Baby Shower And/Or Seemantham: Bundle of Hope and Joy

It is indeed special to celebrate the start of a new year, and the new beginnings associated with it, but it is even more special when the first few days of the year includes celebrating the arrival of a new baby. The Hindu life sacrament known in Sanskrit as Simantonnayana with the literal meaning “parting of the hair,” has evolved into a baby shower, to both welcome a new baby into the family and celebrate the expectant mother. Hindus, particularly those from southern India where my ancestors h … [Read more...]

Hindu Studies: An Education in Religious Studies and Bias

I was pleased to start the new year off with information about how, in pre-colonial India, Hindu temples were premier educational institutions. January also reminded me of my own pursuit of Hindu studies: several years ago, I wanted to enroll in a Hindu studies program at a local college, and found there are no such classes in our region - especially not one solely focused on Hinduism, and especially not taught by a practicing Hindu. I enrolled at Ecumenical Theological Seminary - but due to … [Read more...]

The Reality of Santa Claus: Imagine Joy this Holiday Season

Christmas is a time when those of us who are not Christian also get to participate in the festive season - especially because schools and businesses alike give time off.  Over the past several years, I have enjoyed how the automotive industry in my home of metro-Detroit has given me the opportunity to enjoy the season with its shut-down from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day.  Many of us are able to take vacations, enjoy time with friends and family, and even celebrate Christmas, with all the glor … [Read more...]

Practicing Pluralism & Protecting Religious Freedom

Both Rev. Dana Trent, author of Saffron Cross, and Alicia Chandler, co-founder  of AJC Access Detroit, recently posted pieces exemplifying pluralism, through respective discussions on interfaith marriage and raising multi-faith children.Their practice of pluralism is possible because they are in settings where there is mutual respect  for another’s religious path. Pluralism and religious freedom can go hand in hand when conditions promote an open and fair exchange of ideas: there really is a choi … [Read more...]

The Future of Hinduism in America: Publicly Engaging Pluralism for Peace

Editors’ Note: This article is part of the Patheos Public Square on the Future of Faith in America: Eastern Religions. Read other perspectives here. When I last wrote about the Future of Hinduism, I had become a voice for the Hindu community in interfaith relations, as co-founder of both the local interfaith group in Michigan’s most Asian American cities and the Outreach Committee of one of Michigan’s oldest and largest Hindu temples. Because of my interest in the way that Hinduism i … [Read more...]

On International Day of Yoga, a Trip Down Memory Lane: The HAF Take Back Yoga Project

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Namaste. International Yoga Day is today, and to celebrate, Suhag & Aseem Shukla, and Sheetal Shah, of the Hindu American Foundation embarked on a trip down memory lane.  Over four days, they have shared the story of HAF’s Take Back Yoga Project (TBY).  What started as a simple letter to the editor expressing frustration over the hyper-fixation on the physical aspects of yoga and a delinking of yoga from its Hindu roots, ultimately spurred an unprecedented global conversation acknowledging th … [Read more...]


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