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(506) 2223-1327                     Published Monday, Dec. 17, 2012,  in Vol. 12, No. 250                   Email us
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Even the lottery mascot showed up Sunday night, much to the delight of children.

mascot
A.M. Costa Rica/Aaron Knapp

Lots of hoopla, but there is no big lottery winner
By Aaron Knapp
of the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Hours, days and weeks of waiting culminated Sunday night when an enthusiastic announcer placed a small wooden ball with the word “MAYOR” written on it in front of a camera.

In that moment, the announcer shouted the word on the ball, the stage burst with jets of flame and confetti like it was a televised rock concert, photographers clamored over each other for a better shot, and fireworks began to burst in the sky overhead.

The announcer had just said which lucky numbers won the grand prize of 1.2 billion colons in the Junta de Protección Social’s annual Christmas lottery. That is about $2.4 million. It turns out that there is no winner because the five duplicate tickets with the winning numbers had not been sold, the Junta said later.

The junta is a government organization that supports more than 300 social programs throughout Costa Rica. The organization gets the money for these programs by holding lotteries such as this. Junta spokesperson Elizabeth Badilla said that there are 10 major lotteries per year.

Ms. Badilla said that the Junta sold about 400,000 lottery tickets for this drawing, or 80 percent of the numbers available. Most of these tickets were sold by men and women walking along major thoroughfares carrying bundles of hundreds of tickets selling them to both pedestrians and drivers.

At the ceremony in the plaza of the Museo de Arte Costarricense, organizers brought a 13-piece traditional Latin band and even a full marching band to ease the pre-drawing tension.

Although the odds of winning are still not very high, dozens of tickets were selected at the drawing in Parque Sabana Sunday night. More

cage for
                        lottery
A.M. Costa Rica/Aaron Knapp
This is the type of roulette cage that is used to pick the lottery numbers.

than 50 people won prizes of 1 million colons ($2,000) and 1.5  million colons ($3,000).15 tickets were awarded 3 million colons ($6,000) and five were awarded 5 million colons ($10,000).

The winners and what they won were selected in three drawings by large cages full of balls that spun by an attendant. The first ball picked contained a three-digit series number and the second contained the two-digit ticket number. A final ball picked from a much smaller cage dictated how much each selected combination won.

The top three prizes were 50 million colons ($25,000), 100 million colons ($50,000) and of course the grand prize of 1.2 billion colons.

The grand-prize winning combination was 726-70. The full results will be posted on the Junta’s Web site: http://www.jps.go.cr/premiosNacional.cfm

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A.M. Costa Rica's  Second news page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, Vol. 12, No. 250
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Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.


Real estate agents and services

Grecia logo
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7686-3/1/13


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6822-5/8/12
Heredia woman murdered
in possible home invasion

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

An Heredia woman expat has died, the apparent victim of a home invader.

She was killed on her own property, said the Judicial Investigating Organization.

A gardener found the body of the woman in a water tank when he arrived at the home in San Isidro de Heredia about 8 a.m. Friday, the agency said. She was about 55, they said.

The woman lived alone, and agents said that the glass on a door had been broken. Presumably that is how the murderer or murderers entered the home.  Agents also said that the home had been ransacked, and it appears some items had been taken.

speed
                                                          test
Online speed test shows deficiencies

Our reader's opinion

He wants to sue over service
that is much less than promised


Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

The largest monopoly of Costa Rica is ICE hands down. The idea that the Central American Free Trade Agreement was going to benefit the masses is a bold faced lie. Two words that do not exist in ICE's business plan is “customer service” and the two words that do stand out in their business plan are “rate hikes.” One of the long standing jokes since I have been here for eight years is generic, but fits the workers of ICE on the road. How many ICE workers does it take to change a light bulb? The answer being (5), One to change the bulb and (4) to hold the ladder. I don't know where their profits are going, but it is definitely not in customer service.

I live in Nuevo Arenal, and we have been dealing with this Kolbi issue since its inception. We were excited here and all bought into it. Promised in the beginning was 1 MB. Of course we infrequently attained that speed. Then they offered 2mb, the cost being over $30 per month. The service has certainly not been what has been promised.

