Raising Hindu youngsters in America

by Micheal Quinn

How does a toddler in India learn Hinduism? Unlike Bible lessons of Christians and Muslims’ madrasas, Hinduism isn’t ‘taught.’ You collect it employing living it, taking part in household rituals and community gala’s, and listening to testimonies told via your parents. Some have authorities. Some go to temples. There is not anything standardized, approximately the message or the medium.

This absence of standardization proves a huge problem while humans migrate to other countries. America is living proof. The possibilities in America are super. Many humans migrate to America for financial motives, for higher possibilities. They are essentially monetary migrants, no longer political refugees. The people who move there are from the first-class universities in India, and at the same time as they had been analyzing, they had been centered on math, technology, and language.

They had been no longer so troubled about the way of life. The culture was something they took with no consideration. However, the instant they attain America and get married and have children, the concept of culture unexpectedly emerges. They recognize that their infant is developing up in an ecosystem very one of a kind from their own. In these surroundings, the child has to be trained in Hinduism. Therefore, Hinduism now, needs to be formalized, structured, and transmitted all of a sudden.


Imagine a Hindu infant developing up in America, watching his parents worshiping snapshots while all his buddies say idolatry is evil. Imagine a baby seeing his mother and father bow down to an elephant-headed god with four fingers, and the books around him speak about aliens with one-of-a-kind sorts of heads and faces. Imagine the child looking dad and mom waving lamps in front of a brand new vehicle, or portray kolams, outdoor the door in their house, tying a ‘toran’ at the door, or celebrating fairs like Diwali for the return of Ram, or the victory of Durga characters that seem extra like myth figures.

This explains the almost virulent hatred of some extremist American Hindus for words like mythology. They live in a rustic in which a virgin delivery is taken into consideration every day, in which the resurrection of Jesus Christ is considered records. They live in a country where the president of America takes his oath of workplace inside the name of God. This is something very different from India, a mundane kingdom, and no head of nation uses God’s name when he is taking up an official chair.

For all its trappings of secularism, America is an especially Christian united state of America, with a sturdy bent in the direction of xenophobia: a pain, in particular with Islam, in the wake of September 11. It is a rustic wherein the Bible frequently decides whether or not girls have rights on their bodies, whether homosexuality is regular. This kind of prescriptive faith is absolutely alien to Hindus usually.

How does a parent in America teach Hinduism to youngsters? Hinduism reached America through Swami Vivekananda, Paramhansa Yogananda, Mahesh Yogi, and other such authorities: normally guys, a lot of them celibate, sporting saffron gowns, providing ideas of monastic Hinduism, through Vedanta. They set up ‘missions,’ a concept alien to Hinduism; however universal in Christianity and Islam. They tend to make Hinduism openly puritanical and covertly patriarchal without even realizing it.

The academicians in America, alternatively, strongly motivated through ideas of social justice, primarily based on Christian and Islamic paradigms of equality, gift Hinduism as an oppressive pressure, that’s surprisingly misogynistic and simplest caste-primarily based, and for that reason, make it sounds like a frightening faith of savages and pagans who need conversion. Considering that many missionary activities in India are funded with the aid of church buildings in America, one cannot take this stuff lightly.

Further, the opposite Hinduism types that have reached America are very new age and hippy-like yoga, tantric sex, chanting of Om, transcendence, and levitation. It serves the new age population, mainly among the affluent groups of San Francisco. It frightens the Christians. And it additionally terrifies middle magnificence Hindu householder morality.

All of this makes Hinduism as a substitute complicated to a child developing up in America: his parents are regularly caught among Nirguna Hinduism (which says that God does no longer want to have formed), Saguna Hinduism (wherein god is given the shape of Krishna, who is worshiped with Radha, who is not pretty Krishna’s wife) or Shakta Hinduism (which worships Kali, who dances on Shiva, making it an extremely complicated manner of explaining it to humans, mainly folks that are not able to recognize metaphors). Thus, one ought to empathize with dad and mom elevating Hindu kids in America. It isn’t always easy. There are no clean answers obtainable on how to educate them in a faith that does not have a proper, regulated shape of Abrahamic faiths.

I cannot blame generation, the Internet included, in your youngster’s protection (or unsafety) at the Internet. I even have spent greater than twenty-five years in the technical area, and it’d be ironic and shameful if I become promoting something that becomes placing my youngster in hazard. However, something is responsible, and I generally tend to come lower back to the identical question, “Are your kids at greater risk these days as compared to when you were their age?”

I truely believe they’re an extra threat now than while we have been kids. Let’s examine three one-of-a-kind scenarios to give some context to my evaluations: bullying, sexual predators, and violent content material.

Stop The Cyber Bully?

Think about when you were kind of the same age as your child. What had been you had been doing in the schoolyard? If you were unlucky, then you definitely, as a kid, may also have been bullied by other kids at the school. Maybe you even witnessed a bullying incident.

Bullying to your youngster-days normally remained within the schoolyard. When it was time to move home, the mental results of bullying probably trailed domestic with you, and whilst you again to highschool the next day, the bullying might also have picked up from where it left off – verbal and likely physical abuse.

The key thing is which you did no longer drag the bullying home with you. It stayed at school. Today, a kid generally no longer has the posh of leaving the bullying on the faculty grounds. The bullying can comply with them anywhere they go, referred to as cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying is totally Internet-based, and you did not have the Internet as a child. The closest resemblance to something just like the Internet changed into probable a smartphone or a ham radio, and I’m really stretching my creativeness. If someone desired to unfold the bullying phrase about you, the quality they might in all likelihood do is tell their faculty friends or perhaps unfold the bully phrase through telephone, a prolonged and hard way of spreading the bully phrase.

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