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Acronym: What is BRICS?

Leaders at BRICS 2016 in Goa
BRICS is the acronym for an association of five major emerging national economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Originally the first four were grouped as "BRIC" (or "the BRICs"), before the induction of South Africa in 2010. The BRICS members are all leading developing or newly industrialized countries, but they are distinguished by their large, sometimes fast-growing economies and significant influence on regional affairs; all five are G-20 members. (Courtesy: Wikipedia; Pic: Reuters)

Happy Dussehra: Kindle the Rama within

Kindle the Rama within to vanquish the Ravana, for both can't coexist.
-Vineet 'Ramananda'

Origin of the word 'Garba'

Garba (ગરબા in Gujarati) is a form of traditional dance which originated in the state of Gujarat in India. it is performed during the nine-day Hindu festival Navratri. Either a lamp called Garba Deep or an image of the Goddess, Durga (also called Amba) is placed in the middle of concentric rings as an object of veneration. Devotees dance harmoniously to the beat of music around the image or the Garba lamp.

The word Garba comes from the Sanakrit word for womb and so implies gestation or pregnancy - life. Traditionally, the dance is performed around a clay lantern with a light inside, called a Garbha Deep. This lantern represents life; the fetus in the womb in particular. The dancers thus honor goddess Durga, the feminine form of divinity.

Garba is performed in a circle as a symbol of the Hindu view of time. The rings of dancers revolve in cycles, as time in Hinduism is cyclical. As the cycle of time revolves, from birth, to life, to death and again to rebirth, the only thing that is constant is the Goddess, that one unmoving symbol in the midst of all of this unending and infinite movement. The dance symbolizes that God, represented in feminine form in this case, is the only thing that remains unchanging in a constantly changing universe (jagat).

The Garbha Deep has another symbolic interpretation. The vessel itself is a symbol of the body, within whom Divinity (in the form of the Goddess) resides. Garba is danced around this symbol to honor the fact that all humans have the Divine energy of Devi within them. Garba is now being appreciated worldwide.

Source: Wikipedia

Word Shots: Misogyny and Xenophobia

There were mixed reactions in the social media circles regarding the selection of Antonio Guterres as the new UN chief. Maxim Eristavi a Civil Rights Activist from Russia tweeted: 

"In times of rising xenophobia, misogyny, racism, UN fails to elect a woman as new head. Utterly tragic."

Word Watch:
Xenophobia: dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries. 
Misogyny: strong dislike or hatred for women.

© Language Love 2016

Eid Mubarak: What's a skullcap?

A skullcap is a small, round hat that fits closely on the top of the head. It is used by Muslims mainly used for prayer purpose and is also referred as a “prayer cap”. Skullcaps are also worn by religious Jewish men and high ranking Roman Catholic priests.

Taqiyah is the Arabic word for the Muslim cap used in Saudi Arabia. In Pakistan and India, the prayer cap is called a topi. Topi means cap in the Hindi/Urdu language. In Pakistan, men usually wear the topi with salwar kameez. In Bangladesh it's known as tupi.