Five Strange Easter Traditions from Other Countries Around the World

first_img3.  Greece.  On the morning of Holy Saturday, people on the island of Corfu in Greece throw pots, pans and other pottery out their windows and smash them on the street. 4.  Hungary.  On Easter Monday, people in Hungary do something called “sprinkling,” where boys and girls playfully sprinkle perfume, cologne, or water on each other. 1.  Australia.  In Australia, rabbits are considered pests that destroy crops and land, so some companies now make chocolate BILBIES for Easter instead of bunnies.  A bilby is an endangered marsupial that’s also known as a rabbit-eared bandicoot. Here are a few strange ways people celebrate Easter in other countries around the world . . .center_img 2.  Florence, Italy.  They have a 350-year-old tradition known as Scoppio del Carro, or “explosion of the cart.”  And that’s basically what it sounds like . . . a fancy cart packed with fireworks that’s paraded through the city before being lit for a big fireworks display. 5.  Bermuda.  On Good Friday, people fly colorful kites on the beach to symbolize Christ’s resurrection and ascension into Heaven.last_img read more

Video: South Africa’s Dreamfields Project

first_img8 April 2010“My name is Zukisa. My friends call me ‘The Wall’ – nothing can pass me, even Ronaldo” … a team of young footballers who call themselves the A-Stars feature in a commercial filmed by Justin Bonello of BBC TV programme “Cooked” in aid of the Dreamfields Project, which uses football for community development in South Africa.According to Bonello, he was driving back to Cape Town after filming in Somerset West one afternoon last year when something he saw provided a moment of inspiration.“There were these impromptu soccer matches taking place on the side of the N2,” Bonello writes on the Dreamfields Project blog. “I started thinking: ‘Would I want my son to play soccer here?’ And the answer was no.“We then started looking for a charity we could partner with.”Bonello got in touch with Dreamfields, shared his vision for a short film – and the crew from Cooked in Africa Films was soon headed for Nyanga township where, under the direction of Corne van Rooyen, they began filming the A-Stars boys.The result was stunning – and the judges of the M-Net Vuka! Awards agreed. The Vuka! Awards were set up to encourage film companies and ad agencies to make TV commercials for causes close to their hearts. The Dreamfields commercial made it through to the finals of the 2009 competition.“We decided to put together a positive story with real kids,” says Bonello. “We produced it in six hours, with no budget, and made the finals with some of the big boys. Brilliant!”The Dreamfields Project, brainchild of journalist John Perlman, is using the excitement generated by the 2010 Fifa World Cup to bring soccer fields and equipment – as well as business skills and new social partnerships – to disadvantaged communities across South Africa.The project, which has already attracted some heavyweight corporate backing, raises money to upgrade existing sports facilities in townships and rural areas, and to build new fields in at least 32 regional soccer centres by the end of 2010.The organisation also supplies communities with “Dream Bags”, each containing 11 footballs and 15 full sets of kit, and works with the government and other organisations to bring coaching and sports management skills programmes to communities.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Jagmohan Dalmiya remains king of Bengal cricket, Buddhadeb cries foul

first_imgKOLKATA: The final tally read – Jagmohan Dalmiya: 61, Prasun Mukherjee + Buddhadeb Bhattacharya + Sourav Ganguly: 56. A day after the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) election, a fuming Bhattacharya, synonymous with power in West Bengal, proclaimed that this was a “triumph of evil over good”. But none could,KOLKATA: The final tally read – Jagmohan Dalmiya: 61, Prasun Mukherjee + Buddhadeb Bhattacharya + Sourav Ganguly: 56.A day after the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) election, a fuming Bhattacharya, synonymous with power in West Bengal, proclaimed that this was a “triumph of evil over good”. But none could defeat CAB’s president, re-elected on July 30 after a nail-biting election.That is because not everyone was against him. At the Maidan, the city’s hub of cricket clubs, his supporters want Dalmiya to continue the “good work”. Dalmiya’s fight for his last piece of turf, after he lost the elections of Board of Control for Cricket in India last year, had indeed turned murky.TRIUMPHANT: Jagmohan Dalmiya (left) after winning CAB pollsIt took a political hue when the chief minister decided it was his duty to get CAB a new president and fielded Police Commissioner Prasun Mukherjee, while advising Dalmiya to steer clear of the elections. Sourav Ganguly, desperate for a recall to the Indian cricket team, changed loyalties to e-mail the Mukherjee camp alleging the current CAB administrators of ruining cricketers’ careers.But Dalmiya won, and humbly said this was just a platform to fight the BCCI cases pending against him. Bhattacharya, who has never tasted political loss, was taken aback by Mukherjee’s defeat. He now has a lot to answer for-CPM stalwart Jyoti Basu and his own partymen want to know why he interfered with the independent election process of a sports body.Basu has also strongly disapproved of Bhattacharya’s public outburst where he demanded, “I want Dalmiya to leave.”The truth remains. Jagmohan Dalmiya is still the king of Bengal cricket, and that is unlikely to change anytime soon. Meanwhile, the inswings continue.advertisementlast_img read more

