DENVER, USA: “Hindus settling in the western countries can lead their lives as proud Hindus and preserve their religion, heritage and culture” Dr. Ved Nanda, the president of the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS), USA declared here recently.
Addressing big gathering of Bhutanese Hindu Community of Colorado at the Nepali New Year celebration in Denver, Dr Nanda urged the community to continue their Hindu way of life in America and assured that they have the freedom and cultural environment to do so.
He asked the Bhutanese community to be vigilant and not fall prey to the proselytisation efforts by the Christian missionaries. It is essential and possible to continue many Hindu practices such as daily puja, bhajan, keertan and temple worship in the US, he observed.
Dr Nanda praised the Hindu communities in Suriname, Guyana and the Caribbean countries as a model for Hindus worldwide for preserving and promoting Hindu religion and culture for generations. He also stressed that many Hindus in the western countries have successfully maintained their Hindu identity.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Vijayaraj Sharma, a professor of economics at the Univeristy of Boulder, encouraged the Bhutanese families to preserve their unique religion and culture and not to be intimidated by their external environment in America.
Neelam Shreshta, president of the Rocky Mountain Friends of Nepal (RMFN) chaired the event and offered support to the Bhutanese families. Colorado Bhutanese Community, Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS), USA and Sewa International which had organised the event. More than 400 Bhutanese participated in the celebrations.
HSS and Sewa International are working very closely with the Bhutanese refugee communities across the US to help them settle in and maintain their Hindu identity in an alien country.
Bhutanese Hindus were driven out of Bhutan for political reasons during the early 1990s. After living in refugee camps in Nepal for 18 years, these families have been offered refuge by the US and other western countries. Out of 60 thousand Bhutanese accepted by the US, more than 24,000 have already arrived and settled in various parts of the country. For details on the struggle of these families please read Hinduism Today article here: http://www.hinduismtoday.com