Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Yesterday, I participated in the New Year celebration of our Iranian brothers which was held at the Nairobi National Museum, Louis Leakey auditorium. We were treated to some unique Iranian traditional music courtesy of Hamnawa music band.
I also had a chance of learning a thing or two about this festival such as:
• That the United Nations passed an endorsement of a resolution on February 23, 2010 to designate Nowruz as an International Day for its ancient roots and for its celebration in most of the eastern Muslim world.
I also learnt some of the practices that accompany Nowruz. Such as:
• House cleaning.
• Looking into the needs of the poor and helping them.
Other traditions practiced are:
• Spreading the Haftseen tablecloth and adorning it with fruits, dry nuts, coolies, flowers and a copy of the Holy Qur'an.
Monday, March 29, 2010
This blog is as a result of the above titled public lecture which I attended yesterday (28/03/2010) at the Oshwal Auditorium. The keynote speaker was M. Gandhi's grandson Prof. Ramjohan Gandhi.
The public discourse started at 1830 hrs by a brief introduction from the chairlady of the Karuna Trust who gave a brief overview of what the trust is involved in. There after she invited the Indian High commissioner to Kenya who gave a written speech.
The diplomat highlighted in passing about the keynote speaker. For (many of) us who were hearing about Prof. Ramjohan Gandhi for the first time. Here are the few things I was able to pick about Gandhi's grandson (Keynote speaker):
1. He is a historian
2. He is an author and biographer having written his grandfather's biography, "The Good Boatman: A Portrait of Gandhi." Other major publications he has penned include biographies of Indian freedom fighters and a recent study of Hindu-Muslim relations
3. was a member of Indian parliament (Upper house). While in Parliament was member of reconciliation team between Pakistan & India
4. He is a honorary visiting professor and director of Global Crossroads at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.
5. He is a member of a leading think tank (Center for South Asian Studies)and his research interests include the history and current state of South Asia.
6. Last and MOST important is that He is a family man and travel's with his wife in all his journey's he undertakes.
Thereafter, Julius K. the head of Moral realignment in Kenya spoke and introduced the Keynote speaker.
Prof. R. S. Gandhi began by informing us that he was on a voyage of discovery that will take him to 14 countries. So far he has visited 3 countries and the country he was was before he came to Kenya was South Africa.
He introduced the people he was taking this journey with (from different backgrounds i.e. Australia, Lebanon, USA) to give us a number (song). Which they executed with such ease and finesse despite having landed into the country a few hours ago!
Thereafter, Prof. R. S. Gandhi went straight to the gist of the public discourse. As he pointed out 'i do not wish to talk about trade and Investment between the two countries because the High commissioner is here and his office is better qualified in this matters than I and can make available this information to those who wish to have the same'
His lecture was going to be premised on how Gandhi was able to unite the Nation (India). This was well suited considering what happen in Kenya after the 2007 election. So his lecture gave accounts of Gandhi I had not known before. He occasionally read quotes from his book to drive the point home.
After this lecturer I felt like I knew so little about the father of non-violence principle and I am now searching for Sir. Ben Kingsley movie Gandhi and books on Gandhi to update me. At the end of the evening it was a worth while indulgence.
This public discourse was organised by the office of the Indian high commissioner, Karuna Trust, Moral Realignment and the Oshwal community.