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Hindu/Indian Culture Outside India
<b>Nitish carries Hanuman Chalisa and Gangajal to Mauritius</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> <b>Gangajal (water from the Ganga) and 1,000 copies of Hanuman Chalisa — those are the precious gifts that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar carried for the people of Mauritius when he embarked upon a five-day tour of the island country on Wednesday. </b>

“I am on a mission to strengthen the cultural ties with Mauritius. It will help people to know each other. The way migrants from Bihar who went to Mauritius to work on sugarcane fields changed their own fate as well that of their adopted country by their sheer labour is worth emulation,” he said.

<b>“We are carrying Gangajal as there is a pond called Ganga Talab there into which the people pour the sacred water of the holy Ganga,” said Culture and Youth Affairs Minister, Janardan Singh Sigriwal, a member of the official delegation. As regards copies of the Hanuman Chalisa, Sigriwal said: “We have come to know that people from Bihar have a peepal tree outside their houses and have fixed Hanumanji’s red flag on it. We will present them Hanuman Chalisas, which are in great demand there.”</b>

Only a few days back, people of Badka Singhanpura, the ancestral village of Mauritius’ first independent PM, Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, had handed him soil from the village to be presented to current PM Navinchandra Ramgoolam. Navinchandra is Sir Seewoosagur’s son.

“The state-level gift is a handicraft item purchased from Delhi Cottage Emporium, the ministerial gift consists of elephants made of stone of different sizes and a pool gift of Madhubani paintings,” said Information and Public Relations Department Secretary, Vivek Singh.

“After all, no CM from Bihar has ever visited Mauritius and no other government tried to think about the Bhojpuri-speaking people settled there,” Sigriwal said.

Abstracts of UMass articles

Some abstracts:

Egyptian Links

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Ancient Migration of Indians to Egypt? </b>
Niranjan Shah
2649, Purdue Drive, Vestal, NY-13850.
              Auguste Toussand writes in 'History of Indian Ocean': " In fact long before India was colonized, she gave a proof of a very remarkable colonizing activity....". Heinrich Karl Brugsch writes in 'History of Egypt' : "We have a right to more than suspect that India, eight thousand years ago, sent a colony of emigrants who carried their arts and high civilization into what is now known as Egypt." According to Asiatic Researches British colonel Wilford's  description of the Hindu's intimate acquaintance with the ancient Egypt led Colonel Speke to Ripon Falls, at the edge of Lake Victoria. <b>Esubious, a Greek writer, has also recorded that early  Ethiopinians emigrated from the river Indus and first settled in the vicinity of Egypt.</b> Prof. Arnold Hermann Ludwig Heeran in 'Historic Researches' says that the physical similarity in color and configuration of the head between the Egyptians and the Indians is remarkable. Valmiki Ramayan and Skanda  Puran mention Africa as Shankhdwip. This shows the presence of Indian people
in Egypt since very ancient time. <b>It is testified by Herodotus, Plato,Salon, Pythagoras and Philostratuts that the religion of Egypt proceeded from India.</b>
                Bali, an asur emperor and grandson of Prahlad, establishes his empire all over India. He defeated Indra, emperor of devas, another powerful ruler. Vaman, said to be avatar of Vishnu, respected  by both asurs and devas promised Bali that he will protect his empire but it is time he went to Patal in Indus Valley area. We saw that early Ethiopians emigrated from Indus Valley. <b>Bali is accompnied by his guru, acharya Shukra, who knows the art of Sanjivini, the technique of preserving the dead bodies, the art later known
as 'mummification' in Egypt. and reviving the deceased back to life.  Egyptologist I.E.S. Edwards writes that Sokr, a god of Memphite necropolis dwelt in the desert west of Memphis with independent sanctuary. Sokr's  memory lingers in the  name of Saqqara, the site of first pyramid and mummification. Saqqara, named after Sokr or Shukr becomes the ancient capital of Eypt.</b>
              In that ancient period only Indus Valley people  knew the sciences of geometry, trigonometry, town planning, surveying, engineering and construction of massive structures. They also knew design and construction of Yajna-Vedis of Shulva-Sutras, including Smashan Vedi, a structure similar to pyramids. They had designed and executed huge massive structures and Yajna-Vedies at Mohenodaro, Harappa,  Dholavira and Lothal and Kalibangan. Great architect Imhotep (Mahatap?), of  Shukra school, designs and executes first step-pyramid at Saqqara. Mummification is continued using cloth and resins imported from India. Using Sanskrit  the country is named 'Kemet' and river 'Nil'.
                The country, now named 'Egypt' is culturally  colonized in true sense; It is a peaceful cultural penetration, occuring with the full consent of those colonized, for whom it proves beneficial and lasting. Is not this real colonization? Is Vaman Avatar a history of Colonization of Egypt? -- Niranjan Shah

Bali -I

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Hinduism in Bali and it's relation with India</b>
Faculty of Letters, Ji. P. Nias No. 13, Udayana University, Bali, Indonesia

<b>For over two thousand years, Indian intellectual tradition has been the source of Hinduism in Bali. The visit of Sage Agustya and his followers to Java, as well as the visit of Markandeya to Bali, played an important role in the history of Hinduism in Bali. Today, Indonesia`s  Hindu population of over four  million plays animportant role in the present Indonesian Government and it`s economy.</b>
Two great epics, the Ramayana and Mahabarata, although born in India, have become cultural aspects of Indonesia. The concept of Ramayana`s Astabrata is still used in Indonesian political life today. <b>The
Hindus of Bali are the only Hindus in the world who are  not of Indian origin who have with great efforts  preserved the religion up to now. Previously called Agama Tirtha  and Siva Buddha, its name changed in 1950 to Hinduism.</b> On this matter, the role of the late Pandit Shastri from India  will be remembered. <b>The formation of Parisada Hindu Dharma Indonesia  united all Indonesian Hindus under one umbrella.</b>
It is an astonishing fact that <b>India has given three religions to Indonesia, namely Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam. Archaeological evidence shows that Sanskrit was widely used in old manuscripts and that pallawa script was the medium. The old Javanese language was greatly influenced by Sanskrit, consisting of 30 percent Sanskrit words. Even the national language of Indonesia, Bahasa Indonesia, consists of over 1000 Sanskrit words. </b>

The philosophy of Saivism is dominant in the Hinduism of Bali. The Bhairava sect is practiced in the rituals of Bali.  <b>The foundation of the Mother Temple of Bali, Besakih, originated from Basuki and is dedicated to Lord Shiva.  It was laid  by the sage, Markandyeya.</b> The daily prayer Pujatri  Sandhya consists of six mantras including the Gayatri mantra and others taken from the Narayan Upanisada. Pujatri Sandhya was made by the late  Pandit Shastri and he introduced the Gayatri Mantra to the Hindus of Bali in1950.

Today, Hindus of Indonesia look to India for a philosophical exchange rather than for cultural domination. The strong culture and tradition of Bali, which has been influenced by Hinduism, remains unique in itself despite increasing western influence.

Two monumental works are currently in progress, namely the establishment of a Balinese style Hindu temple by the River Ganga in Rishikesh, India and the formation of a Gurukula in the Bangli district of Bali. These will each play a great role in uniting the Hindus of Bali and India. The purpose of the
Gurukula is to assist the Balinese through giving them a deeper insight into the essence of their own religion and to awaken within each student a deep spirituality which embraces all humankind as their sisters and brothers.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>India's Influence In Bali</b>
Ida Pedanda Gede Putra Telabah,
Chief Priest, Geriya Purnawati Belahbatah, Gianyar, Bali , Indonesia

The paper presents a chronological account of influence of India in following points:
1. Bali in the 1st millennium -Influential Maharishi Markandeya visited Bali, and to build the mother temple of Bali.
2. Bali in the 2nd millennium - In the 11th century, Hindu kingdom and the royal family of Warmadewa lead Bali to peaceful and wealthy Island. 12th century up to 14th the kingdom of Hindu-java to Annoy Bali's royalty.- from 14th up to 2nd millennium, Java kingdom of Majapahit followed by noble-princes of Shri Kresna Kepakisan ruled Bali in terms of Bali life and culture, which is based on India's Hindu adapted to Bali.
3. In the middle of the 16th century, Yadnya played cardinal roles; the five Yadnya's i.e Dewa yadnya, Rishi's yadnya, Manusa's yadnya, Pitra's yadnya,and Bhuta yadnya as part of life cycle of social-political-religious happening. - the roles of brahmanic pundit very significant . Life is routined by yoga, meditation, fasting, puja invocation of mantras as a frequent exercises following the Jotishas. (a few mantras in a puja will be demonstrate during the symposium such as:
-surya chandra puja
-siwa durgha puja
-pratiwi puja etc.
Along the making of gangga tirta)
4  During the 19th and 20th century- Intellectuals, artists, missionaries of the western culture to search and research Bali for the sake of change and better life, but very little influence. During the 2nd world war, followed by Japanese occupation, the life of the Balinese mainly undisturbed. <b>After the independence of the republic of Indonesia,1945 changes taking place significantly, politically. Bali started to look the Balinese Hindu culture down, if not neglected</b>.

