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Apr 28

Written by: Jennifer Kumar, Cultural Adjustment Coach
Saturday, April 28, 2007

Who can submit?

Anyone with intention to share ancient wisdom for the betterment of society.

Published and unpublished writers can submit.

Experts and lay people can submit.

People from ancient and modern cultures can submit.


What can be submitted?

Topics fall under six broad categories (each has subsections with descriptions): 

Divinity/Spirituality  |  Family Life  |  Global Community  |  Health and Healing  |  Mouthwatering Menus  |  Soundwaves


How to submit?

  1. E-mail your articles to Submit@alaivani.com.

  2. Follow the word count for your chosen topic.  Documents will be edited if necessary for grammar and also to conform to word count.

  3. Word count must remain within 3,000 words to be considered for a single posting.  If the article exceeds 3,000 words, it may be editedto shorten length or published in a series.  (It is noted that if you browse the main topics listed above, some are limited to as few as 50 words per posting.

  4. Please take note of this when crafting your posts.)

  5. Editors have spell check- but be sensitive to submit articles that you have already checked for spelling errors.

  6. Submit all text in an email (not in an attached document).

  7. Photos, artwork, and music can be submitted as attachments. Only up to 2 (two) images will be posted in the blog.   Additional images, along with the two on the blog, will be posted in the Alaivani Contributors collection at Alaivani flickr page.

  8. In your subject line write Alaivani submission: “Topic”, word count (for example if your article is about Feng Shui, write  “Alaivani submission: Feng Shui, 500 words”)

  9. Include a small bio on yourself, 4-5 lines, not more than 30 words.  URLs and e- mail ids can be in your bio, but a hyperlink will not be allowed. Bios will be posted here, where you can see examples to mimic in your own bio.

 ***It is required that you provide your full name and e-mail ID to the editor.  This information will not be published on alaivani.com without your permission.


When to submit?

Alaivani will publish articles throughout the month.  Submit your article two to three

months before you would like it published. This is an estimated wait time, as it may

be published sooner or later depending on priority.


Articles more apt to be published will:

Be submitted within the word count and have correct spelling.

Be thoughtfully written, including information from various sources.

Have a positive outlook (even if discussing not so positive topics).

Include quotes from various sources (people, books, media, etc.) with proper foot notes.

Adhere to the philosophy of the e-zine and discussing a subject found in list of topics.

New or questionable topics can be sent to the editor for review.


Articles will not be accepted that:

Have strong or unbalanced view points, are overly critical, negative, bitter, etc.

Persuade conversion to any spiritual, religious, political or other group.

Disrespect other’s ways of life, culture, spirituality, etc.

Do not adhere the philosophy of the e-zine.


Editors notes:

  1. Edits may be made at the discretion of the Editor.  This may result in lower word counts.

  2. If the word count changes dramatically, editor will inform author.

  3. Article (and comments or feedback) publication at the discretion of the Editor. 

  4. Editor will inform authors whether or not articles are chosen for publication. (Editor will not inform a user if comments have been deleted.)


    First three articles accepted at Alaivani are unpaid. After the third, payments may be made.  See more details here.

  6. Keep in mind that authors are not compensated financially or otherwise for their unpublished submissions.


    New topics may be considered and added.  E-mail your ideas to the editor.

  8. As new articles are added, older articles remain in the website.Articles that exceed 50% or more of the word count are eligible to be published in monthly segments, with each segment being published on a monthly basis for up to four months.


    Posting will occur Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays on a regular basis excluding holidays and vacations which will be posted as scheduled on the blog.

  10. Updates are available on RSS feed or by subscribing to the yahoo group.  I post a newsletter with updates twice monthly on the first and third Friday (unless it is a holiday/vacation).



 What if your native language is not English? No problem. As long as you have good English writing skills and can express your thoughts clearly, we can work together. In case your English skills need improvement, I am willing to work with you as everyone deserves a chance at being on the world wide web!


Original Post, Apr. 2007, Updated June 2007, October 2007, December 2008.

Copyright ©2007 Jennifer Jayanthi Kumar


2 comments so far...

Re: Contribution Guidelines

Every country has its own custom. People of different nations are recognized by their culture. India is a powerhouse catering to almost all the leading global companies of the world. And has abundant talent with a steady supply of talented software engineers, Doctors and paramedicals. India has most high qualified professionals in the world. English and Hindi are the main official languages in India. It is a rich country with great culture, traditions and has been known to have wonderful dresses and costumes. Western and Indian cultures are diametrically opposed. The reason for this is that western culture is based on the principles of MATERIALISM, whereas Indian culture is based on the tenets and principles of SPIRITUALISM. Materialism stands for worldly possessions, wealth, canons of economics, material gains, fame etc., whereas spiritualism stands for moral values, ethics, scruples, virtues and the power to distinguish between right and wrong, between good and evil, between correct and incorrect etc.

