federation.
The last is1978,Pakistandropped its plan to host the Games in 1975 due to financial crisis andpolitical issues.Thailand offered to help and the Games were once again held in Bangkok. However once again, like in 1962, Taiwan and Israel were refused the participation by Games Federation, amid political issues and security fears.Several governing bodies protest the ban, like IAAF, threaten to barred the participated players from1980 Summer Olympics,this cause several teams withdrew prior to the Games.
Following this series of crises, the National Olympic Committee in Asia decided to revise the constitution of the Asian Games Federation. A new association, named the Olympic Council of Asia, was created in November 1981 with the exclusion of Israel. India was already scheduled to host the1982 Gamesand the OCA decided not to drop the old AGF timetable. The OCA formally supervised the Games starting with the1986 Asian Gamesin South Korea.In the succeeding Games, Taiwan (Republic of China) was re-admitted, but compete with the nameChinese Taipei.
In1994, the Games were first time included the nations of formerRepublics of the Soviet UnionofKazakhstan,Kyrgystan,Uzbekistan,TurkmenistanandTajikistan. Also to note it is the first time that the Games were held outside thecapital cityof host country.However,Iraqwas suspended from the Games due toGulf Warin 1990, whileNorth Koreaboycotted the Games due to relation problems. It is also marred by the death ofNepalesedelegation Nareshkumar Adhikari during the Games's opening ceremony.
The1998 Gamesmarked the fourth time held in Bangkok, Thailand in history. Differ to December 6 as opening ceremony date to previous three occasions on December 9, the Games were closing on same day all time, December 20, while all opened byBhumibol Adulyadej.
The number of competition events is scheduled to shrink down to just 35 sports at the2014Games to be held inIncheon,South Korea. 2014 will also see the Games hosted in even-numbered year, as the Olympic Council of Asia pushed the subsequent Games to just one year ahead of the Olympic Games. This means the 18th Asian Games which were originally planned for 2018 will be pushed to2019.
All 45 members affiliated to the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) are eligible to take part in the Games. In history, 46 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) have sent competitors to the Games.Israelhas been excluded from the Games since 1976, the reason cited as being due to security reasons.Israel requested to participate in the 1982 Games, but the request was rejected by the organisers due toincident in 1972 Summer Olympics.Israel is now a member of theEuropean Olympic Committees(EOC).
Due to its continuing ambiguous political status,Taiwanhas participated in the Games under the flag ofChinese Taipeisince 1990.Macauis allowed to compete as one of the NOCs in Asian Games, despite not being recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for participation in theOlympic Games.
In 2007, the President of OCA, SheikhAhmed Al-Fahad Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, rejected the proposal to allowAustraliato participate in the Games. He stated that while Australia would add good value to the Asian Games, it would be unfair to the other NOCs inOceania.
Only seven countries, namelyIndia,Indonesia,Japan,the Philippines,Sri Lanka,SingaporeandThailandhave competed in all editions of the games.
Cricket is a bat-and-ball team sport. Many variations exist, with its most popular form played on an oval-shaped outdoor arena known as a cricket field at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard (20.12 m) long pitch that is the focus of the game. A game (or match) is contested between two teams of eleven players each. One team bats, and will try to score as many runs as possible while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the batsmen and thus limit the runs scored by the batting team. A run is scored by the striking batsman hitting the ball with his bat, running to the opposite end of the pitch and touching the crease there without being dismissed. The teams switch between batting and fielding at the end of an innings.
There are also variations in the length of a game of cricket. In professional cricket this ranges from a limit of 20 overs per side (Twenty20) to a game played over 5 days (Test cricket, which is the highest level of the game). Depending on the form of the match being played, there are different rules that govern how a game is won, lost, drawn or tied. The rules of two-innings games are known as the Laws of Cricket and maintained by the ICC and the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC); additional Standard Playing Conditions for Test matches and One Day Internationals augment these laws. In one version of Indoor Cricket, matches include just 6 players per side and include two 12-over innings.
Cricket was first documented as being played in southern England in the 16th century. By the end of the 18th century, it had developed to the point where it had become the national sport of England. The expansion of the British Empire led to cricket being played overseas and by the mid-19th century the first international matches were being held. Today, the game's governing body, the International Cricket Council (ICC), has 105 member countries. With its greatest popularity in the Test playing countries, cricket is the world's second most popular sport after Association football
Rules and Game-play
A typical cricket field.
A cricket match is played between two teams (or sides) of eleven players each on a field of variable size and shape. The ground is grassy and is prepared by groundsmen whose jobs include fertilising, mowing, rolling and levelling the surface. Field diameters of 137–150 metres (150–160 yd) are usual. The perimeter of the field is known as the boundary and this is sometimes painted and sometimes marked by a rope that encircles the outer edge of the field. The Laws of Cricket do not specify the size or shape of the field but it is often oval – one of cricket's famous venues is called The Oval.
The key action takes place in a specially prepared area of the field (generally in the centre) that is called the pitch. A run is scored when the batsman has run the length of the pitch after hitting the ball with his bat, although as explained below there are many ways of scoring runs. If the batsmen are not attempting to score any more runs, the ball is dead and is returned to the bowler to be bowled again.
Before play commences, the two team captains toss a coin to decide which team shall bat or bowl first. The captain who wins the toss makes his decision on the basis of tactical considerations which may include the current and expected field and weather conditions.
The bowling side seeks to dismiss the batsmen by various means until the batting side is all out, whereupon the side that was bowling takes its turn to bat and the side that was batting must take the field.
In professional matches, there are 15 people on the field while a match is in play. Two of these are the umpires who regulate all on-field activity. Two are the batsmen, one of whom is the striker as he is facing the bowling; the other is called the non-striker. The roles of the batsmen are interchangeable as runs are scored and oversare completed. The fielding side has all 11 players on the field together. One of them is the bowler, another is the wicketkeeper and the other nine are called fielders. The wicketkeeper (or keeper) is nearly always a specialist but any of the fielders can be called upon to bowl.
The objective of each team is to score more runs than the other team and to completely dismiss the other team. In limited overs cricket, winning the game is achieved by scoring the most runs, even if the opposition has not been completely dismissed. In Test cricket, it is necessary to score the most runs and dismiss the opposition twice in order to win the match, which would otherwise be drawn.