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Padma Kuppa
Columnist

Padma Kuppa is a Hindu American and community activist working for social justice and understanding. Born in India, she arrived in the U.S. to start kindergarten in 1970 on Long Island. Returning to India with her family in 1981, she finished high school and college while living in a mainstream Hindu culture. Returning to New York in 1988 as a foreign student, she, husband and their two children have made Troy, Michigan their home since 1998. She is a founding member of the Troy-area Interfaith Group, as well as the Bharatiya Temple's Outreach Committee. As a member of the Hindu American Foundation's Executive Council, she advocates on issues pertinent to Hindus in America. Her work with WISDOM, Women's Interfaith Solutions for Dialogue and Outreach in Detroit, exemplifies how forming friendships is the way to build peace and promote pluralism. Her faith has been strengthened and deepened through her personal experiences and struggles, while her interest and search for more knowledge and understanding of Hindu philosophy is a family tradition. Whether she works as IT project manager, writer, or diversity consultant, being a mom is the most important! You can also read her blog, A Balancing Act, at padmakuppa.blogspot.com. The views represented in this column are not a reflection of the views of any organization of which she is a part.

Works by Padma Kuppa
Both-And: A Guide to Raising Interfaith Kids
Padma Kuppa | June 20, 2012
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A Holiday Season to Give the Gift of Listening
Padma Kuppa | December 22, 2016
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Accepting an Inclusive Identity: On Being an...
Padma Kuppa | February 02, 2014
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Grieving as Arjuna Did
Padma Kuppa | December 20, 2012
How might a Hindu experience and share in the nation's grief in the wake of the tragedy......
Caroling for Change
Padma Kuppa | December 29, 2011
Holiday concerts are an opportunity to express our culture's heterogeneity....
More and more young people are growing up blending their American lifestyles with......
Shining Light on the Festival of Lights
Padma Kuppa | October 20, 2011
We all look the same in the dark. But it's better to shine light on our nation of......
The Gift of the Upanayanam
Padma Kuppa | June 08, 2011
A Hindu Bar Mitzvah? One mother considers her son's upcoming initiation into the study......
The Eternal Dharma and the Beloved Community
Padma Kuppa | January 26, 2012
Even when the work becomes uncomfortable, we stay the course of dharma, seeking to build......
Finding the Goddess Within: Protect Us From Fear
Padma Kuppa | October 01, 2017
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Wisdom from More Than One Guru
Padma Kuppa | February 05, 2017
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Call Me Hindu
Padma Kuppa | August 24, 2012
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Spiritual Open House
Padma Kuppa | July 25, 2012
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Absent Mother God of the West: A Review
Padma Kuppa | August 31, 2016
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Shining a Light on Autism
Padma Kuppa | April 23, 2016
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Passing on the Hindu Faith
Padma Kuppa | August 22, 2013
Being active in the temple community, along with what we have done outside the house of......
I do not apologize for opting for universalism over tribalism, and an affirmation of all......
Spiritual Open House
Padma Kuppa | July 25, 2012
The five day Vedic ritual "Prana Prathishta" fills new Hindu temples with life and......
Mother Bhumi: Hinduism and Creation
Padma Kuppa | April 13, 2011
As we approach Earth Day, I hope that more people choose to be wise than foolish: that......
Human Boundaries, Human Rights
Padma Kuppa | August 22, 2012
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Vote Your Conscience, Vote with Pluralism
Padma Kuppa | November 08, 2016
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Being a Hindu, Being an Ambassador for Hinduism
Padma Kuppa | August 01, 2016
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Protecting Pluralism by Protecting Thy Neighbor
Padma Kuppa | September 07, 2015
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Faith in the Public Square: Inclusive or Exclusive?
Padma Kuppa | November 27, 2013
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Books, Lies and Videotape: Wendy Doniger's...
Padma Kuppa | February 17, 2014
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Human Boundaries, Human Rights
Padma Kuppa | August 22, 2012
Hindu refugees, like all refugees, need advocates to protect basic human rights....