Majority of Indian women wear traditional costumes and they look so graceful and glorious. Indian men and women have always loved to dress up in their traditional costumes, attires and accessories during festivals and other occasions which are an integral part of Indian life. In India the family is the most important institution that has survived through the ages. Family is the foundation stone of society which modifies individual behaviors and cultivates tolerance, patience, respect for others, love and affection, dedication, care and sacrifice.

Most Indians have sharp observational skills and note fine details. Likewise, nonverbal messages and signals, such as facial expressions, gestures, or different tones of voice, are easily perceived. Indians tend to convey and perceive ideas and feelings through behavior. The Indian culture is unique and has its own values. Indians are very much family oriented While the children in the US are brought up to live an independent life, the children in India are not brought up in that way. In Indian culture, there is respect for the elders and it is they who make decisions. But in American culture, each individual makes his own decisions.

Indian culture treats guests as god and serves them and takes care of them as if they are a part and parcel of the family itself. Even though we don't have anything to eat, the guests are never left hungry and are always looked after by the members of the family. We Indians have a great Hospitality. Children are expected to listen, respect, and obey their parents. We are deeply rooted our rich values and good morals within our hearts, mind, body and soul which we receive from our culture.

It is plain that God wants most of our flesh covered. The Bible informs us that Adam and Eve had on no covering, and after they sinned, they were ashamed. I don't think they were ashamed together, but they were afraid that God would see them, for they hid together from God. We are told to dress modestly (I Timothy 2:9). The Indian women do not expose their bodies like western countries. Indian women can wear whatever she pleases in the presence of her husband .But when she goes out with a family and children's or relatives and friends she covers her entire body and dress modestly and not exposing her body like western countries. Why because God himself told women to cover their body or nakedness. God has made women distinctly feminine and we should be so happy and grateful that He has done so. It is believed that Revealing indecent clothes is an attempt to draw attention to yourself in a sexual way that begins to reveal your "nakedness that will cause others to "lust" or "commit adultery" even in their imagination.

Indian women dress in humble purity, a true submission, shamefacedness and sobriety that's why Indian women are different compared to other women in other counties of the world. Women have a moral obligation to avoid enticing men with immodest apparel. Dressing modestly is a gift from God and Indian women are gifted with it. If a woman dresses with dignity and carries herself with grace, most men will approach that woman with respect and honor. If a woman dresses immodestly like western women, a man will often view her as a sexual object. Women who stay at home and guide the house are often labeled as being "slaves, weak or dependent in western world. For Indian women family and children's are important that her career. If she has to pick one she chooses family. Even though some of the women work in India their children's are watched over by immediate family members of elders in the family.

The Western practice of kissing or hugging anyone is form of greeting anyone. In most of Europe, Canada and United states it is normal to see people holding hands or kissing in public or hugging in public. In India we greet people by shaking handshands and Indians consider that lip kissing outside the families is bad as mouth is the place where one can pass contagious disease through mouth and saliva. It is regarded as unclean also because of people bad habits such as smoking, drinking liquor etc. In India smoking is banned.Kissing or smooching in public is popular in West but not considered very well in India. Love and affection in Indian tradition is considered sacred, holy, sanctified something which if you express publicly, diminishes in its value. Expressing love should be deep in our hearts not just like a habitual thing like western world. We Indians truly value a kiss, and maintain its importance by reserving some privacy for it. It's not about tradition or culture it is just the basic decency and respect. We believe that Animals kiss and display affection in public but it's not necessary for a human to be that way. It is not a gesture to show in public like animals. India preaches is to confine all intimate relationships within closed doors. In India, the Supreme Court of India has described Public display Affection to be in bad taste and an unacceptable act, which may be considered an act of public nuisance, and sometimes leading to conviction and/or fine from the involved parties. Affection is a private and intimate affair. Its public display is a reflection of immaturity and insensitivity of the partners towards each other.

Unless you happen to be in 'Westernized Indian' circles or in the company of people in the glamour industry such as models and beauty queens Kissing and Hugging is common as some of the Indians adopt from western countries when they live in western countries. I am an Indian Christian living in western country still I strongly follow my great Indian culture. I will never adopt western lifestyle. We Indians do have great morals and we maintain descent dignity. We don't want to adopt western standard of living. When western people questions Indians about why they shake hands , why they don't kiss or hug etc., why don't they expose their body like western women etc? Because Like how other countries can't adopt Indians morals, we cant adopt western morals because our culture is very sacred and has great valve. True love need not be displayed with a public smooch or public hugging it is understood. Westernized emotions are public and ours is private. Our hugging and kissing is limited only to our spouses and family members. It is not a gesture to show in public. India preaches is to confine all intimate relationships within closed doors.

You cannot blindly import values from one society and impose on another society. Assuming if some country will allow nudity, kissing or smooching in public loosing its essence and valve, why we Indians do need to adopt that just because its common in other country.

