Americans across the country observe October as Hindu Heritage Month, with more than 20 of the 50 states and more than 40 cities issuing proclamations on it, community leaders said Monday.
The first-ever initiative by Hindu groups in the country was hailed by elected officials who issued proclamations and notifications to recognize the contributions of this minority community to the United States.
Hindus around the world celebrate Navratri, Dussehra, Durga Puja, and Diwali around October. Therefore, this month has been considered by several US-based Hindu organizations as Hindu Heritage Month, according to a press release.
From yoga to food, festivities to charity, dances to music, and nonviolence to deep philosophy, a Hindu path has touched all walks of life in the United States. The Hindu community is celebrating this month in all of these forms which uniquely identify with the Hindu community, he said.
Among the states that have issued these notifications are Texas, Ohio, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Georgia, Florida, Minnesota, Virginia, Nevada, Mississippi, Delaware, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Missouri, Indiana and Michigan.
Troy in Michigan, Irvine in California, Portland in Oregon, and Irving and Houston in Texas are some of the cities to recognize October as Hindu Heritage Month. For American leaders across the country, the contribution of the ancient Hindu way and, more importantly, the active role of Hindus in American society deserved to be appreciated and praised, the statement said.
While US Congressman Troy Balderson acknowledged the resilience of the American Hindu community in his letter of recognition, Congressman Raja Krishnamurthy called Hinduism a “particularly pluralistic religion.”
The Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Charlie Baker, said the vibrant Hindu community contributes immensely to “the vitality of the Commonwealth …”
In addition to recognizing Diwali and the contribution of Hindus, the city of Troy, Michigan also recognized community-led charity during the festival.
A Hindu leader, Bindu Patel, thanked the town of Irving for appreciating the community and supporting Hindu Heritage Month activities. She said that the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) works with the local interfaith community and celebrates Diwali as âSewa Diwali food driveâ with a spirit of giving back to society.
HSS volunteer Rajender Sandadi of Troy, Michigan accepted the proclamation during a town hall meeting with community representatives. He thanked the city for inclusion in the action and for appreciating the contribution of Hindu society.
âThis year, Diwali falls on the first week of November. Therefore, Hindu Heritage Month is naturally expected to be extended by a few more weeks in its celebrations and giving spirit,â the statement said.
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