Sunday School for Hindus

Sunday school is religious education for kids. The vast majority of churches have these programs during Sunday morning services so that’s where the name comes from. As Brad and I await the birth of our son, we are thinking about religious education for his future. There are various Hindu programs in America to choose from.

Chinmaya Mission Balvihar 

Using fun activities to teach Hindu values. Chinmaya Mission’s founder says children are not empty vessels to be filled but lamps to be lit. Chinmaya is known as a welcoming place for non-Indian Hindus, though they are still the minority.

SSE (Sai Spiritual Education)

At our bhajan group the kids spend part of the service in SSE classes. A couple times a year they give presentations and do skits to show what they are learning, and it seems like a valuable program. While there are a few other non-Indian Hindus who attend, the others are all older and there are no kids who are not of Indian ethnicity at the moment.

Sri Shiva Vishnu Temple Aakaar 

This happens to be the large temple near us but many temples have activities and programs for kids. Ours seems to be focused on learning shlokas and puranas as well as community service.

Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh Balagokulams (HSS)

Using games and lessons to instill knowledge of Hindu culture and history.

https://images.unsplash.com/photo-1447760912502-6aa102d373c2 Photo by Istiaque Emon
https://images.unsplash.com/photo-1447760912502-6aa102d373c2 Photo by Istiaque Emon

The next step for us is to find out if there are costs associated with this programs and also if there are waiting lists to get on!

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There are also summer camp options for Hindu kids…

Hindu Heritage Summer Camp 

An opportunity for Hindu kids growing up in the west to learn about and explore their great heritage and spiritual traditions. Affiliated with HSS.

Hindu Student Council 

This one seems to be for college and graduate school students. Their website emphasizes diversity and specifically says that people of any national origin are welcome.

Chinmaya

They also have camps

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This article raises some points of why “sunday school” for Hindus may not work and things to watch out for: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/26/parents-teach-hinduism-own-hands_n_1547275.html

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  • Aizlyne

    What I long for actually is “Sunday School” for Hindu adults. Lots of Christian churches (and Jewesh synagogues ) offer religious education for adults that are in the process of adopting their new faith. I wish something similar were available for Hindu adults. I know the Himalaya Academy offers a distance course but it would be nice if local temples in the US offered more extensive education for adults. I understand some of the reasons why it isn’t, but still. A girl can dream. 😉

    • Kumar

      Agreed. There are very few institutional mechanisms to learn about Hinduism. Most of the efforts that I know of in the States are simple book-club type of self-organized schools.

    • Kirran

      Also, the Himalayan Academy’s distance course is, quite fairly, very specific to their own understanding of Advaita Shaiva Siddhanta – may not work for many other people!

    • DudeFromDC

      Actually there is.. Chinmaya (Northern Virginia) offers classes for adults and kids and its pretty fairly priced(charged by family). I know many who attend the classes and they all seem to be satisfied. I want to attend too but my daughter is only 6. I believe these classes can be pretty overwhelming and confusing for kids of that age.

  • Vivek Vikram

    as far as i know lot of temples in new jersey have some programs all the time. If they don’t have one and if you want them to start it, just tell them. Again no Indian hindu, Non Indian hindu stuff here. all are same. Don’t let it become a stigma please.