5. <b>The visit of young pundit of Shri Narendra pundit Shasthri (1950) re introduced Hindu (Indian) philosophy to enriched reformed the almost ruined Hindu Bali culture and life.</b> The returning of a Balinese Hindu intellectual Dr. Ida Bagus mantra from Shanti Niketan, India, reshaped and recreated lifely art culture and yadnya of Hindu Bali. Interchange of Balinese and India intellectuals, enriched modern Balinese in this struggling global competition.

6. .a young indian intelectual,a gurukul graduate <b>(Dr. Somvir) </b><i>{See above article}</i> participates in and intergrates the Indian Philosophy to Bali and Indonesia in general. 

Cyclical Time

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Mass Extinction Periodicity and it Corroboration in Ancient Indian Scriptures
Dr. Vijay Wagh,
7208 Deer Lake Drive, Derwood, MD 20855, vijaywagh@comcast.net
<b>The research led by Raup and Sepkoski (Proceedings Nati Academy of Sciences, vol 81, 801-805, 1984) of the University of Chicago has established that mass extinctions have occurred with a periodicity of 26 million years over at least the last 250 million years.</b> There has been strong corroboration of this theory of periodic extinction in the scientific community, though the reasons for these extinctions are being heatedly debated.
<b>This paper will show a close relationship of the time periods between these modern studies to the cyclical time periods documented in the ancient Indian scriptures.</b> The concept of large cosmic cycle time in the ancient Indian scriptures has puzzled scientists over last few hundred years. There have been many different interpretations and a number of scientists have also tried to use some of these concepts to establish the beginnings of the Indian civilization time. <b>The purpose of the paper </b>is not to duplicate or debate the extensive work already done in this area but instead <b>focus on specific portions of the cyclical time theory laid out in the ancient scriptures and show links to some of the modern studies and research that have progressed over the last 20 years.</b>
I am sure there is an India link to this story

From Pioneer, 30 July 2007
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Nine lives of Alexandria

Second opinion: Priyadarsi Dutta

The truth about Alexandria in Egypt might be deeper than the event of Alexander establishing it in 332 BC. <b>A team led by Jean-Daniel Stanley, a coastal geo-archaeologist with US's Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, has found underwater traces to indicate there was a flourishing urban settlement there as far back as 1000 BC.</b>

This might be the most important claim about Alexandria since May 2004 when a Polish-Egyptian archaeological team claimed to have located the site of the ancient university-cum-library of Alexandria. They discovered a complex of 13 uncovered halls, each with a central elevated podium, with an aggregate intake capacity of 5,000 students.

Stanley quoted Homer (eighth century BC) in Odyssey talking about <b>Pharos Island (off Alexandria) and its storm-free bay</b>. Alexandria was still five centuries into the future. Well, history only affords us the example of Naucratis, a Greek trading colony of the Nile delta, founded in seventh century BC by inhabitants of Miletus, a Greek city-state in Asia Minor. But it was a forerunner of Alexandria in a politico-cultural, not geographical sense.

<b>Alexandria, under Ptolemy's dynasty, grew bigger than the biggest city of the Greek world.</b> <b>Ptolemy I Soter inherited Egypt from Alexander. He commissioned the lighthouse at Pharos Island and the university-cum-library of Alexandria.</b> Alexandria became the metaphorical 'lighthouse of the Western world'.

<b>Why is this discovery significant? This is because it would make us reconsider the maritime face of ancient Egyptians. The capital of ancient Egypt was Memphis, away from the sea. The Greco-Macedonians advanced to the Mediterranean coast by establishing Alexandria. When Arabs came in 640 AD, they retraced it away from the sea, and Cairo was established. Not surprising, in 1798, Napoleon regarded Alexandria as a meagre fisherfolk's village.</b>

Again, when Egypt became a British protectorate, and the House of Mohammed Ali undertook Westernisation, Alexandria became a cosmopolitan city. <b>Republican Egypt has turned Alexandria into another Arab city. Pan-Arabist President Gamel Abdel Nasser, born in Alexandria, indicated a village in Aswan as his place of nativity in Egypt's official publications to dissociate himself from cosmopolitanism.</b>

Now we may get to know about the nativity of Alexandria, which apparently has the proverbial nine lives.


Bet that there are links to Hindus in the submerged ruins.

That library at Alexandria was burnt after the Islamic takeover and marked the decline of Alexandria.
St Augustine was also from Alexandria.
<!--QuoteBegin-ramana+Jul 30 2007, 11:50 PM-->QUOTE(ramana @ Jul 30 2007, 11:50 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->That library at Alexandria was burnt after the Islamic takeover and marked the decline of Alexandria.
St Augustine was also from Alexandria.[right][snapback]71705[/snapback][/right]
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->There were several libraries at Alexandria. Most of them (including the Great Library of Alexandria) were burnt down by christians (priests no less).
The last library of antiquity - of the Ancient Greeks in this case - was burnt down by islamis.
Christoislam is one religion after all: the islamis had unknowingly acted in the same manner as their christian predecessors - guided as they were by the same meme.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>391</b> (391 ce)
On 24th February, a new edict of Theodosius prohibits not only visits to Pagan Temples but also looking at vandalised statues. New heavy persecutions all around the Empire. In Alexandria, Egypt, the Gentiles, led by the philosopher Olympius, revolt and after some street fights, finally lock themselves inside the fortified Temple of God Serapis (The Serapeion). After a violent siege, the christians occupy the building, demolish it, burn its famous Library and profane the cult images.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--> http://www.bandoli.no/tolerance.htm
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->With pious enthusiasm the ancient pagan temples, works of art and libraries were destroyed, and trampled by rampant Christians in a frenzied religious demolition craze. Under the command of bishops and abbots Christian monks were often the most active. The Greek called them "swinish black-cloths", because "they looked like men but lived like pigs".
A contemporary writer tells us
"armed with clubs or stones and swords they ran to the temples, some without these weapons only with their bare hands and feet"
-- (Libanios "Pro temples" 389 AD).
As soon as they had destroyed one temple, they dashed away to the next. They toppled over walls, smashed idols, statues and art-objects and altars, and stole the temples wealth for themselves.
Link<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->eventually Alexander's city fell to Moslem conquerors who, of like mind to their Christian predecessors, had the last of the library burned in 686 CE - as fuel in the bath-houses<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Vishnu Footprints consecrated in Mecca

The Kaba temple which was misappropriated and captured by Muslims was originally an International Vedic Shrine. <b>The ancient Vedic scripture Harihareswar Mahatmya mentions that Lord Vishnu's footprints are consecrated in Mecca</b>. An important clue to this fact is that Muslims call this holy precint Haram which is a deviation of the Sanskrit term Hariyam, i.e. the precint of Lord Hari alias Lord Vishnu. The relevant stanza reads:

<b>"Ekam Padam Gayayantu
Tritiyam Sthapitam
Divyam Muktyai Shuklasya Sannidhau" </b>

The allusion is to the Vamana incarnation of Lord Vishnu whose blessed feet were consecrated at three holy sites, namely Gaya, Mecca and Shukla Teertha. Worshipping such carved, holy foot impressions is a holy Vedic custom which convert Muslims are inadvertently perpetuating. But in doing this they delude themselves and mislead others that these foot-impressions which are on reverential display in several mosques and tombs around the world are in fact Muhammad's own. There are several snags in this argument. Firstly worshipping a foot -impression amounts to idolatry and should therefore be taboo for a true Muslim. Secondly Muhhamad disclaimed having performed any miracles. Therefore there can be no foot-impression of his on stone. Thirdly foot-impressions must always be in pairs like shoes. Yet in most of these shrines, it is usually a single footprint which suggests that Muhammad walked on only one foot. Another question that crops up is whether the foot-impression is of the same size and foot in all the shrines. The fact appears to be that when the Vedic Kaba shrine in Mecca was invaded by Muhammad, the pairs of foot impressions of Vedic deities there were plundered and later traded to the gullible and devout as Muhammad's own footprints for some favour, reward or personal gain by unscrupulous muslims. That is why they are single and not in pairs.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Thai Ramayana lights up desert sky</b>

29th February, 2008

The festival of lights is months away but it felt like Diwali in this small, dusty Rajasthan town when thousands of lamps lit up a ground for a unique Ramlila show. Hanuman led a monkey army and lord Ram triumphed over evil Ravana - but all of them spoke fluent Thai.

