Following the month-long celebration of our shared heritage, the global Hindu community bade a fond farewell to October 2022 as the second Hindu Heritage Month.
This year’s HHM will go down in Hindu diaspora’s history as the year when Hindu Heritage Month became a truly international phenomenon. This was the year when 180 Hindu organizations from different parts of the globe – from New Zealand to Norway – joined hands in celebrating their cultural and spiritual heritage as one people. Between them, they organized more than 200 events, showcasing a diverse, rich, and proud culture with multitudes of seminal contributions to the world.
There were number of things that set this year’s HHM apart from last year’s. We will only highlight a few here:
1) Theme music video: World-class music video, “Lead me to Light”, released as the brand representative of Hindu Heritage Month:
2) Inaugural program: This year’s theme, “Relevance and Importance of Hindu Values in Today’s World”, took the center stage in the inaugural program that took place on October 1, 2022.
3) Hindu Vishwa – HHM2022 edition of VHPA’s (Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America) quarterly magazine, Hindu Vishwa, was released in October 2022.
4) International networking: Hindus from 15 countries around the world participated
5) Focus on Next Generation: “Next generation is our future” was not just a cliché, it was a key focus this year.
- Multi-day conference, “Enlivening Hindu Heritage: Voices of Diaspora Raised Hindus,” showcased the ongoing contributions of our next generation in their public and professional lives.
- Closing ceremonies – All organized and executed by collaboration of Hindu youth leader worldwide
6) Diversity of Events: The event themes were as diverse as the Hindu society itself. The events ranged from the traditional Navaratri, Durga Puja, Vijaya Dashami, Deepawali celebrations to blood drive, 5K fund-raising walk, a megaton food collection drive for the needy, educational seminars,
Samskrita and Samskriti promotional talks, reading of Hindu value statements at various city councils, and many more.
7) Political recognitions: Letters of congratulations from many political leaders, include one form Sh. Narendra Modi, were gratefully received. Nearly 25 states and 50 city governments in the United States rose to acknowledge the many contributions of the Hindu diaspora and issued formal proclamations to declare October as Hindu Heritage Month.
What is next for HHM?
Hindu Heritage Month is a movement with great momentum. We must capture this moment and build it into something much more tangible. To that end, the HHM organizing team would like to offer the following vision for the foreseeable future:
• Active participation from at least 30 countries by 2025
• Active participation by student/youth groups from at least 30 countries by 2025
• Formal declaration of October as Hindu Heritage Month in 5 countries by 2025
• Formal declaration by the United Nations by 2030.
These are not easy goals. But with dedication and perseverance, they are eminently achievable.