January
2011

Vol. 10 - No. 7


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U.S.A. NEWS BRIEFS


 

Indian Restaurants-on-wheels Becoming Hip in USA

 

“Temple” inside San Diego Museum

 

Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis teaches Gita & Upanishads

 

Food trucks serving cuisine of India are becoming hip across USA.

 

These restaurants on wheels, some of which claim to be serving gourmet and off-beat foods,  have become popular in California, New York, Texas, North Carolina, Philadelphia, and Washington DC.

 

With interesting names—“Curry Up Now”, “Naan Stop”, “India Jones”,  “Dosa Truck”, “No Tomatoes”, “The Desi Food Truck”, “Bansuri Indian Food Truck”, “Copper Chimney”—they offer eclectic Indian fares of dishes with creative titles, like  “Punjabi By Nature Burrito”, “Deconstructed Samosa”, “Mumbai Madness Dosa”, “Roti roll-up”, “Calcutta Royal Biryani”, “Slumdog Dosa”,  “Indian Evening Breakfast” (4-9 pm), “Lassi-pop”, etc.

 

Indo-American statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that cuisine of India, which was characterized by sophisticated and subtle use of various spices and herbs, had a remarkable influence on cuisines across the world. Curry originated in India and over 1,200 Indian food products had reportedly been introduced in USA since 2000.

 

Rajan Zed, who is Chairperson of Indo-American Leadership Confederation, further said that Indian cuisine, one of the most popular cuisines across the globe, went back to around 7,000 BCE when sesame and eggplant were domesticated in Indus Valley. By around 3,000 BCE, black pepper, mustard, turmeric, and cardamom were being harvested in India. Ancient Hindu scripture Chandogya Upanishad said: “Through food comes the end of all ignorance and bondage.” In ancient Sanskrit textbooks, cookery appeared to have been a highly cultivated art and even Byzantine Emperor Justinian employed an Indian chef in his palace, Zed added.

 

Various items served at these food trucks included buttery kathi-rolls, dal-rice, korma, parantha, saag, dosa, samosa, curry, butter-chicken, biryani, mango-lassi, masala-fries, chicken tikka-masala, roomali roti, shammi-seekh-gola-burra kababs, ginger lassipop, etc.

 

Some such food trucks are reportedly using social media, including Twitter and Facebook, and other creative marketing tools and attracting long waiting lines of loyal customers. One describes itself as “a travelling culinary carnival”; some have ever changing menu; one aims to serve genuine street foods of Chandni Chowk and Chowpatty; one defines dosa as “sourdough crepe”; one claims to use napkins made from 100% recycled paper and bags which are certified biodegradable and compostable.

 

“Temple” inside San Diego Museum

 

San Diego Museum of Art (SDMA) in California (USA) has established a “Temple” within its premises, complete with statues of various Hindu deities.

 

It “marks the culmination of a twenty-year-long effort on the part of the curators and administration”, according to a Museum announcement.

 

With Ganesha reportedly presiding over the doorway, statues installed in this dark red walled “Temple” include a 6th century sandstone “Shiva as Lord of Music”, bronze “Shri Devi” from circa 1100, copper alloy “Sambandar, Child Saint Devoted to Shiva” from circa 1100, 10-11th century sandstone “Attendants of Vishnu”, Cambodian Hindu ascetic, and other images in bronze, wood, stone and paintings, numbering around 55. It also reportedly displays wood carvings taken from temple chariots.

 

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, commended SDMA for providing opportunity to the world to further explore Hinduism and its concepts.

 

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, said that art had a long and rich tradition in Hinduism and ancient Sanskrit literature talked about religious paintings of deities on wood or cloth.

 

Rajan Zed urged major art museums of the world, including Musee du Louvre and Musee d'Orsay of Paris, Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Los Angeles Getty Center, Uffizi Gallery of Florence (Italy), Art Institute of Chicago, Tate Modern of London, Prado Museum of Madrid, National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, etc., to acquire more Hindu art in their collections and frequently organize Hindu art focused exhibitions, thus sharing the rich Hindu art heritage with the rest of the world.

 

The San Diego Museum of Art, whose history goes back to 1926, provides a rich and diverse cultural experience for about 350,000 visitors annually. Its permanent collection includes Spanish and Italian old masters and it regularly features major exhibitions from around the world. It is said to own about 1,500 folios sporting Indian paintings and calligraphy. Tom Gildred is President of Board of Trustees; Roxana Velasquez is Executive Director; while Dr. Sonya Rhie Quintanilla is the Museum’s Curator of Asian Art.

 

Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.

 

 

Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis teaches Gita & Upanishads

 

Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis (Indiana, USA) has been reportedly teaching ancient Hindu scriptures Bhagavad-Gita and Upanishads.

 

It has also reportedly been offering Hinduism class; teaching its origins, distinctive beliefs, practices and contemporary status.

 

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, described Seminary’s action as “a step in the right direction”.

 

Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, argued that religion was a complex element of our lives and religion comprised much more than one’s own individual experience or specific tradition. God, as a sign of God’s munificence and benevolence, constructively wished presence of different faiths.

 

Rajan Zed urged the schools/departments of religion and philosophy of major world universities to strengthen their Hinduism sections. Hinduism being the oldest religion with rich philosophical thought and a vast array of scriptures needed more exploration. Zed especially asked the Harvard, Cambridge, Yale, Princeton, Oxford, Stanford, Columbia, McGill, Australian National, Tokyo, Copenhagen, Heidelberg, Uppsala, and Utrecht universities to further enrich their Hinduism resources.

 

Christian Theological Seminary, linked with Disciples of Christ and which traces its beginning to 1855, claims about itself: We have a rich history of offering the finest biblical and theological education possible in a caring, supportive environment. It offers eight graduate-level degree programs. Reverend Dr. Edward L. Wheeler is the President of the Seminary, while David K. Herzog is Chairman of its Board of Trustees.

 

Christianity is the largest religion in the world, while Hinduism is the third largest with about a billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.

 

 

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