sábado, 15 de outubro de 2011

The spirit of Espirito Santo do Pinhal

" They are true to their origins"
Espirito Santo do Pinhal, a small country side city in Sao Paulo state, bordering with Minas Gerais in the north and is about 3 hours drive from São Paulo city. A harmonious old city with little over 40, 000 inhabitants and is profoundly called "Queen of mountains". This city is part "Serra da Mantiqueira" mountain chains.  Pinhal is rich with agriculture like coffee, eucalyptus, oranges, fruits and industries.   “Pinhal carnival” during the carnival season is well known in this region for its colorful costumes, bootylicious girls, processions and music.  [http://www.pinhal.sp.gov.br/]. The name of the city is derived from the "Pine" tree (Pinhal).

Founded in 1849, historically it is the first place in Brazil where abolition of slavery was launched in 1888. A famous coffee hub, once coffee traders from Minas, Sao Paulo flooded and rose into limelight in Brazilian economy. The coffee plantations, manufacturing and marketing flourished which led to development of Pinhal and sprouting of new neighboring cities. Various coffee magnets thrived and coffee was exported (still) to various parts of the World with various labels. Some of the prominent coffee makers which are still in limelight are Irmãos Ribeiro, P&A, Sumatra…etc 
The coffee has embarked new manufacturing industries which specialize in machinery which are exported to many parts of the world. Some of them are, Pinhalense (http://www.pinhalense.com.br/),  Palini  Alves (http://www.palinialves.com.br/)etc. Other industries includes textiles (HP clothings, Monte Vermon), cosmetics (Mabelini), timber and technology (Delphi). 

Pinhal is hi tech city with branches of all the top Brazilian Banks, Construction companies, Automobile franchises and other public service departments. Unipinhal (university of pinhal) is one of the most famous universities in Sao Paulo and has various courses ranging from literature, engineering, veterinary …etc. Admission to the university is through entrance exam (Vestibular) and every year thousands of students enroll. The veterinary department attracts students from across the Brazil. 
Pinhal is rich with churches, with Matriz (church in the downtown) famous for its magnificent Basque architecture, is considered to be the biggest in this region of Sao Paulo. Father Augusto, leads the parish for over 2 decades. 

City has its own police station and recently mounted a Bombeiros (Fire force service)
Some of the typical attractions are:
  • Christ the Redentor - The proud epic statue of Christ 
  • Theatre (Theatro) - Plays drama, orchestras and other acts. 
  • Haras - A beautiful farm from Irmãos Ribeiro which specializes in horses
  • Lots of farm houses (Chacaras)
  • Clube Recreativo - Club which organizes various cultural activities and parties including the famous Pinhal Carnival.
  • Caco  Velho –  Very huge recreational club with all sorts of facilities
  • Clube de tiro – Club famous for shooting
  • A variety of options for fishing.
  • Matriz - Church in the downtown
  • Two stadiums and Municipal swimming pool
  • Santa Luzia Sanctuary
  • Cemetery
  • Two big municipal lakes “ lago municipal"
  • Many options of trekking and explorations. 

Some of the recommended restaurants are:
  • Celeiro Restaurante – in the country side which serves typical Brazilian food, surrounded by hills, court for horses and magical scenary   
  • Tonhecas  - Famous for the hamburger and sandwitches
  • Caco Velho – Recreational club
  • Pousada fazenda Bartho – Beautiful farm house restaurant
  • Restaurante Bassi, in the centre with decades of tradition.
  • Fratellos Pizzaria – Famous Pizza restaurant

Some of the famous festivals are
  • Festa do café  - one of the biggest festival which happens every year during the month of october which attracts famous country singers across Brazil.
  • Festa da santa luzia – Famous religious festival every year on 3 december
  • Rodeio festival  - Famous festival which attracts farmers, fairs, singers, recreations and food.

 One of the gifted professional (Veterinary) is Regina Signori Felippe and she owns Sao Bernardo Pet shop.
For construction materials just drop by “Comercial Felippe”, is one of the oldest organizations with all types of construction materials. They also provide service in disposal of construction waste materials.   

For alternative therapies "Harmonia do Ser" has been an iconic institution for over 5 years.
Pinhal is my second home town after Trivandrum (Kerala, India) because, my wife wrote her history in this divine land. She was born and brought up in this historical city and her family lives in a farm "Chacara Pinheiro" , behind the electricity sub-station, near the entrance of the city. 

