White Hindu Conversations: Part Three

Car broke down Tuesday night. We got it pulled into a parking lot and I went into the Subway restaurant to wait for a tow. (It was a long wait, the weather here has been a bit intense, though it's much worse in other parts of the US).I ordered a veggie sub and then an Indian woman came out of the back. She wasn't directly serving me, but stood next to the girl who was and we kept smiling at each other. Finally when I was paying she got the courage to ask, "Are you Indian?""No," I said, … [Read more...]

What To Wear to a Hindu Temple


Whenever I talk about clothes, someone always mentions that Indian clothes are not the same as Hindu clothes. You don't have to wear a sari or a dhoti to be a Hindu. Which is true, of course.But it gets a little more complicated than that.Because Hinduism is so closely tied to India and became what it is within the backdrop of Indian culture, Indian clothes are pretty ubiquitous at temples. My experience has been that if I don't wear Indian clothes for worship, I feel like a tourist and … [Read more...]

Non-Desi Hindu: What I Look Like to Others

Our friend Andrea noticed an interesting thread on Reddit a while back and pointed it out to me. It's a group for American born Desis (people of south Asian heritage) and they are discussing how they feel about non-Desi Hindus (or other Indian religions).http://www.reddit.com/r/ABCDesis/comments/1tfva0/nondesis_practicing_desi_religions/I've said before, I feel like my experience most closely mirrors the experiences of American born Desis. I relate to them. I think they and I are working … [Read more...]

Reading the Upanishads: Kena Chapter Three


We are doing a scripture study together: reading along through some scriptures and discussing the passages. Today is the third post on the Kena Upanishad. The previous scripture was the Isha Upanishad (find all Scripture posts here)Here are a few different translations of the third section of the Kena Upanishad... Chapter III 1 Brahman, according to the story, obtained a victory for the gods; and by that victory of Brahman the gods became elated. They said to themselves: ‚ÄúVerily, this v … [Read more...]

Why Do Hindu Beliefs Vary Widely? [Google Questions Answered]

hindu worship

Curious to know what people were wondering about Hindus and Hinduism, I went to Google and entered some prompts. For example, I typed "Why do Hindus" and then paused to see what questions would come up. Today's Question is...Why Do Hindu Beliefs Vary Widely?Many religions have a clear history that's easy to trace. Many are founded by one person or inspired by one person. Hinduism is not like that.In ancient times there were simply beliefs and practices. The people in what is now … [Read more...]

I Am Not a Statistic


I'm just me. A single human being trying to make sense of the world that I find myself in.I can't speak for other Hindus or even other Advaitans. I have my understanding that makes sense to me, but all I can know is my own heart.There are times when I feel like groups want to claim me for their side, want me to espouse their philosophy, want to add me to their ledger book. But I'm not just a non-Indian Hindu. I'm one person who lives a Hindu life to the best of her ability.Even as I … [Read more...]

How to Explain Hinduism

From http://loveartandfear.com/2011/08/26/the-ismist/

It's sometimes hard for me to remember that Hinduism can seem extremely strange, foreign, or confusing to people who aren't familiar with it. Maybe they've heard the word, they know it's associated with India, but that's it.In America there are a lot of times when you find yourself in an interfaith dialog. People ask you what Hinduism is and you're at a loss to sum it up or people want to open a pathway to encouraging you to convert to their religion.What is Hinduism?It's a good idea … [Read more...]

When Is a Hat Just a Hat?


Okay, now that you know my deep dark secret, that I am terrifically fascinated with religious head covering, here's an interesting question...Where is the line between regular thing you would put on your head and a religious expression?I find that I have lines drawn in my mind, but I'm not sure that they are accurate or where exactly I have gotten the rules from. Example: hats are fine. We all wear hats in cold weather. Doesn't say anything about your religion. Hijabs are not okay. … [Read more...]

Confession: I’m Fascinated By Hijabs


Personally I don't feel that me dressing like a Hindu, behaving like a Hindu, and generally living like a Hindu is at all appropriative. I am a Hindu, so I think it's appropriate! Sure, there aren't particular clothes that are labeled as Hindu, but there are clearly clothes in which you fit in during Hindu worship and clothes in which you do not.I'll tell you what is entirely inappropriate of me. I covet some of the religious expressions of religions that are not my own!I'm reluctant to … [Read more...]