About April 1, he remarks, “this is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty-four.” Another quote from him, “Ah, well, I am a great and sublime fool. But then I am God’s fool, and all His work must be contemplated with respect.”
Albert Einstein asserts: “before God, we are all equally wise, and equally foolish.” Continue reading APRIL FOOLS’ DAY: “Life Is Too Important To Be Taken Seriously.”
About April 1, he remarks, “this is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty-four.” Another quote from him, “Ah, well, I am a great and sublime fool. But then I am God’s fool, and all His work must be contemplated with respect.”
Women grow as much as 80% of India’s food – but its new farm laws overlook their struggles Bansari Kamdar, University of Massachusetts Boston and Shreyasee Das, Temple University Indian women are left behind on farms to make ends meet as more men in India migrate from rural areas to cities, seeking higher incomes and better jobs. Nearly 75% of the full-time workers on Indian farms are women, according to the international humanitarian group OXFAM. Female farmers produce 60% to 80% of the South Asian country’s food. So it’s little surprise women are playing a visible role in the monthslong … Continue reading WHY WOMEN ACTIVE IN PROTEST
Lisa Hajjar, University of California Santa Barbara “The Mauritanian,” directed by Kevin Macdonald, is the first feature film to dramatize how the war on terror became a war in court. As a sociologist of law and a journalist, I have spent the past two decades researching and writing about the kinds of legal battles the film accurately portrays. My research has included 13 trips to observe military commission trials at the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The film stars Tahar Rahim as a Mauritanian named Mohamedou Ould Slahi who is captured and held at the Guantanamo detention center, … Continue reading ‘The Mauritanian’ rekindles debate over Gitmo detainees’ torture – with 40 still held there
Anthropogenic changes cover human activities related to biophysical environments, natural resources, global warming, environmental degradation, ocean acidification and ecological collapse. Continue reading FUTURE OF HUMANITY BASED ON TWO FACTORS
Does consciousness or ‘Atma’ die too after bodily death? Or it survives to re-enter a new body. A Los Vegas billionaire real estate mogul, Robert Thomas Bigelow, is offering $1 million to help figure out the survival of consciousness after the body becomes lifeless. According to the New York Times, “Last June, four months after bone marrow disease and leukemia claimed the life of his wife of 55 years, Mr. Bigelow quietly founded the Bigelow Institute for Consciousness Studies to support research into what happens after death.” What is consciousness? The dictionary explanation is: “full activity of the mind and … Continue reading $ 1 MILLION OFFER TO STUDY IF CONSCIOUSNESS SURVIVES AFTER DEATH
History tells us there have been many wise people, especially saints with divine attribution, who did not go through a voluminous reading of books. But their minds did the reading. Continue reading READING, THINKING AND WRITING INTERCONNECTED
Nathan Ahlgren, Clark University Editor’s note: Nathan Ahlgren is an assistant professor of biology at Clark University. In this interview, he explains exactly what proteins are, how they are made, and the wide variety of functions they perform in the human body. https://www.youtube.com/embed/0PGLCnwrh5g?wmode=transparent&start=0 Nathan Ahlgren explains what proteins do in our body. What is a protein? A protein is a basic structure that is found in all of life. It’s a molecule. And the key thing about a protein is it’s made up of smaller components, called amino acids. I like to think of them as a string of different … Continue reading What is a protein? A biologist explains
As the year 2020 departs just at the moment clock hits midnight, we welcome the arrival of 2021. Two images get conceived; one moves in, another moves out. These are like two individual personalities, the new and the old one. But what is the difference besides the old and new names, 2020 and 2021? We see, feel, observe, or experience our daily life’s routines in the morning or evening of December 31, which would look the same next day, January 1. Yesterday’s entities would roll along to turn into today’s realities. The good and bad of 2020 would stay the … Continue reading A VISION OF 2021 AND BEYOND
The toy of her joy disappeared from her tender arms somewhere at the hotel while on vacation with her family. She was returning to her hotel room with her parents and brother, when she realized that Poky was missing. With tears in her eyes, Misha was worried the Poky was by himself and lonely. Dad scoured the hotel searching for Poky but returned to the room defeated. Poky was lost. The next day, it was time to board the plane and head back home, but without Poky. Misha was heartbroken. Parents did their best to distract her with a new … Continue reading Little Misha lost her special friend, Poky the Puppy
Corona invasion has disciplined our lives, from masking to six feet distancing and restricting travels, socials and shopping.
Joys, engagements and ease of life navigated new options. A circadian lifestyle is one where a daily routine is possible with the least of disturbances and distractions.
