Being a Hindu, Being an Ambassador for Hinduism

We live amid challenging times, where ignorance about your neighbor can lead to not just “otherizing” someone you don’t know, but also to violence -  violence that stems from fear and distrust of someone whose beliefs and practices seem alien and in opposition to your own. When I moved to Michigan nearly two decades ago, I was one of a handful of people “farmed out” to be a speaker when the meager office staff received a call asking for a Hindu representative, from schools, colleges and other gro … [Read more...]


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The Who, What and Why of WISDOM – Part 3

As explained in the prior two posts, three of us from WISDOM - a Catholic, a Hindu and a Muslim - came together with the NACCC organizers to present about this interfaith women's organization here in Metro-Detroit. I took the role of speaking to the reason why I continue to serve on WISDOM's Advisory Board, amidst my often over-extended civic commitments. A Board member of both the Hindu American Foundation, a national civil and human rights advocacy organization promoting pluralism and mutual … [Read more...]


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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...]


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Diwali Proclamations in My Hometown

Diwali is a time of love and laughter, family and friends, fun and foods that delight - it is the Festival of Lights, marking the return of an exiled prince, returning home to be King, with a path of clay diyas, that provide him the path to his kingdom and family of devoted subjects. At our local temple in Troy, MI, we mark the holiday with a cultural and social function on the weekend either before or after the holy day itself, which falls on Nov. 11 this year. At my various workplaces, I have … [Read more...]


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The Pope’s Caritas: Evocative of a Hindu’s Karuna

Editors' Note: This article is part of the Patheos Public Square on the Pope in America: Implications, Collaborations, Challenges. Read other perspectives here.A child of immigrants, I grew up with a Catholic “uncle” - a foreign student from Southern India like my parents. He and my father were colleagues in the English department at a university in New York.  “Uncle Ralph,” my father would always say, “is a ‘small c’ catholic” - and to this day, I have not seen otherwise: he is as the defini … [Read more...]


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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...]


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