Dharma Bee competition - Level 2 round concluded successfully in the last week of April, in 35 places across the United States. Total 1108 students between grades K-8 participated in this round. 3,308 kids spread across 37 states are taking part in this unique competition organized by the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA (HSS) as a part of the yearlong celebrations of the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, a 19th century Hindu monk who brought the concepts of Dharma and Yoga to the West.
For level 2, each participant was asked questions based on life of Swami Vivekananda and Shri Krishna. External judges and audience were amazed to see quick and accurate responses on many tough questions by this young Hindu generation in the US. To inculcate the Swami’s message “service to humanity is the service to the divinity”, participants at level 2 were encouraged to undertake a sewa project in their respective communities and were offered five points for performing sewa project of five hours. Collectively, during level 2, children performed approximately 3300 hours of sewa projects all across the nation. These projects included but not limited to social service work at local temples, libraries, schools, food pantries, animal shelters, and local environmental cleanup projects.
Prior to the finale, each finalist is expected to visit some place where Swami Vivekananda visited or local Vedanta Society. If there is no such location nearby participant’s home then he/she can do a phone interview with one of the Swamis about his views or visit a location that is chosen by the Sponsor in its sole discretion.
Grand finale of Dharma Bee contest will be held at Chicago, IL on June 15th and 16thwhere 130+ finalists will participate. Hon. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard and Chicago Vedanta Society’s Swami Ishatmananadji will be chief guests for prize distribution ceremony on June 16th. All the participants have shown great enthusiasm in preparing for this contest throughout its course beginning January. Many parents said they are happy to see such a competition being organized, as they always wanted to teach their kids about Swami Vivekananda, but could not find a way that is both educating and fun.