veD OF LIVING IN DOMINANT NON-veDik CULUTRE:......ONE DILUTES ONE'S veDik CULTURE....BUT INHERENT ETERNALITY OF veDik LIFESTYLE SAVES ITS EXTINCTION..
Posted by Ashram News Reporter on October 9, 2004

IN kli-yug veDik LIFESTYLE WILL DECLINE
 DUE TO PARENTAL DEFAULT
IN FORGETTING TO LEARN & PASS ON
 THE KNOWLEDGE OF
veD.....
(essence of bhgvt giitaa Chapter 4.1 to 4.4)

From Hinduism Today: JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA, October 3, 2004:

Community leaders are fighting to revive Hindu custom and tradition to preserve a culture they fear is dying among the youth.

Their efforts come as the younger generation begins to question the relevance and meaning of Hindu rituals.

The decline in Hindu culture is blamed on the rising influence of Western culture, apartheid's education legacy--which neglected Hindu teachings--and a more skeptical youth, says this article.

"Owing to apartheid, children were subjected to Christian national education and, as a result, children and many adults became ashamed of their cultural roots and religious heritage," said Ram Maharaj, president of the Hindu Dharma Sabha of South Africa. "Given the impact of Eurocentric education and the imposition of Western values, a large number of the youth and adults started aping Western culture and discarded their rich Eastern values."

 Durban architect Prinola Pillay, 25, said: "We just follow our parents and do as we are told. But I don't think our parents fully understand why a certain ritual is done or why a period is considered auspicious." She said children were more fluent at reciting Bible stories than Hindu tales.

"Since the advent of democracy, children have been taught to read and write in Tamil, Hindi and Gujarati, but they are not taught about their culture, and that's where the problem lies." Gurukal Muthuiyer Radhakrishna of the Umgeni Road Temple said religious leaders and clergy had to simplify Hinduism for younger people. "They need to uncomplicate it and make the youth understand that there is much to gain through religion. They also need to be involved in the prayers, and that way you attract more of the youth. The younger generation are showing an interest. They just need the guidance," he said.

Please click on the next line to read about this news item from ALLAFRICA.COM......


 

Hinduism Bids to Win Back Sceptical Youth

COMMUNITY leaders are fighting to revive Hindu custom and tradition to preserve a culture they fear is dying among the youth.

Their efforts come as the younger generation begins to question the relevance and meaning of Hindu rituals.

The decline in Hindu culture is blamed on the rising influence of western culture, apartheid's education legacy - which neglected Hindu teachings - and a more sceptical youth.

"Owing to apartheid, children were subjected to Christian national education and, as a result, children and many adults became ashamed of their cultural roots and religious heritage," said Ram Maharaj, president of the Hindu Dharma Sabha of South Africa.

"Given the impact of Eurocentric education and and the imposition of western values, a large number of the youth and adults started aping western culture and discarded their rich eastern values."

Durban architect Prinola Pillay, 25, said: "We just follow our parents and do as we are told. But I don't think our parents fully understand why a certain ritual is done or why a period is considered auspicious."

She said children were more fluent at reciting Bible stories than Hindu tales.

"Since the advent of democracy, children have been taught to read and write in Tamil, Hindi and Gujarati, but they are not taught about their culture, and that's where the problem lies."

Kavina Ramjee, a committee member of the Hindu Students' Society at Wits University, said there were bigger turnouts for social functions than for religious gatherings.

"If you organise something social, the turnout is great, but for a religious function the turnout just drops," said Ramjee.

A past president of the society, Keval Harie, 21, said previously cultural practices were allowed to thrive in tight-knit communities.

"But now, post-apartheid, especially with young people, you find they're becoming a lot more cosmopolitan. It's not just about keeping in touch with Indian or African culture but more about global consumerist culture," said Harie.

"People want to wear western clothes and the latest fashion labels and eat McDonalds. All of this detracts from traditional practices in the home and results in cultural devaluation. There is large-scale apathy among the youth, who are far more interested in social functions. Prayer festivals just don't draw the crowds."

The chairman of the Johannesburg Yuvuk Mandil, Vishal Nana, 29, said that while it was important to be exposed to other cultures, it was just as important for Hindus to maintain their own heritage.

"I've been with the Mandil for seven years and it's been a battle to get new members. There always seem to be better things to do, like clubbing or the movies. The youth seem to find any excuse not to pray. With a lot of our religious functions, we join other organisations, just to get numbers," said Nana.

"I've found that students from Lenasia are more in touch with what's happening than their counterparts in, say, Sandton. Parents are also to blame and are not stressing the importance of retaining their culture to their children. They need to play a bigger role."

Suren Moodley, 28, a human resources manager in Johannesburg, said the youth of today were more questioning.

"We're living in an information age and do things that make sense. In a different era, maybe those things made sense," said Moodley.

"Take the ritual of sprinkling a mixture of water and turmeric over yourself after returing from a funeral that is commonly done today. In India many, many decades ago, people bathed in water and turmeric because of its antiseptic properties. But we still do this, even though the person didn't die of anything contagious. Everything has just become ritualised."

He added that educated youth even questioned their elders.

"But people don't seem to have the answers themselves."

The president of the Hindu Culture League, Mervin Naicker, said: "The younger generation find that if they ask their peers or elders, they are told that the rituals are done out of custom, and they don't really have an understanding."

Naicker used the example of Kathri, which is viewed as a "bad luck period" for Hindus in South Africa.

"In India, Kathri is a climatic condition exclusive to that country. During that period, the hottest days of the year, Indians are advised not to exert themselves and stay out of the sun.

"However, over time, the interpretation of this among SA Hindus is that nothing should be done during this time. It's considered bad luck to get married, buy a new car or even open a business. Refusal to do anything during this time is based more on fear than understanding."

Poobie Pillay of the Gandhi's Hill Reunion Committee in Tongaat said classes would be held in October to try to inspire interest in the fine art of eastern cuisine and sweetmeat-making.

"Certain dishes and sweetmeats are fast disappearing, as many people don't know how to prepare them. People don't prepare the old dishes any more, and we want to get the younger generation involved."

Relevant Links

Gurukal Muthuiyer Radhakrishna of the Umgeni Road Temple said religious leaders and clergy had to simplify Hinduism for younger people.

"They need to uncomplicate it and make the youth understand that there is much to gain through religion. They also need to be involved in the prayers, and that way you attract more of the youth. The younger generation are showing an interest. They just need the guidance," he said.



There are 1 additional comments.

#1 Posted by Narayan Dass Prajapati on 10/12/2004
Dear Sir,
Namaskar,
We are making an all india directory of prajapati samaz. We are also intersted to enclude the name & address of our community people living abroad. Thus I request you to please send me a complete list which is aviable with you of our community people living in south africa & UK.
Thanking You,

Narayan Dass Prajapati
Sonamukhi Nagar, Sangaria Fanta,
Salawas Road, Jodhpur - 342 005 (Rajasthan) India


 

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