People Places and Things
Goan Associations In Terminal Decline ?
By Armand Rodrigues
In mankind's evolution, variability has to
be endured in the interests of survival. The
traditional community cannot but succumb to
a cosmopolitan culture, and a cohesive
unilineal kinship group can only have a
relatively short shelf-life abroad.
Our minuscule community is all the more
vulnerable because it is a mere drop in the
bucket. ( In 1990, the History Department of
the University of Toronto published a paper
of mine about our community. One of my
observations about us in Toronto was : "Goans
do not live a cloistered existence in this
progressive and fast-moving society. A
realist will acknowledge that ethnic purity
is unlikely to endure beyond the next
generation or two. Our relatively minuscule
numbers (18, 000) in Toronto will inevitably
dissipate and meld with the dominant morass
in the melting pot of the population (3
million), submerging our original identity
forever. Endogamy, or marriage within one's
group, is bound to give way to exogamy, or
marriage outside the group. For better or
for worse, the trend has already commenced
and the tide cannot be held back")
Cultural homogeneity can only be short-lived
and the gradual erosion taking place in
thisarea cannot but lead to the emasculation
of our community clubs. The obvious question
that follows is : How long before the
progressive decline destroys the hallowed
Whether in the “koods” (village clubs) of
Bombay or sophisticated Institutes and
Gymkhanas elsewhere, the Goan has always
been a sociable creature, with the need for
camaraderie, a part of his or her being.
This characteristic has endowed him or her
with the need to form clubs for social,
sporting and cultural purposes wherever fate
may have dictated their domicile. For
several decades now such clubs have served a
very useful purpose and promoted mutual
interdependence within the community.
But times are changing. Smaller clubs in
Australia and Portugal are going through
aphase of diminishing interest to a greater
degree than London or Toronto. The
traditional community seems destined to
giving way to a cosmopolitan culture, and a
continuation of kinship cannot be expected
to have an indeterminate shelf-life abroad.
Our community is all the more vulnerable
because of its relatively small number in
any populace. Cultural values can only be
short-lived, and a gradual erosion of these
values, with a decline of community clubs,
has to be expected.
Sociologists recognize that the open
societies we live in have steered the
younger generation into a different orbit
than that of their ancestors. They are more
practical and venturesome. With inroads in
the professions they have found diversity in
associates and interests. They have
inherited a sense of belonging to the global
village. They see thingsin a broader context
and have shed any parochial notions
lingering in their psyche. They are
fearless, independent-minded and able to
fend for themselves, with kinship counting
for less and less. They are inextricably
linked to a star in the Western firmament.
Integration and inter-marriages have gone
hand in hand. These dividing factors have
brought about a significant turnaround in
cultural dominants. Cosmopolitan culture is
overtaking the community spirit. “Goanness”
or “Indianness” are being submerged in the
transition. The upshot is that our
Associations will face a gradual decline in
membership, to the extent that there may not
be enough to sustain and anchor a cultural
entity for an indefinite span of time. At
the other end of the spectrum, with about
60% of current members of most clubs being
middle-aged or seniors, continuity has to be
seen as a fleeting prospect. We cannot be
unmindful of the fact that the older
population in Canada is increasing faster
than the younger, and that we as a community
are not immune from this adverse trend.
All is not lost yet. The greying
torch-bearers of yesteryear continue to keep
the flamealive in the strong and active
Eastend and Westend Seniors’ clubs in
Toronto, towards which more and more are
gravitating every year. With a full slate of
activities, and enthusiastic participation,
these clubs increasingly complement the
diminishing offerings of the mother-houses.
But, their members are now coming to the end
of the road.
For now at least, “Grey Power” continues to
stoke the dying embers.
brave like Aani
By OLIVIA CALTON-(Grade 9), is a member of
Brampton Library’s Teen Library Council.
Article from South Asian Focus - Brampton |
Special to Focus
and the Tree Huggers is an
award winning tale by Jeannine Atkins,
Venantius Pinto about the
bravery of a young girl in order to save
Aani is sitting under a tree when she hears
some thunderous sounds coming from outside
the village. Horrified by these sounds, Aani
runs to the river bank and tells the women
of the village about these sounds. They soon
figure out these sounds are coming from the
woodcutters’ tractors that have arrived at
their village to chop down the forest.
Women from the village tell the axe-men the
importance of trees and why they should be
saved. Unfortunately, the axe-men do not
listen to the women and prepare their silver
axes for cutting. At this moment, Aani shows
her bravery and hugs the tree defying the
men that in order to cut the tree they must
cut her too. Her love for trees is the most
touching part of this story.