The local office here is inept at solving our problems. They tell us there is nothing they can do. They promise that a tech could come and never follow up. We are told to call an 800 number to report it before they could do anything and after waiting up to half hour, someone answers and says that they can't do anything until we take our equipment to the local office and prove that its not working.

The local office says that they have already reported it. Not one person has taken the time to resolve this. Obviously the problem is in the tower and no one cares to fix it. For 10 days now, the connection has been failing. Its been reported by multiple customers to no avail and as of yesterday, there is no plan to fix it. See the photo for the speed we receive. 2000 is the speed we are paying for...120 is what we are receiving.

The worst part is that we are required to pay the $30 plus per month for less than a quarter of the service. We are told that we are beyond the 3 kilometers of the tower and have to live with this. If we are receiving a quarter of the service and paying for the full service, why are we not discounted if this is true. No one has ever offered a rebate for this horrible service. Just try going over the head of your local office. It is impossible. I have a loss of business and countless time visiting the local office to complain.

I don't care what is will cost, but I will have my day in court. I am going to file suit against this monster to have monies returned to me for service that was never delivered. If anyone wants to join me they are welcome. My email for this venture is pjames1919@yahoo.com I am committed to see this through all the way to the top people at ICE.

Customer service should be number one, but when you have no competition who cares. Especially now in the area of this Kolbi and the internet. After we have dealt with the devil with China and have evicted Taiwan, a host of donations who some interpret as free have flooded the country. If anyone thinks these donations of police cars, motorcycles, stadium, Chinatown have come with compassion is in la la land. The country is now flooded with cheap products that are overpriced by the money that Costa Rica adds to the cost that actually in the long run hurts the economy here. Many of these goods could be built here and add endless jobs for the Costa Ricans.

Tom Ploskina
Nuevo Arenal

 
Find out what the papers
said today in Spanish


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Here is the section where you can scan short summaries from the Spanish-language press. If you want to know more, just click on a link and you will see and longer summary and have the opportunity to read the entire news story on the page of the Spanish-language newspaper but translated into English.

Translations may be a bit rough, but software is improving every day.

When you see the Summary in English of news stories not covered today by A.M. Costa Rica, you will have a chance to comment.

This is a new service of A.M. Costa Rica called Costa Rica Report. Editor is Daniel Woodall, and you can contact him
 HERE!
From the Costa Rican press
News items posted Monday through Friday by 8 a.m.
Click a story for the summary















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A.M. Costa Rica Third News Page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, Vol. 12, No. 250
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blue trees
A.M. Costa Rica photo





Boys in blue
sponsor trees


The blue trees in the Plaza de la Cultura are that color for a special reason. They are sponsored by the Fuerza Pública, which also has a blue Santa in keeping with the uniform of the force.


Officials worry that forest fire season next year will be a big one
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Environment ministry officials are gearing up for a challenging forest fire season.

The ministry and its Sistema Nacional de Áreas de Conservación note that there has been a shortage of water throughout 2012, and that means some areas are tinder dry.

The forest fire season begins officially Jan. 1, and smoke
spotters will be in towers. The ministry also is hoping to use satellites to spot outbreaks of fire.

There are 940 volunteer fire fighters in 75 units who will be on call. The ministry is involved because many of the major fires take place in national parks and protected areas. Also involved is the Comisión Nacional sobre Incendios Forestales.

The Ministerio de Ambiente, Energía y Telecomunicaciones also asked the public to take steps to prevent forest fires.


Caja urges vacationers to carry a first aid kit on their travels
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The nation's health agency wants those going on vacation to carry first aid items

The Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social said last week that vacationers should carry a medical kit if they are going into the mountains or other places where clinics are some distance away.

The biggest problems, said the Caja, is dehydration, insect bits,
sunburn and allergies provoked by certain plants.

Ana Catalina Venegas, pharmaceutical coordinator at Hospital San Juan de Dios, was quoted in a Caja release. She said vacationers also should carry a list of emergency telephone numbers.

Among other items in the first aid kit could be alcohol gel, bandages, disinfectant soap, gloves, scissors, tweezers, a magnifying glass, over-the-counter pills to reduce inflammation and sterile water to wash out injuries.

