Desi Talk - page 12

By a Staff Writer
22.5-feet tall image of Lord
Hanuman, shipped from
Jaipur, India, was displayed
for public worship here at the
Hanuman Mandir of Greater
Chicago Dec. 14.Weighing over
46,000 pounds and carved out of a
single slab of Marana marble, the
consecration of the statue began
Dec. 12, a four-hour operation
where prayers were recited as the
statue was being taken out of its
shipping container, an Asian
Media USA press release said.
Bhoomi shuddhi was per-
formed on Dec. 14, 2013, and
ground breaking took place this
The image had arrived in
Chicago July 17 and reached the
temple on Aug. 14. Since then
Hanuman had been receiving
daily worship from devotees while
still in the container and as his
seat was being constructed and
Temple volunteers and devo-
tees arrived early morning of Dec.
14 to take darshan without leaving
their cars.
The crowds were directed to
Glenbrook High School to join the
daylong prayers. Hanuman’s
favorite jasmine flowers were
flown in fresh from India to be
offered along with locally pre-
pared sweetmeats. Priests began
the prayers from 9 a.m. The day
ended with the Hanuman image
being safely covered for passage
through the winter weather until
the construction of dome is
Many devotees have sponsored
trees to be planted on the vast 4.5-
acre grounds surrounding the
main temple building.
– that’s all you need to know
By a Staff Writer
epresentatives from
Hindu, Muslim and Sikh
communities joined an
interfaith and interde-
nominational Christmas
banquet hosted by the United
Christian Cultural Association on
Dec. 13 at Bristol Court Palace
here. Consul General of India
Ausaf Sayeed was the chief guest.
Community leadership awards
were conferred on Nandan
Thogaru, Regi Paul and Sharath
Thanking the organizers,
Sayeed shared his sense of antici-
pation of the Christmas celebra-
tions year after year.
He noted how this small
minority has made significant
contributions to the Indian cul-
tural fabric especially in imparting
quality education to students and
providing health care services. He
recalled his schooling at a
Catholic school and hence his
familiarity with the values and
tenets of the religion.
In his welcome address, past
FIA president and banquet organ-
izer Keerthi Kumar Ravoori said
the consul general’s presence was
a testament of his esteem for the
Christian community. He praised
Sayeed for bringing about positive
reforms at the consulate and hon-
ored himwith a colorful shawl
and bouquet.
Raju Enoch Pasumarthi, presi-
dent of UCCA, recounted the
ways in which the organization
has been working to uplift the
Telugu Christian community. Vice
President Emmanuel Neela out-
lined the organization’s and
spelled out future programs.
Vasanth Charles, the UCCA direc-
tor and master of ceremonies,
retraced the seen year history of
the organization’s work with the
community. Co-emcee Shirley
Kalvakota explained the signifi-
cance of Christmas as “giving and
sharing” god’s gifts. FIA Trustee
Chair Iftekhar Shareef also came
onstage to offer Christmas greet-
ings. Ramarao Kanakapudi pro-
posed the vote of thanks.
The evening’s cultural highlight
was a singing competition judged
by a panel headed by Dr. Nandan
Thogaru, Dr. Vijay Kiran and
Praveen Neetipudi’s dance
presentation illustrated the joys of
Christmas celebration, while chil-
dren Saritha Pasumarthi, Deena
and Alina performed a graceful
lamp dance.
Guest speaker Rev. Peter
Pereira detailed the central narra-
tive of Christmas as the sacred
birth of Jesus to rid the sins of the
world. He emphasized its signifi-
cance as exemplifying hope,
peace and joy. A special souvenir
was released by a group of pas-
tors, church and Christian com-
munity leaders.
Dressed in colorful traditional
Indian attire, the choir that pre-
sented a series of carols. Members
of the choir included Hannah
Charles, Salomi Shirley, Jyothsna,
Merari Bushpaka, Surender
Charles, Praveen, Mohit,
Jonathan, Emmanuel, Satish,
Surrujwala and Teresa. Pravin
Charles, Johnson and Dheeraj
Charles provided the musical
accompaniment to the choir.
United Christian Cultural Association Hosts Christmas Celebrations
December 26, 2014
Above, the leadership team of the United Christian Cultural Association poses at the UCCA Christmas celebrations held at Bristol Court
Palace in Mount Prospect, Illinois. From left, Ramarao Kanakapudi, Vasanth Charles, Consul General of India Ausaf Sayeed, Keerthi
Ravoori, Shirley Kalvakota, Emmanuel Neela, Raju Pasumarthi and Praveen Neetipudi. Below, a community choir sings Christmas carols.
Hanuman Temple Consecrates Permanent Image
Bharatiya Seniors of Chicago
Celebrate Christmas, Birthdays
More than 250 members of Bharatiya Seniors of Chicago celebrated Christmas at Rana-Regan Center in Carol Stream, Illinois
Dec. 20. They also participated in a seminar titled “Accept Ayurveda and bring new changes in life” that was part of the program.
BSC Secretary Rakshika Anjaria began by singing a salutation to Ganesh. President Hari Patel welcomed the singers of the Nalini
Parikh Group who performed during the event, and Ayurvedic physician Rajesh Varma of Herbayur. The Dec. 15 death of
community leader Naren Patel, CEO and president of Medstar Laboratories and president of Vishwa Gujarati Samaj-U.S., was
mourned and his work with seniors remembered. Two minutes of silence was observed in his memory as well as in memory of
another recently deceased BSC member – Ramesh Padai. During the Ayurvedic seminar, Verma spoke on the prevention of
a wide range of diseases through Ayurvedic medication. He also recommended laughing at least 15 minute a day and nurturing
positive thoughts to remain healthy. Members whose birthdays fell in December were also felicitated.
Priests Nagendra Rao (blue shawl)
and Yogesh Pandya (light orange top) and
Dr. Chandra Khurana (black coat) stand
before the newly installed statue at the
Hanuman Mandir of Greater Chicago in
Glenview, Illinois, at the special viewing
Dec. 14.
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