Thursday, May 3, 2007

You Requested It

For quite a long time you've been getting some information about the issues that worry you and your family. A portion of these inquiries mirror the typical concerns and issues that most families confront each day. What's more, some resound the nervousness of spouse and wives, fathers and moms who see their most imperative connections starting to disentangle.
Since you requested it, we're reacting … with a progression of articles noting the most-made inquiries that come to us by giving scriptural outlines to building genuine homes. We trust our answers give you trust by directing you toward the God who made us.
1. What does the Bible say in regards to separate? At the point when is it permitted?
2. How would we manage budgetary inconvenience?
3. How might I increment sentiment and non-sexual closeness in my marriage?
4. What ought to be the spouse's part in marriage?
5. What ought to be the spouse's part in marriage?
6. How do people vary in their perspective of the sexual relationship in marriage?
7. How might I persuade my better half to get appropriate with God and come the profound pioneer of our family?
8. How might I settle struggle well in my marriage?
9. How might we renew our marriage when we feel disengaged from each other?
10. How would I get away from the trap of obscenity in my life?
Child rearing
11. How would I educate my kids about sex so they remain unadulterated until the point that they are hitched?
12. How would I instruct my children to deal with peer weight?
13. By what means can I as a stepparent create and keep up solid associations with my stepchildren?
14. How might I bring up youngsters as a solitary parent?
15. How might I manage disaster and enduring? How might I keep my family solid amidst it?

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Mavs might look to go big

DALLAS - There was a demeanor of Dr. Seuss drifting around American Aircrafts Fixate on Saturday evening when it came to perceiving how the Dallas Dissidents will assault the Warriors when the groups tip-off tonight in Amusement 1 of their first-round Western Meeting playoff arrangement.
Huge? Little? Short? Tall? What might work the best to influence the Warriors to fall?
No one knows for certain, not even Free thinkers mentor Avery Johnson.
"They can come at us from 100 diverse courses, with various work force," Warriors mentor Wear Nelson said. "They're so profound thus capable."
All things considered, you could contend that the support of the arrangement between the eighth-seeded Warriors (42-40) and the best seeded Nonconformists (67-15) will be a couple of Dallas huge men.
On the off chance that 6-foot-11 Erick Dampier and 7-0 DeSagana Diop can play successfully in the center against the speedier Warriors, it could altogether gum up the Warriors' offense and uncover the delicate underbelly of Brilliant State's littler lineup at the protective end.
"We've recently got the chance to remain with our framework," Diop said. "A year ago, we played the Suns and it was a similar thing they were doing (as the Warriors), and we didn't change nothing. ... We've quite recently got the opportunity to play our beat. The manner in which we play, we got 67 wins."
The beat the Warriors utilize helped them completed the season on a 9-1 run while beginning a little ball lineup with 6-9 Al Harrington in the center and 6-7 Stephen Jackson at control forward. On the off chance that the Protesters need to desert Dampier and
Diop and push ahead Dirk Nowitzki to the center, that appears to play to the Warriors' quality.
"We'd get a kick out of the chance to imagine that we can play any style and be fruitful at any style," Nonconformists protect Jerry Stackhouse said. "Be that as it may, when we're taking care of business, we have a point watch, shooting protect, little forward, control forward and a middle, assuming those parts.
"When you're compelled to take one of them out - and we depend on our middle being the grapple or our resistance, sort of watching everything - that requires either our (capacity forward) or another little to man that obligation. Also, that is simply not something that a considerable measure of smalls are acclimated with doing, so changes the progression of the diversion when you do that."
For the Warriors, the way to this arrangement is less about astounding the Nonconformists - "I'm not out of the blue going to begin (sometimes utilized focus Adonal) Foyle or something to that effect," Nelson split - and more about slashing nearly to a similar little ball outline they used to get to the playoffs out of the blue since 1994.
"Gracious, we're extremely sure," Warriors watch Stephen Jackson said of his group's little lineup. "We've been playing admirably the most recent two weeks, and I believe we're gazing to come to the heart of the matter where we can influence different groups to play our style."
Said Harrington: "I think whoever (the Free thinkers) have out there on the floor, we have a bungle. We've quite recently got the opportunity to discover it."
The Warriors discovered a lot of confounds in clearing three amusements from Dallas this season by a joined aggregate of 49 focuses.
Nelson is making light of the criticalness of the outcomes since that feeds better into the David-versus-Goliath-in addition to Golitah's-10-irate siblings schedule he's been regurgitating throughout the previous 72 hours.
The Protesters are minimizing the results since they've lost six of seven to Brilliant State, regardless of whether there were special conditions on a few events.
"Completes two diversions against a group that is the eighth seed figure out our identity as a group?" Stackhouse said. "We don't think so."
Against Nowitzki, it's probable the Warriors will utilize some variety of the plan they revealed amid a 117-100 prevail upon Dallas on Walk 12, when they ran different protectors at Nowitzki whenever he had the ball and shielded him from achieving his most loved spots on the floor.
"In the event that there are three folks around me, I must improve my colleagues and not constrain any shots," Nowitzki said. "I must be solid with the ball. What's more, simply be prepared for what will happen. They will achieve everywhere.
"With the barrier they play, they're attempting to scramble, endeavoring to make the turnovers that can place them in the open court, so we must ensure we don't turn the ball over, and clearly I'm a key to that."

