Thursday, February 28, 2008

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Thinking Day!

Thinking Day for the Girl Scouts..

Friday, February 22, 2008

Lantern Festival

I was quite happy to be included as a helper Mom to visit the Lantern Festival at Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall. This would be give me an opportunity to have a first hand look. On my own I would not have ventured out to see it..

We arrived at the venue after a bus ride and an mrt ride.
The group watched the Change of Guards ceremony and roamed around the grounds to see various lanterns displayed.We also had a quick glance through the museum..had lunch all was well and relaxed.

On the way back I almost lost a person in my group for about 5 minutes...Oh my that was too stressful although I tracked my group till they came out of the ticketing machine after the train ride...I didnt have one in my group....for about 5 minutes literaly missing between the mrt station and and till we came to board the bus. after a quick panic search and few calls we realised the person had joined another group but it was a disturbing experience....than a relaxed trip...

Well I still have a few good snaps of the trip .....enjoy the different lanterns madefor the Year of the rat!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Chinese New Year

Unlike last year when we were new to Taiwan, during the CNY holidays we took the opportunity to see the whole of Taiwan so we drove around each day.

This year having just come back after a hectic 3 weeks trip back to India I was in no mood to travel we decided we will stay at home .

I wanted to take the opportunity to catch up lot of homeschooling worksheets I work with Tanya and also get Riona to do more work in a more disciplined way.

So I set out with an elaborate time table and we as a family worked at home - essentially worked with our kids on their maths and English.

Even Sedj took extra care to be with Riona and get her to do a lot of things to.Riona now can write all days of the week,number names till hundred so we were really happy.

Tanya worked through over 300 pages in her worksheets .Believe me thats a lot for an eight year old....

So all in all we had a quiet hard working time at home and best of all I realised we actually can be at home a week as a family without any complaints...

Years from now I am sure one day I will wonder what did we do with a week of holidays
so this post will bring back the good old memories.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Who is Syrian Roman Catholic?

Very Often outside of India whan I walk into a Church I am faced with a similar question.
“Are you a Christian?”
“Your whole family”
“Yes we grew up in a traditional catholic family”
“OH really we didn’t know they were Christians in India and so how long have you been Christians”

“Yes we come from a state about 20% of the population are Christians and “ blah blah….
“I am Syrian Roman Catholic” I can see their eyes falling out and their mind wondering “What on earth is that”
This is almost a typical snapshot of a conversation I get into any Christian Church outside India.

This typical conversation is one reason I thought I would write this post, the other to have clarity of thought as I continue to bring up my kids in a Christian upbringing.