Advocacy Leads to New Opportunities
Padma Kuppa | May 23, 2012
For me, pluralism is a verb, like tolerate and understand....
While my political choices are reflective of my theological beliefs, I can safely say I......
Hoping to Move Beyond Intolerance
Padma Kuppa | August 08, 2012
The Hindu community stands in solidarity with their fellow Dharmic faith communities,......
Ending Violence Against Women
Padma Kuppa | January 09, 2013
Be it India or America, as the great Hindu monk Swami Vivekananda said, "The best......
The Real Way to Decorate a Christmas Tree
Padma Kuppa | December 15, 2011
What do dharma and decorating have in common?...
Angels and Apsaras: Common Ground?
Padma Kuppa | February 03, 2011
As I began to reflect and do research on the topic of angels in the Hindu tradition, I......
Religious Freedom, Violence, and Shanti
Padma Kuppa | May 11, 2011
We must do everything we are doing to continue to strive toward better understanding, a......
Call Me Hindu
Padma Kuppa | August 24, 2011
We are facing a new frontier as immigrants: identifying ourselves as and defining what......
My Hyphenated Hindu Identity
Padma Kuppa | October 09, 2011
Like many Americans who are people of faith, I contain multitudes. But I contain a few......
Looking at Animals but Seeing God
Padma Kuppa | June 22, 2011
In caring for animals, we should return to the Hindu principle of karma, where each......
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The Whole World Is One Family
Padma Kuppa | May 09, 2012
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The Hindu Story of Creation: Which One?
Padma Kuppa | April 20, 2016
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A Place at the Table
Padma Kuppa | December 01, 2011
When one considers representation of the human as divine, finding common ground when......
From Dalits to Divinity: A Hindu Solution
Padma Kuppa | January 20, 2011
Surely Martin Luther King, Jr., would have agreed with the Hindu American Foundation's......
How religious diversity became religious community at a recent interfaith gathering....
Can violence coexist with non-violence in our pursuit of dharma?...
Happy Holi!
Padma Kuppa | March 07, 2012
The pictures and memories my family has collected over the years as we "play" Holi are a......
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Will the Saptapadi Shape Our Marriages?
Padma Kuppa | June 06, 2012
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Ganesha Chaturdhi and the Start of the Academic Year
Padma Kuppa | September 05, 2016
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The Who, What and Why of WISDOM – Part 2
Padma Kuppa | June 28, 2016
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Daanam (and Seva) in December and Around the Year
Padma Kuppa | December 09, 2015
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A Hindu Prayer for Everyone: Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah
Padma Kuppa | September 25, 2015
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Freedom to Choose: Conversion to Hinduism
Padma Kuppa | March 31, 2015
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As long as evangelism is complicated by contexts of imbalance, we will continue to have......
Tiger Children on the Path of Dharma
Padma Kuppa | February 17, 2011
Amy Chua's Wall Street Journal article and the responses it generated had me examining......
Caste is not a Hindu problem, it's an Indian problem. The solution, however, may lie in......
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The Story of God: The Proof is in Pluralism
Padma Kuppa | January 30, 2017
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Hoping to Move Beyond Intolerance
Padma Kuppa | August 08, 2012
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Celebrating Earth with Non-Violence
Padma Kuppa | April 25, 2012
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Creating Goodness Out of Loss
Padma Kuppa | September 23, 2012
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Advocacy Leads to New Opportunities
Padma Kuppa | May 23, 2012
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The Who, What and Why of WISDOM - Part 3
Padma Kuppa | July 01, 2016
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Ending Violence with Guns
Padma Kuppa | February 21, 2013
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Glimmers of Hope
Padma Kuppa | April 11, 2012
When I read about conversion on the other side of the world, and the lack of balance and......
Both-And: A Guide to Raising Interfaith Kids
Padma Kuppa | June 20, 2012
An "either or" approach is very black and white and doesn't easily allow for a colorful,......