In simple words, poet Shailendra wrote great poetry with deepest thoughts, feelings, and emotions. His ‘shikva’ meaning complaint to God is one of my favourite compositions. “Duniya banane wale kaya tera mann main samai, kahe to duniya banai.” Shailendra was a poet par excellent. He weaved the words in the language of common man expressing his sorrows and joys, struggles and hopes, awareness and inspiration. “kisi ke muskuraahato pe ho nisaar, kisee ka dard mil sake to le udhaar, kisee ke vaste ho tere dil me pyaar, jeena isee kaa naam hai.” Born into a Dalit family of Chamaar at … Continue reading REMEMBERING POET SHAILENDRA
I was sitting by myself in the neighbourhood community centre’s Sauna room when a man walked in. “Good morning, how are you.” “Good morning. I’m fine. Thank you.” “Are you from India?” “Yes, I’m.” “I’m from Russia, immigrated to Canada many years ago. I love India, especially Indian films and Hindi songs. You know what, Raj Kapoor was my favourite. I still hum one or two of his popular songs.” The little conversation delighted me and took me back to Hindi films’ golden era when Raj Kapoor was a towering personality both as an actor and film producer. December 14, … Continue reading Remembering Raj Kapoor
Conceived opinions and judgments influence our mindset viewpoint. And most of the time, our actions and reactions are based on retrieving the intellect from the installed position. Continue reading TRUMP’S LEGACY: BREEDING TRUTHS OUT OF LIES
Maintenance, maintenance, and maintenance are the mantra that sustains us practically in most aspects of our lives. From personal health to our conveniences, gadgets, computers, and machinery, we are all tied to one crucial essential. And that pivotal element is maintenance. We often talk and care about physical maintenance, body weight, sugar, cholesterol levels, etc. And then the tuneup of our car or vehicle, upkeep of the house, lawn and building. Parks, gardens, streets, roads, bridges, water pipes, sewer systems, and all the infrastructures undergo routine care, repair and reconstruction. Oversized items maintenance like trucks and planes or any engine … Continue reading LIFE REVOLVES AND SURVIVES AROUND MAINTENANCE
I have strong feelings for pumpkin, mostly when left out in the chill of autumn nights during the Halloween season. It is the most abused and wasted vegetable sacrificing itself to rot and finally dumped in the compost bin. Is that his or her karma carved by custom and tradition! The gigantic orange globe is one of the most nutritious vegetables. Loaded with protein, vitamins A, C, B2 and E, potassium, copper, manganese, and iron, it also carries phosphorus and zinc, and antioxidants that fight cancer cells. So why to waste this super heavyweight produce. There are plenty of recipes … Continue reading VERSATILE PUMPKIN A SUPER VEGETABLE THAT FIGHTS CANCER:
How often we use the dishwasher? Quite regularly, frequently, occasionally, or very rarely. Perhaps never. Is the dishwasher use a cultural thing, or do we want to exercise some water and energy saving? Some of us in the immigrant communities prefer washing dishes by hand and then letting them dry out with natural air or wipe with a kitchen towel. Continue reading THINGS WE SELDOM USE IN OUR HOUSEHOLDS
Enjoy Jalebi, the queen of Indian confection, straight or with milk, anytime, including midnight all alone and guilt-free craving for something sweet Continue reading JALEBI: The Queen Of Indian Sweets
The word ‘behaviour’ or ‘behavior’ behaves the same way no matter how one spells it. Continue reading PURGING OF USELESS LETTERS IN ENGLISH WORDS
Boredom is a very commonly expressed feeling even in this age when we have 24-hour entertainment at our convenience. There is a stream of entertainment and information from our smartphones and social media in the company of self. But still, there are occasional experiences of boredom.Why do we feel bored?Generally, they say boredom occurs to those who have not developed any interest in any activity or hobby. Especially this is true when in the golden years of our lives. There are plenty of dull moments that defy time and move with their own speed. An enjoyable activity helps to ward … Continue reading WHY FEEL BORED?
September 5 is celebrated in India as Teachers’ Day synonymous with its second president, Dr. Sarvepilli Radhakrishnan, who also was a teacher, besides being an eminent philosopher of international fame. But a true story about him reveals that his famous work the “Indian Philosophy” is largely plagiarized from the Ph.D. thesis of Jadunath Sinha, one of his students. However, when Sinha came to know about this theft, he filed a case in court against his teacher. It is another matter that owing to Radhakrishnan’s influential position, the case was disposed of without causing much trouble to him. But how can … Continue reading TEACHERS DAY SHOULD BE IN HONOR OF JYOTI RAO AND SAVITRIBAI PHULE
“conservation will succeed only if it can support the goal of a dignified life for all humans and nonhuman species.” Prakash Kashwan, University of Connecticut The United States is having a long-overdue national reckoning with racism. From criminal justice to pro sports to pop culture, Americans increasingly are recognizing how racist ideas have influenced virtually every sphere of life in this country. This includes the environmental movement. Recently the Sierra Club – one of the oldest and largest U.S. conservation organizations – acknowledged racist views held by its founder, author and conservationist John Muir. In some of his writing, Muir … Continue reading American environmentalism’s racist roots have shaped global thinking about conservation
Uncles and aunty’s designations have become popular among the younger generation of South Asians to address their parents’ friends or older contacts. Instead of calling them by their first or last names, with prefix Mr. or Mrs., the unrelated nephews and nieces develop a kinship with the choice of etiquette that is more personal. The uncle-auntie entitlement is in vogue in other cultures as well. But the South Asian youths go a step further. To show more reverence, ‘ji’ pronounced like ‘g’ is attached to address the instantaneous relatives as uncle Ji and auntie-Ji. Perhaps this arrangement establishes a more … Continue reading UNCLE-JI AND AUNTI-JI
Handcrafted from a solid dry twig, with one end slightly chiselled and shaped like a nib. And the stem was smoothed to hold the Kalam.
For each word or few words to write, the Kalam received its ink while dipped into an inkpot. Together the pair was called “Kalam-dawaat,” that I used to carry with me to primary school. Often my school bag and my clothing got stains of the black ink.
Continue reading MY FIRST WRITING PEN MADE FROM A DRY TWIG
Seeking the meaning and purpose of human life is a behaviour issue at the individual level.
Meaning of life and purpose of life, I think, are two related terms. Continue reading What is the meaning and purpose of life?”
It is under one medical term, called circadian rhythm. And Mr. Singh has kept it well under control with his disciplined daily regime.
A real understanding of the circadian rhythm is that all our body organs, down to their cellular levels, have body clocks working along with the brain.
Continue reading AT AGE 92, THE SECRET OF MY FRIEND’S HEALTHY LIFE
A recent example of denialism is when President Trump refuted the pandemic of COVID-19 in its early stage. And when most of India’s upper and wealthy class refused to accept the plight of migrant workers in their agonizing walks back to the villages during the peak Coronavirus lockdown. Continue reading Denialism: A Roadblock To Liberal Thinking
Economists and historians have examined detailed aspects of the enslaved experience for as long as slavery existed. My own work enters this conversation by looking at the value of individual slaves and the ways enslaved people responded to being treated as a commodity. Continue reading American slavery: Separating fact from myth
The moment I sat, the teacher, addressed as Masterji, called me up and asked why I was late. Before I could gather words to express myself, he gave me a hefty slap on my tender little face. Continue reading MY SCHOOL TEACHER’S BRUTALITY
By Promod Puri Do we have to blame a nation or nations in their respective involvement and stake in initiating wars, battles, or violent conflicts rather than the individuals responsible for calling out to strike the fire? Historically and down the road, we blame the nations and forget the leaders or rulers in their combating roles and catastrophic orders. But this is how the human mind is architected to humanize nonhuman physical entities from countries to animals, political to religious concepts. We’re humanizing Coronavirus as “sneaky, “tricky,” “merciless,” “cruel,” and “invisible enemy.” It is an innate tendency of human psychology … Continue reading Humanization Of Countries, Viruses And Everything Else
Since these crunchy cookies were contained in a ‘pipa,’ that is the reason they are called ‘Peepaewale’ biscuits here in Canada. Perhaps, it is a marketing approach by the manufacturers to draw the nostalgic feel and taste of the sweet goodies.
