Quebec doctor’s love song goes viral, challenges Indian taboos

Frank Gregoire’s rendition of Hindi tune ‘Tum Hi Ho’ was a wedding day surprise for his wife. A video of it has since earned more than 4.1 million views

When French-Canadian doctor Frank Gregoire sat down at a piano to tickle the ivories with a Hindi love song, he was envisioning the tune as a wedding day moment that would stun his wife. Little did he know, that video would garner more than 4.1 milli

When French-Canadian doctor Frank Grégoire sat down at a piano to tickle the ivories with a Hindi love song, he was envisioning the tune as a wedding day moment that would stun his wife.

Little did he know, that video would garner more than 4.1 million views when posted online, making its way to India, where it has been lauded for cracking the centuries-old glass walls that have made inter-faith marriages taboo.

In a Sikh-Christian ceremony, Grégoire, a 36-year-old doctor from Sherbrooke, Que., wed Simran Malhotra, 27, also a doctor, but from Toronto. The June 27 nuptials took place in Baltimore, Maryland, not far from Johns Hopkins Hospital, where the pair work.

They met there about three years ago when Grégoire was working as a critical care physician and Malhotra was starting her medical residency. Malhotra quickly learned that Grégoire was a singer and piano player from a musically inclined family.

Though Malhotra had heard Grégoire sing at family get-togethers, their wedding was the first time he had belted out a Hindi tune — scoring points with the in-laws.

“Tum Hi Ho”, the track he settled on, was from a 2013 Bollywood movie, Aashiqui 2. It is sprinkled with lines about loyalty and devotion to a lover.

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“It took four weeks to learn just the words and the hard part was that Simran is around all the time,” Grégoire told the Star. “I couldn’t practice, so in the shower or driving to work, that’s what I did.”

The song, he said, had been suggested by Malhotra’s mother after he approached her looking for a Hindi poem to recite for his wife. (Simran, who calls herself “the cheesiest person in the world,” had joked that their wedding gifts to one another should be something “with some meaning or thought behind it” because Gregoire was known to give her jewelry.)

At the ceremony, attended by 130 family members and friends, Grégoire took his place behind the piano after professing his love for Malhotra.

“When he started singing in Hindi, I didn’t know what to think or say or do,” Malhotra recalled, noting that she broke down in tears. “It was unreal.”

By the end of it, there were few dry eyes in the room, so it was a hardly a tough decision to post the song online.

Since then, it has become a social media sensation being shared by plenty across the globe and viewed by millions.

“Her grandfather who couldn’t make it (to the wedding) for health reasons saw us on TV,” Grégoire said.

“We are two nerdy people who are always at the hospital, and here we are all over YouTube,” Malhotra added.

The video has reunited them with grade-school friends who had fallen out of touch and also become an object of discussion in India.

“There are people out there who would have wanted to marry someone from a different culture or faith, and they haven’t been able to,” Grégoire said. “If that opens the door for some people to be with the people they like, we feel that is amazing.”

To carry on spreading the love, Malhotra said she and Grégoire are encouraging others to film and post acts of generosity and compassion with the hashtag #ShowYourLove on social media.

“A lot of times we deal with families that didn’t get that last chance to say what they wanted to say and so having Frank done this beautiful thing for me, it motivated me,” Malhotra said. “Even if 100 people tell someone that they love their loved ones, I think it will be really special for us.”

India, East Africa to synergize efforts on HIV AIDS vaccine research

New Delhi, July 27 (ANI): HIV remains one of the most challenging viral diseases worldwide, and for India, despite substantial progress in reducing new incidence of HIV, the country still houses the third highest number of people of people living with the disease at 2.1 million.
To reach zero HIV burden in the country it is critical to fill gaps in the knowledge of how humans can defeat this virus, as well reenergize and revolutionalize research efforts through relevant partnerships to understand factors responsible for prevention and control of HIV infection and to develop strategies that support and accelerate discovery efforts.
In addressing diseases of concern for improved public health, HIV research is an emerging program priority for India with a goal to help identify tools and methods for disease detection, intervention, control, prevention and subsequent eradication.
The Government of India has taken several initiatives over the years to reinforce the national response to the global fight against HIV/AIDS through the MoHFW and the MoST departments.
Continued and ongoing efforts in HIV research to understand the interaction between humans and disease are critical to not only boost efforts for biomedical tools of prevention like HIV vaccine but also accelerate R&D initiatives for finding solutions to help curb the disease in India.
A high-level technical consultation is being organised at India Habitat Center on Tuesday (July 28) here with participation of Indian and East African experts from leading institutes/centres of excellence.
In addition to facilitating acceleration of new preventive technologies, such like initiatives would help to ensure greater role for low and middle income economies in AIDS vaccine research.
This and the proposed collaboration between India and Netherlands in HIV research, announced during the Dutch Prime Minsters visit to India, would value add to effort of the Government of India through technology and knowledge transfer.
DBT and ICMR are in the process of structuring a national program being for Chronic and Acute infection HIV cohorts, setting up of a National Biorepository and initiating studies towards HIV Virology and Host-Microbe interaction.
“These multiple interlinked efforts contribute to Government of India’s mandate of eradicating diseases through effective preventive measures, convert India into a knowledge society as well provide accessible, affordable, accountable, and effective primary healthcare facilities, are bringing the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Ministry of Science and Technology together,” said Dr. Rajat Goyal, Country Director – International AIDS Vaccine Initiative
The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) is a global not-for-profit organization whose mission is to ensure the development of safe, effective, accessible, preventive HIV vaccines for use throughout the world.
Founded in 1996, IAVI works with private companies, academics, and civil society partners in 25 countries to research, design, and develop AIDS vaccine candidates.
IAVI also conducts policy analyses and serves as an advocate for the AIDS vaccine field. IAVI supports a comprehensive approach to addressing HIV and AIDS that balances the expansion and strengthening of existing HIV-prevention and treatment programs with targeted investments in the design and development of new tools to prevent HIV. (ANI)

