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UNESCO blamed of hypocrisy for heritage status to island where women are forbidden

A woman takes part in celebrations after Valongo Wharf was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on July 10, 2017.

Special to Earthpages.org

Hindus have blamed United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) of hypocrisy over granting Okinoshima Island of Japan the World Heritage Site status where the women are not allowed to set foot.

UNESCO World Heritage Committee, whose 41st session is meeting in Krakow (Poland) on July 2-12, endorsed Okinoshima Island of Japan for inscription on UNESCO’s World Heritage List; it was announced on July nine.

Rajan Zed said that it was clear betrayal of the cause of UNESCO where “Gender Equality” was one of the two “Global Priorities”. He urged UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova to resign for insincerity to the ideals of UNESCO.

It was a blatant case of promotion and providing official stamp of approval to “gender-inequality” by UNESCO and its two-facedness, Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, noted.

UNESCO, which “considers gender equality as a fundamental human right, a building block for social justice and an economic necessity”, should be embarrassed of its actions of placing this Island even on its Tentative List of heritage sites. It seemed that UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and Executive Board Chairperson Michael Worbs and other concerned officials failed to really read and grasp the priorities and goals of the organization, Rajan Zed indicated.

Zed stated that UNESCO should not be in the business of rewarding the monuments/sites which refused to treat women with equality and respect they deserved. Women were entitled to equal rights and opportunities and this gender discrimination at the Island needed to end right now as it was highly inappropriate and out-of-line.

Rajan Zed, quoting scriptures, explained that ancient Manusmriti said: “Where women are revered, there the gods are pleased; where they are not, no rite will yield any fruit.”

Men and women were equal in the eyes of God; Zed said, and urged His Holiness Pope Francis and other world religious leaders to strongly speak on this gender equality issue. How could the “men-only” island be on the UNESCO World Heritage List? Zed wondered.

“Okinoshima Island and Related Sites in Munakata Region” was on the Tentative List under Japan in the UNESCO World Heritage Convention since 2009. A description of Okinoshima Island on UNESCO website includes: “where from the fourth to the tenth centuries national religious rituals were conducted to supplicate the gods” and “where gods descended to live in this world”. A “Nomination Dossier” was prepared by Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs for this site in January 2016.

 UNESCO considers German cave art for World Cultural Heritage status (euronews.com)

 13 spectacular photos of the Lake District, the newest UNESCO World Heritage Site (businessinsider.com)

 Island That Bans Female Visitors Is Now A UNESCO World Heritage Site (newsy.com)

 What you didn’t know about Djibouti, the tea-loving nation where women outnumber men (telegraph.co.uk)

 Seven trees photographed over two years (telegraph.co.uk)

 Someone spent 2 years painstakingly replicating China’s Forbidden City in ‘Minecraft’ (mashable.com)

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A Case for Reincarnation

Shamagaia

'2'_Dharma_Wheel,_The_Wheel_of_Life_at_Sun_Temple_Konark,_Orissa_India_February_2014 Wheel of Life: Sun Temple, Konark Orissa, India 2014

“The Journey of a thousand miles begin begins with a single step.”
Lao Tzu

A healing journey which had begun with Japanese herbal remedies from the super-market, now had me lying on a padded table in the treatment room of a certified Japanese Reiki master. He had been silently removing what I then only had the vocab to describe as, “dirty big knots of bad mojo,” from my energy meridians. Dredging me up from the depths of a sublime state of semi-consciousness, he intoned casually: “You lived a past life in Japan, about one thousand years ago.”

Later that week, after a few pints of beer down at a local bar, I decided to hazard a half-humorous retelling of the Reiki master’s claim to a group of my foreign teaching buddies: bad idea. A couple of them laughed their asses off…

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Rounding

Shibuya Hachiko Bus

Shibuya Hachiko Bus (Photo credit: Stéfan)

“Rounding” is one of the more interesting pieces to come our way. Essentially a memoir, Lee Neale’s unique imagery brings this unusual account to life.

By Lee Neale

Hachiko Square. Senses swarming with the immensity of bodies. Not knowing where to focus. Well-dressed energy warps around, and for all its pressing density it has a calmness. A purposefulness. Knows where its headed, wants to get there quickly. Floods the basin of Hachiko Square from its multitude of alley-streams all foaming in reflected neon.

But I’m this odd rock, all jagged at the edges, so the energy of the flow catches me and I tumble, tumble.

A Zen pebble I wish to be. Rounded so the stream whispers softly around. It‘s why I came here: to lose myself. To lose my boundaries, my ego — here in this densest spot in the densest city in the world, with its atoms so compacted as to be a single thought-form. Where better could there be? But rounding takes centuries, millennia and meanwhile I tumble, tumble.

“Been at this awhile,” my esoteric healer had spoken softly, as she smoothed my jagged energetic form. “A while.” And this of all times my last to enter the stream, yet still so jagged, jagged.

“Your rounding began a thousand years ago in Nikko, as a peasant with a fiercely intelligent and devoted Japanese wife,” she mused. “You first courted when the now giant Shimotsuke roadside pines were little more than arrogantly wavering saplings.”

This tumbling Dharmic jigsaw-piece whispered gently into my ear. This compulsion, ten centuries later to stop my car by the roadside and pick blooming spring flowers for my wife from among the pines. The compulsion to then push deeper into the forest and walk a narrow trail: at first for no reason.

But as the reek of boar stench hit my nostrils, I knew exactly why as I had known many centuries before, and I was tracking, tracking as I had once tracked, and backing, backing as I had once backed. For I instinctively knew, that I had crossed upwind of an ancient porcine adversary.

Exhilarated: my senses now sharp as the spear, which I had once hefted. The gulf of one thousand years snapping shut upon the moment. Upstream downstream one as it always is, but for the discrimination of the conscious mind. And this of all times my first to enter the stream. And this of all times my last to enter the stream. But still so jagged. Jagged and scanning with boar stench cloying in my sinuses.

Backing across a river to deprive the boar of my scent, upon the water-rounded stones I slip, falling into the flow again, again.

With soaking clothes, still scanning, scanning. Backing towards my car. A radiant mess of bouquet in hand. Deadly challenge snuffling timelessly at the forest-edge of my senses. Tumbling upon my jagged, jagged Dharmic form.

Recollection backs into Hachiko, with its atoms so compacted. But now I realize, Zen stone smooth or not, so long as I enter the stream, in it I will always tumble, tumble.

About the Author

Lee Neale is the founder of Shama Gaia. He’s an Australian-born sociologist, language teacher and Shamanic healer living in Japan.


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