Globe Aware's India program is based in Jaipur. Maharaja Jai Singh II, a Kachhwaha Rajput, who ruled from 1699 – 1744, founded Jaipur, "The Pink City".
Built in 1727 Jaipur was the first planned city of India and the King took great interest in its design. The title of "The Pink City" is in reference to its distinctly colored buildings, which were originally painted pink to imitate the red sandstone architecture of Mughal cities. Jaipur has grown into the commercial centre for most of the rural regions of the northwestern Indian state of Rajasthan and is that state's largest city. It is a place with a rich cultural history.
During your strolls through the city you will come across typical Rajasthani men and women wearing turbans and colorful ghagra-choli.
While much of the news of India is rightfully focused on the stunning growth rates of its tech sector and the miraculous transformations of many of the major cities, mass poverty is still very much in evidence in rural regions throughout the country.
Globe Aware has partnered with a local community in Jaipur to combat poverty and several areas in which Globe Aware volunteers can assist this have been identified. One priority is working with slum dwelling and other disadvantaged children (often referred to locals as "rag-picking children"). This will be accomplished by providing support for teachers, working with rescued child laborers, and assisting at day care centers catering to children below the poverty line.
The local community is also concerned with the conditions of local communal facilities. As a result volunteers will also participate in beautification activities at government schools, day care centers, & other public facilities. In all cases the projects that you, our volunteers, make possible will enhance the quality of life for these children and communities in ways that you can only begin to imagine.
Since this is the December issue perhaps the question “What do they do in India for Christmas?” should be answered for the sake of the season.
Compared to other religious festivals, Christmas is quite a small festival in India due to the relatively small percentage of the population that is Christian (2.3%). However, when you consider that the population of India is now over 1 Billion that means that there are over 25 million people celebrating Christmas in India!
Christians in India decorate banana or mango trees for Christmas.
The poinsettia is in flower at this time in India so the churches are decorated with this brilliant bloom for the Christmas Midnight Mass. They also light small oil-burning lamps as Christmas decorations and fill their churches with the red flowers.
They give presents to family members and baksheesh, or charity, to the poor people. In South India, Christians put small clay lamps on the rooftops and walls of their houses at Christmas, just as the Hindus do during their festival called Diwali.
United Nations – Supporting Volunteerism
Annually on December 5th, the world, as it has done since 1985, celebrates International Volunteer day. This year, however, was also the 10th anniversary of the International Year of the Volunteer (IYV) and the United Nations held several meetings commemorating this anniversary. The first meeting of the day was the General Assembly (GA) plenary meeting and the launch of the State of the World's Volunteerism Report.
The GA passed UN resolutions on the 10th Anniversary of the IYV and messages were given from the Secretary-General and the regional chairs in support and recognition of international volunteers and the important role they play. The meeting also marked the launch of this world report Click Here
The report highlights three major trends: migration and travel are transforming the way people volunteer; the private sector is increasingly involved in volunteerism; and information and communications technologies (ICT) are opening up new means of civic engagement.
Here are a couple of excerpts from the report:
“Dynamic new forms of international volunteering illustrate the need to rethink development assistance, the report notes. ‘International volunteering is not only the transfer of technical skills,’ UNV Executive Coordinator Flavia Pansieri said. ‘It is also the enhancement of relationships, global cooperation, and the values of solidarity.’”
“The SWVR finds that ‘modern forms of volunteerism have the potential to contribute significantly to human development’… new opportunities, including through corporate social responsibility, open volunteerism to more people. ‘This is excellent news for the fabric of our societies,’ the SWVR concludes.”
Another major development of the day was the announcement that the Peace Corps and the UK non-governmental international development charity, Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), signed a partnership agreement to share best practices and work more effectively in countries where volunteers serve.
“VSO and Peace Corps both share a belief that volunteering can have a real and lasting impact on poverty,” said VSO Chief Executive Marg Mayne. “We’re quite different organizations in terms of our history, governance and the volunteers we work with, and this means each agency can complement the work of the other rather than overlap. This agreement builds on existing work to share skills, training, and materials so we can be more effective in the benefit that we bring.”