life timeee...

Coming of age in Toronto

Thulasi Srikanthan

As the drums beat, 12-year-old Niroshi Ravichandran steps through the towering white doors, her face masked by a translucent white veil, body wrapped in a pink-and-gold sari.

With white flowers pinned to black hair and brown cheeks reddened with blush, Niroshi walks silently up the aisle, through a guard of more than 24 flower girls, to a garland-draped platform.

It has been almost six months since Niroshi got her first period and now, after the congratulatory visits from her relatives and a small religious ceremony at home, her coming-of-age celebration at Toronto's Princess Banquet hall is about to begin.

"It wasn't my idea," says Niroshi, who has been up since 5 a.m., getting primped by a pair of makeup artists hired for the occasion. "But it's really cool."

And as her parents wished, the party for 260 guests has come with the works, including white stretch limo, a televised mini-biography of Niroshi's life and three giant screens filled with live feed from onsite cameramen. The price tag is more than $10,000.

This ritual, often written in English as pooppunitha neerattu vizha, is observed by Hindu Tamils in India as well as Sri Lanka. In Canada, among Sri Lankans, the celebration has taken on a distinct identity, not only growing more opulent but also becoming a way for families to pass on their traditions.

"When you are at home, you'd realize a lot of these traditions. You are a part of it. It was there," says Dharini Sivakumar, secretary of the Tamil Cultural Association of Waterloo Region. "When you are away from it, you see the difference from the Western culture. You want to maintain this to your own children to a certain extent. That way, they can say, `This is who I am. This is my identity.'"

In keeping with these traditions, when a girl in Canada gets her first period, her family phones all their close relatives. On the same day, they give her a bath at home with saffron and milk – considered an auspicious act.

The girl then stays at home to rest. Though in Sri Lanka, girls could be absent from school up to 10 days, in Canada, it's only for two to three – if at all.

Some people think treating the girl like Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity, during this time will mean good fortune and happiness for the family. Relatives bring rich, nutritious foods, including eggs and special oil, so she recovers her strength.

A big ceremony marks the end of this first period. A priest comes early that morning to bless the girl. Another aspect of her moving from girlhood to womanhood is that she wears a sari for the first time.

In Sri Lanka, "the customs vary slightly from village to village," says Mani Pathmarajah, a community activist and elder. In Canada, she says, the ceremony takes place anywhere from one week to several months later, depending on the auspiciousness of the date, the availability of the hall and the parents' preferences.

In preparation, the family has to clean the house, give the girl a second bath and prepare 11 trays of sweets, fried snacks, fruit and coconuts. If the event takes place at a hall, the caterers do the cooking.

The family dresses the girl in a new sari for the occasion and two married women perform arthi, a religious ceremony, using the 11 trays to ward off the evil eye. A key component of arthi involves rotating in a vertical circle a tray filled with three banana pieces, burning wicks in the middle. The girl's maternal uncle breaks a coconut during the ceremony to remind those who are present to let go of their ego, Pathmarajah says.

If the event takes place at a banquet hall, music that represents the blooming of the girl is played. "We do not play any sad songs," says Harry Pathmarajah, who supervised the song selection for Niroshi. Anything that is flower-related is a big draw.

Along with embracing the culture comes the big bucks associated with performing this ancient ceremony.

In the Greater Toronto Area, business owners from the Tamil community say they have seen anywhere from 250 to more than 1,200 people come out for these parties. Costs range from less than $1,000 for at-home ceremonies to tens of thousands of dollars at local banquet halls.

"They do it in a huge way, like a wedding in Toronto," Sivakumar says. "Back home, it's a very family-oriented tradition. You don't invite the whole world, you invite your family and very, very close, close friends."

In the GTA, however, there are more than 100 banquet-hall ceremonies a year. Like many others working in the industry, Jeya Ponnuchamy says this is just the beginning.

