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Who are the two Brazilian women who have been awarded Padma Shri?

Gloria Areria, a resident of Rio De Janerio in Brazil is a pioneer in Sanskrit and Vedanta and has dedicated herself to the teaching and promotion of Advaita Vedanta in the traditional manner in Portugese language. Lia Diskin, who is of Argentinian origin, has stayed in Brazil for over 30 years and has admiration for India, its people and culture.

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Last Updated: Jan 26, 2020, 10.45 AM IST
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NEW DELHI: On the eve of the Republic Day which will have Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro as chief guest, India on Saturday honoured two inspirational Brazilian women Lia Diskin and Gloria Areria with Padma Shri.

According to the government, Areria, a resident of Rio De Janerio in Brazil is a pioneer in Sanskrit and Vedanta and has dedicated herself to the teaching and promotion of Advaita Vedanta in the traditional manner in Portugese language.

Areria has been teaching Vedanta and Sanskrit in Rio de Janeiro and other cities in Brazil and she regularly speaks on spirituality, self-knowledge and mainly on the teachings of the Vedas.

She has also translated many Sanskrit texts into Portuguese, including the Bhagavadgita, Upanishads and several others. She has also founded Vidya Mandir, a non-profit institution based in Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, and has been working since 1984 to preserve the culture and knowledge of the Vedas.

The government said that Areria had started her studies at the Arsha Sandeepany Sadhanalaya in Mumbai in January 1974 under the guidance of Swami Dayananda. During her stay in India, she also studied in ashrams in Uttarkashi and Rishikesh and traveled to various parts of India to attend courses, lectures and visited holy places in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

She returned to Brazil in 1978.

The government said that Diskin, an eminent Gandhian scholar from Brazil, has been selected for the Padma Shri award this year as she is actively involved in the promotion of Gandhian values of peace and non-violence for the past four decades.

Diskin, who is of Argentinian origin, has stayed in Brazil for over 30 years and has admiration for India, its people and culture. She is an author as well as a sought-after speaker at various Universities in Brazil and has also authored many books on education, peace, ethics and culture.

She has also translated Mahatma Gandhi's 'An Autobiography - My Experiments with Truth' -- the book is in its eight edition. She has won wide acclaim in Brazil for her selfless service to society, having worked on multiple projects such as Gandhi Network, approved by 14 Brazilian states to impart training, information, and guidance on a culture of peace-oriented activities and knowledge.

With inputs from PTI

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