Our kitchen was very elementary but a conspicuous place in the house. Prominently featured was the built-in wall cabinet that was a designated space for all the plates, bowls, etc. There were no china dishes or even the glass highballs, a few spoons, but no forks or knives, no sink, and no running water either. All the utensils were of brass that needed an occasional coating of some shining metal, named Kli, done by hawking street vendors referred to as Kli-walas. Complete with the very basic needs, our kitchen, also called Rasoi, had an orderly and clean look. Besides, it … Continue reading THE CAKE MY MOTHER USED TO MAKE
“guloñ meñ rañg bhare bād-e-nau-bahār chale chale bhī aao ki gulshan kā kārobār chale.” Spring blossom in Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver, Canada. Continue reading Open for “business” but no visitors:
Cuba exports very few items that contribute to its economy. These are cigars, sugar, rum, pharmaceutical products, and medical services, especially doctors. Lately, the country has been in the news and commended for sending its doctors to Covid-19 plagued Italy in precarious and high-risk situations. For nearly 60 years, Cuba has been sending healthcare professionals around the world, especially to the Latin American countries. It is part of its declared policy of “solidarity with those in need” no matter where the need is global. However, this humanitarian gesture has its other side as well, the medical diplomacy, exploited in a … Continue reading CUBAN DOCTORS IN ITALY: HUMANITARIAN AND DIPLOMATIC
By Promod Puri Perhaps the least revealed an aspect of Khushwant Singh’s colorful and long active life, was the fact that he perfectly balanced his cogitative pursuits with an active physical lifestyle of exercise, sports, and walks. Unlike most of the known contemporary thinkers and writers, Khushwant Singh realized that both mental and physical activities occupy equal space in one’s daily routine and that both are healthful to each other. In the last column I read by him at the age of 98, which still had his trademark of wits here and there, he talked about his daily routine and diet including … Continue reading Remembering Khushwant Singh: His Colorful Life And Humor
It may sound sweet that our fruits and vegetables are getting sweeter. While the bitterness in some of the known bitter fruits and vegetables is becoming far less or almost non-existent. Examples are grapefruit, brussels sprouts and bitter-melon (karela). The natural chemicals involved in creating bitterness are called phytonutrients that are responsible for imparting health benefits in fruits and vegetables. Reducing or eliminating their presence enhances the sweetness of fruits and vegetables. The de-bittering experimentation and processes are being carried out to make fruits and vegetables as “kids friendly” or to appease our sweet tooth. But nutritionists say that is … Continue reading BITTERNESS IS HEALTHY
By Promod Puri I have been an anti-national ever since I understood the nature of its allegiance to the country one belongs to. At the same time, I am not a patriot either with its blurred image as it is often a consequence of nationalism. Patriotism and nationalism have obscure borderline between them. It is a “problematic pair” to find independent definitions to isolate each concept. Both the words are synonyms to each other according to their dictionary explanations. Still, certain attempts have been made to detach the two. Nationalism arises from the word nation. As such it seeks love, … Continue reading Nationalism & Patriotism Are Threats To Global Peace And environment
By Promod Puri Ever since it was first introduced in the kitchen accessories section of departmental stores I am still debating to buy it or not. Over the last 15 years or more, when the object of my curiosity was first displayed as an innovative and somewhat bizarre item, it has been a challenge to my buying impulse. During this X-Mas season of all the popular and useful gifts items, Banana Hanger is at the bottom of my list. And it has been sitting there ever since its first appearance. I can buy a ‘banana guard’ to protect it from … Continue reading My Curiosity For Banana Hanger And Other Interesting X-mas Gift Items
By Promod Puri I don’t know if she belongs to the class of housemaid, aka “bai”. If so, then her status could be upgraded in India’s class and caste society. She had a regular assignment at our home around 11 every morning and finishing her limited but reserved task in 15 to 20 minutes. It was the most needed part of daily cleaning. She was a Christian Punjabi-speaking girl in her teen years. Most kids in her age group were in schools at that time studying and playing. But here she was punctual in her daily routine seven days a … Continue reading She Was Not “Supposed” To Enter Kitchen
By Promod Puri This Cherry never blossomed to the changing realities of diverse and culturally rich Canadian society. Don Cherry’s colorful (in costume only) long career as hockey commentator ended abruptly with a blot on his iconic stature. At the fag end of his life, after more than three decades on the air, his stylish apparel also got stains of racist rants against Quebecers, indigenous and the rest “you people.” From his little domain of “Coach’s Corner” on the Sportsnet, Mr. Cherry delivered his last diatribe November 9, zeroing in on immigrants, new and old, who don’t wear poppies to … Continue reading Don Cherry’s Colorful Costumes Have Stains Of Racism Too
(This is an update to the article written a few years ago) By Promod Puri The fun in life includes some simple recreational activities in our daily life. And the one I like the most is just a few steps away as part of my every day up-and-down commute. These are the stairs leading up to our apartment. Over the years I have done this personal “Grouse Grind” hundreds of times. Although my experience with stairs is quite extensive, still I would not call myself a stair-master. But as a veteran of the stairs, I have learned some techniques and … Continue reading Stairs Excercise Controls Blood Sugar And For Healthy Heart
By Promod Puri It was the early ‘50s, and I still remember going to the Hari Theatre in Jammu. There we were four or five us excited to see the Dilip Kumar starring blockbuster Aan. The songs of the film still reverberate in my nostalgic moods. Dilip Kumar, teasing actress Nadira and rocking with “maan mera ehsan” number, was the scene I can vividly recall. In that early teenage stage, it was indeed a bundle of joy to occasionally go for a movie and blow about it the next day in the school. Aan was a thriller where the hero … Continue reading Going To A Movie Theatre In The Turmoils of Jammu And Kashmir
By Promod Puri “Words are the tools of writing.” But not quite so! Words, in fact, are the bricks and mortars we select and gather to build a structure. Its architecture and construction are based on our thoughts, opinions, and feelings, perceptions and impressions, or sharing of information, knowledge, and experiences. In our learning faculty, there is a library of words being accumulated from early childhood. We retrieve them from our memory cells to begin the composition of a story, novel, essay, poetry, and all other literary and non-literary works or writing a simple personal diary. Moreover, comprehensive dictionaries offer … Continue reading WRITING IS A CONSTRUCTION JOB
