India will be the topic for the Spring 2014 International Seminar Series. The speaker series occurs from noon to 1 p.m. every Wednesday through April 30 in the First Floor West Lounge at the Bone Student Center.

On Wednesday Feb. 26, Uday Desokar from Hindu Temple of Bloomington-Normal and Swapnil Nayak, founder of Bhakthivriksha Group, will give the talk Holy Cow! Millions of Gods! Hare Krishna!: The Practice of Vedic Religion That Seeks Universal Truth.

On Wednesday, March 5, Assistant Professor Archana Shekara from the School of Art and Guru Uma Kallakuri, founder and director of Nrityamala Dance Academy, will give the talk Festival of Light and Sensuous Silks: An Insight into India’s Colorful Festivals and Vibrant Fashion. Shekara’s research focus is on cultural identity in design. Kallakuri is an internationally known dance performer, historian and master choreographer.

On Wednesday, March 19, Hansa Jaggi, guest chef of Garlic Press, and Anita Deoskar, nutritionist and exercise physiologist at Deoskar Health Initiative will give the talk My Garam Masala Box: An Introduction to Various Spices, Recipes and Benefits.

On Wednesday, March 26, Ashlesha Raut, director of Ayurveda for Healing, will give the talk True and Natural Healing: Revealing Secrets of Ayurveda, India’s Holistic Practice of Medicine.

On Wednesday, April 2, Anita Deoskar, exercise physiologist and nutritionist at Deoskar Health Initiative, Murali Adala and Sudhir Pai, both of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh will give the talk Surya Namaskar, Pranayama and Dhayna: An Accurate Understanding of Yoga and Meditation.

On Wednesday, April 9, Shekara, Sri Narayan and Asha Chandak, both of SEWA International will give the talk Marriages Are Made in Heaven: Understanding Arranged Marriage and Related Social Issues. SEWA International USA is a Hindu faith-based humanitarian non-profit service organization.

On Wednesday, April 16, Shekara, Kallakuri, Guru Mythraeyee Mukundan, instructor of Indian classical music, and Professor Kim Pereira from the School of Theatre, will present Dancing Shiva, Nine Rasas (Emotions), and Hundreds of Ragas (Melody): An Introduction to Indian Fine Arts and Aesthetics. 

On Wednesday, April 23, Kasturi Santanam, founding member, umpire and instructor of the Central Illinois Cricket Association and Mani Poojitha Kallakuri, instructor at Nrityamala Dance Academy, will give the talk Crazy About Cricket, Chess, and Bollywood: Recognizing Indian’s Favorite Pastimes. Santanam created The Central Illinois Cricket Association for cricket enthusiasts to promote and improve cricket activities in and around the region. Kallakuri creates unique pieces that reflect the meeting of traditional Indian classical steps and concepts, with Indian folk styles, mainstream Bollywood and Western influence.

On Wednesday April 30, Shekara and Assistant Professor Ramesh Chaudhari from the Department of Management and Quantitative Methods will give the talk Indian Identity and Voice in the West: Challenges and Adaptation to American Culture. Chaudhari teaches statistical reasoning.

The series is free and is sponsored by the Office of International Studies and Programs, Women’s and Gender Studies and Asia Connect.