‘Salman Khan is the only actor who dares to be different’

first_imgSameera ReddyState of Affairs It is evident from your story that Punjab and Kerala have topped the list again because of their emphasis on what they are good at-agriculture and education (“North South Lead”, August 16). Transparency and good governance are the keys to being a good state. K. CHIDANAND,Sameera ReddyState of AffairsIt is evident from your story that Punjab and Kerala have topped the list again because of their emphasis on what they are good at-agriculture and education (“North South Lead”, August 16). Transparency and good governance are the keys to being a good state. K. CHIDANAND KUMAR, BangaloreDespite the fact that different states have bagged awards for development in some sector or the other, not a single state has attained self-sufficiency in infrastructure development. Had they done so India would have been ranked first in the comity of developing nations. S. NAGARATNAM, MumbaiThe left parties have always been critical of the policies and programmes of other parties but your survey shows that Left ruled West Bengal is lagging behind in almost all parameters with an overall rating of 14 among the big states. The Left does not have any moral right to preach to anyone else. They should set their own affairs in order first. M.M. GURBAXANI, BangaloreKerala has never tried to shed its post-independence slumber on the economic front even though it has taken enviable care of education and health. It should focus more on sustainable and growth-oriented economic ventures with employment generation within the state rather than depend on overseas dollars and dinars. ANIL THOMAS, ChennaiYour story should be an eye-opener for states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Lagging way behind on almost all socio-economic fronts, these states’ performances have hit rock bottom. Governance is conspicuous by its absence. Illiteracy and poverty are all-pervading. How long will these states be content to be mocked at as laggards of democracy? ALOK SRIVASTAVA, DelhiYou have missed some vital parameters like economic disparity, employment and growth of population while conducting your survey. All these factors have a lot of impact on the social and economic life of the people. Even the UN and other international research organisations take them into consideration while conducting studies. SURESH SURATWALA, MumbaiYour otherwise comprehensive report missed out two important factors- sustainable environment and ecological balance. Aren’t fresh air and clean drinking water important? Similarly cheaper and cleaner energy sources would attract investments and might be an answer to the soaring LPG and petroleum prices. YASH TOKARSI JAIN, on e-mailKerala cannot be considered a progressive state by any yardstick. A state that does not allow any industry to develop even during these times of liberalisation has nothing to do with any kind of progress. Nani Palkhivala had rightly said that social justice, when not accompanied by economic growth, is meaningless. T.S. PATTABHI RAMAN, on e-mailHaving a stable government does not necessarily mean that the state will witness economic progress. Had that been the case states like Bihar, where the RJD has been ruling for the past 14 years, andWest Bengal, where the Left Front has been in power for 27 years, would have prospered like Punjab and Kerala. RAJIB SARMA, on e-mailYour survey has many contradictions. Bihar is ranked last in health but in life expectancy and infant mortality the state is in the top 10. And how can West Bengal, with the fourth largest state GDP (and projected to be the second largest in 2020) be 18th in investment scenario? SAIBAL BAGCHI, on e-mailFloundering AroundThe BJP has been indulging in introspection and analysis of the reasons for its defeat in the Lok Sabha elections (“Still in a Stupor”, August 16). But so far it has only managed to replace “Hindutva” with “Bharatiyata” and “vikas”. SHIKHA KATARIA, PanchkulaThe BJP, the so-called party with a difference, is acting like a child whose lollipop has been snatched away. The Congress too is not behaving like a mature winner. Both parties seem to have forgotten that there are important issues to be dealt with. But instead of cooperating they are only trying to embarrass each other at every available opportunity. JOHN ERIC GOMES, Goa advertisementOne expected the BJP to act in a more responsible manner and Atal Bihari Vajpayee to provide the right guidance. But both have been big let-downs. MADHU SINGH, Ambala CantonmentPrice of HealthLow-cost blood glucose testing machines are indeed a must (“The Sweet Check”, August 9). But the fact is that the cost of the machine is only a part of the total cost of testing at home. The glucose testing strips are a major and recurrent cost. The testing device is of no use without these strips and diabetics would benefit only when the price of these strips come down. RAKSHIT TEWARI, AhmedabadSafety CatchDo our politicians and actors feel their lives are more precious than those of our soldiers or senior citizens who are soft targets for anti-social elements (“VIP Insecurity”, August 9)? People should not be forced to pay for the security of the privileged classes. S.L. BEDEKAR, BangaloreHit ParadeSalman Khan is the only actor who dares to be different (“Role Reversal”, August 2). When most other actors are doing only one or two films a year, Salman will have seven releases in a single year.With his hattrick of hits one can easily say that he is one of the most bankable stars in Bollywood. NITESH VYAS, on e-mailBasic ProblemThe Punjab Government is well within its rights to promulgate the legislation cancelling all its watersharing agreements (“Troubled Waters”, July 26). Punjab is an agrarian economy and it needs water to support the farming community. Contrary to popular belief, it relies heavily on groundwater to meet its agricultural requirements. But now even groundwater levels have dipped because of the indiscriminate installation of tubewells. SATISH SHARMA, DelhiCHARGE COUNTER CHARGEIt is difficult to believe Shujaat Hussain’s contention that Nawaz Sharif is lying because none of his pro-India statements would have endeared him to anyone in Pakistan (“Nawaz Sharif is Lying”, August 16). KESHAV AGARWAL, on e-mailBlame game seems to have become the national sport of Pakistan. The interview raises doubts about whom we should believe. SUBHAM PATHAK, BangaloreHussain’s statements on the Kargil war conceal rather than reveal what actually took place. H.R. BAPU SATYANARAYANA, Mysoreadvertisementlast_img read more