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Hindus celebrate their Heritage in a historic event - Hindu Sangam

Hindus celebrate their Heritage in a historic event - Hindu Sangam

For Immediate Release

Milpitas, CA, July 21, 2001 - Hindus celebrate their Heritage in a historic event - Hindu Sangam.

Pictures of the event can be downloaded from our website

The Hindu Sangam, a confluence of Hindus of the Bay Area, was a grand success.  It exceeded the expectations of its organizers, drawing about 12,000 to 15,000 Hindus in a daylong program on Saturday, July 21st, 2001, at the Milpitas High School, Milpitas, California.  This was the first-ever Hindu cultural celebration that took place in the Greater San Francisco/San Jose/Fremont Bay Area. Over 35 Bay area organizations from every part of the society, including temples, professional organizations, linguistic groups, and spiritual organizations were behind this historic and magnificent event.

Hindu Sangam's objective was to bring all the Hindus together on one platform and provide an opportunity to identify themselves with pride as Hindus.  Youths and children expressed this pride by participating in various discussions on Hinduism, in essay competitions, and performing a grand musical play, "the Ramayana." San Jose Gurudwara performed keertan in performing arts track of Hindu Sangam, demonstrating the historical unity and oneness between Hindus and Sikhs.

"I am extremely delighted to see such massive response to Hindu Sangam.  Sunnyvale Hindu Temple is very proud to be the grand sponsor of this event and we hope to conduct this event every year," said Mr. Naranji Patel of Sunnyvale Hindu temple. Mrs. Anita Gunsagar, the secretary of Sunnyvale temple, emphasized that the purpose of this effort was to express our great heritage and vision that could be useful for the entire humanity. "The volunteers of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) spread the message of Hindu Sangam to 20,000 Hindus in the Bay area in a meticulously planned and executed campaign that included a door-to-door campaign. More than 500 volunteers contributed with 'tana-mana-dhana' (mind body and resources) in past few months. We made all the efforts to make this event properly planned, execute and make it successful," said Sri Khanderao Kand, West Coast coordinator of HSS, the grand sponsor. "We feel that Hindu Sangam's objectives were reached in total and far exceeded our expectations, such that, this can be an annual event," said Dr. Romesh Japra of the Hindu Temple, Fremont, the grand sponsors.  As a coordinator of this event, Sri Khanderao thanked all the volunteers and organizations that had been working since February 2001 to make this unique event a grand success.

Hindus from every corner of the Bay area started coming to the program from 1 PM.  A variety of programs in different tracks, Spirituality, Yoga & Ayurveda, Performing Arts, Youth, and Children, were conducted with meticulous planning.  The environment was filled with saffron color, a symbol of Hinduism that signifies purity and sacrifice.  That heritage was demonstrated well with the entire program being free.  Every participant was served with Preeti Bhoj (free lunch and dinner that was sponsored by Sunnyvale Temple and catered by Swagat Cuisine), "the food with love."

The evening program's star attraction, a grand musical play, "the Ramayana" was an instant success.  The audience was glued to their seats and watched the play by over 300 children in rapt attention. Children of various ages from 4 to 15 played different roles.  They have been practicing for the last three months the parents of these children played a crucial role by bringing the children on time and on weekdays and weekends alike.

The keynote speaker, Sri K.S. Sudarshan, the Sarasanghachalak (President) of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), said, "I congratulate the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh and all other Hindu organizations, who put in their collective effort to make the Hindu Sangam a great success with the participation of about 12,000 Hindus belonging to different language groups, sects, and religious denominations.  Each and every sect or religious group or linguistic organization has its own relevance.  But there is a greater need for them to come together to face the challenge, which the Hindus encounter as a whole.  This Hindu Sangam amply demonstrated that the Hindus could rise above their considerations of caste, creed, language, and religion and come together as Hindus.  Let it be an annual affair to instill the sense of oneness among all the Hindus. 'Hindvah Sodrah Sarve' - all Hindus are brothers." He also emphasized the Hindu model of sustained consumption, which will be beneficial to the entire humanity and also to reestablish the balance of ecosystem.

Sri Anup Jalota, the legendary bhajan singer, enthralled the audience with his bhajans, starting with "Yise Laagi Lagan, Mira Hogai Magan."  Sri Anup Jalota raised the patriotic fervor of the audience by raising "Bharath Mata ki Jai," and "Sri Rama chandraki Jai" slogans.

The Hindu society responded in an emphatic and positive manner to the Hindu Sangam efforts, as many participants felt that they got reconnected to their roots and culture.  Pratichi Mathur, a panelist in Yoga & Ayurveda Sangam said, "Normally my talk consists of mostly western audience. It was a delight to see so many Indians in rapt attention in this class."  A caller who attended the Hindu Sangam event said, "The organizers did a great job". Another person said, "I am proud to be a Hindu. Thank you so much for organizing this. I want to touch your feet for doing this!"  Sandeep Bhatnagar of Sunnyvale, CA echoed the same sentiment and said, "Thanks for giving us an opportunity to stay in touch with our roots and culture."

The Consulate General of India, San Francisco Consulate, Sri H.H.S. Vishwanathan visited Hindu Sangam along with his deputy consul, Sri Abhijeet Haldar.  Other dignitaries included Congressman Mike Honda; Mrs. Rosemary Stasek, Mayor of Mountain View; and Mr. Tom Wilson, city manager of Milpitas on behalf of Mayor Henry Manayan who honored Sri K.S.Sudarshan with a proclamation and a key of Milpitas City.

Hindu Sangam Media Contact:
Anand Bemra, bemra@yahoo.com, 408-946-1335
Gaurang Desai, gaurang@mediaq.com, 510-683-8922
URL: http://www.hindusangam.org

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