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California Hindu American Awareness Month


California State Senate unanimously passed Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 32: California Hindu American Awareness and Appreciation Month

  1. Recognizes contributions of Hindu culture and spirituality to American life;
  2. Allows our children to feel proud of their Hindu identity as Americans;
  3. Allows the broader American society to understand and appreciate Hindu Americans and Hindu beliefs;
  4. Promotes diversity and pluralism in California.

According to the Hindu American Foundation (HAF), more than 70 Hindu Americans that travelled to the State Capitol from various parts of the state. The delegation was present in the Senate Gallery to witness the historic vote, while HAF’s Director/Senior Human Rights Fellow, Samir Kalra, Esq. and Executive Council Member, Vineet Sharma, M.D., were presented.

Local Hindu American Leaders, elected officials, including San Jose City Council Member Ash Kalra, Fremont Vice-Mayor Anu Natarajan, Fremont City Council Member Raj Salwan, and Union Sanitary Board Vice President Anjali Lathi were also present

Senator Ellen Corbett…  introduced Hindu American Awareness and Appreciation Month.  Senator Ellen Corbett is a Democratic politician from the San Francisco and  served in the California State Senate, representing the 10th District. In 1998, She was elected to the California State Assembly.

“I am honored to represent constituents from many diverse backgrounds, including a significant number of Hindu Americans,” said Majority Leader Corbett. “I thank my colleagues for supporting SCR 32 today that recognizes Hindu American contributions in California, a thriving community of over 370,000 Hindu Americans that enrich our state’s diversity and professional assets in fields as diverse as academia, science, technology, business, arts and literature.”


INTRODUCED BY   Senator Corbett,
APRIL 2, 2013

   Relative to Hindu American Awareness and Appreciation Month.


   SCR 32, as introduced, Corbett. Hindu American Awareness and
Appreciation Month.    This measure would designate the month of October 2013 as California Hindu American Awareness and Appreciation Month to recognize and acknowledge the significant contributions made by Californians of Hindu heritage to the state.
   Fiscal committee: no.

   WHEREAS, California and the nation have been influenced by the extraordinary cultural, ethnic, linguistic, and religious diversity of its residents; and

   WHEREAS, Of the over one billion Hindus worldwide, more than 2 million Hindu Americans live across the nation, and the State of California is home to the largest Hindu American population in the United States; and

   WHEREAS, Hindu Americans in California represent diverse ethnic backgrounds, including individuals of Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Malaysian, Indonesian, Afghani, Nepali, Bhutanese, Sri Lankan, Fijian, Caribbean, and European descent; and

   WHEREAS, California and our nation have greatly benefited by Hindu Americans, especially through yoga, meditation, Vedanta philosophy, ayurvedic medicine, classical Indian music, art, and dance; and

   WHEREAS, Swami Vivekananda is credited with officially introducing Hinduism to the United States in 1893 at the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago, and in 1900 he arrived in San Francisco and founded the Vedanta Society; and

   WHEREAS, Hindu Americans and the Vedanta philosophy have significantly influenced notable American intellectuals such as Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, J.D. Salinger,
Christopher Isherwood, Aldous Huxley, Huston Smith, and Joseph Campbell; and

   WHEREAS, Hindu Americans believe in promoting knowledge and education for all and as a group have the highest education rate in the nation; and

   WHEREAS, Almost three-quarters of Hindu Americans are college graduates and nearly half of Hindu Americans have postgraduate degrees; and

   WHEREAS, Hindu Americans share the entrepreneurial spirit of America, have been pioneers and leaders in Silicon Valley, and have
particularly excelled in the fields of information technology, science, medicine, law, and business; and

   WHEREAS, Hindu Americans have founded roughly 10 percent of Silicon Valley start-ups in California, while comprising less than 1 percent of the United States' population; and

   WHEREAS, The first Hindu American elected to Congress, Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, is a United States military veteran and took the oath of office on January 3, 2013, on a copy of the Bhagavad Gita, which is the most well known and widely read text of the many sacred texts of Hinduism; and

   WHEREAS, The first Hindu temple in the United States was built in San Francisco, California, and at the dedication of the temple on January 7, 1906, it was proclaimed to be the "First Hindu Temple in
the whole Western World"; and

   WHEREAS, There are now over 50 Hindu temples throughout California, and the San Francisco Bay Area is home to over 20 Hindu temples; and

   WHEREAS, Hindu Americans in cities throughout California celebrate numerous holidays and festivals, such as Diwali, which celebrates the victory of good over evil and knowledge over ignorance;
WHEREAS, Hindu temples, organizations, and individuals in California actively engage in seva, or selfless service towards their fellow human beings through charity, public service, and the provision of free medical and legal services; and
 WHEREAS, Ahimsa, which is the Sanskrit word for noninjury or nonviolence, is a central principle for Hindu Americans in California, and it provides the ethical foundation for vegetarianism, environmentalism, and harmonious living; and
WHEREAS, Hindu Americans have helped promote the shared American ideals of tolerance, pluralism, and religious freedom, which are inherent to their beliefs and respect the diversity of all faiths, and the Vedas, the 5000 year old texts of Hindu Americans, provide the basis for these core principles: "Truth is one, the wise call it
by many names"  

Ekam sat viprah bahudha vadanti]; now, therefore,be it

   Resolved by the Senate of the State of California, the Assemblythereof concurring, That the Legislature hereby designates the monthof October 2013 as California Hindu American Awareness andAppreciation Month; and be it further

   Resolved, That the Legislature recognizes and acknowledges thesignificant contributions made by Californians of Hindu heritage toour state, and by adoption of this resolution, seeks to increaseawareness and understanding about the Hindu American community; andbe it further

   Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate transmit copies of thisresolution to the author for appropriate distribution.