Thursday, January 3, 2013


‘10 DAYS OF HORROR’ FOR CITIZENS - The 10-day New Year holidays that begin in Russia on Sunday will be “ten days of hell,” the country’s top public health official warned on Thursday. “Most of our citizens will be left to their own devices. And there is no worse enemy for a Russian than himself,” Gennady Onishchenko told journalists. Russians finish work on December 29 to prepare for New Year and do not go back to work until January 9. The period invariably sees an increase in public drunkenness and fires. 
Onishchenko predicted rampant alcohol consumption and gluttony leading to an “unhealthy atmosphere” in households across the nation over the festive period. He urged Russians with children not to drink on New Year’s Eve. “You will be greeting the New Year with your family and, as head of the family, you will be setting a bad example,” he said. “Or are you not happy to be with your family?”. 

At least come 2015, the government will crack down on smokers and “those who worship the pagan deity Bacchus,” Onishchenko said, referring to a Roman god of wine. A harsh anti-smoking law was filed in the Russian parliament earlier this year, and legislation aimed to curb alcohol consumption is also in the works. Some 23,000 people die of alcohol poisoning annually in Russia, while another 75,000 die of alcohol-related diseases, according to official statistics. Russians were the world’s fourth heaviest drinkers in 2011 with annual consumption of 11 liters of pure ethanol per every citizen older than 15 years, according to the World Health Organization. Only Moldova, the Czech Republic and Hungary drank more. 
The “ten days of horror” will also see most of the public turned into couch potatoes by “mindless” TV programs, Onishchenko said. Onishchenko, 62, who has held the post since 1996, has made a name for himself by being able to find a public health angle in almost any public event.

“Ten days of horror.” That’s what Gennady Onishchenko, Russia’s chief health inspector, calls the traditional holiday period in the country, which encompasses New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, and Orthodox Christmas on January 7. He’s referring to Russians’ penchant for imbibing mass quantities of alcohol during the festive season. And not just during the holidays. “There is no worse enemy for a Russian than himself,” says Onishchenko. Russians can claim the fourth-highest rate of alcohol consumption per capita in the world, according to the World Health Organization. The WHO says that 1-in-5 Russian men will die due to alcohol abuse. The world we live in is likened to a dream, and in our effort to achieve happiness we increase the illusion by alcohol or drugs; but unfortunately it will increase our miseries.

Intoxication is one of the more obvious sinful activities because so many people develop addictions to it. Whether it be alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, or caffeine, addiction to intoxication is very common.  Considering the fact that our senses are impossible to satisfy, it is no surprise that many take to intoxication in an attempt to break free of the senses.  Instead of trying to escape the senses, the Vedas tell us to purify them through practicing devotional service to God, or Bhakti yoga. ... The easiest way to refrain from these activities is to always keep yourself engaged in God’s service wherever you are and whatever you may be doing. Keep chanting “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare” and you will be guaranteed of success.

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"

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