October To Be Celebrated as Hindu Heritage Month in the US
While organisations gear up for celebration, Congressman Krishnamoorthi calls all Americans to bridge gaps.
Indian Americans in the United States (US) are all set to celebrate the month of October as Hindu Heritage Month.
October, the month of Gandhi's birth and the month in which Diwali usually falls, had always been celebratory for Hindu Americans. The Hindu American Foundation has been the lead supporter of the California resolution recognising October as Hindu American Awareness and Appreciation Month.
This year onwards, October is being honoured as Hindu Heritage Month. Hindus in the US are celebrating October as the Hindu Heritage Month. So far, more than half a dozen states have issued proclamations in this regard, PTI reported.
Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi took the floor in the House of Representatives to "recognise" such a celebration.
In his speech, the Congressman mentioned that the Hindu faith dates back to millennia and emphasised the need to acknowledge the contribution of the religion on modern way of living and the important role of people of this faith to the American life and development.
"Hindus in the United States include physicians, lawyers, scientists, economists, philosophers, artists, academics, business leaders, government officials and Members of Congress," he said.
"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."Raja Krishnamoorthi in the House
In his address to the House, Krishnamoorthi also hailed Swami Vivekananda and his infamous Chicago address at the World Parliament of Religions. He said that Vivekananda introduced the country and world to the "message of religious tolerance, non-violence, and the universality of the human experience". He said that Hindus and Indian Americans are followers of Swami Vivekananda and that his "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".
This is important, he said, especially "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".
Today I rise to join the many Hindu faithful in the United States in recognising the month of October as Hindu heritage month.Raja Krishnamoorthi in the House
The president of the Hindu University of America, Kalyan Viswanathan, told India West, "The Hindu Heritage Month is a great opportunity for the Hindu community to remember our collective journey so far… Amidst the celebrations, I hope we can reflect on what it means to be Hindu in the modern world: whether it is just a matter of being of a certain ethnicity or we have something to say, something to contribute that may just be of immeasurable value to all of humanity."
(With inputs from the PTI and India West.)
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