This story is based on ‘Chipko Andolan’
(which means “cling to the tree movement” in
Hindi) which was started in early 1970s in
the Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarkhand. It was
a non-violent act aimed at protection and
conservation of the trees. The ‘Chipko
Andolan’ originated as the villagers used to
hug the trees in order to prevent them from
being cut by the woodcutters.
Today, councils meet at almost all villages
of India and decide on how many trees can be
cut without endangering the land and the
people who live there. New trees are also
planted every spring. The illustrations in
the book are based on the 17th century style
of Indian miniature paintings that are very
Aani and the Tree Huggers is an
inspirational book. Living in Brampton,
Canada, we do not experience a village life
and hence cannot hug trees as Aani did.
However, we can definitely do something,
which is beneficial for our society like
taking the initiative to spread awareness,
volunteering for the community, or donating
to environmental missions. I guess we need
to be like Aani. If a little girl can make a
difference, then why can’t we?
— Olivia Calton (Grade 9), is a member of
Brampton Library’s Teen Library Council.
This article forms part of an ongoing series
of book reviews conducted by our high-schoolers
that Focus is presenting, in partnership
with Brampton Library, to give our youth a
stronger voice on a public platform.
For more about the author visit:
Immigrant presents 2012’s Top 25 winners!
Congratulations to our inspirational group
of 2012 winners. Thank you to all who
nominated and voted for this year’s national
people’s choice award celebrates the untold
and inspiring stories and achievements of
newcomers to Canada.
Click here to see the Top 25!
Canadians Spread Lentil Love from Coast to
67 per cent of the world's lentil supply
National contest draws thousands of votes
for unique lentil dishes by top Canadian
SASKATOON, SK, June
13, 2012 /CNW/ - Love Your
Lentils Canada, a national contest sponsored
by Canadian Lentils, in partnership with
Food Day Canada, brought together top chefs
from communities across the country and food
lovers from coast to coast. At stake? The
gourmet adventure of a lifetime on Prince
Edward Island (PEI) with Chef Michael Smith!
Leading chefs from across the country were
invited to show some lentil love for this
healthy and versatile ingredient by serving
their lentil creations both in-house to
diners, and by providing a recipe online for
the home-cook to participate. The public
then voted for their favourite recipe,
helping to decide which chef would be
crowned the Love Your Lentils champion.
Twenty-five chefs participated in the
contest, each developing a signature lentil
dish. Recipes were then posted on
www.loveyourlentils.ca - a website designed
to feel like an online dating site where
Canadians were invited to log on and search
for their "lentil love match" based on
geography and personal preference. Recipes
varied widely from scones, soups, pastas,
stews and even a lentil ice cream.
"Lentils are healthy, delicious, versatile,
easy to cook with and easy to find because
we grow the very best lentils in the world
right here in Canada," said Chef Michael
Smith. "I love that so many great cooks
across the country participated in the Love
Your Lentils contest and I'm looking forward
to welcoming the winners to Prince Edward
Island for the culinary adventure of a
Grand Prize Winners
The contest was declared a tie after two
chefs gave it their all, both earning over
9,000 'loves' from Canadians. Chef Norman
Aitken from Juniper Kitchen and Wine Bar in
Ottawa developed The Great Canadian Lentil
Wild Mushroom Ravioli recipe and Chef
Charles Part from Les Fougères restaurant in
Chelsea, QC developed The Great Canadian
Beluga Lentil Burger - A Whale of a Burger.
Both winners will join Chef Michael Smith
and Food Day founder, Anita Stewart on PEI
for Food Day Canada (August 4, 2012) to
celebrate Canadian food, including the
"I cannot tell you how pleased I am to be
part of this campaign. Lentils are one of
our most important Canadian foods," said
Stewart. "They also happen to taste
tremendous, especially when they're in the
hands of our super-talented chefs. There's
hardly a more versatile ingredient in any
professional or home kitchen."
One lucky winner selected from a random draw
of contest voters has also been invited to
join the Food Day Canada celebration on PEI.
Executive Chef Dana Hauser from Herons at
Waterfront Hotel in Vancouver also captured
hearts with her delicious Smoked Bacon
Lentil Ragout recipe.
