'Proactive inclusion', emphasizes Ft. Collins Mayor at 'Spotlight on Hinduism'

Fort Collins, USA. On 5th November 2010, a novel educational program, 'Spotlight on Hinduism' concluded successfully at the Drake Tech Centre in Fort Collins.

On the occasion of the widely celebrated Hindu 'festival of lights', Diwali, many from Fort Collins and surrounding areas thronged to attend the 'Spotlight on Hinduism', a public event held to create awareness about Hinduism. The program received honorable attendance by the Fort Collins Mayor, Doug Hutchinson, who inaugurated the program in the tradition of Hinduism, with the lighting of the auspicious oil lamp. Hutchinson shared the importance of not just tolerance, but of 'proactive inclusion' of the myriad cultures like Hinduism in Fort Collins, to enrich the City's diversity.

Originally meant to be a part of the 'Culture Classroom' initiative by the City of Fort Collins' Human Relations Commission (HRC) to be hosted at the Fort Collins Council Chambers, the program's hosting and venue had to be cancelled unexpectedly by the HRC the day before the program. In light of this unexpected turn of events, HRC members and other community leaders rallied around to make the event happen at a private venue 20 minutes away from the Council Chambers, half hour later than planned. Attendees, who came from various parts of Fort Collins and surrounding areas, as far as from Denver, showed exceptional interest to attend, despite the last minute venue and time change. It included a representative from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a federal government agency, as well as the director of the Women's Resource Center, a local non-profit dedicated to addressing women's health issues in the varied cultural contexts in the community. A reporter with the University newspaper, came early, and stayed late, in order to write an article on the event for Monday's edition of the paper.

The Spotlight on Hinduism, compered by Ms. Kate Anderson, a World Literature Professor at Colorado State University, included a presentation by a local Hindu, Ms. Maya Jairam on 'Growing up in America and embracing Hindu Spirituality' and a presentation by Forum for Hindu Awakening's Mrs. Bhavna Shinde Hurley on 'Understanding, living and preserving Hinduism'. The presentations, in a light and engaging manner, highlighted the challenges faced by Hindus growing up in America, what it means to be a Hindu, the unique spiritual science underlying Hinduism concepts and the answers Hinduism holds out for problems at individual and society level.

Attendees listened with interest and participated wholeheartedly in the spiritual experiment comparing an accurate depiction of Shiva, a revered Deity in Hinduism, and His denigrated depiction as a puppet. They asked practical questions on the meaning of various Hindu practices, Scriptures and views on some of the conflicts faced by the world today. There was much interest in continuing education on Hindu Spirituality. The Spotlight on Hinduism received much support in the form of donation of time, resources, refreshments and hosting of the panelists, from Fort Collins and surrounding area Hindus and businesses, and concluded with the recitation of a Hindu Holy verse for mutual understanding to enhance learning about Hindu Dharma.

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Contact Details

Company Name: Forum For Hindu Awakenin g
Issued By: Rajal Joshi
Phone: 877 303 3342
Address: PMB 220 3111 Rt.38, Ste. #11 Mount Laurel, NJ
Zip: 08054
Website: Visit the website

by Rajal Joshi (few years ago!)

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