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Traveling exhibition brings Hindu cultural awareness across the US

Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA

Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA (HSS), with active collaboration from 208 other organizations, successfully organized Darshana, A Hindu Civilization Exhibition in 165 cities across the United States during the spring and summer of 2022. It was enthusiastically received by a broad audience, including federal, state, and local government officials, judges, educators, business leaders, and ethnic, religious, and interfaith groups. The exhibition also attracted wide public participation.

Volunteers of HSS developed this traveling exhibition, made up of 24 descriptive and informative posters, after considerable research and feedback, especially from Indian-American teenagers and young adults, to refine the content and enhance the aesthetic quality of the design. 

Along with creating awareness and appreciation of the “Dharmic traditions” which collectively reflect Hinduism and other practices rooted in the Indian subcontinent, such as Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism, the exhibition also addresses a rising concern in the American Dharmic community about the occasional misinterpretation of their faiths, practices, society, and civilization through the lenses of non-practicing commentators who often misrepresent the Dharmic view of the 1.25 billion population and adversely impact the American Dharmic community.

The Darshana exhibition provided a bird’s eye view for non-Hindus and Hindus alike about the Dharmic traditions and countless Indic philosophies developed over several millennia. It was hosted and exhibited in several places, such as city halls, libraries, universities, schools, museums, and public events. It was also hosted at several state capitols and on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. 

To illustrate the Darshana‘s impact:

  • The exhibition stirred considerable excitement and appreciation at the annual gala of Indiana’s Center for Interfaith Cooperation. One of the many comments received was, “This exhibit helps introduce Hindus and non-Hindus to learn more about Hindu civilization, to learn more about Vedic culture, to learn more about how we can aspire to come together to learn a faith and work together to solve problems that will help all of us and will help future generations.”
  • At the Pennsylvania State Capitol exhibition event, State Senator Yudichak said, “HSS is an organization that promotes a sense of selfless service and civic duty. They have brought the Darshana exhibit, which offers an opportunity to learn about the concepts and practices of the Hindu civilization. It is awe-inspiring to see Hindus coming together as one people to help all people in need.”
  • After viewing the exhibition at Capitol Hill, Senator Mike Braun (R-Ind.) said, “I appreciate it (Hindu Culture) because it’s an enterprising culture. So much of what we do in this world has its roots there, and the more I see, the more I learn about it; it’s probably part of how we solve today’s problems, from climate change to food security. In general, it’s a dynamic, enterprising, and faithful community. Glad I’ve had time to learn more about it.”
  • Elizabeth Michel, president of McKinney Democrats, TX, said, “We love our community celebrating the beauty of our diversity from Art to Music to the exhibition; it was truly wonderful.”
  • At Capitol Hill, His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan also paid a surprise visit to the Darshana exhibition. Walking past the room after a scheduled meeting, His Majesty graciously took some time at the exhibition.

Darshana exhibition was a proactive approach to bring awareness about the Hindu Civilization. It is expected to bring conscious understanding and inclusivity to the broad American Hindu society. We are happy that the American society appreciated our efforts wholeheartedly,” said HSS Communication Director Mahesh Kalla.

We welcome future opportunities to exhibit Darshana in colleges, schools, offices, business establishments, and public spaces. For more information about Hindu Darshana, please visit HinduDarshana.com, and to enquire about the exhibition, please use the form at HinduDarshana.com/contact.

HSS, the nation’s largest Hindu-American organization, conducts a values education program for Hindu-Americans of all ages through its 235 branches nationwide. For more information, visit hssus.org

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Contact:
Vikas Deshpande
Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA
973-500-8477
[email protected]

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Religion News Service or Religion News Foundation.

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