Humanity, Kindness, Helping each other, Generosity, Hospitality and sharing are greatly valued in our culture. Right from our early days of childhood we are taught of Good morals. Most of Indians freely exchange property and food with the neighbors and friends also with strangers.

Indian culture treats guests as god and serves them and takes care of them as if they are a part and parcel of the family itself. Even though we don't have anything to eat, the guests are never left hungry and are always looked after by the members of the family. Elders and the respect for elders is a major component in Indian culture. Elders are the driving force for any family and hence the love and respect for elders comes from within and is not artificial. Indian culture tells us to multiply and distribute joy and happiness and share sadness and pain. The arranged marriage is another practice that illustrates the importance Indians place on the family. A majority of marriages in India are arranged by families and several people are involved in the decision-making process. We don't do dating, and end up in confused relationships as In Indian society premarital sex is considered as sin. Most of us people live pure for our spouses. Westernized counties they date, they love each other, without marrying they live each other like married spouses and finally most of them end up in divorces and again remarriage. Western living life style is considered as sin in our country. We don't remarry; we have one spouse for entire life and live happily in our families by true submission and devotion.

American culture can sometimes appear to be too rebellious and independent, with children growing apart from their parents as they grow older. In India parents has the responsibility of giving education and higher education for their children, in some part of the other countries the children when they get old they educate themselves. But in India Parents give education for their children's and make them very highly educated. During education the children's in India mostly devote their entire time in studying and getting educated. Divorce rates in India were the lowest in the world and America stands first and the highest in the world.

By Shaila D Touchton on   Thursday, November 18, 2010

Re: Contribution Guidelines

Thanks Shaila for expressing your thoughts. Normallly I wouldn't allow comments unrelated to the post, but these comments will be important to someone.I appreciate you pointing out the highlights of Indian culture.

I agree there are highlights of course, because I lived there and know India a little and like Indian culture. However, in shedding a lot of wonderful light and praise on the Indian culture, I feel that American or Western culture is given a bad name. If I am making this comment wrongly, I am sorry. This is how I have intrepreted your thoughts.

In this blog, I hope to highlight good aspects of Indian culture of course, but not at the expense of American culture. What I mean to say is by showing India is a good country and has an admirable culture, I don't want to give less credit to American culture or demonize it. I don't 'adopt' Indian culture to 'forgo' American. I want to find a balance in between for me. I am American by birth. I see there are both good and not-so-good aspects of this culture too.America gives a lot of people the chance at 'a better life'. And this of course means a lot of different things to different people. I know if my parents had not come here... I would have lived in deplorable conditions in their home country. One difference between my parents and your journey here is most likely you were not leaving a place that made you feel sick inside. My parents escaped war and lacked of a lot of personal freedoms. Coming here they gained freedom.

Many Indians coming here do not have such experience in the journey to come here or reasons for it, so often times there is a bit of regret for coming here. If we move some where for the wrong reasons and do not value our values when we move, we end up regretting the move. People come to US especially from India for a few reasons- )there are others I am not listing of course)
1. Their parents wanted them to,
2. Their friends were all doing it (herd mentality)
3. "Easier" life
4. "Easier to have a good career"Obviously there are good reasons to come here... which means there are good aspects to the culture here or people would never come.

This is something as a cross-cultural coach I sit with people to help them hash out.For instance a value is spirituality over materialism. We need to weigh this goal heavily when we move abroad especially if a motivational factor is 'better job' 'better salary' 'easier life'. If these mostly boil down to 'money' 'financial gain' and 'materialism' (With more money I can have a better house, car, more vacations, etc etc) then the value of spirituality definately conflicts with materialism. In the initial stages we may not see how this affects our health and spiritual well being, but over time, we start to feel regret because we compromised our value (spirituality) for something we never really wanted to be identified with (money, materialism, etc). This leads to more culture shock, misunderstanding of the 'locals' true intentions, and also can lead into depression, culture shock, extreme homesickness, seeing 'locals' as foreign (because of misunderstanding the local culture from it's own perspective), ethnocentrism (seeing our native culture as glorious as compared to our 'adopted country's culture'), and deep resentment. Resentment can go deeper as well because our family and friends back home 'brag about' their sons/daughters (Oh! They live in US, they live in Seattle, work in Microsoft, drive a Mercedes, etc and the list goes on.) and these list of 'material accomplishments' help in the marriage market in the matrimonials and it is good for finding a partner, but then if that's all we focus on we lose our true value and we don't remain true to ourselves. Regret sets in and we start thinking our 'host culture' that initially 'made life easier' and 'our dreams come true' will never compare to our home or our "native culture."

When reading this my heart goes out to you . I know you're an Indian in US. I am sure you have homesickness and want to go back. I hope you are happy in US. There are good things about American culture.. it's not all bad... we're not all bad! ;)

By admin on   Thursday, November 18, 2010

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