I had the chance to participate in the celebration of the
foundation of the Indian Republic today at the Asian Center. Saturday Prof
required us to attend the whole-day event as an equivalent for our supposed
three-hour class. I was planning not to but curiosity won over laziness. Plus,
I was absent last week and Prof might really check today’s attendance—better not
to risk the precious slots for allowed absences. Hahaha.
I thought the whole event was fun. There were a lot of firsts for
me a while back. It was the first time I really sat in a seminar with a speaker
talking about Vedic philosophy, good and bad karma and reincarnation. Even if I
did study those in our Asian History class, I never really took things to
heart. Perhaps because it was a different religion or perspective on life and
all; or maybe I just found it too mystic before. I wasn’t able to hear the
whole talk because I was late—but the latter part of the discussion was quite
enlightening. For Hindus, it is very important to gather all forms of good
karma because it will determine the next body one will be bringing to life.
Also, a balance of good and bad karma does not cancel things out. Again, good
karma must outweigh the bad—ideally, people practicing such belief must do good
all the time and avoid bad activities.
There were also discussions on finding your soulmate and how souls
transcend from one realm to another. The teacher (i.e. speaker) told us that
there are an infinite number of souls in this world but only a few are on our
realm. A lot of them are left in the spiritual realm waiting to find another
body to welcome them. Souls, like human beings, are also awarded free will.
They are free to choose whether to reside on one body to another or not at all.
After the seminar, veggie lunch was served to all the participants.
I was hesitant at first because the last time I tried magic meat at a certain
vegetarian fastfood, I gagged and almost puked. Epic fail on my first attempt.
Today, I tried it again and yes, I succeeded in finishing my food! I ate the
highland rice and the vegetarian curry. My classmates, Ruby and Angelo, backed
out of the eating challenge. Haha. I must say that the curry is similar with
the usual chicken curry we cook, except that there’s less “umami” or “linamnam”.
I’m thinking it was because of the meat used. But overall, I thought it was
good food. Second attempt = success. Vegetarian cause = 1, Emy = 1.J
During lunch at the AC grounds, we’re treated to Indian music and
dance performances. The sax was just amazing. Here are a few clips (they’re
We also had our hands painted with Indian-inspired designs. Cute.
And then, there was the Kirtam Yoga thing. We listened to their
Hare Krishna chants for almost an hour. The chant began with slow beats—the
flute made us relax. The upbeat part of the repetitive chant brought almost
everyone to their feet to dance. I did not. Hahaha. It was a nice thing to
watch—everyone’s like Jai’Ho-ing and Hare Krishna-ing with their arms flailing
up and down and their feet trying to match every beat played by the
After the whole dancing affair, we headed out of the auditorium and
watched the cooking demo at the grounds. Within an hour, the chef was able to
whip out six different Indian dishes—there’s the basic veggie curry, the Pinoy
curry or Kare-Kare, plus a veggie bagoong (salted black beans or tausi), banana
blossom salad (in coconut cream), dahl soup (monggo lang talaga yan), chutney
(caramelized pineapple), and the samosan (Indian empanada). I wasn’t able to
line up for the free taste but I guess I already have an inkling of how the
food will taste because of how it smelled when it was cooked. There’s the usual
curry taste with a hint of chilli and coconut-ish flavor. And then of course
the pungency of the turmeric and mustard seeds adds another level of flavor to
the dishes made by chef.
Free yoga classes were also offered but the slots were already
filled, plus I don’t have yoga materials. Before I went home, I bought a beaded
prayer necklace which looks like the rosaries used by Catholics. I also took
home free Hindu-themed books given by the Hare Krishna org.
By the time I arrived at our house, I was surprised I’m not yet
hungry. Hmmm, was it because of the lunch? I wouldn’t know. But one thing’s for
sure, my mind was full today—I really learned a lot especially appreciating
another culture that was foreign to you before. I’m looking forward to more
events like this. Hahaha.
Next week, we’re back with Saturday Prof and her
storytelling session class. Gaaah, sana mabusog siya sa meals para di
makasingit masyado sa discussions. Hahaha!
Good night and enjoy the pictures! J
|So much color.|
|Upper photo: Indian mascots; Left: A copy of the Vedas; Right: Vedas enclosed in a chamber.|
|Indian band playing Indian music and dancing signature Indian moves. How Indian. :)|
|I think this is Krishna in varied forms. Haven't checked.|
|AS201A classmates. They're trying to do the Indian pose but failed. Hehe|
Labels: 2013, asia, bollywood, experiences, india, school