Thursday, January 17, 2019

The first person from India to visit USA was from Madras in 1790


The  first person from India to visit USA was from Madras in  1790

By
P.R.Ramachander

   I read  in many  places  that the first Indian to have  visited USA from India  was from Madras  and he visited  Massachusetts. After a  long research I found out   that the particulars  about  that man is  mentioned  in a book called
Counseling Asian Indian Immigrant Families: A Pastoral Psychotherapeutic Model
By Varughese Jacob

Here is a  photo  of the information  given about  him  in that book. WE understand  that he was sailor from Madras.



Mini Punjab in USA


Mini Punjab in USA

Mini Punjab in USA

Compiled  by
P.R.Ramachander




   Many of   you would  be as surprised  as me to know   that  the earliest  Indians  to settle  down in USA  were  Sikhs . They were  brought as agricultural labourers  in USA,The place  they settled down  is Sutter  country of Yuba   city of California   which is  near  San Francisco. There   was  a time  when most of them were  sent back but as of now  10% of the population  of that place   are Sikhs . In Yuba-Sutter County, Punjabi farmers grow about 95% of the peach crop, 60% of prunes and 20% almonds & walnuts.

“Yuba City is literally a mini Punjab in the USA with three Gurdwaras and a temple. “Sat Sri Akal” is the preferred form of greeting; speaking in Punjabi is not considered “foreign” and Punjabi is officially taught in public schools. A radio program in Punjabi is regularly on the air. The Punjabi American Festival (Baisakhi) is organized every year in May by the Punjabi American Heritage Society which was founded by Dr. Jasbir Singh Kang in 1993 to help the younger generation get connected to their roots. The annual event features some internationally acclaimed artists and hundreds of local artists, including students from California schools, colleges and universities, who perform traditional Punjabi dances such as Bhangra, Giddha, Jhumar, and other ethnic dances. The ticketed event attracts over 12,000 people and is aimed at promoting a better understanding of the Punjabi community, its culture, and the many contributions they make to the region. Many business owners rent display booths to put themselves in front of the prospective customers.” ( from  http://www.indiaempire.com/article/331/yuba_citythe_mini_punjab_in_usa  )

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Some facts about senior citizens in USA


Some  facts  about   senior  citizens in USA

Compiled by 
P.R.Ramachander



This  is  my fourth visit  to USA in the past  several years. I was given to understand that parents  in usa  after  they  become old  never live  with their children and those   who do not have any savings suffer  very much as the children do not  contribute to the  upkeep of their parents .But since USA is a welfare state, if some one does not have any income, the government was supposed to look after  them. , Several  huge  retirement  paid home complexes  are there in USA housing them. Since many of the inmates may  not be able to drive, there are hourly  bus  facilities  from such complexes to the malls as well as places of entertainment.  Whenever they are standing waiting for buses, the  buses halt at the bus stop and the step of the bus  is made to touch the floor, the driver comes out of the bus and assists  them to sit  comfortably. 

Recently  every week  I used to go  to a   huge  vegetable  and fruit  shop called  “farmers” normally  around 10 am.  Every time  seeing  the  very old people  coming to shop there , I have literally  shed tears for  they were extremely old and extremely  weak and not  even able to walk.

 So I decided to do some  arm chair  research  on  them, Here is what  I have been able to find out.

1.Only  in 29 out of 50 states of USA , sons and daughters do have  the legal  responsibility  to look  after their parents.

2.In about 30% of American homes , the  parents  were living  with their  children.

3. . Of the older adults who were living outside nursing homes or hospitals in 2010, nearly one third (11.3 million) lived alone. More than one-fourth (27 percent) of women ages 65 to 74 lived alone in 2014, and this share jumped  to 42 percent among women ages 75 to 84, and to 56 percent among women ages 85 and older.(do men die earlier?)

4. .  Nearly one  person in ten lives in poverty, but many are financially secure. Todays seniors will live longer in old age than any generation in history. Many will live to healthy old ages but one in five will need personal care after they reach age 85,  While we think of seniors as retirees, more older adults are working  for living there  in recent decades.

 5,Very   large  number of senior  citizens  there  would  not be  able  to afford  good and efficient medical care as it  is exorbitantly costly. “Poor people don’t have insurance in America, The supposedly free Medical insurance given to the poor is very close to being a fake insurance and big corporations like Managed Care corporations La C are, Healthnet etc. are the only true beneficiaries. Poor people have very limited choices when it comes to receiving care in America. For starters, they can’t choose where they want to receive care or what doctor to receive care from.”( https://www.quora.com/How-do-poor-people-pay-for-healthcare-in-the-United-States)

6,Only one out  of 5 people older than 70  have  earnings, The average  income  of those  who do not work and who  are above 70 is about 1500$ per month.( http://www.pensionrights.org/publications/statistic/income-today%E2%80%99s-older-adults )

7. Obesity rates among older adults have been increasing, standing at about 40 percent of 65-to-74-year-olds in 2009-2012.