Espírito Santo do Pinhal - Sao PauloHow to get into the city?
a) Bus (Onibus) - Santa Cruz - 3 hours from Terminal (Rodoviaria Portugese Tiete ) in Sao Paulo.
  Ticket price - 40BRL 

b) By car- From Sao Paulo city take Rodovia Anhanguera or Rodovia Banderantes, then take SP342. Follow the direction of Mogi Mirim, Mogi Guacu. 
Municipal Stadium

Municipal office

Pinhal children
Father Augusto, the chief priest of Pinhal

sábado, 8 de outubro de 2011

Diwali festival with the rhythm of Samba and on the feets of Capoeira

The Indian Association of Sao Paulo is organizing Diwali festival on Saturday October 29th, a much awaited announcement has been made public today (08/10).  It will be a rare opportunity to meet the Indians living in Sao Paulo to exchange shake hands and expand relationships. Along with Indians, the Brazilians get an peek view into the Indian community and cherish friendship.  It is an event forecasted and orchestrated to exchange the cultural values of both nations and strength economic, social and demographic ties. 

The following are details of the activities:
*      Cocktail will start sharp at 7:30 p.m. Please try to be on time not to miss the mixer  and the opportunity to get raffle tickets for attractive prizes.
*      The entertainment program will start at 8:30 pm. This year’s show promises a spectacle never before witnessed.
*      Buffet dinner will be served from 9:30 p.m. onwards.
*      Music will start along with the dinner and will continue as long as the guests are on their feet. 

The venue -This time the festival is at a new venue – ESPAÇO PANAMBY at Av. Marginal Pinheiros, 16.741 - Morumbi - at 800 meters from  Ponte do Morumbi – by the side to the left of the EXTRA SUPERMARKET within the same complex. Stay on the right lane after passing Ponte Morumbi in the direction of Interlagos and take the first turn off to the right. There will be Valets to receive you and park your car.

The Indian association encourages you to form groups with your friends and acquire tickets in full tables that seat 8. Those who acquire individual tickets will be accommodated on tables reserved for individuals/small groups. We have received request for tables which will be attended in the sequence they were received. Please confirm the request for seats or tables with names of guests and make the payment upon confirmation of the availability and contact Kesi (knair@terra.com.br) with the deposit/transfer slip as soon as possible so as to enable us to allocate seat(s)/table(s).

For those who are interested in this event, please get connected with Kesavan Nair (knair@terra.com.br) or the Indian Association of Sao Paulo or please contact me.

quinta-feira, 6 de outubro de 2011

A day with His Holiness

"I believe that the purpose of life is to be happy.  From the moment of birth, every human being wants happiness and does not want suffering.  Neither social conditioning nor education nor ideologies affect this.  From the very core of our being, we simply desire contentment.  I don't know whether the universe, with its countless galaxies, stars and planets, has a deeper meaning or not, but at the very least, it is clear that we humans who live on this earth face the task of making a happy life for ourselves.  Therefore, it is important to discover what will bring about the greatest degree of happiness"Dalai Lama

Dalai lamas visit to South America has enchanted the atmosphere with bliss, peace and compassion. I got the rare opportunity to participate on the second day of the event, which was held at Golden Hall of World Trade Center on 16th September. His soul presence has turned thousands of people who participated in the events, under the direct observations of His Holiness. His holiness commented “The people are busy and money plays integral part of life which leads to suffering”. He emphasized global corporation’s needs to be more responsible and bring in peace and harmony.  The day was gifted with various specialists in medical fields who took a breathtaking summary about the human consciousness and its expansion. 
The following were the specialist’s talks during the morning sessions
a) Prof. Dr Caroline Schankers of University of Liege, Belgium on the topic “Minimally conscious state- clinical implications”
 b) Prof. Dr Adrian Owen of University of Cambridge, England on “ Minimally conscious state – Research with Neuro-imaging”
c)  Questions asked by Geshe Lobsang Tenzin Negi of Emory University to His Holiness Dalai Lama

     After a brief lunch, the following sessions took place:    
           a) Prof. Dr. Edson Amaro of University of Sao Paulo on “ Brain Plasticity, Cognition and Emotions
       b) Prof. Dr Tamara Russell of King’s College, London on “ Clinical  applications of contemplative practices”
       c) Geshe Lobsang Tenzin Negi of Emory University on “ Neuro Plasticity and Contemplative Practices”

 The overall event was a gift for me and my wife to participate together and listen to the sweet, kind, true wisdom messages and to see the ever smiling, charming, compassionate His Holiness. It was a dream coming true for my wife and the learning’s were immeasurable and hilarious.  The coolest part was the opportunity to meet Monja Coen, the female Buddhist monk (Soto Shu) located in Sao Paulo.  http://www.monjacoen.com.br/inicio