Source: Indian Diaspora Instrumental in Promoting Indic Values and Culture » INDICA SOFTPOWER | Author: Arunima Gupta
In many states across the US, October has been declared as the Hindu Heritage Month, marking the cultural and spiritual contributions of Hinduism as well as the role of the Hindu diaspora community in the USA’s social and economic milieu. As per the Hindu American Foundation, a US-based diaspora association and advocacy platform, there are 2.23 million Hindu Americans, spread across the country. However, the total numbers of Indian diaspora including People of Indian Origin (PIOs) and Non-Residential Indians (NRIs) account to be approximately four million in the US, adding significantly to the country’s sociocultural, political and economic progress. This diaspora community is a consumer and promoter of Indian soft power through cuisine, films, crafts and art forms, literature and more. Additionally, diaspora members also propound indigenous ideas, values and practices rooted in their traditions and thus enhancing Indian cultural footprint across the globe.
The proclamation of the Vermont State, released by the Office of Governor Philip B Scott demonstrates the influence of Indic values and philosophy. The document mentions, “Hinduism was officially introduced to the United States by Swami Vivekananda at the 1893 World’s Parliament of Religions in Chicago, and he founded the Vedanta Society in San Francisco, in 1900 … “Hindu Americans promote the ideals of pluralism, religious freedom, and mutual respect, which are inherent to their teachings. The Vedas, the ancient sacred texts of Hinduism, provide the basis for these core principles: “Truth is one, the wise call it by many names” (Ekam sat viprah bahudha vadanti).”