I was 10-year-old when one day I severely broke my right arm. A local pehlwan, as the practice or custom was in those days, was called to fix the arm. His oil massage and turning and twisting the arm to align the broken bones was an extremely painful maneuver. After a few days, the rugged treatment did not produce any improved result. Perhaps, it was more damaging. Next, I was in an Amritsar hospital where a known surgeon specializing in fixing broken bones finally put the bones close to and in front of each other. This was followed by lying … Continue reading A BOX OF TOFFEES
by Promod Puri Back in 1972, when I immigrated to Canada and made my first home in Winnipeg, Manitoba, that I happened to know a very helpful and friendly person by the name of C. R. Bector. He was a distinguished professor of mathematics at the University of Manitoba. And out of respect, as being elder to me and having an academic professional status, I along with other close acquaintances used to address him as Doctor Sahib or Doctor Bector. He was not a medical doctor but had a Ph.D. degree in his extensive portfolio of degrees. C.R. Bector, although … Continue reading Home Sweet Home: The bliss of “Chajju Ka Chobara”
When trying to find a romantic match, we’re often overwhelmed with options. Reddit/WittyRepost Thomas Saltsman, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York Log onto Netflix, and you’ll be presented with a menu of nearly 6,000 titles. Create an OkCupid account, and you’ll have the chance to connect with 5 million other active users. Search for a new toothbrush on Amazon, and you’ll be bombarded with over 20,000 options, ranging from manual to mechanical, from packs of three to packs of 12. As someone who is comically indecisive – and who studies stress – I often think about the … Continue reading Contemporary Society Loaded With Choices
While space scientists can continue their exploration of the moon and establish more communication links with the cool-light planet, I along with most of us of the Indian heritage were told in very early childhood that the guy up there in the sky is a close relative from the mother side. He was referred to as Chanda-mama, to be precise Chanda uncle. In fact, as we were growing up, we were introduced to a very popular children magazine, I believe it is still around, called Chandamama. It was an easy read comic magazine dealing with ancient Indian folklore. Moon has a … Continue reading Featuring Moon In The Hindi Filmi Songs
Centuries ago, people used to migrate from one place to another for reasons which were natural calamities, local violence, or community upheavals. Or just seeking better pastures. But there were no borders. It was freedom of unrestricted movement. Now, in the present age peoples also want to migrate for the same reasons as well as to escape violent political upheavals, crime, and violence based on ethnicity, conflicts, and prosecutions. But, we have borders. There are security guards, policing and military both at leaving and entry routes. People seeking refuge in other lands face multiple hardships, rules, and regulations. It is … Continue reading FREEDOM TO MOVE IN OUR OWN “GLOBAL VILLIAGE “
“Inhumanity, it seems, is contagious. In Italy, babies and children have been repeatedly kept at sea for days by a government that fears—hates, even—migrants, no matter their age. In Turkey, authorities are cracking down on the Syrian refugees that Europe didn’t want. Globally, more people have been forcibly displaced from their homes in the past five years than at any previous time in history, and more than half of the world’s 26 million refugees are children. Many are met with systematic dehumanization coupled with apathy in the places where they hoped they would be safe. This suffering cannot be blamed … Continue reading Inhumanity Sweeping The World
1. “Be Positive.” What is wrong being negative? Rather Keep the balance, and be rational. 2. “Forget the past…..” How that is possible? With experiences of the past, and dreams of the future, live the present. Continue reading Two Overly Used Popular Sayings:
By Promod Puri The sign on the front door read, “please remove your shoes.” It was not a Hindu temple, Gurdwara or a mosque, where such is the custom or a religious edict. But the newly-build home of a friend who had a house-warming party a few years ago. When we arrived, there already was quite a spread of shoes and sandals all over the front entrance. The four-word notice was polite, but terse in its message. The host did not want the new flooring and expensive carpeting inside to be spoiled by any soiled footwears of the incoming guests. … Continue reading “Please Remove Your Shoes”: Is It Custom, Hygiene Or Both
By Promod Puri I confess a feeling of guilt erupted within me after buying a pair of pant the other day. This despite the fact, in my otherwise sparse closet, there are enough pants to last till next five to six years or more. But I purchased it anyway with disregard to my needs. Adding to our collection of clothing is an obsession which most of us have. And the fashion industry exploits this urge by offering the latest in designs. Moreover, we have an inborn appetite for newness in our passion for clothing. How much wardrobe is essential to … Continue reading Passion For Buying New Clothing, But How Much We Need
People worked for healthy teeth long before nylon brushes hit the market. Mila Davidovic/Shutterstock.com Jane Cotter, Texas A&M University Dental hygiene has come a long way since the days of wine-soaked toothpicks and the urine mouthwash once thought to disinfect mouths and whiten teeth. Some of the earliest tooth-cleaning artifacts archaeologists have found are ancient toothpicks, dental tools and written tooth care descriptions dating back more than 2,500 years. Famous Greek doctor Hippocrates was one of the first to recommend cleaning teeth with what was basically a dry toothpaste, called a dentifrice powder. Ancient Chinese and Egyptian texts advised cleaning … Continue reading How People Cleaned Teeth In Olden Days
An atoll in the Republic of Kiribati, an island nation in the South Pacific that’s in danger of disappearing due to climate change. (Shutterstock) Sarah M. Munoz, Université de Montréal Global climate change is endangering small island countries, many of them developing nations, potentially harming their ability to function as independent states. As international environmental co-operation stalls, we must ask what consequences climate change will have on the statehood of vulnerable countries. This is especially important because sovereignty is the most important principle in international relations. Any threat to a nation’s sovereignty could have unprecedented repercussions for global governance. A … Continue reading Some Island Countries Are On The Verge Of Drowning