A 60-member troupe of Thailand's Sala Chalermkrung Royal Theatre this week performed 'Hanuman the Mighty', a dance drama of eight acts based on portions of the Ramakien - the Thai adaptation of the Indian epic Ramayana.

Electric bulbs sparkled on trees, bushes and the sprawling ground, as elderly people, youths and little children watched mesmerised. The fluid movements of the pretty Thai dancers wrapped in satin and brocade costumes embellished with sequins and colourful headgear transported them to a fantasyland.

Although the narration was in Thai with brief introductions to each act in Hindi, the audience laughed at the child Hanuman's antics, cheered when the monkey army made human pyramids and performed gymnastic moves, sighed when Sita was on the verge of ending her life and clapped when Ram triumphed over demon king Ravana.

'I have seen many performances of the Ramayana but this one was especially beautiful. Although the narration was in Thai, the artistes' facial expressions and movements made it very easy for me to understand it,' said Amar Sharma, a 55-year-old social worker who was in the audience.

It was the annual cultural fest that industrial house Shree Cement Limited has been organising at its plant in Beawar town of Ajmer district, about 60 km from state capital Jaipur.

'We wanted to add a new dimension to corporate social responsibility by fostering better relations between India and other countries. Since the Ramayana is close to the heart of Indians, we organised this performance of the Thai Ramakien,' H.M. Bangur, managing director of Shree Cement, said.

The Ramakien is one of the plays performed as part of Thailand's traditional Khon dance drama. Khon combines Chak Nak Duekdamban (mythology), Krabi Krabong (martial arts) and Nang Yai (shadow play).

The earliest evidence of the Ramakien dates back to the 13th century when it was performed in the shadow puppet plays and dances that originated from Indonesia and Cambodia, which have their own versions of the Ramayana. The main story is similar to the Indian epic written by Valmiki but some details are different. While Ram is called Phra Ram, Sita is Phra Sida and Ravana is Tosakanth.

The most complete version of the Ramakien was written by Thai king Rama I (1782-1809). But the Ramakien that is most widely used in productions, on account of its melodious verses, was composed by king Rama II (1809-1824).

Khon was regarded as a royal court performance but is now performed for the public as well at the royal theatre in Bangkok.

Pipatpong, one of the directors of the royal theatre, said: 'This is the first time we are performing in India and the third outside Thailand. We have performed earlier in Germany and the Netherlands.'

Thai Consul General Manop Mekprayoonthong said: 'Ramayana is an important epic not only in India and Thailand but the whole of South Asia. Its performance will help bring different cultures together.'

It takes about two hours for the performers to put on the glittering costumes with intricate designs. The costumes consist of about eight pieces that have to be tightly sewn together for every performance. The artistes remove the costumes by cutting the stitches with scissors.

Preeti Jain, a 36-year-old housewife, said: 'The costumes were extremely beautiful and the artistes' movements ranged from very delicate ones to complex acrobatic displays. It was a visual treat.'

The artistes of the royal theatre are taught at the Dramatic Art College in Bangkok. They normally get initiated into the world of Khon at the age of four and undergo training for 15 years.

Timothy, a 28-year-old who plays the role of a lion, said: 'I was 12 years old when I was admitted to the college. At that time I didn't know much about Khon or Ramakien and joined only because my mother wanted me to learn it. But now I feel proud to be a part of the theatre troupe.

'I am very happy that we came to India to perform the Ramakien as its roots lie here. Thailand has just adapted the Indian epic,' he added.

Pipatpong said: 'We want to perform in Indian again and are planning a trip to Kolkata later this year. However, it hasn't been finalised yet.' <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
I have a question:

I just saw an old chinese royal type guy on TV (some movie when I was flipping channels). Now these guys had a chhoti/tuft on top of the head. Has it come to them from India? Its very close to what hindu priests have.
Ancient Chinese/Korean culture, very much like Hindu culture, only difference, elites of these culture used to keep topknot hair. Uncut hair was symbolic of male adulthood and respect for parents and ancestors.
It was started by royal court.
Ah, thanks..
Sajani Shakya, 11, the controversial young Nepali girl worshipped by many Buddhists and Hindus as a "Kumari", or living goddess, smiles in her home at Bhaktapur in the Nepali capital of Kathmandu March 2, 2008. Sajani, revered for nine years as the Kumari of the ancient temple-town of Bhaktapur, near Kathmandu, has given up her divine position following a request from her family, an official said on Sunday.


Quote:I have previously commented on the similarities of Hinduism and Mormonism (here). In light of their many unexpected similarities, it is especially interesting to note that Mormons are actually helping spread Hinduism, in UTAH!!!

The story is almost too weird to believe. Individual Mormons not only cooperated and assisted the planning and building phase, their church actually donated money to help construct a Hindu Krishna temple. This is so perverse, it almost defies description.

The Mormon desire to be acceptible and politically correct is legendary, I can only chaulk it up to that. This seems to be a great example of people whose primary religion is Multiculturalism.

"Perched on a hill just south of downtown Spanish Fork [a few minutes south of Provo] stands the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple. Completed in 2001, the Krishna Indian Hindu Temple certainly stands out among the surrounding rural fields... The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has supported the temple since its inception. In fact, the church gave $25,000 to help build it... The temple has seen around 5,000 volunteers in the last 10 years to help construct and maintain the building. Many of these volunteer opportunities have LDS ties, whether it be through a ward, Boy Scouts, BYU or another LDS-affiliated group."
Meanwhile Mormons are harassing the Buddhists of Cambodia or was it Vietnam. It may well be both actually... (Plus mormonism had already harassed Native Americans and Fijians - hence many converts among the native population of Fiji - etcetera.) And you gotta love mor(m)onism's christoracist history: slavery, the lot.

(Hindus co-existing peacefully in a community of individual mormons is one thing, but interacting with the church and LDS orgs.... Do Hindus really need their help and money, is it ultimately blood money, and what are Hindus buying along with it? Personally, I'd say No if a murdering robber offered to pay for my meal. Even if the money it offered to spend may not be the exact money from some heist, it would still not sit right.)

So at some point does it become okay to accept the help of people following the ideology of nazism, too? I mean, one notes that the nazis targeted the Jews, Roma etcetera and not India's Dharmics. Likewise, the mormons have mainly been terrorising Others with their christianism. Considered in that light, going out of one's way to chummy up/have dealings with the Mormon church is all good then, I suppose. <img src='http://www.india-forum.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/blink.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':blink:' />
Mormon's have a history of being persecuted by the US gov't which is probably why they tend to be less nuttier about other religions than say Baptists.

Take the money but be wary.

It's good to siphon off money from religious groups bent on conversion, that way some of that money which would have gone towards missionary activies won't.

I always used to take their watchtower magazine whenever it was handed out. I also order free qurans & bibles online whenever I can just to waste the enemies money, right now I have 2 qurans & a bible with me.

My friend got 50 or so Bibles from the morons after telling them he would give them out, ya he gave them out to staunch Hindus like me.
Aren't mormons those who think that black skin is a sin?

Talks between smoker and romani


between them it is, but compared to other religions they are not tolerant. fighting between followers of Hinduism (in its various forms) and Muslims have long history in India, with many victims and guilty of both sides. just recently have been violent in 2002 resulted in several hundred dead, with the intervention force (with firearms) the authorities, etc..


Muslims start it..Whit them doesnt goes with nice words .KOran order them to kill non-musulmani.Hindusii practice defending themselfs.


have been incidents in which Hindus have started fighting, burning Muslim neighborhoods. do not try to move come just a camp. History is as yet as they came from Hindu islamicii and not vice versa, but I meant my most recent incidents in the last 50 years.

1-What counts if is recent.Musulmanii are not changed (of course not change, just they read pages of the Koran full of hate). Just do not expect Muslims to come to attack you and you just want to defend . How Muslims do not let others alone what to expect to be left alone?

2)-Well that's precisely the problem with the Bible-Koran, as such there is very incoherent pasages.God of them commandments about love but you send in eternal hell.


Forgive me, but discrimination and generalization that you do not display all honesty.

We forbid all led by fate to reach any kind of fanatics that will flow rivers of blood. AcestiN advantage always precarious political situations and ascend the wave using the discontent and revolt population. Remember that in South America there were numerous military dictatorships disfavor at the beginning, those who gave military junta coup. Maybe you should I talk about terrorism and the like. But then I want to remind you that the planet exists IRA and Basques who are neither Muslim nor religious fanatics. Terrorism is a guerrilla struggle carried out by the military against civilians organized a state whose authority a challenge.

I want to bring you to the fact that jihad is more turned against the Christians in the last millennium since the Crusades had aroused the whole mess. But because of their Arab caliphate declined to replace, that territory Arab instaurandu the Ottoman Empire. On the other hand, Muslims are constantly assaulted both military and cultural. Basically, in this world dominated by western civilization they are too close not to be perceived as a thorn in the side.

