Inaugural Gala Program - October 1 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America (VHPA)/ the World Hindu Council of America (WHCA) organized the virtual Hindu Heritage Month (HHM) Opening Ceremony on Friday, October 01, 2021, to kick off the month-long celebration of rich and ancient Hindu heritage. Many organizations and Mandirs representing millions of Hindus across North America and thousands of audiences participated in the event with much zeal and zest.

It is decided to celebrate entire October month as the Hindu Heritage Month in a collaborative initiative between all the leading organizations across North America in US, Canada, UK and beyond and showcase the richness of our Hindu Heritage, its culture and the diverse spiritual traditions rooted in India and recognize the important contributions that Hindus have made throughout history to the local communities. More than 100 Indian organizations have already joined hands with WHCA to celebrate HHM and US states including Texas, Florida, New Jersey, Ohio, Minnesota, and Massachusetts have proclaimed October as the Hindu Heritage Month, noting that Hinduism has “contributed greatly” to America through its unique history, philosophy, heritage, and way of life. The Hindu American
Foundation (HAF), since its inception in 2013, has been the lead supporter of the California resolution recognizing October as Hindu American Awareness and Appreciation Month.

The evening program began with several inspiring messages from partner organizations. The formal opening ceremony was announced by Shank Naad (Conch blowing) and the innovation chanting and singing. The organizing team members of the event presented the overview of the Hindu Heritage Month to the audiences. VHPA president Ajay Shah said, ‘it is high time to educate the world about the essence of Sanatana Vedic Dharma, Yoga, Ayurveda, Philosophy, and Ethos of the millennium and many more millennia to come.’ Sanjay Saxena from Gayatri Parivar spoke on the topic ‘Hindu Philosophy: A Gift to the World’ highlighting the qualities of Hinduism that infuses cordiality, friendliness, and affection for everyone in the world as the members of a Joint family. The chief guest of the program, the Honorable Dr. Yuba Raj Khatiwada, Ambassador of Nepal said, ‘Religion is an ideal for living with humanity while respecting all the living beings, adopting non-violence and tolerance in our daily lives and work in a civilized human world.’

The special Guest of evening, Honorable Dr. Varun Jeph, Deputy Consul General of India, New York highlighted the privilege of celebrating the contributions of Hinduism, its philosophy, and Sanatana values to the world gives us an opportunity to teach them to our next generations and people around us. Pt. Abhaya Sopori not only played the Santoor but also spoke on, ‘Music- An Integral Part of Hindu Culture. ‘Swami Vigyananda, General Secretary of VHP Bharat addressed the topic, ’Phases and Challenges of Indian Diaspora’ and enlightened everyone to handle them. A well-known Indian Scholar, Sushil Pandit Ji spoke briefly on, ‘The Last 1000 Years of Hindu Society: Challenges and Mistakes’ with narration on important historical events and Padma Bhushan Prof. Ved Nanda spoke on, ‘Why Hindus need to Celebrate Their Heritage’ very logically and realistically.

Vindhya Adapa and Kadambari Adesh presented their theme music video and beautiful song to the audiences respectively. Suchitra Rao narrated the profound role of music in Hindu tradition and sang a song on Lord Ram. Ashok Chowgule, Vice-president of VHP Bharat and Saumitra Gokhale, Pracharak Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, USA (HSS) spoke on, ‘Hindu Diaspora-50 Years from Now’ and ‘Why and How Hindus Should Organize’ in that order. Ranjani Saigal, Executive Director of the Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation of USA and the co-founder of a bi-weekly South Asian e-magazine, Lokvani presented beautiful Indian classical dance performance. Madhubani Artist, Sunana Sahay spoke on, ‘Preserving Artistic Traditions across Generations while Scholar and Educator, Indrani Rampersad presented her talk on, ‘Women’s Empowerment.’

Swami Sarveshananda stated his closing remarks and blessings for a happy and prosperous life to everyone. Sanjay Kaul and Monica Gupta moderated the program very creatively. Sanjay Kaul, Vice President of the World Hindu Council of America thanked all the guests, special invites, community leaders, all the participants and the audiences for their active participation. He thanked the event organizing and technical team along with media partners. He thanked all the registered and partner organizations and encouraged them to organize brilliant program during this month. He also appealed to encourage others to register and mark their calendars for the upcoming events by visiting Home – Hindu Heritage Month ( and participate in the programs to be organized by their own state organizations and Mandirs with family and friends.

VHPA general secretary Amitabh VW Mittal said Hindu philosophy is constantly evolving and its contribution to human civilization is unmeasurable. ‘Hindu heritage and culture are thousands of years old; it is our duty to share it with the world and pass it onto our next generations so that they take pride in their roots,’ said Sanjay Kaul. Dr Jai Bansal, World Hindu Council of America Vice President said that the time has come for the Hindu community to talk about its rich cultural heritage and important role in making the multitude of contributions to every aspect of the fabric of the adopted lands. According to the President of Hindu University of America, Kalyan Viswanathan, ‘We need to look optimistically forward at the opportunity we have for recovering and rearticulating the Hindu worldview for future generations.’ General Secretary of the Coalition of Hindus of North America (COHNA) Shobha Swami made a point about the diversity of the culture that is going to be celebrated the whole of October.



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