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Fish Fabulous Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica's Fourth News page
San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, Vol. 12, No. 250
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                vacation promo







This giant kapok tree is on the banks of the Amazon River. The species, Ceiba pentandra, was the youngest (less than 1 million years) Amazon tree species in a genetic study by University of Michigan evolutionary biologist Christopher Dick and his colleagues.

really big tree
Photo by Rogerio Gribel, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazonia and Instituto de Pesquisas Jardim Botanico do Rio de Janeiro.

New study says Amazon trees survived warm periods in the past
By the University of Michigan news service

A new genetic analysis has revealed that many Amazon tree species are likely to survive climate warming in the coming century, contrary to previous findings that temperature increases would cause them to die out.

However, the authors of the new study warn that extreme drought and forest fires will impact Amazonia as temperatures rise, and the over-exploitation of the region’s resources continues to be a major threat to its future. Conservation policy for the Amazon should remain focused on reducing global greenhouse-gas emissions and preventing deforestation, they said.

The study by University of Michigan evolutionary biologist Christopher Dick and his colleagues demonstrates the surprising age of some Amazonian tree species – more than 8 million years – and thereby shows that they have survived previous periods as warm as many of the global warming scenarios forecast for the year 2100.

The paper is scheduled for online publication in the journal Ecology and Evolution. The new study is at odds with earlier papers, based on ecological niche-modeling scenarios, which predicted tree species extinctions in response to relatively small increases in global average air temperatures.

“Our paper provides evidence that common Amazon tree species endured climates warmer than the present, implying that – in the absence of other major environmental changes – they could tolerate near-term future warming under climate change,” said Dick, an associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Michigan.

But study co-author Simon Lewis of University College London and the University of Leeds cautioned that “the past cannot be compared directly with the future.”

“While tree species seem likely to tolerate higher air temperatures than today, the Amazon forest is being converted for agriculture and mining, and what remains is being degraded by logging and increasingly fragmented by fields and roads,” Lewis said. “Species will not move as freely in today’s Amazon as they did in previous warm periods, when there was no human influence. Similarly, today’s climate change is extremely fast, making comparisons with the past difficult.

“With a clearer understanding of the relative risks to the Amazon forest, we conclude that direct human impacts, such as forest clearance for agriculture or mining, should remain a focus of conservation policy,” Lewis said. “We also need more aggressive action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to minimize the risk of drought and fire impacts to secure the future of most Amazon tree species.”

Dick and his colleagues used a molecular clock approach to determine the ages of 12 widespread Amazon tree species, including the kapok and the balsa. Then they looked at climatic events that have occurred since those tree species emerged. In general, they inferred that the older the age of the tree species, the warmer the climate it has previously survived.

The researchers determined that nine of the tree species have
fragment
Photo by Christopher Dick, University of Michigan.
 A small fragment of mature Amazon forest is surrounded
 by agricultural land in Manaus, Brazil. Fragmentation may
 prevent tree populations from migrating to suitable habitats
 in response to climate change.

been around for at least 2.6 million years, seven have been present for at least 5.6 million years, and three have existed in the Amazon for more than 8 million years.

“These are surprisingly old ages,” Dick said. “Previous studies have suggested that a majority of Amazon tree species may have originated during the Quaternary Period, from 2.6 million years ago to the present.”

Air temperatures across Amazonia in the early Pliocene Epoch (3.6 million to 5 million years ago) were similar to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projections for the region in 2100 using moderate carbon-emission scenarios. Air temperatures in the late Miocene Epoch (5.3 to 11.5 million years ago) were about the same as panel projections for the region in 2100 using the highest carbon-emission scenarios.

The 12 tree species used in the study are broadly representative of the Amazon tree flora.  Primary forest collection sites were in central Panamá, western Ecuador and Amazonian Ecuador. Additional collections were made in Brazil, Peru, French Guiana and Bolivia. Other plant samples were obtained from herbarium specimens.

“The most lasting finding of our study may be the discovery of ancient geographic variation within widespread species, indicating that many rain forest tree species were widely distributed before the major uplift of the northern Andes,” said co-author Eldredge Bermingham of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.

To determine the age of each tree species, the researchers extracted and sequenced DNA from plant samples, then looked at the number of genetic mutations contained in those sequences. Using a molecular clock approach and population genetic models, they estimated how long it would take for each of the tree populations to accumulate the observed number of mutations, which provided a minimum age for each species.



