‘Vivekananda Express’ by youngsters of Indian origin in America
New York: More than a century after Swami Vivekananda travelled to America, youngsters of Indian origin are hitting the trail and visiting places where the Swamiji visited, stayed and delivered lectures. The programme named ‘Vivekan-anda Express’ has been facilitated by the Hindu Swayam-sevak Sangh (HSS), USA to mark the 150th birth anniversary celebrations.
As part of the series of visits planned, over a hundred young professionals of the Silicon Valley and students of nearby universities and schools visited the First Unitarian Church of Oakland, where Swami Vivekananda gave a speech in the year 1900. The speech is known to have brought many residents of Berkeley in contact with his message and later led to the establishment of the Vedanta Society at Berkeley.
“Swami Vivekananda was indeed one of the foremost cultural ambassadors of Hinduism and India to America. Also his message naturally connects with the youth. This is what makes him an icon to the Indian American youngsters” said Sairam Tyagarajan, who works at Cisco and is one of the volunteers who organised the event.
In the Church, the participants were shown the wooden chair where Swami Vivekananda sat as he waited for his turn to speak and the podium through which he delivered his speeches. The group later also participated in hiking, team games and group discussions on Swami Vivekananda’s message of Dharma and Yoga. The group plans to visit other places associated with Swami Vivekananda in San Francisco, Oakland and Alameda in the coming days.