So let's leave a softer with definitions Jihad, especially that if you're interested, you see that Jihad refers more to a fight the human soul with evil temptations of any kind should be. It's a spiritual battle. But you can interpret it how you want, depending on how you were fanatical. It's like the cover of women. The moderate Muslims are using only a bandana, the fundamentalist is covered from head to toe ...


Im not discriminate than those that discriminate.

Why should I respect those who want to kill me because I do not believe them?

We know that Muhammad was a murderer (besides the fact that rape women and children). I do not see why Muslims should hide what is described herself would recognize the writings of lor.An least yes sir, believe in one God, immoral and sadistic . It wants to ensure that it is much stronger than us even if it is immoral.

Islam has been violent from the beginning, Muslims attacked the Christians first.

There appear Christianity, this religion is just as violent as Islam.

There are religious but political ideology (like Nazism or communism).

Christians or Muslims ,moderates are those who close their eyes to the flaws of their religion.


I think everywhere.

The idea that they want to kill you because they do not believe that is false if one applies to most. Remember that many Christians traveling, working or living in Muslim countries. Many Muslims go in many countries Christians and not kill anyone. I do not see why you are so on. Most often refers to his religion with the same fervent that do many Christians of this forum. But the same hypocrisy. They do not want to kill you. They want to kill some individuals who by chance are Christians. And I refer to Westerners. And not all Westerners were subjected to Muslim terrorism but especially the U.S., Britain and their allies the most important. The reasons are more political than religious. On the other hand the law of retaliation. In Muslim martyr is not interested in him as killing "innocent people". Cousin and his wife was innocent when they threw it in the air and shot her soldiers do not know what. This is about frustration, about the desire to pay with evil, evil done. And the river that are made is in abundance, any of the support you.

Muhammad was a murderer because he looked like he was a victim, as people are intolerant, etc.. He lived in a world of violence and behave as such, which no excuse. It's just an observation. Please search film The Message (1976) with Anthony Quinn. It's less romantic, but not more than Quo Vadis. You note that the first Muslims were treated and discriminated against as well as Christians. They were surrounded by polytheist and were poorly understood. That always happens when you are minoritarian.

They hide many details because it is embarrassed. Many Muslims are not exactly thrilled by the work of fanatics. But Allah is not God more a sadistic and immoral than the Old Testament. Please do not forget that the people of Israel used the ground when he conquered the Holy Land polytheism saying that God inchinatorilor support against the idols. Like thread would be justified in any way shares. Decimated the population of the area as "obladuirea" God with nothing affects you not many see. I do not perceive any difference between Muhammad and Joshua for example.


nor d i see any difference

I was shocked to read (I was 14 years) as written in the Bible about Joshua, Moise.Chiar did not expect such things to be written in the Bible.

Mohamed was treated bad (though meccansi have endured insulting at their gods for 10 years until they jumped the mustard) but this is not a justification for Mohamad to rape or looting caravans to make some money.


Paragraph 3 shall contradict the point 2.dont understand what you mean.

Yes, Hesychasm is a good example.

Well, atheists, Buddhists and Hindus can demonstrate their more logical doctrinele.Asta doctrines can be shown taking point by point, which would take quite some time.

Atheists can argue logically that have more evidence for non-existent God.

Vishnuitii may argue that I believe God multipersonal (Holy Infinitime) is higher multipersonal God (Holy Trinity) of Christians.

Can demonstrate experience what Buddhists believe, offers ways to see the spiritual world of reincarnation is a concept exemplu.is more logical than original sin.

No one knows who they were Aryans and where they came (if coming) have to wait more proofs.Oricum I refer to philosophers and theologians that Hindus tolerate the right of others to disagree (as opposed to abrahamics), not to kings and boyars.

In conclusion propose parallel reading Bhagavat Gita, Bible, and Pali Canon and Richard Dawkins.then we will see who is superior.

1. Christian eschatology deals with individual destiny ... The immortality of the soul ... The Universal is working with Parus ...

In Hinduism there is no such thing ... blending Therefore, identification with Brahman is the end ... That's not immortality ... There, you, the individual no longer exist ...

Antisomatismul Hindu is obvious .. you do not understand? Well, not to any Hindu to escape the cycle of reincarnation? The meat is not good, the Hindus ... You have to run it ...

Anticosmismul Hindu? Is not it a Hindu, if he wants to transceadă must "break" the world? Wrong somehow?

2. Really?

Well, let me see him and the atheist guy ...

... ViÅŸnu not God, in all attributes of classical ... It's not even a god who creates, directly ... It's like, if I remember well, more like Zeus or Cronus ... earlier you said something "superior" monotheism viÅŸnuit ... I show it to me, monotheism is? I can not understand that word ... Not "see" the Brahma and Siva ... And, between you and it if he beat us in monotheism, this class gives them all ... God I know I , sikhÅŸii are only as far as, monotheistic p there ...

Buddhism is so good that your much-beloved Hindu him expelled from the country ... It is a total negativity ... is a logical product of Hinduism ... It was natural that such a thought like that antisomatică Hindi, to produce such an ... abortion ...

Reincarnation is a concept unhappy ... A product of thinking unfortunate that, in fact appears to others, the ancient Greeks, for example ...

3. Um, the Hindu philosophers and theologians do you mean? Well, of course tolerate the right of others to have opinions ... They do not tolerate the idea that one 'of their own people can reach "sannyas" thing, or as he says ... I mean, in translation, if you are born elsewhere , goodbye Brahman ...

Gita that writing is a relatively new, newer than the oldest strata of the Christian canon, is not it? ... We all p met here, the views of "experts" on the age of Hinduism ... Only a few texts are in The old, right? And they hardly relate to current religion there ... You want, on the basis of such texts, to wear a debate with me? Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! ... Well, we now are facing an era of interpretation, mate ... No, the book does not deal with Christians "liberal" as Overseas they are ... I prefer non-religious, but I pray ...

Oh, you want to "ally" with Dawkins? Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! ... With amatoru 'that? Well, you have the impression that I'm also interested cosmogoniile, myths of the emergence of life and all that when I look at a religion? No, dear, I am interested in the man, my dear man ... Where is the man to Hindus, that I want to let you know ... Gita, that if you get it in November and to me tellin 'me how you learn god Krishna, who is god Vişnu (those who do not understand how the hell is a god, in fact, another god, do not be surprised - it is the Hindus - these guys are a little mixed, about ... undefined so little .. . amorphous, lack of personality, not only that this is their goal in life, to .. be all water and an earth, with bag, with pig, etc., to her personality did not gods!) on boy to take the war to all the brothers and cumnaţii and that other nations had it there ... Pacifist mesaju p 'lu' Krishna, who is Vişnu is? Listen, Mahatma Gandhi That's not precisely about the incarnation of his Vişnu, is not it? To see what ... "effort allegorical" you do, if I take less of "wisdom" Indian ...

So how could such a religion, to establish that some of his own practicing, any form, the ankles are at stake? Yes' to bet you have had? Yes' bet those guys can give up the world? Have this right? Well, Hindus or your not "see" p-Those ... Um, those guys were not people, right?

Hindus your, baby, you have established between them, between their consângenii, discrimination never seen before, the word ... They with their own, not with strangers ... they, among themselves, not to grant the status of man ... And height of hypocrisy, while others, in this case Muslims, do not regard them, people complain ... Well, why complain?

Well, Allah is ViÅŸnu precisely, if we think a little ... His ViÅŸnu and it seems likely that Hindus are not too weary to dispense with the world, with sannyas that and thought to do something for the purposes of this ... Allah is precisely an avatar of him ViÅŸnu, I say ...

Regained seriously, and I say, it Paraphrasing Marx ... uninteresting explanations about how the world is and how it came ... interesting idea: we have a world we do with it? Please tell me, mate, that is the Vishnu "project" for the world. Let us compare whit the project of Jesus ...

YOur Hindus , they have established between them,, discrimination never seen before, the word ... They with their own, not with strangers ... they, among themselves, do not grant the status of man ... And height of hypocrisy, while others, in this case Muslims, do not regard them, people complain ... Well, why complain?
[size="5"]Brother India, little Brother Java says Hello Next in your next border war with the yellow horde- we will stand shoulder to shoulder to guard the Bharatiya that genius land that gifted us Buddhism, Hindusism and Islam.

Subhas Chandra Bose and Jawaharlal Nehru were revered as Heroes in Indonesia.

Majulah Bharatiya Raya wijaya! Sang Sri I Gusti Guru ng asmara sing Negeri lan Bangsa Jawa!

