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Onam: A Festival of Joy

14 May 17

Onam, an official state festival of Kerala, is a traditional Hindu harvest festival celebrated in the state. This grand festival is celebrated at the beginning of the month of Chingamm, the first month of Malayalam Calendar (Kollavarsham), with enthusiasm and joy by people of all communities of the state.

Onam was officially named as the National Festival of Kerala in 1961 because of its popularity and presentation of the rich culture of the state during the carnival.

According to a customary belief, the festival is celebrated to welcome King Mahabali. As per the popular legendary story, King Mahabali’ spirit supposedly visit Kerala at the time of Onam.

For the state, the festival of Onam is like a long carnival that lasts from four to ten days. Additionally, first day, Atham and tenth day, Thiruonam are most important of all.

The dynamic celebration of this festival includes elaborate feasts, folk songs, elegant dances, energetic games, elephants, boats and flowers. To promote Onam and its vibrant colors Government of India has also taken due notice of it. The action not only promotes Onam internationally but in broader terms it increase tourist fall in the country.

Content: en.wikipedia.org

 


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Soft Tennis- For Anyone and Everyone

23 Jan 18

Tennis was initially introduced to Japan in 19th century which was later modified and called as soft tennis. It is more played in Asia, especially in Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand and Philippines.

Soft Tennis is a racket game played on a court of two halves which is separated by a net. It is played in singles or pairs where the ball is hit over the net, landing within the court, in order to prevent the opponent to hit it back. Unlike regular tennis, soft tennis is played using soft rubber balls that are made of rubber and filled with air instead of hard yellow ball using a lighter and more flexible racket with a lower string compression. The courts and nets are similar as for regular tennis. This game is usually played by everyone, irrespective of sex and age; from school children to pensioners. People play this game enthusiastically thereby making it more thrilling. Depending on the number of participants, it is played in singles, doubles and mixed doubles. Singles matches are usually played by a one set, best of seven games system. On the contrary, doubles are played by a one set, best of nine systems. You win the game if you earn four points first. If the player/team earns three points each, it is called ‘deuce’ and the game is played further till the player/team wins two points continuously. These different varieties of Soft Tennis can be seen in the World Soft Tennis Championships.

By: Anuja Arora

Content: http://www.astf.asia/whatissofttennis.html


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The Reopening of ''Terra Kulture'' Theatre in Nigeria

23 Jan 18

''Terra Kulture Arena in Lagos'' is an educational, culture and arts centre located in Nigeria. It was built in 2003 to promote diversity in different culture.

It has a seating space of about 400. It puts to use modern lighting and sets along with special sound and acoustics systems to compliment shows. Recently, the Terra Kulture Arena, has reopened after renovation to provide audiences with a new theatre experience. The theatre is presently showing “Fela and the Kalakuta queens”. It is a production that relates to the life of Nigerian afrobeat King, Fela Kuti and the women around him. Fela Kuti was a musician, composer, human rights activist, and political individualist. He has been called a superstar, singer, musician, polygamist, mystic, and a legend.  During the height of his popularity, he was often hailed as one of Africa's most "challenging and charismatic music performers”. The play “Fela and the Kalakuta queens” has been directed by Austen-Peters in honour of one of the country’s great musicians. With all of this happening, the Nigerian entertainment has undergone a great change since the 1950s and 60s. As the audiences are keen to watch more home-grown stories, the producers are taking advantage to put to use modern technology on the stage and in productions. Austen-Peters stated that she wants to highlight the importance of the discipline in promoting talent and jobs in Nigeria. In light of the huge growth in the arts and culture sector, she hopes for things to get better soon.

By: Anuja Arora

Content: http://www.africanews.com/2018/01/16/the-all-new-terra-kulture-theatre-opens-to-promote-stage-crafts-in-nigeria//


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Find All About FootVolley

22 Jan 18

Footvolley was created by Octavio de Moraes in 1965 in Brazil. This game involves rules of beach volleyball. A football is used as volleyball and players are not allowed to use their hands to touch the ball.

At first it was called as 'pevoley', which literally meant "footvolley" only. Recife, Salvador, Brasilia, Gioania, Santos and Florianopolis are the cities which have players who are  playing this game since 1970s. When the game is played the footvolley athletes began by lowering the numbers of players on each side, eventually settling on 2 vs. 2. On each side 5 players are on each team. Paraguay was the first world champion of footvolley. The Paraguayan Jesús is considered the best player in the World Championship. In different countries this game was played or started at different time. As Brazil is the country that has started this game and produced players too. In United Kingdom’s this game was started in 2006, which was held in Pattaya, Thailand. Israel started the game 2007, though the first game of footvolley was played in Israel in 2003. In Italy it was played in 2008 and in Australia 2007. As Australia is main country to promote this sport internationally, especially in Asia and Oceania regions. 

By: Srishti Sharma

Content: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Footvolley

 


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Identify People With Their DNA Using Software.

22 Jan 18

Software is designed to run on the MinION. It’s an instrument, size of a credit card that pulls the strands of DNA through its microscopic pores and read out sequences of nucleotides, or the DNA letters A, T, C, and G. Yaniv Erlich, from the Columbia University in the United States said that this method opens up new ways to use off-the-shelf technology to benefit the society.

This device has made possible for the researchers to study about bacteria and viruses. But it’s limited to humans only because of its high error-rate and large sequence gaps. Though, researchers have found out the new way to use the MinION and plenty of human genetic data now online to verify the identity of people.  At first, researchers used MinION to sequence random strings of DNA, by which they picked individual variants, which are nucleotides that vary from person to person and makes them unique. These tests showed that the process can identify an individual’s identity after cross-checking between 60 and 300 variants. Sophie Zaailjer, from New York genome centre in the United States said that using their method, by only few DNA reads figure outs the match to an individual in the database.

By: Srishti Sharma

Content: Hindustan Times

 


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Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival: All You Need to Know

21 Jan 18

Family friendly Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival held annually during the second week of April is Louisiana's largest free festival and is second to only Mardi Gras. It is held in the month of April and this year it is supposed to roll out the red carpet to more than 300,000 people. Strawberry festivals are held in many towns of North America.

All the towns have different traditions and events that are unique to their festival. They are celebrated with as much glamour and thrill as they were years before. The festival started in 1972 as a small block party with a baseball game, parade and some small community events. More than 100,000 people participate in the downtown parade even now. The Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival Board committee and other volunteers are interested. All the major decisions of the festival are taken by 16 voting board members. The official grounds for the festival include Memorial Park and first two blocks of the North 6th street. All the strawberry rich goodness is sold by nonprofit groups who use the funds to keep the work going forward. There are chocolate covered strawberries, strawberry cheesecake, strawberries and cream, strawberry eating contests, egg tosses, strawberry auctions and lots of other things to do. There is so much to explore and have fun.

By: Neha Maheshwari

Content: http://blog.nola.com/ponchatoulatimes/2008/04/history_of_the_strawberry_fest.html



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