From Abhimanyu to Kashmir
Padma Kuppa | November 02, 2011
Abhimanyu, a hero of the Mahabharata, willingly goes into battle and thus symbolizes......
Albus and Harry, Guru and Sishya
Padma Kuppa | July 27, 2011
The final question Harry poses Dumbledore, and Dumbledore's brilliant answer, is a......
This March, may Hindus and Christians, as they go on their similar yet different......
Keeping Our Eyes on Those in Need
Padma Kuppa | February 09, 2012
Self-restraint, charity, and mercy -- three virtues that should govern our......
The Story of God: Seeking Heaven on Earth
Padma Kuppa | January 22, 2017
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A Hindu's Practice: Education, Meditation and...
Padma Kuppa | February 11, 2017
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From Sacred Space to Hindu Community
Padma Kuppa | October 31, 2012
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Diwali's Invitation to Transcend Differences
Padma Kuppa | November 13, 2012
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A Summer of Advocacy: an HAF Intern's Story
Padma Kuppa | September 11, 2016
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The Who, What and Why of WISDOM - Part 1
Padma Kuppa | June 26, 2016
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Diwali Proclamations in My Hometown
Padma Kuppa | November 11, 2015
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The Pope's Caritas: Evocative of a Hindu's Karuna
Padma Kuppa | September 15, 2015
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Race, Religion & Human RIghts
Padma Kuppa | August 30, 2014
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Avoiding Rock Bottom by Advocating for Peace
Padma Kuppa | September 08, 2013
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Ending Violence Against Women
Padma Kuppa | January 09, 2013
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When Hindus tie the knot, it's not just a ceremony. Instead, it's a life sacrament, and......
The Whole World Is One Family
Padma Kuppa | May 09, 2012
Real interfaith conversations can make us better at the faith we practice....
Creating Goodness Out of Loss
Padma Kuppa | September 23, 2012
We have a vision of a beloved community, and must strive toward it. We each have a......
Diwali's Invitation to Transcend Differences
Padma Kuppa | November 13, 2012
Diwali celebrates the victory of good over evil, a victory of recognizing the divinity......
Celebrating Earth with Non-Violence
Padma Kuppa | April 25, 2012
Vegetarianism is ahimsa in action, toward animals and the environment, and such ethical......
Communion and the Human Community
Padma Kuppa | January 06, 2011
Being Hindu is appreciating and embracing all ways of belief, even as it makes you......
We Are All Outsiders Looking In
Padma Kuppa | May 25, 2011
The diversity of life and experience, faith and culture, suggests that we are always in......
Becoming American: A Balancing Act
Padma Kuppa | September 21, 2011
My life's journey is to find balance between my hyphenated national, religious and......
Language Matters: Deities and Darshan
Padma Kuppa | November 17, 2011
"Idols" is the wrong term to use to describe our temple deities; Hindus are not......
Finding Our Way to the Interfaith Table
Padma Kuppa | March 21, 2012
We must stay the course of dialogue and exchange....
Our Hindu Inheritance
Padma Kuppa | December 25, 2010
Whether yoga is considered Hindu or not, religious or spiritual, its beauty is the......
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Glimmers of Hope
Padma Kuppa | April 11, 2012
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Grieving as Arjuna Did
Padma Kuppa | December 20, 2012
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Who is God? Pluralism is the Answer
Padma Kuppa | April 13, 2016
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Vijaya Dasami - Embracing the Divinity Within
Padma Kuppa | October 22, 2015
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Will the Saptapadi Shape Our Marriages?
Padma Kuppa | June 06, 2012
When I think of marriage in the Hindu-American context, it is not about history or the......
From Sacred Space to Hindu Community
Padma Kuppa | October 31, 2012
Hindu temples sustain community while pushing the next generation into new......
Achieving the Vision
Padma Kuppa | March 17, 2011
What exactly is a "good American"? How can we make pluralism work?...
Comedy, Chai, and the Hindu Heritage
Padma Kuppa | January 12, 2012
An Indian-American comedy trio tour India, pushing boundaries that need to be pushed....