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MARCH 30, DENVER, CO: Ramayan, an ancient Indian epic that is enshrined in millions of homes and inspired generations of people world over through its message of love, sacrifice and following the righteous path in life is being presented to American children in the form of a nationwide quiz contest that runs from April to June this year.
Primarily focused on making Ramayana an integral part of a child's early learning, Kaun Banega Ramayana Expert (KBRE) (Hindi for "Who Will become Ramayan Expert") is coming on the heels of a very successful contest by the same name held in 2006. The quiz is sponsored by Balagokulam, a magazine published by Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS), a non-profit, voluntary organization working to preserve, practice and promote Hindu values.

HSS is launching KBRE on April 6th, the Hindu New Year day; "Ugadi" and the winners are going to be announced in mid June 2008. It will be conducted at various regional levels. Each region will conduct the quiz and choose winners based on a combination of online and in-person written examination and oral contest.

The KBRE has two components, an online exam for the first round and the next level of competition as decided by the regional teams. The KBRE Website (http://www.balagokulam.org/contest.) will be open for online registration and practice tests from April 6th and the participants can take qualifying online exam starting from April 13th.  This website is full of interactive resources and reading material suitable to different age groups.

The online exam is scheduled to begin on the festival Rama Navami that marks Lord Shri Rama's birthday.  Participants can take the KBRE online exam until June 15th and each region will publish timeline and other details of the next level of contest by the end of April. More than 100 Balagokulam centers across the United States will host the Phase II of the contest and prizes will be distributed at the regional level in a public function attended by community leaders.

KBREParticipants of the quiz are placed into five age-based categories to help judge their Ramayan expertise in their peer group. The youngest group consists of 5-6 year old children. The second group is for 7,8 and 9 year olds and the third is for 10,11 and 12 year olds. The 13, 14 and 15 year old children are in the last group, Group 4. The syllabus, online exam and other competitions in the contest increase in complexity to suit the age group.

All regions will have multiple prizes for children in each age group and several local Hindu Temples and community organizations are expected to sponsor and promote the event.

Balagokulam Magazine is published quarterly by HSS and is available in the USA with an annual subscription. For more information on the magazine or to subscribe on-line, please visit http://www.balagokulam.org/

For details on KBRE please call Krishnamurthy Woonnimaniat 303-952-4025 / email [email protected]
For more information on HSS Please call Vikas Deshpande at 617-869-1383

About Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS)
HSS is a non-profit cultural organization dedicated to preserve Hindu Dharma and its Dharmic roots in the society. HSS runs "Balagokulam" program for children throughout the US to impart Hindu cultural values to children. HSS also runs programs for youth and parents that focus on integral personality development (physical, intellectual, social and spiritual). HSS has over 102 chapters across US. For more information on HSS, visit http://www.hssus.org/   or  contact 973-860-2HSS (2477)