Happy Ugadi – A Hindu New Year for a Telugu from Troy

While Diwali marks the beginning of the new year for some Hindus, here in my hometown of Troy, most Hindus will celebrate the start of the Vedic New Year on Ugadi. Troy, MI is unique for its diversity, with one in four people born in another country, and our most spoken foreign language being Telugu - which is also my mother tongue. Telugu is the language of people originating from the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and the newest Indian state of Telengana. Telugu people follow the chandramana o … [Read more...]


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Hindus in Hijabs or Showing Solidarity in Saris?

I recently watched a video of Hindu- and South Asian American activists showing their support for our Muslim American sisters by wearing hijabs and leading a protest against Islamophobia with strident voices. I was peeved and perhaps even perturbed: it’s an issue that has long sat on my mind, but the images pushed me to find my own voice, to think about attire, and specifically the parallels - or the lack there of - between a sari and a hijab. Donning a sari and the associated red bindi on one's … [Read more...]


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Embracing a Hindu Life: Finding My Way Home (Part 2)

In my last blog post, I shared the beginning of Fred Stella’s journey to becoming a Hindu. Here we continue to travel with him, as he moves across the state of Michigan, goes deeper into Self-Realization, and into the heart of the Hindu community as Pracharak or spokesperson for the Western Michigan Hindu Temple. (Note: This essay appeared earlier in MyInd.net.) This is second part of Fred's story to embracing Hinduism, finding his way home. In my previous contribution we left off with my 15 … [Read more...]


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Embracing a Hindu Life: One Journey to Becoming Hindu (Part 1)

I learned in conversation with Hindu American Foundation colleague, Fred Stella, how he came to embrace a Hindu way of life. His journey started in his teenage years, and has led him to be Pracharak (“outreach spokesperson”) for the Western Michigan Hindu temple – and an articulate Hindu whose interfaith advocacy I have valued for years. His story is so compelling that I thought it appropriate to share here. (Note: This appeared earlier MyInd)One thing I really don’t like being is cliché. I t … [Read more...]


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Purushartha: Pursuing the Four Goals of a Human Life

My focus on doing the right thing(s) means that these days, my Facebook notifications and my newsfeed are filled to the brim with all of the things I should read, attend, sign on to, donate to and just do.  Sometimes its hard to know what to do, since the competing priorities of family, work and community responsibilities all can make you crazy with how much there is to accomplish. Turning to the Hindu ideals of human life helps simplify what to put on my plate, and how I should do it all, with b … [Read more...]


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A Holiday Season to Give the Gift of Listening

Modern Woman magazine’s issue ran an article entitled "Peace on Earth," on how interfaith families celebrate the December holiday season.  In it, journalist Oona Goodin-Smith quoted me, drawing from the interview she did on my interfaith activism in metro-Detroit: In the Hindu faith, we have a saying: ‘The truth is one, the wise call it by many names.’ I think it's very applicable, learning more and embracing others’ truth, especially around holiday celebration. The idea of embracing each othe … [Read more...]


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