Javanese: India Victoria est. Beloved Majestic Teacher of Java and her people![/size]

An HuffingtonPost article titled "The God Project: Hinduism as Open-Source Faith" that begins as

Quote:Trying to explain the core beliefs of "Hinduism" to an interested observer can be challenging to say the least. Its often stated that the word "Hinduism" itself is a total misnomer, as it basically refers to the sum total of spiritual and religious thought and practice that has taken place on the Indian subcontinent over the past 5,000 years. And lets just say it's been a busy 5,000 years.
As long as we have such youth, all is not lost yet <img src='http://www.india-forum.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Big Grin' /> http://www.swadharma.org/
One more article about Hinduism and Yoga in HP: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/philip-gol...89652.html

Quote:I look forward to the day when people like me can use the term Hinduism without fear of being misconstrued. In the meantime, it is incumbent upon yoga proponents to give credit where it is due, not just because India deserves it after centuries of exploitation, but to keep the spiritual and philosophical foundation of yoga in the foreground. If those deeper elements are lost and yoga comes to be seen as just another fitness exercise, we will fail to take full advantage of its gifts. Most veteran yoga teachers recognize this, which puts them on the same page as the Hindu advocacy groups -- except for that pesky issue of nomenclature. I would urge them all to not let arguments over terminology overshadow what really matters: the depth and authenticity of the teachings. Putting substance over form would be in keeping with the most fundamental premise of Hinduism and the Vedic tradition that predates that term by centuries: "Truth is one, the wise call it by many names."
I liked this article, the blogger talks about Manu and surprise surprise not one word about Caste or widows.


Quote:Balancing material possession with spiritual pursuits is a quest that has been addressed by many religions. Unlike the Christian, "A rich man getting into heaven is as likely as a camel passing through the eye of a needle," Hinduism offers up another perspective. The 2nd century CE produced one of the most important expositors of the Brahmanical tradition named Manu. "The Law-code of Manu" is a legal treatise that articulates a normative Hindu code of ethics. One of the key concepts that Manu discusses is the idea of trivarga, or "three goals."

The first is goal is kama, or "pleasure", second is artha, or "power" and the third is dharma, known to us as "truth" or "duty," which is performed as a path to liberation, moksha. Manu explains that these three aims work together much the same way the three legs of a stool are required to hold the seat. We need all three to create the perfect balance. Unlike more austere forms of religion, Manu shows us that these goals are not mutually exclusive, but rather integral parts of a well-balanced whole. Earthly pleasures and desire can and must co-exist on a path of spiritual truth. In contrast to the ideal of the renunciant so central to Jain and Buddhist traditions, Manu provides a paradigm for a human life lived in deep engagement with the world. As long as our intention is pure, we can actually channel our desires for pleasure to assist us on the path to freedom.

Wow, in the recent days I have been thinking that Dharmam is shifting from India to America onlee as Indians are getting caught in the web of Western Maya, the West is moving more towards Dharma - slowly but steadily.
Rom/Gypsy, the reality vs. the imageCreation of the Gypsy

Once out of the Indian subcontinent, the Roma lived among populations with different cultures and customs. They managed to preserve the identity, but, in most cases, that meant rejection and violence from the local populations. The latter equated these differences with the concepts of dangerousness, destabilization, they could not integrate the Romani people in their worldview. This consequence came despite the non-violence of the Roma, the peaceful arrival, the absence of any attempt to destabilize the local structures.

As the time passed, the non-Roma created and conveyed among them a different identity for the Roma, coagulated around the names they gave to the latter (in English, Gypsy). Born out of the rejection of the existence of the Romani culture and of the normality of the Romani people, this imaginary identity developed as malevolent caricature of the Roma, a useful support for the anti-Romani violence and attempts of annihilation. It constructed untrue reasons for the social exclusion, while in countries like Romania, it gave justifications for the economic exploitation.

To "prove" that the Roma are dangerous, the Gypsy is presented as prone to violence and perfidiousness. This image is obtained by the selection and the magnification of any negative behavior and the obliteration of the positive ones. Also, the Roma are blamed for any kind of mishaps in the life of the non-Roma, becoming scapegoats. Another recurrent theme defining the Gypsy is the laziness, that the Gypsies use to enjoy other people's work. The same means are used here too to create the image and convey it.

These themes appear also in the negative images that the populations from Europe created about the rest of the world; to wit they are brave and hardworking, while the others are violent and lazy. Such images pass from generation to generation, since the children grow up listening to exaggerations and untruths. Thus they create and believe in non-existent images, away from reality.

In Romanian, the language of the population that had the most extensive relations with the Roma, there appeared also some other type of popular sayings, surfacing their perceptions, like that one about the centuries-old habit of blaming Roma without any reason. The expression a arunca moartea-n ţigani ("throwing the death among Gypsies") is used to describe a situation when somebody blames innocent person(s) for personal mishaps. Another saying, învăţat ca ţiganul cu ciocanul ("accustomed as the Gypsy to the hammer"), describes a person that works hard and/or is skilled in a specific field, shedding light on the hardworking and skilled Romani craftsmen.

The Gypsy image tends to be focused on exaggerations, in order to construct a long-expected "out of the norm effect", to give easy explanations about a desired abnormality of the differences. In many cases, the exaggerations go in both directions and they coexist although they deny each other. The Gypsies are described as too traditionalistic but also as too cosmopolitan, as too poor but also as too rich, as too ugly but also as too beautiful. Sometimes, both extremes appear in the same discourse, each presented as the true one, without bothering the speaker/writer about the illogicality, since neither the listeners/readers care about it. It is just the creation of imaginary justifications for imposing personal views in the real world.

The unreal nature of the Gypsy made it also an easy support for developing unattainable or unacceptable fantasies. They are wrapped in an exotic appearance, presenting the Gypsy as a stranger free from any norms. The exoticism of the Gypsies is more prevalent in literature, mass-media and show-biz, than in real life's interethnic relations. Apparently, this is less harmful than the "dangerous, perfidious and lazy" Gypsy, since the fantasy's subject tends to develop a sympathetic stance. In fact, it has the same destructive social consequences, because it bars the integration of the Roma as some usual, normal people with similar rights and duties as the other citizens. Moreover, it is counterproductive in interethnic communication, since the belief in such fantasies (and the consequent failure to see the existence of the Romani culture that has its own norms) hinders the creation of a common ground for dialogue.

Living everywhere as minorities, ultimately the life of the Roma is affected by these prejudices gathered under the Gypsy umbrella. They have to face measures for the suppression of the Romani culture and recurrent attempts of physical annihilation, denial of the same economic rights, humiliations. They need to fight much harder than the non-Roma to obtain the same results. This produces lower life-standards, frustrations that develop a vicious circle, making possible for the non-Roma to spot new reasons to continue the injustices.

Gypsy films

The new means of communication offer new means for the expression and the development of the Gypsy complex. They may offer also the possibility of insights into the mechanism that creates the Gypsy and gives him a life of its own, away from reality. Among them, the Gypsy films, with their visual impact, are some of the most successful modern creations. Some of the best known names are: Time of the Gypsies (1988) and Black Cat, White Cat (1998), both directed by Emir Kusturica, Gadjo Dilo (1997, director: Tony Gatlif), Gypsy Magic (1997, director: Stole Popov). They use to delight the non-Romani viewers, being described as a picturesque image of what Gypsies are, movies that open a window, permit to see the world through Gypsies' eyes, true insights into their culture, films where Gypsies look and act like Gypsies.

Amid such praise for revealing "another world", a lucid observation cannot overlook that they enjoy success only among non-Roma, they are made to be interesting only for the non-Romani point of view. For the Romani public, besides the usual racist and derogatory message of such films, they do not offer anything interesting from the point of view of the Romani culture. At most, they mimic some of its externally visible features, but with a non-Romani interpretation. For example, the main plot in Black Cat, White Cat, dealing with an arranged marriage. It has nothing to do with the usual developments of this issue, that would have been interesting for a Romani viewer, but there is employed an abstract idea of an arranged marriage, brought into operation by a classical non-Romani plot. Moreover, the actors of true Romani ethnicity from the same movie obviously belong to more than one caste, fact visible in their behavior and acting. This is an important issue in the Romani socialization, but totally unexplored in the film.

Going further into analyzing the Romani discontent with these films, another salient feature is that most of the leading actors are non-Roma (eventually with some make-up, to look like the imaginary Gypsies), which, together with the rest of the mostly supporting actors of Romani ethnicity, all play Gypsy roles. This fact is unknown or overlooked by the non-Romani viewers, but from a Romani point of view there is an obvious cleavage between the acting of the two categories. The non-Romani actors are revealed as obviously non-Roma along the movie, they do not "hit" specific aspects of the Romani culture, but they are very comfortable playing Gypsy features. The Romani actors are just Roma who struggle to play Gypsy characters following the stage indications. This difference emerge among the non-Romani public only by stirring much more interest in the characters of the non-Romani actors, they are perceived as much more vivid and memorable. In fact, they are those considered and presented as true Gypsies.