(This article is an approach to get into the praxis of simple living and to realize its efficacy. The article does not make a list of things as what to do or what not to do, rather it is left to the reader to work out his or her own simple living lifestyle and make changes as one goes along this path. The basis of this presentation is to seek some disciplined enjoyment of life towards self as well as towards the environment around.) The nature of simple living if willingly explored, accepted and experienced is both rewarding and blissful. … Continue reading SIMPLE LIVING: THE ULTIMATE JOY OF LIFE
Megan Bradley, McGill University Record-breaking years for refugee flows have become the norm. UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency, just released its annual tally of displacement worldwide. Once again the numbers rose, with 70.8 million people displaced by conflict and violence — more than at any point since the Second World War. In media coverage on refugees, we hear the most about the small fraction of refugees who manage to reach Europe or North America, yet well over half of the displaced — some 41.3 million —never make it out of their own countries. This invisible majority is known by … Continue reading Canada Needs To Help Millions Of Displaced Inside Their Own Countries
By Promod Puri Paldi, named after a small town in Hoshiarpur District of Punjab, is located about seven miles south-west of Duncan, off the road to Lake Cowichan on Vancouver Island in BC. The village of Paldi was established in 1917 by an enterprising Punjabi by the name of Mayo Singh, who came to Canada in 1906 when he was 17-year-old. The place is now quite and sleepy. But in its glorious past, it was bursting with over 1500 inhabitants, who were mostly from Punjab working in the sawmill and as loggers. Besides, the “Hindoo” population, as they were all … Continue reading Paldi: South-Asian Canadian Heritage Village
Why? That is a big question mark Rabba Hun Kee Kariye does not answer. Nor does it intend to answer. But it does shake our morality when we are drawn on religious fronts of hate. Rabba Hun Kee Kariye is a documentary on bloody mayhem following the partition of India in 1947. “It constitutes a vital link in the chain of Partition memories.” In doing so, the film creates a pictorial monument of genocidal killing, which cannot be blacked out either by time or by society. Vancouver-based UBC scholar and documentary filmmaker Ajay Bhardwaj presents a powerful and compelling presentation … Continue reading Rabba Hun Kee Kariye: A Powerful Documentary On ’47 Genocide
By Promod Puri The grey stucco building at the south-east corner of Main Street and 6th Avenue in Vancouver was once a hub of the Indo-Canadian community in the early ‘70s and part of ‘80s. It was the Indo-Canadian media center along with small businesses owned by the community members having their offices in the building. Prominent among its occupants were veteran broadcaster and the voice of the community Sushma, and her business partner Nizar Dhamji. They had their recording studios for TV and radio broadcasting. Much before Sushma and Nizar moved in, the building had the distinction of being … Continue reading The Historical Building At Main And 6th In Vancouver
Statement by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, May 23, 2019 “One hundred and five years ago the Komagata Maru steamship arrived in Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet. On board were 376 Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus of South Asian origin hoping to settle in Canada and build a better life for themselves and their families. “Few of them ever set foot on Canadian soil. Immigration officials, enforcing discriminatory laws of the time, did not allow the ship to dock. For two months, passengers were confined to the ship and denied regular access to food and water. The Canadian government of the day eventually forced … Continue reading Remembering Komagata Maru
by Promod Puri Countries worldwide seem to be facing an escalating problem as to where to dump their daily accumulation of non-composite garbage. Shiploads of containers carrying all kinds of waste from electronic to plastics and even household garbage are floating the world seas finding their final resting or burial place. After China changed its policy not to accept electronic and plastic waste anymore, and other countries like Malaysia and the Philippines, refusing to be dumping places either, the developed countries are stranded with their garbage. Recently, Philippines “threatened” Canada to take back its garbage sitting on the former’s shores … Continue reading Garbage Is An Escalating World Problem
Recently I read an interesting article on 7-Eleven stores and their worldwide growth in 17 countries besides the ones in the USA where the company was founded in 1927. Around the world, 7-Eleven has 68,236 stores, and the largest presence is in Asia. The new owners are a Japanese holding company who bought 7-Eleven from the Texas-based The Southern Corporation in 2005. My only interest in reading the long article was back in the ‘70s when I migrated to Canada. 7-Eleven was one of the places where I had my initial jobs. The job interview was quick, and I was hired … Continue reading WHEN I WORKED AT 7-ELEVEN STORE:
Every time I notice these in the Indian grocery stores, even at the Walmart, my recurring memories fly me back to those teenage days in India. We did not call them as “Peepaewale” biscuits. These were just plain cookies custom-made from a local bakery shop. Also referred to as Punjabi biscuits, these non-smooth and little grooved on the top is triple the size of 22-karat gold biscuits. Since they were contained in a ‘pipa,’ that is the reason they are called ‘Peepaewale’ biscuits here in Canada. Perhaps, it is a marketing approach by the manufacturers to draw the nostalgic feel … Continue reading Peepaewale Biscuits
by Promod Puri An objective parallel can be drawn between the racial caste system, known as Jim Crow in the history of the United States between 1877 to late 60s, and the inhumane treatment of low-caste Hindus triggered by the centuries-old caste culture of India. Jim Crow was a legitimized and even legalized anti-black racism which relegated African Americans not only as second-class citizens but designated them into a “way of life” by White Americans who had the right to be discriminatory. (Jim Crow is a fictional name caricatured of a “clumsy, dimwitted black slave singing a tune called ‘jump … Continue reading Manusmriti And America’s Jim Crow Laws Against Blacks
By Promod Puri Ever since the car manufacturers introduced the Cruise Control feature, I have rarely used it. And I think many people like me seldom bothered about this extra driving maneuver. They might have their own reasons. But in my case, it is simple. My conscious mind does not feel relaxed in this mode. The logic is, it might fail when I need it in an abrupt or unexpected moment. This is a mindset attitude I have. And for that reason, I will not be buying fully-loaded Autonomous Vehicles, AVs in short. Safety is the issue. AVs can’t be … Continue reading Why I’m Not Buying Self Driving Car
