On October 31, 2021, we gathered as a community to say a fond farewell to Hindu Heritage Month 2021, a highly successful and trend setting event for the Hindu community in the US and Canada. While saying good-bye to this grand movement, we took a moment to look back and remind ourselves what this glorious month of celebration had been like.
Starting with almost no registered partners in the last week of September 2021, more than 100 organizations eventually signed up to be part of this great movement. Among these were one from Thailand and two from UK. Among them, they held nearly 100 events to celebrate our rich heritage.
Our outreach into the corridors of power has been equally impressive. The Hindu community can take pride in the fact that more than 25 states of the Union and almost 50 cities across the land rose to honor the contribution of Hindu Americans by formally proclaiming October 2021 as the Hindu Heritage Month.
It was a special moment for the Hindu diaspora when Raja Krishnamoorty, the US congressman from Illinois, read his now-famous statement from the floor of House of Representative, and made Hindu Heritage Month part of the permanent record of the US Congress. Subsequently, several more Congressmen made similar declarations in the US House of Representative, as did legislative representatives of many states and cities. The icing on the cake was the proclamation sent by Sh. Narendra Modi, the Honorable Prime Minster of Bharat, just in time for the closing ceremonies
The HHM movement has caught the imagination of Hindus everywhere. One measure of this phenomenon is the amount of media coverage it has garnered. Not only has this event been covered in TV, radio and print media in the US and Canada but also in Bharat. In fact, several Indians newspapers published articles in regional languages as well.
The Hindu community can certainly take a moment to revel in the glow of these accolades. However, we must not think that our job is done.
Hindu Heritage Month is a movement with strong momentum. It is an imperative for the Hindu community to capture this moment and build it into something even bigger. To that end, the HHM leadership would like to share the following vision for the future:
Further, we believe Hindu Heritage Month concept and format gives us a perfect vehicle to make greater inroads into the hearts and minds of second and third generation Hindu Americans. Over the next year, we would hope to engage a significant section of the Hindu students in schools as well as colleges to imbibe the Hindu values of equality, peace, harmony and sustainable living.
Last, but not least, the HHM partners will aspire to promote sewa (selfless service) as a core value of Hindu Dharma – to the society at large.
These are not easy goals. But with dedication and perseverance, they are eminently achievable. The work must start immediately after the HHM 2021 is concluded. Very shortly we will invite all the partner organizations to join us in planning for Hindu Heritage Month 2022 and beyond.
Together we can do it!
Yours in sewa,
The HHM Coordination Team