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2011 JAINA Convention Bonds Many Ties

2011 JAINA Convention Bonds Many Ties

The 16th Biennial Jaina 2011 Convention held at the George R Brown Convention Center Downtown Houston from July 1-4, 2011.

One of the oldest religious sects of India, Jainism has existed side by side with Hinduism throughout its long history. With more than 750 Jain families in Houston the convention demonstrated its remarkable tenacity and endurance and made an attempt to exert an influence far beyond its small numbers.

Jainism derives from a Sanskrit word meaning ‘follower of the Jina, or conqueror’ that was established in the sixth century BCE by the Indian sage Mahavira. This community is the oldest continually surviving monastic community in the world with very severe practice of vegetarianism and non-violence.

The 2011 Jaina Convention was brought to Houston for the first time with a turnout of more than two thousand people from all parts of India and US. “Our biennial convention has a long and proud history of bringing Jains together for networking with religious leaders, academic scholars and researchers,” says Houston based entrepreneur Swatanra Jain, fundraising committee member of the Jain Convention. “One of the main purposes of the convention is to provide a platform for young Jains and try to connect them with suitable prospects for marriage,” added Swatanra.

With the theme ‘Live and Help Live’ the convention kicked off on Friday July 1st at the Hilton Americas with ‘Swagatam’, a welcome program by the Jain Society of Houston followed by cultural programs that comprised of a talent competition, drama, Garba, Bhangra dances and Bollywood performances. The early morning sessions included a strict Jain breakfast with yoga, meditation and Zumba and Bollywood inspired exercises. A spectacular temple like structure was created inside of the convention center where the visitors witnessed a grand temple procession of dignitaries, JAINA Presidents, and spiritual leaders from the Jain center.

The age group of those participating in the convention ranged from early teens to late seventies. For the young jains this was an opportunity to take over the torch from elders with the main highlight being a vibrant program that connected the youth for matrimony: Jain Networking Forum (JNF).

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