As Diwali becomes more of an American holiday, it's important to understand that it's easier now than ever before to incorporate a better sense of what Diwali and what it means into classrooms. That in itself is worth celebrating.
I always strongly urge teachers to avoid having parents (of any faith group) of their students come in and universalize a religion based purely on their experiences.
On the occasion of Diwali 2014, I want to share a reflection on one of the central narratives associated, in the Hindu tradition, with this festival. This is the narrative that connects Diwali with the celebration and rejoicing over the return of Rama to his home, after a lengthy exile.
Sharma's work is insightful in emphasizing the different sources of Gandhi's spiritual inspiration, especially in bringing out the role of the mother as guru.
So what would a Bollywood movie set on Mars be like? Pretty much what most earth-bound Bollywood movies are like (although to be fair, the industry has come a long way), and it goes something like this.
On the day of the Jewish New Year, the President of Indonesia, the country with the world's largest Muslim population, visited Washington, DC and spoke out for religious tolerance.
Brighter days are ahead, and we intend to make sure we continue to stay on the front lines of advocating for fairness and equity in our education.
History can be either a boring, anachronistic and even disempowering subject for children, or a magnificently life-changing and worldview-shaping one. California is at a moment now when it has to choose which of these approaches schools get to teach.
By the time you read this, Scotland will have decided already whether to secede from the United Kingdom and form its own independent country. I can hazard an informed guess, though, and for that I have KFC to thank.
Hinduism has a beautiful myth about the origins of love. In the beginning, there was a superbeing called Purusha. This being was without desire, craving, fear, or indeed the impulse to do anything at all--since the universe was already perfect and complete.
California has long been a leader in education. It's time for its standards to catch up to its reputation.
My assumptions about history began to change 13 years ago. I was teaching a class called Media, Stereotyping and Violence when the tragic events of 9/11 overtook our lives. In the days that followed, my students and I confronted a question: Is all this violence inevitable?
If there is a lesson to be learned from the nine short films that blend to create the magnificent Words with Gods it is that organized religion is not the most direct way to communicate with our higher being.
It's critical for South Asian American organizations that truly embrace progressive values to be inclusive of a Hindu American voice, acknowledge that Hindu Americans suffer from various forms of discrimination and hate crimes, and include them on policy initiatives that impact South Asian Americans and other marginalized communities.
Out of these troubled "my god is better than your god" times, rises an incredible film, premiered at this year's Venice Film Festival, out of competition.
I've been heartened to see some of my second-generation Hindu peers who have started their own families embrace a different model that makes a clear distinction between growing up as a practicing Hindu and being culturally Indian.