Ponnuchamy, co-owner of the Princess Banquet hall on Pharmacy Ave., has been running around organizing Niroshi's ceremony, from telling the teen how to pose to telling the waitresses and flower girls where to walk.

Ponnuchamy says, at his hall, the prices for the ceremony for a party of 350 go up to $25,000 (a wedding of the same size could be in the $35,000 range). Expensive extras include stretch limousines and elaborately decorated platforms (mandaps) costing $4,000, as opposed to one that costs $250. Part of the reason the community is spending more money and inviting more guests is that it can.

Canada has the largest Tamil population outside South Asia, an estimated 250,000, and the community is well-established and increasingly affluent.

"I came in '84. At that time, you couldn't even get a bag of (basmati) rice in the grocery store," Sivakumar says.

Now, families can buy Sri Lankan mangosa leaves, used in the rituals, from their Tamil stores.

The other reason for the opulence is how the occasion is perceived in Sri Lankan society, Pathmarajah says. "In a girl's life, this is the first major event. Later comes the marriage."

Half a century ago, the ceremony was to identify girls as ready for marriage at 17 or 18 and the gifts were used for the girl's dowry, Pathmarajah says. Now, parents see it mainly as a point of pride that "from today, my daughter is a young woman," as many women in Canada don't marry until they reach their mid- to late 20s.

Pride is why Niroshi's mother Chandrakumary says she and her husband, Ravichandran Sabaratnam, have no regrets, despite the high price tag. "These are my customs, my traditions," she says. "I spend more money but I am happy."

The sense of identity borne of these ceremonies is something Grade 12 student Babitha Thampinathan understands well. Though she was slightly embarrassed to be dressed up and taken to a banquet hall in front of 150 guests when she got her period five years ago, she says she will never forget her ceremony.

"It represents your background and what makes you up," she says.

There was another consideration. Thampinathan received more than $3,000 for her ceremony in clothes, money and jewellery.

"I was kind of excited, because you get so much money," she says.

Not everyone splurges.

Sasi Kanarathnam intends to have a small home ceremony for his daughter. As a party planner, he could probably go all-out but he doesn't believe in putting so much money into this event.

"It's ridiculous," Kanarathnam says.

He's reluctant to do lavish age-attainment ceremonies. When he does do a party, he encourages the parents to spend less.

Sivakumar says some people skip the event, particularly if the children are uncomfortable.

That's not the case with Niroshi. Back at the banquet hall, she sits down to eat rice and curries after her ceremony ends.

When she looks back, she is sure she will remember how happy she was on this day.

"It's to know that we are not forgetting our culture, even though we are in Canada."

Friday, April 20, 2007


Most people never get the opportunity to take Dating 101 in high school, which is why, when it comes to real-life romantic encounters, many of us end up feeling more like a dunce than the teacher's pet. To the rescue, our crash course in first-date etiquette. Answer these 14 questions, read our advice, and start acing those rendezvous.

1.You're just not one of those laughing, smiley types. Occasionally, people have even accused you of being too serious.
a. True
b. False
2.You don't really put too much thought into your first-date outfit. You prefer to come as you are. You've got a certain style and if your could-be-love-interest doesn't like it, tough.
a. True
b. False
3.Your favorite first-date activity is seeing a great movie.
a. True
b. False
4.When it comes to social engagements (including first dates), you find planning ahead to be bo-ring! You prefer not to be pinned down and don't like having to figure out what to do until the very last minute.
a. True
b. False
5.When you develop a crush, you have no problems letting your feelings be known.
a. True
b. False
6.You love to tell stories, particularly about silly things you've said and done in the past.
a. True
b. False
7.You know you shouldn't, but occasionally you'll reflect on past relationships during a first date.
a. True
b. False
8.You love to be a seductress on a first date, down to the double entendres, meaningful glances and initiating footsie under the table. But you generally know better than to have any serious sex.
a. True
b. False
9.You're not into traditional gender roles. Generally, you insist on splitting the check.
a. True
b. False
10.Meet a first date at a bar or restaurant? No way. You prefer to be picked up (or to pick up your date) at home.
a. True
b. False
11.Friends would generally describe your laugh as, well, loud.
a. True
b. False
12.To calm your nerves and help the conversation flow on a first date, you generally knock back more than a couple of glasses of wine.
a. True
b. False
13.You pride yourself on being an open book. The word secret is not in your vocabulary, even on date number one.
a. True
b. False
14.You make up your mind about people on the spot.
a. True
b. False


You Requested It

For quite a long time you've been getting some information about the issues that worry you and your family. A portion of these inquirie...