Chef Stephen Pynn from Bannock Restaurant in
Toronto had Canadians craving lentils with
his recipe Crispy Pickerel with Chorizo and
Facts about Canadian Lentils
Canada produces 67 per cent of the world's
lentil supply and is the world's leading
exporter of lentils, exporting a total value
of $872,956,572 in lentils in 2011.
Saskatchewan is the largest lentil growing
province, accounting for 95 per cent of
total Canadian production.
There are 8.5 grams of fibre and 7 grams of
protein in just half a cup of cooked
About Canadian Lentils
Canadian Lentils is an Official Mark of
Saskatchewan Pulse Growers (SPG). SPG is a
not-for-profit organization that represents
lentil producers in Saskatchewan. For more
information and great recipes, visit
About Food Day Canada
Food Day Canada began in 2003 as The World's
Longest Barbeque, a massive, Canada-wide
response to the sanction of Canadian beef
exports by our largest trading partner and
the dramatic hardship it imposed on our
agricultural community. The WLBBQ was a huge
success and has evolved into Food Day
Canada®, an annual mid-summer celebration
when we share Canada's rich culinary
heritage, our delicious northern bounty and
the best managed food system on the planet.
Food Day Canada is the time and place for
Canadians to share their food and their
stories with each other while leading other
nations in cultural diversity, food ethics,
magnificent flavours, and fun!
unveils first MQ-4C BAMS unmanned aircraft
Angeles, June 15 (Xinhua) -- U.S.
defense contractor Northrop Grumman
Corporation unveiled the first U.S. Navy
MQ-4C Triton Broad Area Maritime
Surveillance Unmanned Aircraft System (BAMS UAS) at a ceremony
In keeping with the tradition of naming
surveillance aircraft after Greek sea gods,
the Navy released the MQ-4C's name at the
ceremony as "Triton," the ancient Greek
messenger of the sea.
The MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft is "a key
element of the BAMS UAS program,
representing the future of naval aviation
and a strategic element of the U.S. Navy,"
Duke Dufresne, vice president of the
Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems sector
and general manager for unmanned systems,
said in a news release.
With a 39.9-meter wingspan, the MQ-4C has an
operational ceiling of 18.29 km and can
operate uninterrupted for 24 hours. The
unmanned aircraft features an AN/ZPY-3
multi-function active sensor radar system,
which enables the Triton to cover more than
6.99 million square km in a single
Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance
BAMS UAS is a versatile maritime
intelligence, surveillance and
reconnaissance system designed to support a
variety of missions while operating
independently or in direct collaboration
with fleet assets.
The unveiling ceremony came just several
days after a BAMS demonstrator aircraft
crashed during a test flight in Maryland.
device powers gadgets through walking
Thu, Jun 14 2012 | By Chris Wickham
(Reuters) - British scientists
have built a novel device that converts body
movement into electricity capable of
powering small gadgets such as GPS trackers..
The device, unveiled this week in the July
issue of the journal Smart Materials and
Structures, is designed to be worn on the
knee and harnesses the energy produced by
walking. The journal said it could be used
by the military to reduce the number of
heavy batteries -- each weighing up to 10 kg
(20 lb) -- that soldiers carry on foot
It was created by researchers at the
Universities of Cranfield, Liverpool and
Salford, originally with funding from the UK
Ministry of Defence. The researchers
estimate it could retail for 10 pounds if
produced on an industrial scale.
The "energy harvester" is based on so-called
piezoelectric materials that have long been
used in sonar sensors and ultrasound
scanners and have become the focus of energy
generation research in recent years.
Scientists at Princeton University and the
California Institute of Technology used a
similar technology two years ago to develop
electricity-generating rubber sheets.
The novelty of the British device is the way
it uses the body's movements to generate
An outer ring that rotates as the knee joint
moves is fitted with 72 plectra that in turn
move four energy-generating arms called
bimorphs attached to an inner hub. The
vibration generates the electricity.
Michele Pozzi, who led the development
project, said researchers were looking at
ways to make the device cheaper and more
"There is an on-going project looking at
manufacturing a more compact and truly
wearable harvester," the journal's website
quoted Pozzi as saying. "At the moment we
are using precise but cost-effective
manufacturing techniques for the plectra and
casing and anticipate that remaining parts
will be moulded industrially, slashing the
At the moment, the piece can harvest about
two milliwatts of power but the researchers
believe this could exceed 30 milliwatts with
a few enhancements, enough for the latest
GPS tracking devices.
The gadget could also have uses in medical
monitoring devices, he said.
(Editing by Roger
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