OFBJP Honours Bechoepersad Nandram Maharaj as our HERO
Bechoepersad Nandram is a Dutch citizen, 92 year old Father, currently living in the Netherlands in the city of Diemen. As a Brahmin, he and his father were called Nandram Maharaj. Nandram Maharaj has written a book along with his daughter, Professor Sharda Nandram which is titled “Be at Home wherever you are”.This book contains extensive wisdom which is gained through his life experience. The book is a trans-generational biography of his story and stories of his daughters experiences as a new generation. It is his tribute to the next generation. It is the first book written about Immigrants from Rajasthan and the first in three languages: Dutch, English and Hindi. This book presents a comparative insight into life in India, Suriname and the Netherlands. You can get a copy of the book on http://shop.praan.nl/product/voel-je-thuis-waar-je-ook-bent/
Since inception OFBJP has been reaching out to Hindustani Suriname Community in the Netherlands as they are persons of Indian Origin (PIO). 2018 is a special year for honouring and celebrating 145 years of Integration. Nandram Maharaj was honored as OFBJP HERO for sharing his wisdom. He resonates with OFBJP elderly program and has been valuable in contributing to Indian-Dutch Friendship. His unique book gives a cultural experience and has been praised by several dignitaries. For more information Click Here
- The mayor Mr. Erik Boog, of the city of Diemen in the Netherlands said ” There is so much wisdom in this book. It contributes to the current discussion in the Netherlands about immigrants. I feel that many discussions taking place are disconnecting people in society. This book contributes because it leads to an understanding of the experiences and motives behind immigration. It connects people and this is very much required nowadays. The book is in fact relevant for everyone as each one of us is struggling with the question “who am I”. How wonderful it is then to read “be at home wherever you are” and find many answers to this question”. Mr. Erik Boog said that before reading the book he hardly knew about the Indians in Suriname and almost nothing about the Indian culture. This book has given an opportunity also to find out about the way of living of one of the eldest members of the Diemen society.
- The Jodhpur mayor, Mr. Ghanshyam Ojha, praised his book and describes it as an unprecedented memoir because the number of Rajasthani people among the people going to Suriname was very few.
- The Indian Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, his Excellency Mr. Venu Rajamony has also expressed “This book tells us that how Suriname society has struggled to maintain its culture and how its culture has been an integral source of its power. Even after such harmony and success, Nandram Mansaram ji’s love for his birthplace Jodhpur is clearly shows in the following lines where he remembers the way he used to meet the people who came from India. Maybe there is a person travelling from Jodhpur or a news of Jodhpur”
- Ms. Pratima Singh from the Overseas Friends of BJP honored Mr. B. Nandram in the traditional Bharatiya way. She says: “in our Indian Culture we bow for elders and I am here on behalf of the OFBJP to honor Mr. B. Nandramji. I want everyone to stand up and bow for him. There are very few who has seen six generations in their life. On behalf of Ministry of AYUSH I am felicitating Mr.B Nandram for a healthy life with a yoga book. It is a great moment of pride for us to see this book which tells us how the culture is kept alive and how it is being passed through his daughter Professor Sharda Nandram to new generations of the Indian community”.
In her speech, the author, Professor Sharda Nandram, honored her father and mother, grandfather, grandmother and great grandmother by presenting the first copy of the Hindi book to her father. She expressed how delving into the past 135 years has enriched her with so much of wisdom. “Immigration is a great lesson for life, it is not about how we are formally registered as persons but about who we really are as an individual, how we contribute to society by working on ourselves as changing others is mission impossible. But changing oneself is the start of making the world a better place”. She referred to famous words of Mahatma Gandhi ji: try to be the change you want to see in the world and the Vedic wisdom that the macro cosmic is a representation of our microcosmic. Sharda Nandram noticed how poorly informed people in India are about the immigration to Suriname. Surinamese Indians both living in Suriname and Netherlands see themselves as descendants from India, trying to maintain Bharatiya culture and traditions, the way they were told and raised. Nowadays there are about 250.000 Indian descendants living in Suriname and about 160.000 living in the Netherlands. Many of them do not realize how diverse India is and that actually one cannot talk about one Indian culture. To fill the gap or blind spots she gives the message to explore more into a deeper foundation. She expresses how she searched for this foundation through reading about and experiencing the Indian culture in several parts of India during about 25 trips, teaching at Indian management colleges, visiting ashrams, learning yoga philosophy and experiencing the technology of yoga. Through the stories told by her Father she could connect to her search. She says, the most important insight was that she witnessed a deeper foundation. This foundation avoids claiming Western culture, or Indian culture, nor a mixture of both. It is a way of life which irrespective of geography can be lived. That Bharatiya culture is about shifting the external search for the roots towards an internal journey to the inner self. Once that is followed one can start feeling home wherever they are.
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