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Medical
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Connecticut shooting again
puts gun control on the table


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Friday's mass shooting in a Connecticut elementary school has again sparked a national discussion about gun control.  While arms possession enjoys constitutional protection premised on the need to protect the security of a free state, thousands of Americans die every year because of gun violence.

Authorities say the weapons used in the Newtown shooting were legally registered to Nancy Lanza, the mother of the gunman, Adam Lanza.  She was the first of 27 victims of the shootings.

Newtown native Dan Snyder, a college student, says he was opposed to tighter gun regulation, until Friday.

“I’m still not totally for 100-percent gun control.  I just think it should not be as easy.  I can definitely see situations if someone had a gun, it could benefit the situation," he said.

The only American adults prohibited from possessing weapons are convicted criminals and those judged mentally incompetent.  But even they have little problem obtaining a firearm.  Gun-control advocates call for tighter enforcement of existing gun laws. Opponents call for tighter restriction on gun possession.

Meanwhile, mass shootings continue, a fact President Barack Obama mentioned in his response to Friday’s killings in Newtown. “And we're going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics," he said.

Newtown is the headquarters of the National Sports Shooting Foundation, a gun advocacy organization.  It says for it to comment on the local killings would be inappropriate at this time “out of respect for the families, the community and the ongoing police investigation.”

But even as bullet-riddled bodies of 6- and 7 year-old children in Newtown are driven away in refrigerated trucks, not everyone here backs the idea of government arms regulation.  Joseph Clough, a self-described Christian Evangelist, says when it comes to guns, individuals must control themselves.

“We have freedom here, we have our own will and choice.  A lot of people say, ‘if God is real, why does all this happen?’  Well, God created us with our own wills, because He’s not someone who controls or manipulates, so I’m not for controlling or manipulation," he said.


Flesh-eating fungus invades
humans during disasters


By the Translational Genomics Research Institute
news service

A fast-growing, flesh-eating fungus killed five people following a massive tornado that devastated Joplin, Missouri, according to two new studies based on genomic sequencing by the Translational Genomics Research Institute and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Health officials should be aware of infections caused by the fungus Apophysomyces, according to the studies, which tracked 13 people infected by the pathogen during the Class EF-5 tornado — the most powerful category — whose 200-plus mph winds plowed through Joplin on May 22, 2011, initially killing 160 and injuring more than 1,000.

The common fungus — which lives in soil, wood or water — usually has no effect on people. But once it is introduced deep into the body through a blunt trauma puncture wound, it can grow quickly if the proper medical response is not immediate, the studies said. Five of the 13 people infected through injuries suffered during the Joplin tornado died within two weeks.

“Increased awareness of fungi as a cause of necrotizing soft-tissue infections after a natural disaster is warranted … since early treatment may improve outcomes,” concluded one study published Dec. 6 in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Using whole genome sequencing, which decoded the billions of chemical letters in the fungus’ DNA, Translational Genomics scientists concluded that the Joplin infections represented the largest documented cluster of Apophysomyces infections, according to a study published Nov. 27 in the journal PLOS One.

“This is one of the most severe fungal infections that anyone’s ever seen,” said David Engelthaler, director of programs and operations for Translational Genomics' Pathogen Genomics Division. Engelthaler was the senior author of the PLOS One study, and a contributing author of the NEJM study.

“We’re able to apply the latest in science and technology to explore these strange and dangerous pathogens, like we’ve never been able to before,” said Engelthaler, adding that this is the latest in a series of collaborations between the Centers and his firm. “This is the first peek into the genome of this dangerous fungus.”

Benjamin Park, chief of the Epidemiology Team at the Center’s Mycotic Diseases Branch, said the victims were infected when their injuries from the tornado were contaminated with debris from the storm, including gravel, wood and soil, as well as the aerosolized fungus.

Without the multiple and deep wounds caused by the storm, cases involving fungal infection are rare, said Park, the senior author of the New England Journal study and a contributing author of the PLOS One study. “A typical hospital might normally see one case in a year.”

Engelthaler said Apophysomyces infections rapidly ravage the body, quickly sealing off capillaries, shutting off the blood supply and leaving tissue to rot. Physicians try to get ahead of the infection by surgically removing sections of dead, damaged or infected tissue, a process called debridement.

