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Thread: Break from HDF

  1. #1
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    Break from HDF

    Vannakkam: My wife and I have been living on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius since December 1. It has been a retreat. The first month was getting accustomed, the second month was intense religious stuff, and now we're more or less on holidays, relaxing, having fun, so I decided I'd start posting again. Mentally, we're back home already, as its just over a week until we go home to Canada.

    Mauritius is an amazing place for Hindus. Only 1.3 million people, but the majority is Hindu. Tons of bhakti, lots of temples, (The Tamil Temple Federation has 160 member temples, and Tamils are outnumbered by North Indian style Hindus about 3 to 1.) friendly people, great weather, beautiful beaches. On Shivaratri, the sacred lake in the middle of the island draws around 400 000 people, almost a third of the island. So for someone in the west looking for a retreat place, I would highly recommend it. It's the fastest growing economy in Africa, so unlike India, its got lots of western style stuff like malls and Walmart like stores - a mix of east and west.

    More later.

    Aum namasivaya

  2. #2

    Re: Break from HDF

    Well, I'm glad you enjoyed living on my native island. The lake you refer to is Grand Bassin, alias Ganga Talab, or Talao - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganga_Talao.

    The Wiki entry does no justice to the magnificence of the sacred spot, and that's a gross understatement, but it does convey some vague idea about it to people who know nothing about the place. It's actually geographically located in south central Mauritius, not quite near the centre of the country, as you mention. There are about 4 times as many north Indian Hindus than there are Tamils in Mauritius, with, additionally, small but still demographically significant Telugu and Marathi minorities. There are also Gujaratis and Punjabis, in yet smaller numbers.

    As for the 'northerners,' they do not constitute a monolithic bloc either, since their forebears hailed from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Bengal, and to a nigh-negligible extent, even Odisha. I myself am of mixed UPite, Bihari and Bengali heritage.

    On the whole, Mauritius is substantially more Westernised and liberal than most parts of India, and there are indeed shopping malls and supermarkets galore, but that's not too much at variance with the situation in the large Indian cities. Modern shopping centres (often considerably larger than the ones in Mauritius) are aplenty in the Indian metropolises, and in several Tier-II and Tier-III cities as well.

    Anyway, I fully concur that the island is pretty convenient if you're Hindu. The comparatively high sanitary and low pollution levels (not that Mauritius doesn't have areas that could certainly do with better environmental controls, then again, it reputedly has the best air quality in all of Africa) and pleasantly temperate climate also render visits to temples and other types of shrines less physically challenging than it sometimes can be in the subcontinent.

  3. #3
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    Re: Break from HDF

    Welcome back EMji!

    I have watched in Indian TV, a show on Hinduism in Mauritius and how they celebrate Shivaratri around the lake considered to be Ganga. So many people participate! I watched a lot of people pulling what seemed like chariots having idol of Shiva in them and walk a very long distance from their homes to the lake. Very grand indeed! Glad to hear you had a wonderful time there.
    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

  4. #4
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    Re: Break from HDF

    Quote Originally Posted by Viraja View Post
    Welcome back EMji!

    I have watched in Indian TV, a show on Hinduism in Mauritius and how they celebrate Shivaratri around the lake considered to be Ganga. So many people participate! I watched a lot of people pulling what seemed like chariots having idol of Shiva in them and walk a very long distance from their homes to the lake. Very grand indeed! Glad to hear you had a wonderful time there.
    Vannakkam: I know very little really. You don't learn that much in 3 months. But yes, I've been to the lake and heard that many devotees carry kanwars from great distances, just to get a bit of water, and return home with it. Sivaratri is probably a 3 day festival over time. Thai Pusam is a 10 day festival. So there is a lot of devotion in the people, from at least the little bit I've seen, as an 'outsider'.

    Aum Namasivaya

  5. #5
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    Re: Break from HDF

    Namaste EM,

    Welcome back to the forum.

    Your post should have ended with, 'Live from Mauritius, this is EM reporting'!

    Pranam.

  6. #6

    Re: Break from HDF

    sounds like an interesting place to consider retiring in.

    I would retire in India, but the government is just too anti-Hindu.... :-)
    Philosoraptor

    "Wise men speak because they have something to say. Fools speak because they have to say something." - Plato

  7. #7
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    Re: Break from HDF

    Quote Originally Posted by Believer View Post
    Namaste EM,

    Welcome back to the forum.

    Your post should have ended with, 'Live from Mauritius, this is EM reporting'!

    Pranam.
    Vannakkam ... exactly 12 hour time difference from here to there on the west coast of US. But not many people get here. It's well, kinda out of the way. Our flight home will take 30 hours, of which 23 are airborne.

    Aum Namasivaya

  8. #8
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    Re: Break from HDF

    Namaste,
    Quote Originally Posted by philosoraptor View Post
    I would retire in India, but the government is just too anti-Hindu.... :-)
    The pro-Xitian Govt. in the US is better than the 'just too anti-Hindu' Govt. in India?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eastern Mind View Post
    Our flight home will take 30 hours.
    30 is your lucky number.

    After the 30 hour flight you will have to dig through 30 feet deep snow on your 30 feet long driveway to get to the front entrance of your house in -30 deg weather. And it will take you exactly 30 days to get over the fatigue from all this activity!

    Pranam.
    Last edited by Believer; 19 February 2013 at 05:08 PM. Reason: Added some more 30's

  9. #9
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    Re: Break from HDF

    now now...if you keep this anti india talk going here some heads will roll...
    BTW there is so much snow around my house that I have no place to put it anymore can I send to Edmonton?
    satay

  10. #10
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    Re: Break from HDF

    Namaste,
    Quote Originally Posted by satay View Post
    there is so much snow around my house that I have no place to put it anymore
    If I were you, I would double up the size of my house (for the winter months), by making some extra bedrooms with the snow.

    Pranam.

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