Male characters like Ahmet (in Time of the Gypsies, played by Bora Todorović), Taip (in Gypsy Magic, played by Miki Manojlović) or Dadan (in Black Cat, White Cat, played by Srdjan Todorović) are revered among non-Roma as exemplary incarnations of the Gypsy lifestyle. They have in common an unethical life, beyond any social responsibilities, exploring and creating expressive details (for the non-Romani public) of the "dangerous, perfidious and lazy Gypsy". Their part has also a "moralizing" feature, as in the end they receive the punishment, many times by death. Perhan (from Time of the Gypsies, played by Davor Dujmović) is a variation of this pattern, he embarks on a journey from the "exotic" Gypsy to the "antisocial" Gypsy, a journey ending also in self-destruction.

The non-Romani Gypsy female characters, like Sabina (in Gadjo Dilo, played by Rona Hartner), Ida (in Black Cat, White Cat, played by Branka Katić) are much more salient in their non-Romani behavior. They do not need to construct and elaborate their part, since, from the beginning to the end of the film, they are just a loud statement of the imaginary Gypsy woman, an exotic object of man's desires, in an imaginary space without social norms and responsibilities. The directors and also the non-Romani viewers do not bother to explain the sharp difference between them and the female actors of Romani ethnicity, playing too non-Romani Gypsy roles, but with different approaches, never crossing some limits. In Sabina's case it appears the classical stereotype conveyed among White people, that only they know how to treat well the women. The film's plot develops this wishful thinking, showing how bad she live among Roma, without giving any explanation about her non-fitted in character, coming out of nowhere into that Romani group, about how the other women are different and have nothing to complain. Obviously, in the end, she is saved by a nice White guy. In reality, all is a lie, nothing happened between Roma and non-Roma, she has nothing in common with the Romani people, they are present only as supporting cast for the non-Romani woman projected amid Roma by the imagination of the non-Romani men.

Somehow, besides the fact that they do not present the reality of the field they say they describe, such movies show the contemporary prevalent non-Romani point of view of the relations between them and the Roma. They are an accurate description of the manner most of the non-Roma do not care about who really are the Roma and what are their opinions. They clarify the mechanism of planting among Roma unreal characters requested by the non-Romani imagination, characters that monopolize the leading parts of public image, live an imaginary life, afterwards being presented as the true Gypsies. Well, they may be true Gypsies, but they should not be confused with the Roma. These true Gypsies are a part of the folklore and imagination of the non-Roma and, as expressed by the sheer pleasure and sense of fulfillment of the non-Romani actors playing in a space without any social responsibilities, only a non-Rom can be a genuine, accomplished Gypsy. They know the best to live as Gypsies, but only in an imaginary space offered by these films, enjoyed and revered by non-Roma as religious enactments of creation myths.

The Gypsies belong to the non-Romani culture (especially among the populations of Europe or originating from there) and are a matter of belief: if someone belives in them, they exist, if not, they do not exist. To make justice to the real world and to be accurate, the faithful themselves should be named Gypsists or simply Gypsies.

For a Romani public, the plots of such movies look like a statement of the usual anti-Romani policy. Besides the control of the public image by planting non-Romani leading characters, it is striking also the violence and destruction the characters played by Romani actors suffer from the leading "Gypsies". Seeing how Taip from Gypsy Magic beats his wife and destroys the life of his children (Romani actors), one cannot stop to revive memories of the cyclic non-Romani violence and the question about why many non-Roma harbor such destructive thoughts about us.

Gypsification of the Roma

The Gypsy films remind how the Gypsy character conveyed among non-Roma is a product of imagination, an abnormal "other", created by maliciously caricaturizing the Romani people, played by non-Roma and taking the place of the real Roma from the public space. The state of the contemporary music from the Balkans, detailed below, exemplifies another mechanism of creating the Gypsy, namely by hindering and discriminating against the expressions of the Romani culture and their influence in the local societies. The actual cultural expressions of the Romani people circulating or being visible in the broad society do belong to the Romani culture, but, in most cases, they arrive to the others distorted by a Gypsy filter. Also, there is a mixed area where the cultural expressions are influenced from the very beginning when they are addressed to a mostly non-Romani public or when the Roma who create them internalized the 'Gypsiness". The minority status, the cultural differences about the self-expression are the main causes that permit the diversion in the broad society from Romani to Gypsy.

As the area inhabited by Roma includes territories of different local populations, this form of rejection of the Romani culture, by distorting the meanings of its expression, is moulded by the different local lifestyles and approaches, producing local variations. While the Gypsy character created and played by the non-Roma has a ubiquity and an out of time shape corresponding to its imaginary status, the Gypsification of the Romani cultural expressions is conditioned by the weight of the Romani local presence and the changes in the non-Romani worldviews.

Thus, the two areas most inhabited by the Romani people are also the most salient for this issue: Iberian Peninsula (mainly Andalusia) and Southeastern Europe. The local approaches in these two cases are directly influenced by the local notions of identity and their evolution. In this respect, the most important feature is that they happen to be two of the three areas in Europe that had extensive contacts with non-European and non-Christian populations (third being Russia), areas that had to define accordingly their identity in respect with the perceived pure French-German-English core of the European culture. This situation was created by the centuries-long Muslim occupation, the strong non-originally European influences in the local cultures (Arabic, Jewish, Romani in Iberian Peninsula, Romani and Turkish in Southeastern Europe, Tatar in Russia)(1) and the exclusivist approach of the European culture.

After becoming independent, all three areas renegotiated their European identity, producing three different results. The Iberians began earlier their renegotiation, which consequently had all the marks of the European pre-modern notion of identity, i.e. being considered tantamount to the personal religion. They sought a "purification", materialized in the expulsion of the Muslims and Jews after the conclusion of the Reconquista, the persecution of the New Christians (Muslims and Jews converted, mostly by force, to Christianity), the firm allegiance to the Catholicism during the Protestant Reform in the western Christendom. The Romani people, who did not display what would be considered as a religion from the Abrahamic point of view, assimilated elements of Catholicism and made a formal allegiance to it, were not considered for this purgatory. They suffered only the same levels of violence as in the rest of Western Europe.

Thus, the Iberian renegotiation was not concerned about cultural items that did not have religious meanings. Originally non-European elements, then parts of the local ethos, were included in the culture of Europe, they were not rejected as foreign. The real value of the Romani cultural features (for example, Flamenco) was appreciated and they had the possibility to be cultivated. It did not occur the Gypsification like in the rest of the world. However, the acknowledgement was restricted only to the cultural elements, the Romani people were, until very recently, under strong pressure to assimilate (2).

The other two renegotiations, Russian and Balkanic, occurred in the modern age and thus they were focused on the modern concept of identity. This one included too the religion as an identity mark, but it was mostly focused on determining which cultural feature belongs to the personal identity and which not (selection made according to the opinion of the nationalist ideology) (3). The moment coincided in time with the worldwide changes resulted from the modernization and the establishing of the highest status for the White populations living in Europe or originally from there. Consequently, the renegotiation of the European status was shaped by a strong modernization, perceived as a "Westernization", and a self-identification as White Europeans (in order to benefit from the status of those from Western Europe).

From the 19th century onwards, the Balkanites (mostly the elite and the ruling class) sought to recreate a pure European society, by separating what was originally European from what was not (mainly Romani and Turkish features of the local broad society), by encouraging and supporting the former and by hindering the latter. After gaining independence from the Ottoman Empire, the Balkan states' elite assigned highest status to the originally European features and lowest status to the Romani and Turkish features, which, all three, after centuries of living together, were all part of the Balkan society. This elite was mostly educated in the Western Europe (in those times, at its peak of power and prestige), they identified with it and considered that the differences between it and their homeland appeared because the latter was "corrupted" and "debilitated" by originally non-European elements. Their plan was to become the same as the Western Europe, to copy its society.