Study finds troubling link between use of muscle-building supplements and cancer

BY ABBY PHILLIP, THE WASHINGTON POST

The growth in popularity of dietary supplements has come largely despite a lack of scientific evidence to back up claims that they work.

There are, however, growing questions about their risks.

The latest: A new study, published in the British Journal of Cancer on Monday, found evidence of a troubling connection between men who took muscle-building supplements and their risk of developing testicular cancer.

Genes and family history factor into the likelihood that someone will develop testicular cancer, but those factors alone don’t explain why rates of this form of cancer have increased in the last few decades.

So researchers conducted a survey of almost 900 men from Massachusetts and Connecticut, asking them questions about their habits (supplement use, smokingdrinkingexercise and other factors) and family history of testicular cancer. Among the men surveyed, 356 had been diagnosed with testicular cancer and 513 were not diagnosed with the cancer.

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Researchers found a clear relationship between the use of muscle-building supplements and the risk of developing cancer even after controlling for other factors like race and age. Participants in the control group and the group with cancer had similar levels of education, prevalence of smoking, alcohol drinking and height.

“The observed relationship was strong,” Tongzhang Zheng, who led the study at Yale University, said in a statement. (Zheng is now a professor of epidemiology at Brown University School of Public Health.) “If you used at earlier age, you had a higher risk. If you used them longer, you had a higher risk. If you used multiple types, you had a higher risk.”

In this case, “use” means taking a supplement at least once a week for at least four consecutive weeks.

A representative for the Council for Responsible Nutrition, a leading trade association for the supplement industry, was not immediately available for comment.

Overall, men who used muscle-building supplements increased their risk of developing testicular cancer by 65 percent. Men who used more than one type of muscle building supplement had a 177 percent increase in risk. Men who used the supplements for three years or more had a 156 percent increase in risk. And men who started using supplements at the age of 25 or younger had a 121 percent increase in risk.

“Considering the magnitude of the association and the observed dose-response trends, muscle-building supplements use may be an important and modifiable exposure that could have important scientific and clinical importance for preventing testicular germ cell cancer development if this association is confirmed by future studies,” the authors note in the study.

Critically, the study doesn’t specifically name supplements that were used by the study’s participants but they included 30 different types of powders and pills. Among the major ingredients were creatine, protein, and androstenedione. And the results suggest a relationship between supplement use and cancer, but it don’t prove that the supplements cause cancer.

Additional clinical experiments will need to be conducted in order to confirm the results.

But recent research has raised questions about the potential harm posed by dietary supplements on the lightly regulated market, whose sales reached $13 billion in 2013. Previous research has linked ingredients in performance-enhancing supplements to a substance that caused testicular damage in rats. Another has shown a high prevalence of performance-enhancing supplement use among people diagnosed with testicular cancer.

 

Surrey’s Major Annual City Events

Surrey hosts 5 major special events annually: Party for the Planet, Surrey International Children’s Festival, Canada Day, Fusion Festival and the Tree Lighting Festival.

2015 Events

Party for the Planet
Surrey Celebrates Earth Day

April 26, 2015
Party for the Planet

Surrey’s Party for the Planet is one of the largest Earth Day celebrations in BC and it’s free!  Earth Day is intended to inspire awareness for the Earth’s natural environment and Surrey has a lot to be inspired by. There will be something “green” for everyone at this event. Also, join us for the Grand Opening Celebration of New City Hall at this year’s Party for the Planet.

Surrey International Children’s Festival
Arts Festival for Children aged 0 – 12

May 21-23, 2015
Surrey International Children’s Festival

The 10th Annual Surrey International Children’s Festival inspires young hearts and minds to the greater possibilities and celebrates our rich and diverse cultural heritage though performing and visual arts experience.

Children have an incredibly rich arts experience as they take part in the many hands-on activities on site, led by professional artists. The ticketed programming is a national and international selection of the highest calibre of performances for young audiences, bringing inspiration and awe to the residents of Surrey and the surrounding areas.

