In Hindu Heritage Month, Hindu Americans seek to educate the public — and themselves

by | Oct 2, 2023 | Religion

(RNS) — When Hindu Heritage Month was held for the first time two years ago, its organizers hoped to educate their fellow Americans about the contributions Hindus have made in the world. Most could name yoga as a Hindu influence; some might bring up the holistic health practices of ayurveda. But since ancient times, Hindus have been pioneers in astronomy, architecture, mathematics and numerous other fields.“We have so much to be proud about, and we’ve been very modest in keeping it to ourselves,” said Ramya Ramakrishnan, community outreach director for the Hindu American Foundation, one of the sponsors of the month’s activities. “This is the way to tell people: ‘Look at what our faith has accomplished.’”
Now, the organizers of this third Hindu Heritage Month hope their movement will educate not only the wider public, but Hindu Americans themselves, about their faith’s growing profile in the United States.
“Thirty-five years ago, we didn’t have these organizations and institutions,” said author Rajiv Malhotra at the kickoff event for this year’s program, held in Monroe Township, New Jersey. The leaders of those that existed “were scared,” he said, “and stayed within the temples, but not out there the way we are today.”
Vijay Satnarine, the VP of education strategy for the Hindu American Foundation, said that there is work to be …

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