By Promod Puri In my school days as the bell ring, all the kids assembled for the morning prayer which was quite secular in nature. I don’t remember the whole prayer which was in Hindi, but a couplet of that I can still recall. The words of advice in that morning ritual go like this: jo kal karna woh ajj karle, jo ajj karna woh abb karle. A loose translation of the wordings can be “whatever one thinks to be done tomorrow, should be done today, and whatever to be executed today, should be tackled right now.” Basically, all it … Continue reading In The Habit Of Postponing Things
This story is not an attempt to downgrade his personality, but it reveals how Gandhi became from ordinary to an extraordinary human being. He learned from his experiences, moved on, and became one of the great leaders in the contemporary history of the world. by Promod Puri While Mahatma Gandhi’s nonviolence activism got him international fame and many followers, an important part of his personal life and preferences has been revealed in an unknown small book by Professor Kris Tangri. Kris Tangri lived a retired life in Victoria, Canada, after a very successful academic career in Canadian and American universities. He … Continue reading A Love Story Hacked By Mahatma Gandhi
Nepal’s menstrual huts: what can be done about this practice of confining women to cow sheds? Sara Parker, Liverpool John Moores University and Kay Standing, Liverpool John Moores University The tragic recent deaths of a mother and her two sons in a chhaupadi hut in Nepal has again brought the issue of this exclusionary practice to the forefront of international human rights and media attention. Despite being illegal, chhaupadi, the practice of exiling menstruating women and girls from their home – often to a cow shed – is still practised in some areas of Western Nepal. Chhaupadi is an extreme … Continue reading Nepal’s Menstrual Huts
Audibly residing forever in the hearts of Hindi filmy music lovers is Noor Jehan’s renditions of Aawaz de kahan hai (a duet with Surendra); Mere bachman ke sathi muje bhool na jana, dekho dekho hase na zamana; and Jawan hai mohabbat hasin hai zamana, lutaya hai dil ne khoshi ka tarana (film Anmol Ghardi). Malika-e-tarannum Noorjahan’s distinct and immaculate voice uplifts the spirit and clarity of the lyrics. Her sweet but eloquent and uninhibited style continues to echo eternally across India-Pakistan borders. It was Naushad Ali (assisted by Ghulam Mohammed) who scored the music for these alluring compositions. He was … Continue reading NOOR JEHAN’S VOICE KNOWS NO BOUNDRY BETWEEN INDIA AND PAKISTAN:
I have company in my lonely abode Arriving and departing, the door is open and revolving The guests come, some offer bloom, others gloom. They’re the memories, family, and friends, Karmas’ notes, complaints, and compliments Environments, weapons, wars, and fights Politics, poverty, religions, and human rights Cherishing hopes, jokes, and anecdotes In this lively, and spirited noise Consciousness joins as an in-house voice And the party goes on, in my lonely abode. -Promod Puri https://promodpuri.com/ Continue reading PARTY IN MY LONELY ABODE!
It is the case of old wine in new bottles. And a lot of new bottles are needed by some provincial governments in India when it comes to filling up with new names to the ancient cities and towns in the country. While they can’t change the historical and cultural character of the cities, but the new labeling seems to be the current political hype running across India, especially in the saffron-ruled state of Uttar Pradesh. If you’re visiting India and going to Allahabad, don’t get confused when the landing sign reads “welcome to Prayagraj.” Yes, that is the latest … Continue reading TRAVEL ADVISORY: India Changing Names Of Its Major Cities
Convert us, We’re adaptable But we’re poor. We’re hungry too. Passing by a temple, a man of god advised “come on in, become Hindu, and be happy and wise.” So, we put on the Hindu hats. “Now close eyes to forget the hunger.” “Meditate for transcendental wonder.” Then a voice was delivered from a nearby mosque “Become Muslims for glory to god,” We emerged as Muslims from the sacred spot. More cordial invites “come on in, become…” Christians, Buddhists, and other religious faiths. And we collected more badges in our divine sails. We’re now multi-religious with multi-god beliefs. Without any … Continue reading SEEKING SOLACE AMID POVERTY AND HUNGER
“Adarsh Bahu,” that is not the title of an old Hindi movie or a forthcoming Bollywood release. But it is a newly-introduced three-month study offered by a university in Bhopal, India. After the completion of the “Adarsh Bahu” curriculum, a certificate will be handed to the “Adarsh” (ideal) graduates. Unlike most other courses which help in securing jobs, this one, according to the vice chancellor of Bhopal’s Barkatullah University, “will prepare brides who will keep families intact. It is part of the women empowerment”. Two issues come to mind about the innovative university-level course. 1. Will … Continue reading “Adarsh Bahu” University Certification
Have we lost our grip on the truth? Shutterstock Arie Kruglanski, University of Maryland The concept of truth is under assault, but our troubles with truth aren’t exactly new. What’s different is that in the past, debates about the status of truth primarily took place in intellectual cafes and academic symposia among philosophers. These days, uncertainty about what to believe is endemic – a pervasive feature of everyday life for everyday people. “Truth isn’t truth” – Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s lawyer, famously said in August. His statement wasn’t as paradoxical as it might have appeared. It means that our … Continue reading Concept Of Truth In Jeopardy
(Looking at the growing worldwide popularity of the game of football, this article is about the importance of the sport, especially for the poor and developing nations). Cricket has been a national obsession in most of the developing and Third World countries. It is about time that the game should be dropped from the status of being the most popular sport. Rather football, aka soccer, must be promoted as such. Despite generating millions of fans in countries like Afghanistan to Zimbabwe along with India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, etc., from a crop of only a few hundred cricketers, that a … Continue reading Time To End Cricket Hype With Football
Part 1: Life In Cuba Rather than the politics of communism or socialism, the face of Cuba is much reflected by its vibrant culture. In their healthy and shining look, most Cubans seem to be hardworking and contended folks who, more than anything else, enjoy their music, dance, and simple food loaded with organic fruits and vegetables. The cultural and social aspects of the Cuban lifestyle have an aristocracy and sophistication which has a class of its own in this classless society. The three most essential ingredients of its cultural pride are coffee, rum, and cigar. And in that … Continue reading With Small Doses Of Capitalism Cuba Can Achieve Its Socialist Idealism
NY Times April 9, 2018 By Jeff Seb, director of the animal studies program at New York University. You might be aware that chimpanzees can recognize themselves in a mirror, communicate through sign language, pursue goals creatively and form long-lasting friendships. You might also think that these are the kinds of things that a person can do. However, you might not think of chimpanzees as persons. The Nonhuman Rights Project does. Since 2013, the group has been working on behalf of two chimpanzees, Kiko and Tommy, currently being held in cages by their “owners” without the company of other chimpanzees. … Continue reading Court Considering Case For Chimps As Persons
