Showing posts from August, 2013

Insider/Outsider reflections: Fire Pooja at a Fijian Hindu Temple

Entering into a Hindu Temple to observe the closing ceremony of the fire pooja was a sacred and remarkable experience. The eyes is continually captured by the brightly colors which adorn the temple and Gods. The ears are enthralled by the beating of the drums and musical melodies. The body is soothed by the sweet aroma of incenses. The bare feet over the Temple floors becomes a direct testament to the holiness of the Hindu religion. One cannot help but to be awed by the religious sincerity of its believers.  

They transcend the mundane to enter into an experience with the Supernatural… As an outsider, the closing ceremony of the fire pooja is as strange and peculiar as trying to understand a speaker of a different language. To its adherents it is a very sacred and profound experience. Outsiders, like me have a difficult time comprehending the symbolic language of the fire pooja. We all interpret our surroundings based on the experiences of our specific social and personal contexts. My …

A Response to the "Enigma of Assad Shoman"

Part 1: THE article The enigma of Assad Shomanby Nuri Akbar Events of history have solidified the Rt. Hon George Price as the founding political leader of the modern nation-state of Belize. Over time historians will gather the works, policies, projects and ideas and comb through them and assign his overall contribution a place in Belize’s relatively young existence. But this essay is about another would-be Belizean political leader, Assad Shoman. Outside of Mr. Price, Assad Shoman in my judgement remains the most intriguing of them all. I shall not give a chronological background of Shoman since others who are far more familiar with these historical events have already done so elsewhere. Rather I would like to look at what could have been if Assad Shoman had been a Hugo Chavez. My only two working encounters with Dr. Assad Shoman were in 1989, when the Los Angeles-based BREDAA organization invited and hosted SPEAR for a week-long visit with the Belizean and activist community in Southern …