Surrey Canada Day
Western Canada’s Biggest Canada Celebration

July 1, 2015
Surrey Canada Day

Over 100,000 people celebrate Canada’s birthday in Surrey at this free, family festival complete with live entertainment, the Shooting Stars Midway, great food, and plenty of interactive activities for all ages.

Past headliners include: Platinum Blonde, Sloan, Colin James, 54-40, Loverboy, Trooper, Lisa Brokop, Honeymoon Suite, Kim Mitchell, Bif Naked, Ian Tyson, ODDS, Stereos, Dragonette, Dan Mangan, You Say Party!, Charlotte Diamond, Bobs and Lolo, Elise Estrada, En Karma, Jessie Farrell, Ridely Bent, and many more. Stay until the end and experience the Fireworks Finale.

Surrey Fusion Festival
The Ultimate Celebration of Music, Food, and Culture

Saturday & Sunday, July 18 & 19, 2015

Surrey Fusion Festival

Surrey Fusion Festival features 70 performances on 4 stages over 2 days. This free family event features past performances by K-OS, TOIFA Bollywood Remix, Jim Byrnes, Stephen Fearing, The Zolas, Jay Sean, Bedouin Soundclash, Arrested Development, Joel Plaskett, Jully Black, Jazzy B, Lehmber Hussainpuri, KS Makhan, Pavlo-Emmitt-Lopez, Said the Whale, En Karma, Alex Cuba, and Grapes of Wrath.

While at Holland Park, visit over 30 cultural pavilions and experience cuisine from around the world.  Check out the Flavours of Surrey and celebrity chefs on the Safeway Cooking Stage.

Surrey Tree Lighting Festival

November 21, 2015
Surrey Tree Lighting Festival

Join Mayor and Council along with Frosty and Santa as they flip the switch to light the City’s official Christmas tree and kick off the holiday season in Surrey at this free family event. Free concerts, sleigh rides, food and fun activities all day long.

– See more at: http://www.surrey.ca/culture-recreation/9144.aspx#sthash.PEIPnGy5.dpuf

Upcoming Community Events

Monthly Birding Walks

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  • September 20, 2014 – May 16, 2015
  • Join a local naturalist for a series of free monthly walks to discover Surrey’s birds!

Thursday Artist Talk: Lori Goldberg

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  • March 5, 2015
  • East Vancouver visual and mixed media artist Lori Goldberg shares her experiences of how life informs her art and how art informs her life.

The Wizard Of Oz

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  • March 6 – 7, 2015
  • Spend time with your kids and see this well-loved story brought to life!

Surrey Shines 2015

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  • March 7, 2015
  • Watch music, singing and dance performances by youth in Surrey!

I Am Woman! Hear Me Laff!

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  • March 9, 2015
  • A “herlarious” evening of hoopla!

Transit Vote Surrey: Rapid Transit For Rapid Growth

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  • March 9, 2015
  • Carbon Talks and Moving in a Livable Region is hosting a free public dialogue on Mar. 9 at SFU Surrey on how better transportation can impact Surrey.

Classic Tale Time Travelers

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  • March 10 – 19, 2015
  • Travel back in time with vintage children’s books in the Stewart Farm’s Spring Break day camps.

Kwantlen EcoDays Fair

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  • March 10, 2015
  • Visit us at the Kwantlen ecoDays fair happening at the Surrey campus.

Museum Spring Break Drop-In

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  • March 10 – 20, 2015
  • Families voyage into deep space to explore the mysteries of the galaxy through games and crafts.

– See more at: http://www.surrey.ca/culture-recreation/6138.aspx#sthash.ocxl8NM2.dpuf

KPU design student wins Staples scholarship for corporate workplace design

Metro Vancouver:Re-imaging the workspace of today, one that’s flexible to the needs of tomorrow, is no simple task.

Space design needs to account for increased digitalization, accommodate for telecommuting, offer open areas for collaboration, and do all of this while emphasizing the use of sustainable materials. Continue reading “KPU design student wins Staples scholarship for corporate workplace design”

How parents can prepare for sniffles and restless nights

(NC) Fall is here and with the chilly weather comes the dreaded cold and flu season which can last many months. For parents this can mean sleepless nights, unhappy children and stress from not knowing what to do. Here are some tips to help you prepare for the sniffles and restless nights:

– Ensure you and your family are washing your hands regularly. Teach your children the importance of washing their hands, especially after sneezing and coughing, to help stop the spread of germs. Continue reading “How parents can prepare for sniffles and restless nights”

Apples let us savour the flavours of fall

(NC) Each season boasts unique flavours and ingredients. The fall harvest, in particular, is known for apples, and Canada is known for its multitude of varieties – from sweet to tart. Each type of apple offers a distinct taste and characteristic, especially when it comes to cooking. If you don’t have apples on hand, substitute an apple beverage in your cooking, such as Molson’s new Mad Jack apple lager, which is another easy way to bring this sweet, crisp flavour to life. Continue reading “Apples let us savour the flavours of fall”