By Promod Puri Hyped, and promoted by the controversy, I got induced to view Padmaavat on the big screen. Besides, seeking some entertainment, my scrutiny was also aiming at any scene, dialogues or actions which could support all the reported fuss and anger in India about Padmaavat extravaganza. Does the movie devalue Rajputs or covet to insult them in whatsoever manner? No, not at all. Contrarily, it has overstepped in glorifying Rajputs’ identity. Their ethical character, besides as a warrior community, has been intently prioritized in the overall Padmaavat film melodrama. In his rhetoric cinematic and dialogue delivery which boast … Continue reading Padmaavat Glorifies Immolation Custom & Stereotypes Muslims
By Akshat Rathi Most of us don’t change our minds. Whether the issue at hand is the repeal of net neutrality in the US or Brexit in the UK, we avoid information that might shift our viewpoints, assuming that our opponents are simply dumber than we are. But recently, I had a change of heart about an important issue—and it showed me that it can be detrimental to stick too closely to our convictions. For the past year, I’ve been investigating the controversial technology of “clean coal”—more accurately known as carbon capture and storage—which allows us to burn fossil fuels without almost any emissions. Many vocal environmentalists … Continue reading Carbon Capturing Worth Believing To Save Environment
By Promod Puri I don’t know if she belongs to the class of housemaid, aka “bai”. If so, then her status could be upgraded in India’s class and caste society. She had a regular assignment at our home around 11 every morning and finishing her limited but reserved task in 15 to 20 minutes. It was the most needed part of daily cleaning. She was a Christian Punjabi-speaking girl in her teen years. Most kids in her age group were in schools at that time studying and playing. But here she was punctual in her daily routine seven days a … Continue reading INDIAN MAID: But She Was Not “Supposed” To Enter Kitchen
By Promod Puri Living in Canada for the past 45 years, my nostalgic window often opens to the blissful sounds of popular Hindi film songs and music. From this retreat, the flights to the past are the pleasures of the present. In the voyage, tuning in on Aye mere pyaare vatan, aye mere bichhade chaman, tujh pe dil qurabaan, is an emotional joy in self-recreation. Manna Dey, in his masculine and classical voice, creates a melody of mellow submission towards motherland in the film Kabuliwala. Composed by music director Salil Chaudhary, the song literary takes me back to the melodious … Continue reading Joy With Old Hindi Filmi Songs
By Promod Puri
In split second, rather much sooner, memories can take us to revisit some interesting spots in our lives.
For me, one of such repeat visits is to the primary class where I graduated myself from grade 5th to grade 6th and started learning English from alphabets to making small sentences. Towards the end of the one-year term, to the surprise of my teacher, I could write cursive English, meaning script writing by joining the letters.
In the English class, our writing assignments included composing “essays” of about 50 to 150 words. And as I remember the assigned topics were writings on the dog as man’s best friend, benefits from cow, and the stories titled “thirsty crow”, “grapes are sour”, “slow and steady wins the race” between tortoise and rabbit, etc. We were also asked to compose applications addressed to the headmaster requesting a leave of absence describing reasons including being sick.
One composition I still recall was to write a portrayal of the best friend.
Writing about a best friend was not that intricate as most of the help came from elder family members, or just through my innocent and naive imaginations. But in this exercise, the concept of thinking about friends or cultivating friendship was mindfully and firmly established.
Over the years I have developed that relationship of having friends, close friends, family friends, and best friends.
They say, “a friend in need is a friend indeed”. True, but our distress needs are seldom. For most of the time friends take care of our social compulsions to have some informal, happy, and entertaining times together.
In these relaxed occasions, we enjoy each others company of vacationing together, dining together or just having coffee together. We discuss, argue, or debate issues, events, experiences, etc. on a range of subjects depending upon our mutual interests.
Meet My Friend.
From this social aspect of friendship, I would like to bring up here a close long-time family friend. His name is Ramkishen (the real name is concealed for identity reason).
In introducing Ramkishen, I would say he is quite a smart, well-mannered, and well-dressed person. Hard working and actively involved in community affairs, he is always helpful and truly belongs to the friend-in-need-is-a-friend-indeed class of people.
Ramkishen is selective secular and bends naturally towards the political Right. He belongs to the 2016 batch of Trump Republicans, but lately a bit cynical as well, and a Modi “bhagat” (avid supporter). He is a ritualistically religious person and a devout Hindu. He has a red thread tied on his right wrist, which lately has become a symbol of being Hindu.
Ramkishen is an enjoyable conversationalist with knowledge mostly borrowed from fake news sources. Overall, I would say he is an affable personality.
For some reason(s) Ramkishen is anti-Muslim.
The other day, while as usual jumping from one topic to another, we were having interesting talks. Our friendly discussions ended up in God’s colossal authority, His management or mismanagement concerning the affairs of the universe, especially His handling of the deteriorating world problems. We agreed that we have some genuine “shikwa”, the Urdu word for complaint, against Him including His varied creations. And this is where Ramkishen pointed out that “the biggest mistake God ever made was creating Muslims”.
For a moment, looking at his face, I was completely dumbstruck. On several previous meets, Ramkishen made many derogatory and racist remarks also. But this one seemed to be the climax of his anti-Muslim tirade. Shocked that the guy could go down to that ultra racist level to advocate his hatred towards the entire race of Muslims, that I felt lynching his tainted mindset.
He is a friend. And hoping one day he, along with many more Ramkishens among the bourgeois Hindus, get exposed to true knowledge, discernment, and humaneness, so they would review their bigoted views.
In the meantime, back to the 6th-grade memories, I like to play again in my cursive writings with those little essays on a cow, dog, the thirsty crow, and the best friend.
Promod Puri is a journalist and writer. He is author of “Hinduism Beyond Rituals, Customs And Traditions”, a book which explores the rational, secular and progressive nature of Hinduism.
