Hindus worldwide celebrate many festivals – Navratri, Dussehra, Durga Puja, and Diwali – in October. Hence, Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA (HSS) along with several US-based Hindu organizations are celebrating October as Hindu Heritage Month.
From the profound Hindu philosophy to meditation and nonviolence, Yoga and food, festivities and charity, dance and music, the Hindu way of life has touched Americans in numerous ways. Hindus celebrate this month in any and all of these forms that uniquely identify with the Hindu community, through religious, spiritual, and cultural programs, conferences, and educational events.
For American leaders across the nation, the contribution of the ancient Hindu way and, more importantly, the active role of Hindus in American society, was worth appreciation and praise.
Many prominent decision-makers and opinion-makers have expressed their enthusiastic support for this special celebration. These include US Congressmen Raja Krishnamurthy of Illinois, who called Hinduism a "uniquely pluralistic religion," Troy Balderson of Ohio, who acknowledged the resiliency of the Hindu American community in his letter of recognition, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Governor, Charles Baker, who paid tribute to the "Vibrant Hindu Community that contributed tremendously in the vitality of the Commonwealth."
The City of Troy, Michigan, especially recognized the charitable giving by the Hindu community during Diwali. HSS volunteer Mr. Rajender Sandani from Troy accepted the proclamation during the City Hall meeting with the Hindu community representatives, thanking the City for inclusiveness in action and recognizing the contribution of Hindu society.
A Hindu leader, Mrs. Bindu Patel, thanked the City of Irving, Texas, for appreciating the Hindu community and supporting the Hindu Heritage Month activities. She recalled HSS' collaboration with the local interfaith community, celebrating Diwali as a "Sewa Diwali – food drive" with a spirit of giving back to society.
This year, Diwali falls in the first week of November. Hence, it is expected that the Hindu Heritage Month will be extended by a few more weeks in its celebrations and spirit of giving.