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February 19, 2007

Jainism in the 21st Century

This was the first day seminar hosted by Young Jains Warwick and we were privileged to organise it with the Institute of Jainology. We welcomed 9 speakers:

• Honorable Dr Harshadbhai Sangrajka, Secretary of the Institute of Jainology spoke on ‘Defining religion’
• Mr Prakashbhai Patalia, on ‘Understanding Jainism’
• Mrs Vibhutiben Mehta on ‘Vows for the 21st Century’
• Mr Parasbhai Kothari and Mr Kamleshbhai Kothari on ‘Jainism and Science’
• Mrs Shrutiben Malde and Mrs Meenaben Shah on ‘Logic of Jain Diet’
• Mrs Trusitben Shah and Mrs Jyotsnaben Shah on ‘Jain Careers’

We were delighted to have 30 participants and happy to welcome Manoj and Harsha from London, and Paarul from Young Jains Oxford. We were also pleased to welcome representatives of other bodies, Vibhuti Patel and Dipvandana Shah (President and Vice President of National Hindu Students Forum), Kong Kay Pheikkay (Secretary of the Warwick University Buddhist Society) and Joe Kirby (Elected President of Warwick University Students Union).

One of the highlights was the discussion on ‘Vows for the 21st Century’ where we split into groups and the participants had the chance to also present their conclusions. We learnt many new things about Jainism, especially in the session of Jainism and Science and Jain Careers. The level of discussion showed keen interest in Jainism from participants who wanted to learn more about the religion as well as a good understanding through the questions of our Jain members.

The YJW food committee, headed by Anjali did an excellent job of providing delicious Jain breakfast, lunch and tea. I am very grateful to Anjali and Shreya who played key roles in organising the seminar and preparing the exhibitions, as well as Darshni, Shivani, Darshna, Harshni and Jay who selflessy helped us prepare and run the seminar.

We closed with an Aarti which was lead by Jyotimasi from Coventry, who has performed many Aartis now at Warwick.

We hope to run more seminars like this in future years and are grateful to all the speakers for the time they took to prepare and come to Warwick for this seminar.

Anokhee Shah
President, Young Jain Students Warwick

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