The rest of the Balkan population that under the new worldview was branded as European followed more or less this policy. As a result, after some generations, it became ingrained in the local outlook that everything coming from the West has an intrinsic value, while everything with local origin, if it does not come from an originally European source (and many didn't, they acquired at least some non-European details), is imperfect, it is the cause of all the problems in the Balkans. Obviously, it was a mistake to blame something only because of a biased association and it did not last long until the real problems appeared, because of the rejection of a part of the social fabric. Nowadays, the Balkans are one of the most striking results of the modern notion of associating the identity only with the external visible features. Trying to reconstruct a pure identity in this manner, the part of the Balkanites labeled as Europeans became a population denying their own self, in a continuous search of something that always remains as an ideal. Thus, the contemporary Balkans are one of the few places on Earth where the local population speak contemptuously about themselves, among themselves or together with non-Balkanites, associating the names Balkans, Balkanism, Balkanite, Balkanic with backwardness, abnormality, unforeseableness, dangerousness and other prejudices. For about two centuries their reference was not their own self, but the Western Europe. Even now, for a person living in Romania, it can't pass a day without hearing adaptarea la valorile europene ("the adaptation to the European values"), considered as the best thing a Balkanite can do in a lifespan. In the center of the towns there are guide posts with the number of kilometers to the localities representative for the Western Europe, showing the direction of their identity, never inquiring themselves if the Westerners do have such counterpart guide posts. They equalized, because of too much amazement, the Western Europe with the idea of Europe, forgetting that they are too a part of Europe, never thinking about claiming their self as a true European one.

The same as in other cases of misunderstanding the real identity, the belief in the initial theory caused real problems, afterwards presented as justifying the theory and strengthening its prejudices, thus creating a vicious circle. The misleading pursuit of a pure identity by selecting some of the external visible features determined at the political level an atomization, hard to realize in a multiethnic area without violence and destruction. At the social and personal level, it determined self-disdain, self-distrust, associated with an exacerbation of the Ego. The earlier Iberian renegotiation of the Europeanness, involving only the religious issue (not itself more correct than the nationalist one, but less self-censoring) made possible a real integration of the Iberians among Europeans. They remained Iberians, they were respected as Iberians by the other Europeans, they enriched the European culture and society, they did not need to copy the external features of the European core, to become others. According to the theory of the Europeanness of the renegotiation’s moment, the so-called European Balkanites tried to become others, they failed, thus neither they are respected by the other Europeans as Balkanites nor could they make their culture accepted and enriching the broad European culture. An important role had also the fact that, in the 15th-16th centuries, there was not a similar difference of power and prestige between the European core and the former Muslim rulers like that from the 19th century, difference that caused the Balkanic elite's unconditional amazement about the Western Europe.

The situation is unchanged until today, largely unresolved, unacknowledged and unstudied. It affected also the local Romani and Turkish populations, which suddenly, after the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the creation of the modern Balkanic states, became the local scapegoats. The lot of the Turks was easier, their homeland was closer, and they had a spiritual support coming from the modernization of the Turkey's society, refuting the theory that they are one of the causes of the Balkans' problems.

On the other hand, the Roma were alone in this confrontation with the majority's theories, becoming much more affected by them. In the times of the Ottoman Empire, state conceived as a multiethnic one, they were the usual quiet Desi minority, without specific social problems (probably except the atypical, from the Abrahamic point of view, religious expression). In the neighboring area of the contemporary Romania, traditionally included too in the Balkans, serious problems were already present, as a result of the slavery system. The situation becomes equalized in all the modern Balkanic states, because of the mechanism of Balkanization described above. In the 20th-21st centuries, in all these states Roma are a sizeable part of the society, comprising between 5-12% of the local population. The ruling class and the part of the society branded as European considered the local Roma guilty of impurifying their Europeannes, of side-tracking them. Their centuries-long influence in the local society, precisely because it is non-European, is labeled as backward and destructive, without any serious proofs. It is supported and justified only with the concocted and imaginary features of the non-Romani character of Gypsy, which has nothing in common with the Romani population and its culture.

For about two centuries, the Romani contribution to the local society is demonized by non-Roma through Gypsification, fact intertwined with the lack of Romani participation in the nationalistic organization of the modern world. Thus, under the motto "we are not the same as the Westerners because the Gypsies held us back", the non-Romani majority of the society could unfold undisturbed the caricaturization of any Romani expression, inviting to derision and further caricaturization (4). The walls of the modern social prison that isolates the Roma worldwide are much more intricate and extended deep inside the broad society in a geographic area like the Balkans, where the local Roma, besides being officially Gypsies, are also charged with the historical "guilt" of contributing to the local society.

The contemporary Balkanic music

The purification of the Balkans produced also adverse reactions among "European" Balkanites, some of them involving the local Roma. Their common denominator is a disputant stance, lack of trust in anything non-local, all of them hazy, unorganized and not aspiring to change anything in the local society.

The contemporary Balkanic music is probably the most striking example of this kind and an important issue in the contemporary local relations between Roma and non-Roma. Initially, it suffered the purification process described above, through an official endorsement only of the initial or old European elements, repudiation of the other elements (mainly Romani and Turkish) and massive copying from the Western Europe. Then, it happened an interesting phenomenon, not predicted by the ideologists of Europeanization, namely that large parts of the so-called "European" Balkanites sought again to listed and enjoy the non-"European" repudiated elements. This was one of the expressions of a split that developed, as the time passed, between the elite, totally identifying with the Western Europe, and the usual people, which could not understand, follow and identify entirely with that Europeanization project. The elite uses to blame the man-in-the-street for the structural problems resulted from their insufficient assimilation, presenting them as the Balkanic backwards that do not want to become good Europeans. Unfortunately, this remained a very usual theme until nowadays, these discussions about "our backwards" among the elite or between the elite and the Westerners. The usual "European" folk could not come out with a reply to these accusations, they did not find cultural means to confront them (since all of them were monopolized by the elite), they could not find any support to give them legitimacy. They only internalized this derogatory opinion and adopted a hazy disputant stance, not aspiring to change anything.

Thus, their renewed interest in the other parts of the original Balkanic music did not evolve towards a recovery of the pre-purification music. It rather followed the internalized split between what is European and what is not. There appeared musical genres with mostly non-"European" elements, like Chalga in Bulgaria, Manele in Romania, Tallava in Albania, as a counter-balance to the local purified "European" music. Their beginnings were during the decades of the Communist regimes, as an underground music. Obviously, besides the immediate attacks from the elite, their manifestation was hindered also by the totalitarian and undemocratic nature of those regimes. After the Communism fell by the end of the 1980s - beginning of 1990s, this kind of music had the possibility to come to surface, remaining only the confrontation with the local elite (and with the state administrations, usually in the hands of that elite). Soon, its status changed from the music of the insular parts of the society to the most popular genre in the Balkans. It tends to be dominated by Romani musicians (except in former Yugoslavia), thus being labeled as Gypsy music. In its form for non-Romani public, it is strongly commercial, oriented to public success. The new political freedom permitted the assimilation of worldwide influences, mixing the older music with modern styles and ethnic music from across the world. The songs that prove to be successful in a country are freely borrowed in the others, with new lyrics in local languages. This is possible because usually the authorities are against this music, they would be the last to enforce the copyrights.

The conflict with the state authorities, now in the hands of the elite, but lacking the repressive means of the Communist totalitarian regime, was confined in the limits of the modern democracy. Informally, it made possible a certain denial of the rights of the groups not organized to defend them. Although forbidden by the local constitutions, the authorities enforced discriminatory laws for prohibiting the new music. For example, the ban on Manele, enforced in 1990s in Romania, before 10PM on TV and radio. Again, in Romania, in the summer of 2004, it was debated in the Parliament a law aiming at levying special taxes from profits resulted from performing Manele (it did not pass). The money would have been supposed to be used for promoting the "European" music (typical behavior of the Balkanic elite). Finally, such measures, combined with the derogatory and contemptuous attacks of the elite in mass-media and other social levers, only enforced the appeal of this music among large masses and strengthened the feeling that the vitality is not on the elite's side. Then, the post-Communist booming of the private media relaxed these measures, since it proved to be a lucrative business and the employers lobbied on its behalf. This, in turn, produced a separation between so-called clean and unclean media, the clean media obviously being those with express ban on the new music.

These bans seem to consider all the modern non-"European" music as an undivided block, but, in reality, there are some different layers. An important part of this music is only successful for the non-Romani public (which, because of the numerical prevalence, is the engine of the commercial success), while another part is enjoyed by both Roma and non-Roma (whether they understand the same thing or they ascribe different messages to the song). There is also a local modern Romani music aiming only at the Romani public. Many successful Romani singers and players master all those three layers. The music for the Romani public is the development of older styles. The base of the other two layers is also Romani, adjusted, when the non-Romani public is prevalent, by touching specific non-Romani Balkanic feelings, by adding Turkish elements (to meet their expectations of what means non-European) and disputant lyrics rejecting the model of life imagined by the local elite and expressing the vitality of the common folk. Many times, these lyrics mirror also the Ego exacerbation of the "European" folk resulted from the lack of ideas in countering their branding as backwards by the elite.