Fundraising – Ghana & San Pedro de Casta Please support these two great fundraising efforts by past volunteers:
Beth Karbe is still moving the fundraising effort she started in November for the wonderful people of San Pedro forward and needs your help. If you remember, the people of the town are trying to gain access to a plentiful supply of fresh water, but to do so requires great effort and the funds to build an irrigation system.
Below is the link to donate online. Under campaign you are sponsoring, PLEASE put "Bringing Water to San Pedro de Casta".
Become a Ghana Elder by contributing to the construction of school for the children of Mafi-Wuduko, Ghana. Peter and Colleen Sheehan are looking for a team of “elders” to help with the first of many projects for their newly adopted village.
In addition to providing the initiating $6,000 contribution, they are following up this commitment with their valuable time and effort in supporting this wonderful project to build a school. You can help by donating at the higher levels or please give any amount your comfortable with and you will certainly make a difference.
Travelocity’s grant contest voting ends December 14. We have several entries for our trips in the voting round for the new contest. Vote now to send the lucky winner to one of our programs. Here’s a list of the titles of the entries featuring our programs.
Well, why not, there are 25 million Christians in India, but what will they be serving for dinner? Pretty much the same sorts of things you would expect to find on a Christian table in England or America. We feature an English Christmas dessert favorite here.
It looks like it is hard to do, but really it just takes a while because of the macerating time, steaming time, and reheating time. It is easy technically and the fiery presentation will make for a memorable Christmas meal finale.
Olde English Christmas Pudding With Hard Sauce
1 1/2 cups raisins, chopped (Kishmish)
2/3 cup dates, pitted and chopped (Khajoor)
1 cup soft dried figs, chopped
1 cup currants
3/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup brandy
1 cup (2 sticks/8 oz./226g) unsalted butter
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
grated zest of 1 lemon
grated zest of 1 orange
4 large eggs, beaten
1 cup blanched almonds, chopped
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted (Maida)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (Tuj/Dalchini)
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (Jaiphal)
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 cups fresh white bread crumbs
For Flaming: (optional)
3 tablespoons brandy
Creation time: 1 hour prep, 4 hour steaming, fridge time, and 1 - 2 hours of reheating.
Generously grease a 2-quart ceramic or metal pudding mold with lid. Grease lid also.
If using a ceramic pudding mold make a lid with a piece of aluminum foil, 2 inches larger then top of mold. Lid will stay in place over top of mold by tying with kitchen twine or string.
In a large bowl, place all the fruit and pour the brandy over it.
Stir well to disperse the brandy.
Cover with a towel and set aside to macerate 12 to 24 hours.
In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on high, beat the butter and sugar until thick and creamy. Beat in the zests and eggs. Fold in the fruit and almonds. Add the flour and spices, combining well, and then fold in the bread crumbs.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared mold, press down well, and level the surface.
Place the well greased lid on top, securing the lid with the clasp (or if using a ceramic pudding mold, place heavy duty aluminum foil over top of mold and secure by tying with kitchen twine or heavy string).
Place the mold on a rack in a Dutch oven or other large covered pot. Pour boiling water into the Dutch oven until it is halfway up the side of the mold.
Keep water at a gentle boil.
Steam for 4 hours, topping the boiling water to the same level when necessary.
Remove the mold from the Dutch oven and set on a rack to cool. Remove lid (or foil, if using).
When thoroughly cooled, rewrap pudding with freezer wax paper and foil, and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
To reheat, steam for 1 to 2 hours or microwave on high for 4 to 5 minutes or until piping hot.
For true Christmas indulgence pour over brandy and flame. Or use this recipe for traditional hard sauce:
Hard sauce refers to a mixture of butter and sugar that are beaten together until smooth and then flavored with extracts such as vanilla or alcoholic beverages such as brandy or rum. The mixture is then refrigerated until it hardens. Serve with plum pudding or similar desserts.
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