For example, Engelthaler said, one victim who suffered a deep wound to the upper right chest required a new titanium rib cage after the fungus rapidly destroyed skin and bones.

“It’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen before,” said Engelthaler, a former State of Arizona epidemiologist and former Arizona biodefense coordinator. “It’s unreal. It looks like there is no way this person can be alive.”
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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, Vol. 12, No. 250
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Latin America news
Party of Hugo Chávez takes
20 of 23 state governorships


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

The allies of cancer-stricken Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez have won a sweeping victory in the nation's gubernatorial elections. Venezuela's election council says the ruling party won 20 of the 23 states in Sunday's elections.

However, Henrique Capriles, the opposition candidate in the recent presidential election won by Chávez, was able to retain his post as governor of Miranda state.  His win positions him as the opposition's most likely candidate-in-waiting if Mr. Chavez's ill health forces him to step aside.

The 53 percent voter turnout for Sunday's elections was considerably lower than the recent presidential election.

President Chávez, who was re-elected in October, has said Vice President Nicolas Maduro would take over if the president is incapacitated.  The president has urged his supporters to vote for Maduro if a presidential election is held.  The president's departure would trigger an election within 30 days.

Few medical details about the president's cancer have been released. He has had tumors removed from his pelvic region and has had chemotherapy and radiation treatments. The president has never disclosed the type or severity of the cancer.

President Chávez is scheduled to be sworn in for a new six-year term Jan. 10.  He has been in office since 1999.

Australian study shows coral
can resist ocean acidification

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

New Australian research shows coral reefs are more resistant to ocean acidification than first thought.  Scientists have been concerned that coral is vulnerable when carbon levels in the atmosphere rise, along with the acidity of the ocean.  But an Australian National University study on the Great Barrier Reef suggests otherwise.

Amid the threat to reefs from the effects of climate change, pollution and overfishing, Australian researchers have found some rare good news.
 
A team at the Australia National University in Canberra has been investigating coralline algae, which are plants that act like a glue to bind coral.  One useful analogy is that the algae are the cement, while the coral are the bricks that comprise a reef system. A new study has found that dolomite, a carbonate mineral, helps to protect reefs from rising ocean acidity, which is caused by the absorption of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
 
Lead author Merinda Nash, a doctoral student, says it is an important discovery.

“There was a lot of concern that the coralline algae, which plays a key role in building the reef and binding corals together, that this would be the first thing to dissolve as CO2 went up and that that would impact the reef structure," she said. "So we found that this presence of dolomite actually reduced the dissolution rate significantly to about one tenth the rate of the algae without the dolomite, so that's quite good news.”
 
Many scientists believe that carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels are making the oceans more acidic.
 
Coral reefs are home to hundreds of fish, sea stars, crabs and marine worms, as well as a wondrous array of other animals and shellfish.








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San José, Costa Rica, Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, Vol. 12, No. 250
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World has 200 million migrants

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

This Tuesday, the United Nations and countries around the world will mark International Migrants Day, an event established a dozen years ago to acknowledge the contributions made by economic migrants.

People have always been on the move in search of a better life.  Today, it’s estimated that more than 200 million people worldwide are working in foreign lands, hoping for a future they couldn’t find at home.  And the numbers are growing each year.

Experts who study this mass migration are working to convince governments that, given the right policies, they have much to gain – whether they are the country migrants that are leaving or the one that is their destination.

But there are still societal roadblocks fueled by false assumptions about migrants that prevent the free flow of international migration.  Among them are persistent beliefs that migrants are a burden on host nations, even dangerous.
 
To the contrary, overwhelming evidence indicates migrants make vast contributions – not only to their host nations, but to their home countries as well.

“Immigration can be a force for good for individuals as well as countries of origin, transit and destination,” said U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in commemorating International Migrants Day last year.

Dovelyn Rannveig Agunias also delivers this message to governments in her work with Newland at the Migration Policy Institute.  She came to her calling through personal experience.

Growing up in the Philippines, the Agunias family had to make a tough decision every migrant has considered.

“As a little girl, my mom came and told us that, because my father was too sick to work, she would have to get a better paying job,” Ms. Agunias said.
 