This kind of music (the layers for the non-"European" public) wouldn't be the only one in the contemporary world (just to remember the Rock, the Rap, among those better known), but the current social and political situation demonized it, transforming its public image into a scarecrow. It became a major issue in the local relations between Roma and non-Roma, creating an image of the Roma as corrupting the "pure Europeans", while they are only scapegoats for the structural problems caused by the application of the local elite's ideology. Moreover, the Romani musicians successful in adapting to the non-Romani public are a handful of people from the millions of local Roma, not necessarily representing the entire Romani population; they are just the most visible among non-Roma. Many of them are talented and they would certainly deserve more appreciation, respect and possibilities to cultivate their style. The bans, the adverse stand of the authorities and of the European elite minimize a necessary competition and decrease the possibilities of quality expressions, in order to churn out the talented. Since the talent does not pay, then the only outlet remains the public success, hence the very commercial nature of this music.

It should not be forgotten that behind the big business of the new folk music enjoyed by the "Europeans", it continues the evolution of the initial layer, the modern Romani music for the Romani public. This seems to be the only public prepared for a non-commercial music of this kind, many Romani musicians equalizing the music appealing to them to quality music. However, its importance is currently diminished, again because of the Roma's exclusion from the public sphere. The non-Romani singers who became active in this music genre do not even have this public to appreciate the quality. They can be only commercial (for example, the success of the beautiful non-Romani female singers in Bulgaria and Serbia). Moreover, in a twist of the struggle for the public use of the ethnic name Rom, instead of Gypsy, the non-Romani elite constructed a separation between the Romani music that sounds European and that sounding non-European. They tend to promote the former as the true Romani music, while the latter is put together with the other layers of the new folk music and branded as Gypsy and decadent (and has to confront the discriminations described above). In the so-called "true Romani music" there are included non-European elements only if they do not have contemporary appeal, if they are not considered as threatening. Thus, most of the contemporary Romani music in the Balkans is affected by the Gypsification process, process that alters its meaning in the public sphere by enforcing the local majority's opinion about the Roma. It determines an involvement in the local social and political issues, not as Roma, but as Gypsies, with all the negative consequences resulting from this status.

Greece, because is the single local state that did not become Communist and because of the deep wounds caused by the prolonged conflict with Turkey, has a longer history of a resurgent non-"European" music. Also, it has an established presence of "European" (i.e. ethnic Greek) musicians in this genre. The beginnings were after the defeat in the Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922), which resulted in an influx of Greek refugees from Anatolia. They brought with them a different lifestyle (that soon gave them the label of "Turks") and Turkish influenced music like Rembétika, Sikyaladika or dances like Tsifteteli. Their rejection by the elite and the state authorities only added to their popularity among the common folk, which soon perceived them as the rebellious music of those not adapted to the new political and cultural projects. Especially, Rembétika was succesful and influential. In the 1950s and 1960s it appeared another "impure" genre, Laïkó, equally dismayed and branded as decadent by the elite, particularly in its Indoíftika form, consisting in Bollywood filmi songs with Greek lyrics. Then, from the early 1990s onwards, it developed the Laïka music, meaning "popular", "folkish" in Greek (not to be confused with Laïkó), a much more commercial genre, with roots in the older Rembétika and Laïkó. It is part of the wave of very popular non-"European" music that became prevalent in the Balkans after the fall of the Communism in the other states. Similarly to the other local genres, Laïka is strongly oriented to public success, mixes the older music with modern styles, participates in the borrowing of songs across the Balkanic borders.

Another particular case is that of the former Yugoslavia, paralleling its particular political path. There too, in the early 1990s, after the changes occurred in the Balkans, it developed a local popular music, named Turbo-Folk. However, in the new Yugoslavia (consisting only of Serbia and Montenegro), resulted from the dissolution of the former state, the political power did not devolve upon the elite, like in the rest of the Balkans, but to the regime of Slobodan Milošević. His regime capitalized and relied mostly on the general discontent of the Balkanic folk. Soon, it remained a prisoner of this Balkanic problem, sharing its lack of ideas and legitimacy and channeling the energies only towards a rebellious, reactionary attitude, then materialized in the Serbian nationalism. It supported the Turbo-Folk music, giving it freedom, social status and stronger possibilities of expression. Consequently, this genre evolved into a formula much closer to the original Balkanic pool, not following the schizophrenic separation between European and non-European, like in the other Balkanic states. It is also dominated by "European" musicians, thus it is very commercial. The "European" elite do not contribute to its cultivation and therefore, the musicians themselves do not have a specific public prepared for non-commercial music (as the Romani musicians have an important part of the Romani public). This music identified also with the military conflicts from former Yugoslavia, but in a sad and strange Balkanic manner. The people and the soldiers from all the combatant sides listened to the same songs, since they expressed the same feelings across the trenches of those fratricide wars.

Nearby, Turkey, one of the parties blamed for the impurification of the Balkans, has its own resurgent music style. It resulted from the radical reforms of the 1920s-1930s, perceived as an undesired Europeanization by a part of the society. In the 1960s it appeared the Arabesque music, inspired by Arabic Middle Eastern music and parts of the Turkish folk music, presented in a modern formula (cultural elements conjuring up what was suppressed by the reforms). It expressed the feelings of the non-elite classes, not very adapted to the new lifestyle, with the same reactionary stand without relieving ideas as in the Balkans. Its correspondent in Greece, with the same prevalence of Middle Eastern influence, is Sikyaladika. The Arabesque music did not gain the same prevalence and strength as the other resurgent genres from the Balkans, because of the differences in the results of modernization, i.e. the Turks were not accepted as Europeans by the European core.

In Israel it developed also a problem of this kind as a result of the Ashkenazi Jews (those closer to the European culture) and the Mizrahi Jews (those closer to other cultures) living together on the same land. The project of Israel being mostly an Ashkenazi one, this group concentrated most of the political power and created the elite of the new state. The cultural outlook of the Mizrahim was not included from the very beginning in this organization, thus they did not adapt with the same speed to this state's structures. Soon, they were branded as backwards, uneducated, violent, lagging behind the Israel. Their cultural expression, including the music, were labeled in the same manner by the Ashkenazim and dismissed as unworthy by the elite. Like in the other examples described above, the Mizrahim could not construct anything to confront the prejudices and to give them legitimacy, ending in a hazy disputant stand, which only enforced the prejudices. The Mizrahi music followed the same path, being considered as an anti-elite music. The mass-media participated in this construction of the abnormality, by selecting only striking, negative issues, like the presentation of the life and death of one of the most outstanding Mizrahi singers, Zohar Argov.

Usually, the contemporary status of the music from the Southeastern Europe is not questioned, is considered as something inherent. It is not remarked the overwhelming influence of the local identity issues that determine a derailment of the Romani cultural expressions, by the process of Gypsification. The same people who reject and distort the local Romani culture see no problem in enjoying the Romani Flamenco music, only because it comes from their model society, the Western Europe. One may wonder that, if the moments and conditions of the Europeanness renegotiation would have been reversed in the Iberian and Balkanic cases, then the statuses of the local Romani music would have been reversed too. That the Balkanic Romani music would have had the chance of a cultivation, reaching a quality similar to the contemporary Flamenco, acknowledged worldwide, while the latter would have became the base for music layers appealing to the Iberian "European" folk not accustomed to the elite's cultural purification.

As a comparison, the third European area that experienced a process of this kind, Russia, had another approach in these cultural issues, corresponding to the results of its renegotiation. The Russian authorities began it under the tsar Peter I (1672-1725), who moved the capital from Moscow to the newly built Sankt Petersburg (symbolizing a new beginning, but also being much closer to the Western Europe), imposed (many times forcibly) the Western dress, promoted the French as the language of the cultivated people, aligned the Russian calendar to the Western one and so on. However, the direction changed at the beginning of the 20th century, with the emergence of a new elite that sought an independent way (symbolically, moving back the capital to Moscow), inaugurating a series of political experiments, continuing until nowadays. This is probably because they enjoyed some centuries of independent life just as Russians (after defeating the Muslims) until undergoing the Westernization. Also, during this process and afterwards, they did not seek too much acknowledgement from the Westerners, since they continued to live in a strong independent political entity. They did not jump like the Balkanites from a non-"European" rule directly into political entities included in the Western framework. The identification as Europeans developed like an independent endeavor, which determined the appearance of some different results, because of the narrowness of identifying the European culture only with that from the Western area (5).

In this context, after the change from the beginning of the 20th century, they rather emphasized what is specific to Russia. A musical instrument like the balalaika, with originally non-European origin (Mongol-Central Asian), was promoted as a Soviet (i.e. Russian) instrument and its cultivation was heavily supported by the elite. If there would have been the conditions for an Iberian path, probably it would just have been accepted as such. If there would have been the conditions for a Balkanic path, probably the balalaika would have been rejected as "backward" by the elite and, since it happens to be one of the preferred instruments of the local Roma, it might have been played an important role in a local resurgent anti-elite music.

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