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#57029 - 04/26/04 01:17 PM Being a Hindu outside India.

This is a very good discussion.

I am a hindu born outside India.My family has always try their best to keep the traditions, believes and values close to our day to day life.

Now that I have moved to another country, where I thought the hindu culture is well established.(due to the high number of hindus in South Africa). I must say, that most Hindus in SA does not know a single thing wrt Vedas, Upanishads etc...

The only thing that associate them to hinduism is posh movies like Kabhi kushi etc...

Many hindus anyway have taken Christianity as their first religion. Hindusism seems to be the back up religion.

I have nothing against Christians. For me "belief" is the most powerful of all. And as a Hindu, I belief that no matter what name you give to god, as long as you believe, it will be god.

I am faced with the issue of faith almost everyday of my life. People challenging the few little hindus still very fervent. Traditional practices get mocked at. Worst of all, we hindus do not know hinduism as we should and it makes it impossible to show the significance of traditional practices through proper explanations.

I have seen Hindu friends lose face in arguments with christians. Christianity and islamism are not as complex as hinduism, which gives their believers the confidence to argue and support arguments with statements from the bible or koran.

I remember my grand father. He always used to reference a phrase from the Gita or Ramayan, whenever he would teach us something. He was amazing and it was so nice to trust his knowledge and let his teachings be your knowledge.

I was fortunate enough to have such guidance in my childhood. Unfortunately, most people outside India do not have such guidance. The lack of this type of teachings is to the detriment of the hindu culture, values and belief across the world. Even India is being westernised these days and the values are not as strong as they used to be.

I am proud to be a hindu. With pride I let people know that I do not eat beef as it's against my belief and culture. I want to learn more about our culture. I want to be able to teach young hindus the way my grand father used to.

In this material world. it is very dificult to acquire spiritual knowledge as we all seem to be racing for wealth. No complaints though as we all need to make sure that our loved ones are catered for. We have the responsibility to look after those that depend on us.
However in our desire to achieve status, wealth and power we are all failing ourselves as Hindus,as achievement and success are desires. Just like material gain! Where do we draw the line?

How much I wished my grand-father was still here.


#57030 - 04/26/04 05:10 PM Re: Being a Hindu outside India.
Americanhindu Offline

Registered: 06/16/02
Posts: 3559
Thosw Indian heritaged HIndus who live in USA are actually living in a neo-mesopotemia only. It is a cultural calamity out here! Christians and muslims trying to push their religion in many number of ways now, more than ever. USCONS is not respected by these groups at all.
I love hinduism the best. MAY Almighty BRAHMAN bless you all every day!

#57031 - 06/13/04 09:27 PM Re: Being a Hindu outside India.
kalpesh Offline

Registered: 09/22/01
Posts: 22
Loc: South Africa

I must say, that most Hindus in SA does not know a single thing wrt Vedas, Upanishads etc...

The only thing that associate them to hinduism is posh movies like Kabhi kushi etc...

Hey not all south africans are in the dark ages. Some of us know what the vedas are !!!!!!!!

Admittedly the majority of Hindus are losing their faith and Hindu/Indian identity seems to be confined to fancy-dress@weddings, food, fireworks@diwali. But my cousins from India, on a recent visit, told us South African Indians are more Indian than India-Indians.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ sarve bhavantuh sukhinah om shantih shanti shanti ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Jai shri krishna =:-)|\ |/

#57032 - 11/25/04 09:11 AM Re: Being a Hindu outside India.

Please visit http://iishglobal.org

wherein you will be able to get lots of informations and lectures on indian culture and spirituality.

#57033 - 09/25/05 01:48 PM Re: Being a Hindu outside India.

Like you we were brought up as hindus in a multicultural country- when my brother moved to south Africa - he said the same thing that people did not know what they were doing as hindus even in the temple. However if hinduism has lasted this long it is because there are still some who have strong identity and passion about their culturee. We dont have to lose face or enter into discussion with others - we can share what real hinduism is all about. The himalayan academy offers free online lectures about hinduism and there are many books translated in english . There is so much to learn about hinduism so adopt the principle of learning something everyday and before you know you too would be able to quote like your granddad and pass on information to your children, relatives and others. We need to stick together to ensure that what we have inherited by our forefathers should be passed on to the new generations intact- sadly first we have to change sway the younger generations being influenced by indian movies and straying away completely. India needs to look into ethical issues of its film makeres and realistic understand the damage it is doing to the younger generations all round. Again if we can change or influence one individual positively the cycle will keep moving.

