iNDICA NEWS BUREAU-
The talk of having a Hindu Heritage Month in the US has been going on for a while, with many Hindu-based organizations of Sikh, Buddhist and Jain traditions coming together to make it happen.
Now along with support of several key figures of the Indian American community, the month of October has been designated as “Hindu Heritage Month.”
As one of the main figures to make this happen was the Indian-American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi. He said that Hindu Americans are guided by Swami Vivekananda’s call to service and respect for all religions and all people.
“Madam Speaker, I know all Americans of goodwill share these beliefs, and today I would like to celebrate the work of the Hindu faithful in building bridges of understanding between all Americans, for their important contributions to our economy and our cultural and civic life, and for the part they play in creating our wonderful and distinctively diverse American experience,” Krishnamoorthi, who represents the 8th Congressional District of Illinois, said on the floor of the House of Representatives.
The celebration of Hindu Heritage Month will be a showcase for the diversity that is so fundamental to Hindu civilization, said a press release, adding that each participating organization will decide the manner as well as the schedule of their events.
Celebrations can take many forms: cultural programs, fashion shows, webinars, multi-day conferences, walkathons and more. Some events may be conducted in-person but the majority will be virtual, given the Covid-19 situation.
“The 8th Congressional District is home to many followers of this uniquely pluralistic religion, and I wish to celebrate the Hindu community’s valuable contributions to my district and to our state and country,” he said.
“I believe this acknowledgment is especially timely, given the disturbing rise of prejudice and racism in this country, including Hinduphobia as manifested in hateful speech and violent acts perpetrated against Indian-Americans and Hindu houses of worship,” Krishnamoorthi said.
He said the Hindu religion dates back millennia and has profoundly influenced both ancient and modern cultures.
Participation is open to all organizations, businesses and individuals that identify with the sanatana (everlasting) values embodied in Hindu dharma, said the release, adding that more than 30 organizations have already joined hands in this celebration of our shared heritage.
Mission Bindi and the Hindu Student Council are the first organizations to announce their first event for Hindu Heritage Month. They will be observing “World Bindi Day” on the first day of Navratri, Oct. 7, 2021.
“Its message of religious tolerance, non-violence, and the universality of the human experience was introduced to this country in 1893 by Swami Vivekananda in his landmark address at the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago, Illinois,” he said.
“Swami Vivekananda’s words of peace and his emphasis on self-perfection and service to others sparked interest in the Hindu faith and contributed to the growth of Hinduism in the United States. His spiritual understanding had a profound influence on one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century, Mahatma Gandhi, who in turn inspired the important work of one of our nation’s most revered leaders, Martin Luther King, Jr., to advance the cause of civil rights in the United States,” Krishnamoorthi said.
Krishnamoorthi, who represents the 8th Congressional District of the state of Illinois, said on the floor of the House of Representatives: “Madam Speaker, I know all Americans of goodwill share these beliefs, and today I would like to celebrate the work of the Hindu faithful in building bridges of understanding between all Americans, for their important contributions to our economy and our cultural and civic life, and for the part they play in creating our wonderful and distinctively diverse American experience.”