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From distinguished lecturers and cultural offerings to "Bollywood" and a Hindu festival, Old Dominion University will explore and celebrate Indian culture with The India Forum, a symposium on education and culture in the United States and India, Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 18-20.

Free and open to the public (except where noted), the events will be held around the Old Dominion University campus and at the Hindu Temple of Hampton Roads in Chesapeake. The forum is the second in a series of annual symposia featuring different countries, according to President Roseann Runte. Last year's inaugural event featured Japan.

The India Forum opens with a President's Lecture Series address by Shashi Tharoor, undersecretary general for communications and public information at the United Nations, titled "From Midnight to the Millennium: Democracy and Identity in Today's India," at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18, in the Mills Godwin Jr. Life Sciences Building auditorium.

"Educational Challenges in 21st-Century India," a panel discussion with Indian scholars from various disciplines, will be held from 8:30-10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 19, in Chandler Recital Hall, Diehn Fine and Performing Arts Center.

Other public events Friday include:

"The Mystery of the Three I's: IIT's, Infosys and Indica," featuring Sanjay Dhande, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, will be in Engineering and Computational Sciences Building Room 1310. This is one of three concurrent sessions from 10:15-11:45 a.m. The others are "Lattice Models for Interacting Bosons: Phases and Transitions," featuring Rahul Pandit, Indian Institute of Science, in the Hampton/Newport News Room of Webb University Center, and "Early Childhood and Elementary Education Programs in India," featuring Neelam Sood, National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration, in Lions Child Study Center Room 246.

Amit Mitra, secretary general of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, will address the Economics Club of Hampton Roads on "U.S.-India Relations in a Rapidly Globalizing World" from noon to 2 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room of the Ted Constant Convocation Center. The luncheon costs $30 for nonmembers. Due to limited space, reservations are required. For more information, call 683-4058.

Three more concurrent sessions will be held from 2:15-4 p.m. Friday:

"The Distinctiveness of Indian Secularism," Rajeev Bhargava, University of Delhi, and "India's Plurality: A Historical Survey," Mushirul Hasan, Jamia Millia Islamia, both in Batten Arts and Letters Building Room 921; and "Capital Markets in India," Prakash Apte, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, Constant Hall Room 2099.

A presentation on Indian cinema, "Bollywood to Hollywood: Indian Films," with Vishnukumar Lakdawala of Old Dominion University, will be held from 5-6 p.m. in the Webb University Center North Cafeteria.

"Festival of India," a celebration of Indian culture, will be held from 11 a.m. to noon Saturday, Nov. 20, in the Constant Hall Auditorium. Admission is free and open to the public.

For more information, call 683-5759.

Celebrations of Diwali -- the Indian festival of the renewal of life and the beginning of the sowing season -- will be from 7-10 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20, at the Hindu Temple of Hampton Roads in Chesapeake. Admission including dinner is $15 per person. For reservations, call Vinod Agarwal at 683-3567 or 460-3376. Directions to the temple can be found at http://www.hindutemplehr.org.

This article was posted on: November 10, 2004

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