#57034 - 09/26/05 12:12 PM Re: Being a Hindu outside India.
DeviSarada Offline

Registered: 05/30/05
Posts: 207
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Namaste All,

I am probably one of the extreme example of being a Hindu outside of India. I am ethnically German. Brought up in a more or less Christian household, and at the ripe age of 44 decided to walk on the Hindu path. One year after that, I met my husband, a Hindu from Guyana.

His Hindu roots are very strong and a lot of members of his family practice this way of life with much devotion.

He has taught me many things about the way of life that I could not have learned except by living it.

I live in Toronto, Canada, and there are many opportunities to learn, become involved and live the Hindu way of life.

I must agree with you about Bollywood. Some of the old movies were very informative and told stories of Hindu values. Nowadays, there is not much to distinguish Bollywood from Hollywood. Both seem intent on appealing to the lowest common denominator in society. Although, in my view, "Bhagban" was a good movie, although it too, is not the most recent.

We do need to find a way to attract the young people. It seems that many of them regard Hinduism as backward and superstitious. I believe it is partly because Hindu parents are not taking the time to teach them the values.

I do find it heartening when I see young people in their teens coming to mandir.

Perhaps the grandparents can play role here, and teach the children when their parents are too busy.

Om Shanti, Devi Sarada

#57035 - 09/28/05 04:57 PM Re: Being a Hindu outside India. [Re: DeviSarada]
tantrikgoddess Offline

Registered: 09/13/05
Posts: 106
American Hindu, what is USCONS?

Anyway, I don't advise anyone to get into a relgious debate with anyone else. It is useless. Christians and Muslims are world famous for "preaching" and trying to "convert" other people to their religions. I find genuine buddhists, hindus, etc, much more pleasant to be around because they do not seek to change others, or to make others "convert" to their religion. Therefore it is possible to have a peaceful and harmonious conversation with them about the similarities and differences between religions. Anyhow, Hinduism is not part of the Abrahamic religious paradigm (Judaism, Christianity and Islam), and therefore people from those religions do not have any reference point for understanding Hinduism as they have a common reference point for understanding each other. That reference would be Abraham, Moses, and the other common forefathers of those 3 religions. Unless a Christian or a Muslim is very broad minded and has some positive background understanding of Hinduism, well, they just are not going to be able to relate. And it is not our duty to make them relate, nor is it our duty to "preach" to them or "convert" them. However, is someone is sincerely interested to know more, then we can share with them, as long as it does not escalate into a "my relgion versus your religion" debate. If one is a true seeker of knowledge, then they will respect all relgious beliefs in an unbiased way, understanding that these various beliefs have sprouted up in different ways according to the various cultures around the world. Nothing is more annoying than people who try to "convert" others, just for the sake of converting.

#57036 - 09/29/05 05:36 PM Re: Being a Hindu outside India. [Re: tantrikgoddess]

Well said, Tantrik!!

#57037 - 09/30/05 03:21 PM Re: Being a Hindu outside India.
tantrikgoddess Offline

Registered: 09/13/05
Posts: 106
That being said, I would like to add that especially in western countries, one gets to meet alot of secular people.
They may have been born in muslims, christian, jewish, hindu, buddhist, etc, families, but they are not so concerned with religion and are "secular". These people tend to be much more open minded than "religious" people.
If someone is somewhat involved in their religion, let's say especially the external aspects of it, then they are more likely to be prejudiced against other religions. It is useless to debate with such people. They will never be changed. They are generally closed.

#57038 - 01/22/06 11:07 PM Re: Being a Hindu outside India. [Re: tantrikgoddess]
Janelayah Offline

Registered: 01/21/06
Posts: 6
Loc: trying to robe me or something...
You are on a roll Tantric!! I used to be christian and that is true they are always pushing and pushing to increase their numbers...I mean come on if a person is wanting to become christian would they not come to the church themselves?
I am very glad to be a new member to this site. If you can tell me more info on this wonderful religion I would be very joyous!

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