This post would bring out what we believed as we grew up.
• There are several denominations of Christians in Kerala
• Most Kerala Christian Groups follow certain customs like wedding customs and use Malayalam language as liturgy.
• We believe St Thomas did come to India in 52 AD.
• St Thomas is believed to have established seven churches - Kodungallore, Palayur, Paravur, Kokkamangalam, Niranam, Chayal, Kollam
• The present Christian population has descended from the early groups that were converts from Upper Sects like Namboodiri Brahmins.
• Christians were referred to as Syrian Christians because they followed Syrian Liturgy.
• Of the Christians Catholics – 60 %,Syrian Christians – 20% and the other.
• The Roman Catholic Church accepted allegiance to Pope and came to be know as Syrian Roman Catholic.
* There are Roman Catholics converted by European missionaries known as Latin Roman Catholics.
*There is also Roman Catholic group mentioned earlier called "Reethu" or the Malankara Syrian Rite.
*The Roman Catholic Church went through it's own evolutionary struggles after the Portuguese power declined in India.
*In 1662 the Dutch took over Cochin from the Portuguese.
*The Portuguese before departing elevated a local priest to bishop and papal representative. He ruled the church from 1662 to 1687.
*There was a period of dominance by Carmalite missionaries during the Dutch period. However there was an ongoing struggle for local autonomy in the church.
*In 1887 the process of liberalization started. Two new diocese, Kottayam and Trichur started with local autonomy. Three Kerala priests were appointed as bishops *In 1896 for the first time. New diocese in Palai, Kothamangalam, Tallicheri and Manathavadi were started.In 1956 the status of Changanacheri diocese was upgraded.In 1969 the metropolitan of Eranakulam was elevated to Cardinal.
•For the Catholic Church of Kerala the most momentous occasion was the visit of Pope John Paul II. The Pope visited Kottayam and performed the beatification of a Kerala priest and nun.
• Even though the Kerala Catholics follow the religious practices of Roman Catholics world over, they have much in common with other Kerala Christians.
* They follow Syrian rites as opposed to Latin rites.
*Roman Catholics along with other Christian groups use Malayalam language for service and follow certain local customs and traditions during weddings funerals etc.
• While the Church in the West is still Evangelical, in India the focus of the main line Church is social.
* There is also a strong ecumenical movement.
*Kerla Chrisitans have brought about great prosperity and has their own respectful place in society.
* The religious practices of this group were shaped in the place of origin and are dominated by Church services which follow traditional patterns.
*Their basic belief is in the Christian doctrine and life after death.
*•Baptism is practiced by all Kerala Christians. The Episcopal Churches emphasize child baptism and use sprinkling of water in the name of the Triune of God.
• The Lord's Supper is celebrated by various groups and the Aramaic word Qurbana which means "offering" is used for the practice. The Greek word "Eucharist" which means thanksgiving is also used and is an expression of one's renewal of faith and participation in the death and suffering of Jesus Christ.
• The liturgy of the Roman Catholics is western.Syrian Christians use several accessories such as the bells, the veil, the altar, the cross the coverings and the candles.
• Many Hindu traditions and customs are followed by Kerala Churches.
• Both the Hindu women and the Christian women at the time of marriage have an amulet tied around their neck by the bridegroom. It is called "Thali" by Hindu and "Minnu" by Kerala Christians.
• There are many other Hindu traditions followed by Christians such as dowry system, decorations with rice flower, and forty one day observances after a death in the family.
• Syrian Christians celebrate all Christian religious days. The more orthodox people maintain Lent for twenty four days prior to Christmas and fifty days prior to Easter. Those who do so, eat only vegetarian meals and refrain from consuming alcoholic beverages during Lent. Easter week is very important. There are special Church services on Palm Sunday and also every evening including Good Friday on Pesaha (Maundy Thursday) There is a special Church service with Holy Communion. Good Friday is of great significance and Church services start at nine o'clock in the morning and continue on to three o'clock in the afternoon. On Easter Sunday Church service starts at four o'clock in the morning and concludes with Holy Communion. Easter breakfast and family get together is traditional.
• Only recently westerners have begun to recognize Christianity's Eastern foundation. Christianity in Kerala is older than Rome according to the St.Thomas tradition. It began as an Oriental religion.
• Arranged marriages are common. During the marriage ceremony exchange of rings is less important than the tali which the bridegroom ties around the bride's neck.

If you are a Syrian Roman Catholic I hope this note was informative.These are notes and point I gathered over various articles.I have no proof if they are authentic.
I know it is what we believe,and continue to practice and respect the traditions!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Options Trading

It has been one of my goals to get back to some options trading in 2008.
Like I said I have spent almost a year studying about it and trying out lots of things...and finally taking a very long break.....

So started this week with a pitiable (in my opinion )capital of $250.

IF you are not an options trader any further reading will bore you to death...It will sound like some silly garble so I suggest you can move on without reading alternatively if you are a regular options trader or aspire to be one this might give some pointers over a period of time.

I did one trade every day from Wednesday... and I am focusing on trading Diamonds - Intraday!

Date Time Name of Contract Amount Profit/Loss
2/6/2008 95410 DAW BS-DIA Feb 123.00 CALL 201.00
2/6/2008 100301 DAW BS-DIA Feb'123.00 CALL -218.99 17.99
2/7/2008 95256 DAW BQ-DIA Feb 121.00 CALL 231.00
2/7/2008 100349 DAW BQ-DIA Feb 121.00 CALL -248.99 17.99
2/8/2008 93906 DAW BR-DIA Feb 122.00 CALL 191.00
2/8/2008 104405 DAW BR-DIA Feb 122.00 CALL -193.99 2.99
Profit 38.97

as shown I was able to grow my capital of $250 to $288.97 by the end of the week.
Thats $40 a week may sound a pittance but you need to keep in mind I am doing it from home after all have gone to bed for the day....spending about an hour.
Also see that if it was an investment of $2500 or $25000 then it would have been 400 and 4000 dollars a week...I am sure that sounds good!....Well thats a dream right now at .At this point I want to grow my little $250 to $ 1000.At the rate I am moving I should be able to do that in less than 20 weeks you see its going to be a very slow and steady process....
Interestingly one pointer just after 3 trades was to enter only after 9: 50 AM ...the trade is faster to close then and the returns are first target is not to make any loss ....and profit is about one hour....

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

All in a Day's Work!

My first attempt of a Wordless Wednesday!

" I am on top of the news and attended all calls for the day Now What?!!
Riona - my daughter at 10 months!