Although her mother already had a job as a nurse, “She wanted the family to consider allowing her to move to Iceland, where she could make as much as the president of the Philippines,” said Ms. Agunias.

Although the plan was sold as a family decision, Ms. Agunias says what was unspoken is that decision had already been made.  It was the only way the family was going to have the financial means to continue.

The thought of leaving home is never a first option for migrants.  It is a last resort.  In her case, however, Ms. Agunias found it would lead to opportunities in her life she had never expected.

“Years later, when I was old enough to work, I went to Iceland myself.  I worked in a factory and as a domestic worker,” she explained.  “And the money I made allowed me to return to the Philippines and enroll in college.”
 
In its 2011 report on the benefits of entrepreneurial spirit of migrants coming to the United States, the Partnership for a New American Economy found more than 40 percent of the top U.S. companies were founded by immigrants or their children.  The list includes some well-known brands -- Apple, Google, AT&T, eBay, General Electric, IBM, and McDonalds to name just a few.

Immigrants are also behind the success of one of America’s most important industries. A recent analysis of census data in California’s Silicon Valley found Asians comprise half of the workforce in the high-tech region.

Wanting to get ahead in life is a common drive for people around the world.  That drive, and the resulting emigration to foreign countries in search of a better life, has contributed to a world that is increasingly multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-lingual.

The challenges migrants face in their new countries are formidable.  Chief among them are racism, xenophobia and discrimination. There are examples of discrimination, mistreatment and exploitation of migrants reported from every corner of the world:


India reflects on Ravi Shankar legacy

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

As India reflects on the legacy of sitar artist Ravi Shankar, who died on Tuesday in the United States, many are recalling what he meant for the country. The iconic musician, who carried Indian classical music to the West, has been called India’s greatest cultural ambassador.   
 
Sounds from the multi-stringed instrument called the sitar helped Shankar captivate audiences across the globe. At the same time, the celebrated composer and musician raised India’s profile in Western countries. Lalit Mansingh, a former Indian ambassador to the United States, says he projected the country on the global stage in the 1960's and 70's when there were not too many people willing to bet on India. 
 
“Remember, it was not very long after independence, India’s democracy was still an experiment, its economy was in shambles, and India in the west was routinely described as a black hole or a basket case," he recalls. "What Ravi Shankar did was to project the idea of India as a country that is rich in culture and which had a future. In that sense, the changeover in India’s image was largely due to people like Ravi Shankar and others like him, who contrasted India’s present poverty with its past richness and its future promises.” 

Ravi Shankar began playing in the West after receiving rigorous and traditional training in India. But he broke the mold as he experimented with fusions of Indian themes with Western classical and jazz styles. And as he played with top rock bands in the West, he helped close the musical gap between distinct cultures. 
 
As he shot to fame in the West, he was showered with accolades at home. He was a member of the Upper House of Parliament from 1986 to 1992. He was given India’s top civilian award, the Bharat Ratna in 1999. Ravi Shankar composed the music for India’s favorite patriotic song and the signature tunes of India’s state owned broadcaster. He also composed some Bollywood film music.
 
But more than anything, his huge international success helped shake the dust off India’s 5,000-year-old heritage and classical art in the eyes of the world.    
 
An Indian playback singer, Babul Supriyo, says he gave rock star status to Indian classical music.   
 
“It is the charisma, the fame, the aura that he brought into classical music that is important for me," he says. "What Ravi Shankar did -- bring that glamour aspect which was kind of missing. That flamboyance, that élan that Ravi Shankar brought into classical music was one of the reasons why he got so well accepted.”
 
Lalit Mansingh, who knew Ravi Shankar for more than five decades, says he was born with an ability to communicate to people across the world. He says, the musician, also known as Panditji had an “amazing personality.”
 
“Very outgoing, very optimistic. He had this sense of enthusiasm, sense of curiosity…he would have views on everything, and it was always with a light touch," Mansingh says. "He would always enliven any meeting with his sense of humor and descriptions of his experiences and so on. The nice thing about Panditji is, he never started by saying what is in it for me, how much money are you giving me.”
 
In India, Ravi Shankar, will be remembered not just as one of the world’s greatest musicians, but also as its most famous musical son.

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