Continue reading “Despite Difference Of Opinion Friends Are Friends”
In recent weeks, there has been one major terrorist attack in Afghanistan where over 150 people died, and two such strikes in Britain killing innocent people. The terror surge is continuing, rather escalating over the years. The question is how far governments and security forces can go to protect their citizens. Every available procedures, technologies, and laws have been in force to their maximum levels at the cost of sacrificing basic civic liberties with the willing cooperation of citizens. Intelligence agencies are applying more sophistication and strategies to forewarn about the attacks. But failing most of the time. Seeking the … Continue reading SEEKING WAY TO END TERRORISM
CREATION, CULTIVATION, AND DEVELOPMENT OF THOUGHT By Promod Puri Simple Thought: Infuse purity and ethics in thoughts, base karmas on those thoughts, and enjoy the fruits of those karmas. Mahatma Gandhi says: thoughts become words, words become behavior, behavior becomes habits, habits become values, and values lead to destiny. In the creation of words, behavior, habits, values, and destiny, the conception begins with a thought. It all dawns on this perception. Since destiny is the consequence of thought, the latter itself is the consequence of our feelings, attitudes, knowledge, and experiences. All these factors instigate our cogitative faculties in creating … Continue reading THOUGHTS ON THOUGHT
Jagessar Das M. D. President Kabir Association of Canada People all over the world talk about tolerance, such as racial tolerance, religious tolerance or cultural tolerance, when they have to live in a society made up of people of different backgrounds. And this tolerance is often thought of as being a virtue. Let us try to understand what tolerance really means. If you try to think clearly about what tolerance means, you will understand that it means to tolerate something or someone that is different, and with whom you cannot identify yourself. It means that you are not ready to … Continue reading TOLERANCE OR ACCEPTANCE
By Shyami V. Ramani In 2013, India became the fourth country in the world (after Russia, the United States and the European Union) and the only emerging nation to launch a Mars probe into space. But it remains part of the group of 45 developing countries with less than 50% sanitation coverage, with many citizens practising open defecation, either due to lack of access to a toilet or because of personal preference. According to the Indian census of 2011, only 46.9% of the 246.6 million households in India had their own toilet facilities, while 3.2% had access to public toilets. … Continue reading Why it’s easier for India to get to Mars than to tackle its toilet challenge
LIFE IS A GAME OF SOCCER By Promod Puri All our thoughts and actions are influenced and regulated by the consciousness of the landscape of reality around us. In this landscape, one makes a selection of his or her own space in life’s playfield. And the game starts. It is a collective game, a team game. There is no absolute independence. Our individual likes and dislikes, thoughts and behaviors, actions and reactions, morals, and rules, all are parts of the game. Social and environmental structures around us are the team’s norms in shaping and steering the game. Stamina, discipline, and … Continue reading LIFE IS A GAME OF SOCCER
1. To all the volunteers who strive for dedication and devotion preparing the divine langar and washing dishes in Gurdwaras and Mandirs for the devotees and visitors, as well as for sharing the meals among hungry and homeless people irrespective of their faiths. 2. To those poor and destitute trash collectors who carry shopping carts or plastic bags collecting refundable empty beer, liquor, soda bottles, cans and juice containers to earn some coins, while picking up the litter for a cleaner environment. 3. To the Car Free Day each summer when Vancouver’s ever-vibrant Main Street is closed to all vehicular … Continue reading My Canada Day Salutation Goes:
By Promod Puri “Agree to disagree” is a declaration of face saving justification. It happens when two or more parties or individuals after an argumentative discussion fail to agree. And in all civility, the agreement results in agree-to-disagree compromise. With that declaration egos remain intact, but time wasted. Nothing is lost, nothing is gained either. India and Pakistan have spent over 68 years in this agree-to-disagree parleys. Their on-and-off dialogues have continued for ever without any spirited solution to end hostilities between the two nations. But agree-to-disagree is a compromising escape route. It has become a longest-running bureaucratic and ministerial … Continue reading Agree to disagree
(Wamiq Misbahi in NY Times)Trump is a man with a vision for America, not a specific vision, a great vision…the best vision…Trump has a plan to make this country great again….What plan??….a great plan…a plan that will work because it’s the best plan…..Why???… because Trump knows good people…which people???….the best people….people that are not stupid like other people….people who know how to get deals done…what deals???…great deals…the biggest deals… because I know words… What words???…I have the best words… I get my information from watching TV… I consult with myself because I have a great brain… A great brain???…the … Continue reading Trump Has Great Plan For America
Grouse Grind Meditation/ as posted in Tripadvisor Climbing the 2.9 km steep Grouse Grind mountainous hike in North Vancouver, BC, beside a strenuous workout on ” Mother Nature’s Stairmaster”, is also a sort of kinetic meditation of about 90 minutes. The focus has to be on the uneven steps and the rough ground underneath leading up to the top of the popular Grouse Mountain. The grueling experience when over gives a exhilarating feeling of like conquering Mt. Everest. It is one activity which remains as one of the highlights of summer in Vancouver. The “grind” has got some needed … Continue reading Grouse Grind Meditation
By Promod Puri This brief article is inspired by widely acclaimed Vancouver-based spiritual writer Eckhart Tolle’s “Power of Now”. It is not an attempt to give a motivational advice. But coming up with an idea, in line with the basic theme of the “Power of Now” in realizing, accepting, capturing and enjoying every moment happening just now. Experience the past, flyover the future, but stay in the present. Moments matter in this stay. These moments come and go in the time flash of now. In an endeavor to dwell in the “now” (the present moment) let us get into the … Continue reading LIVING IN THE PRESENT
A multi-million-dollar sports carnival of athletic strength and spectacle by physically super human beings has started in Rio De Janeiro amidst the sharp realities of poverty, Zika threat, foul waters and the on-going political instability in Brazil. The show must continue every four years to thrill the interested watchers worldwide if one does not switch channels to see a part of humanity scratching some living in a world struggling to survive in slums and starvation. It is a recreation of the rich and for the rich where the poor just provide the bulk to the Olympic body. The gold, the … Continue reading THE OLYMPIC SHOW
The basic reason to involve oneself in sports is to seek and maintain healthy body. Recreation comes next. But in the contemporary society social, cultural, competitive, big business and even political aspects dominate the field of sports. Olympics, world cricket and world soccer events are the prime examples of this phenomenon. Mass participation in sports, especially in poor and developing countries, is being hurt by mass entertainment for sports watchers and enthusiasts. Sports is a show business, not a preferred involvement in healthy and recreational lifestyle. -By Promod Puri promodpuri.com Continue reading Sports Is Show Business
By Arran Stephens The overwhelming majority of the world’s Hindus live in India, which has the largest vegetarian population on earth, numbering many millions. Within the Indian subcontinent, the spectrum of religious thought ranges from strict monotheism to a sweeping panoply of gods, goddesses and animist dieties. Vegetarianism is practiced and scripturally supported by the majority of Hindu sects. There are also large Muslim and Christian populations in India, as well as Jews, Jains, Sikhs, Parsis, Ba’hai’s and Buddhists. Many Sufis—who represent an eclectic and mystical form of Islam, practice vegetarianism. Amongst the Sikhs, the Namdharis and others on the … Continue reading Hinduism and Vegetarian Diet