8.More older adults are divorced compared with previous generations. The share of divorced women ages 65 and older increased from 3 percent in 1980 to 13 percent in 2015, and for men from 4 percent to 11 percent during the same period.

9.Demand for elder care will also be fueled by a steep rise in the number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease, which could nearly triple by 2050 to 14 million, from 5 million in 2013

A Hindu University in USA


A Hindu  University in USA

I  do not  how many  of you know  about  a “Hindu University of  America”  situated in Tampa  Florida. I have not visited it . http://www.hua.edu/

The  web site says “The mission of Hindu University of America is to provide learning, research, and training in a broad spectrum of topics related to Vedic and Hindu culture, including religions, philosophies, and practices.
The university aims to promote the universality of Hinduism, and to establish harmony between eastern religious thoughts and modern sciences, thereby contributing to a global sense of empathy, understanding, and peace.
HUA is committed to comprehensive and liberal education with a broad curriculum at Master’s and Doctoral levels in various areas related to Hindu religion, philosophy, language, and culture, providing its students with a practical base for their spiritual and academic growth.”
Image result for HIndu university in USA

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Hindus in Carribean Islands(West Indies)


Hindus  in Carribean Islands(West Indies)

Compiled by
P.R.Ramachander





When I was  14 years  of age , I attended  a lecture by  Sri Cheddi  Jagan, the Hindu Prime minister of British Guyana. Ever since that  time , Ihave  interest in Carribean Hindus. Carribian is known as  west Indies to us. I am sure  Cricket  enthusiasts  would remember  Sri Rama Dhin and later  Sri Alvin Kalicharan  who were  great  players   during  their time,
   You all would be surprised  to know  that  Hindus occupy 25%  of the carribian Islands .They are  the descendents  of the  sugarcane  labourers taken forcefully  by  the British to work in their fields. The percentage of women among them was very less  and inter marriage  took place   with natives.Because  of this  there is almost no caste  distinctions among them, though an extremely small minority  claims  they are Brahmins and  they manage  the temples .They are  all mostly  devotees of Rama  and though Arya  samaj  tried to reform them, they still follow  the orthodox Hindu religion.Another  strange   thing about  them is that Women can and are  priests  among them. There are temples  for  Lord Shiva, Goddess Mariamman, Lord  Rama  and Lord  Krishna  among  them.Mostly  they speak  English but  a Language  called  Carribean Hindustani   which is the Maithili  dialects of  Hindi.
    To identify   themselves  they started  erecting a flag in front of their  houses.They strangely call it Jhandi(not Jhanda) .They have  their own temples as well as cusine .

Please  read more about them in http://somethinginherramblings.com/temples-doubles-uncovering-indian-influences-caribbean/
https://bangaloremirror.indiatimes.com/opinion/sunday-read/hinduism-in-the-caribbean/articleshow/67006136.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

Friday, January 11, 2019

Reading glasses(vellezhuthu kannadi/kitta parvai kannadi) hawker in USA


Reading glasses(vellezhuthu kannadi/kitta parvai kannadi) hawker in USA

By
P.R.Ramachander




  Long long back , my father who used to read  a lot , told me that  he  is not able  to read  because  he  has Vellezhuthu. Few   days  later there was a temple  festival  in our village. My father  took me to the festival  and unusually went  to the place  hawkers  used to sit.One  of them was  selling Mooku Kannadi( spectacles).My father tried a few , chose one , haggled  with a hawker paid him two rupees   and brought  a  mooku kannadi, From then on , I have  always  seen him wear it. ,   never  went to opthomologist  and used to buy  spectacles  from hawkers for either  two or three  rupees.

    Times  rolled by.I crossed 40 years of age,  and suddenly I was  not able to read. I went to opthomologist and he prescribed me glasses , charged me 40 rupees and sent me to a spectacle  shop , who charged me  around 200 rs.My friend  told me  that I have  Chaleswaram. When I blinked  he told me  that  when you are “Chalis oopar” you get this disease. When  I forget the  spectacles  or it gets 
broken or lost I used  to spend   several  hundred rupees(later at least thousand rupees ) to get a new spectacle. Slowly I started  wearing plastic lens but about 5 years back my opthomologist recommended me  to buy a reading glass for just 200 rupees.Ofcourse I did not.

    Recently I forgot my spectacles in a temple. My  son told me that my eye exam would cost  around 200$  and a spectacle  itself would cost around  another 200$.My son and me travelled 60 km and got back  the  spectacles and  left out of a sigh of relief.

    Today I happened  to go to  “Dollar  central store” and to my surprise “reading spectacles” of any power was available there   for just one Dollar.I recollected the hawker  who used  to  sell spectacles   to my father and purchased a suitable one , for emergency  and came back.Now  as long as I am in USA, I need not worry about loss  or breakage  of reading glasses. I can solve my problem by spending one dollar