Last weekend, a group of 20 yuvas and yuvatis (13 from SJSU Yuva shakha and 7 from Sunnyvale Yuva) went on a trip to downtown San Francisco on the occasion of Swami Vivekananda's janma divas. San Francisco was one of the cities visited by Swami Vivekananda during his pravas to US. Soon afterwards,a local chapter came up as the Vedanta Society of Northern California.
On November 7, 2010, Houghton Shakha celebrated “Diwali Prabhat”. This was the first HSS event in Michigan Tech, Houghton and it was a grand success.Almost 70 students and few faculty members came to attend this program. We were expecting somewhere 40-45 number of people, However almost double that number showed up during the actual event.
On the weekend of October 9th - 10th the Hindu Yuva, Florida held their 1st Vibhag YuvaSangam. The camp was held in Camp Owaissa Bauer, FL from Saturday 12 pm – Sunday 12 pm. Total 17 participants from 4 universities (Nova University, Florida International University, Florida Atlantic University and University of Miami) including first and second generation students and young working professionals. One student each from the Florida International University, University of Florida, Florida Atlantic University and Nova University along with the local HSS Pracharak Ramprasad Kraleti started the planning 1.5 months before and there were weekly conference phone calls for regular updates regarding sampark and session planning.
Hindu YUVA at Illinois State University organized a Ganesh Utsav celebration on September 11, 2010. This was the first time that Ganesh Puja was conducted on the campus. The puja started at noon on Saturday with the Aarti. After the Aarti, Shri Murali Reddy, general secretary of the midwest region of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, spoke to the students about Ganesh Utsav and the importance of being socially active in the community. Shri Srinarayan Chandak, vice-president of the midwest region of HSS, explained aspects of social service and how it can benefit the students personally and as well as build a strong community. The students enjoyed the discussion and were amazed with the work of HSS in the US.
Sixty students from George Washington University and George Mason University attended Hindu YUVA’s Ganesh Pooja at GWU on September 11th. The Ganesh murthy-sthapana was performed in the on-campus apartment of one of the Hindu YUVA members. Subsequently, the students performed aarti. The fragrance of dhoop sticks and karpur created a perfect atmosphere for celebration. Afterwards, everyone enjoyed delicious prasadam. Similar celebrations were also being performed at few more apartments on-campus.
Hindu YUVA at San Jose State University organized a welcome program, called Suswagatam, to welcome 65 new incoming students to campus. Unlike many other universities, SJSU does not have a “known” organized tradition of seniors helping new incoming students by providing airport pickup and temporary accommodation. Hindu YUVA, in an attempt to fill this void began Suswagatam with an objective to help new students and thus develop this culture. A total of 68 new students participated. The following were the different facets of Suswagatam2010:
The University of Washingon, Seattle chapter of Hindu YUVA volunteered with WACAP (the World Association for Children and Parents), an international adoption agency whose goal is to provide a home and a family for every orphan. WACAP works in many countries, particularly Russia, China and Ethiopia. They try to find families for orphans in their own home countries, but if this is not possible, they bring them to families in the US who want to adopt kids from outside. Over the years, a fairly large number of orphans have been adopted by families in the greater Seattle area. The WACAP annual kids day aims to bring together all these kids and their families for a picnic, giving them a chance to have fun together, get to know each other, and help the families connect to other families facing similar challenges of raising a foreign child.
The Hindu YUVA chapter of SJSU organized a "Speaker on Campus" event on June 29th, 2010. The Speaker for the occasion was Dr. Baltej Singh Mann, a visiting Professor at San Jose State University. He spoke on the topic "Rise of Bharat" to an audience of around 30 people. The attendees included faculty, students and professionals from the industry.
Hindu YUVA at University of Cincinnati won the 2010 Outstanding New Group Award (First Prize) and Diversity Award (Runner-up). The awards were given by the Student Activities Board of the university in recognition of Hindu YUVA’s many successful events and activities on campus.
The University of Washington chapter of Hindu YUVA organized their annual Speaker on Campus program on May 2, 2010. Hindu YUVA (Hindu Youth for Unity, Virtues and Action) is a registered student organization at the University of Washington which organizes a range of weekly and annual activities to increase awareness about Hindu culture in the community. There were two very informative talks by invited speakers –“Indian Culture and Traditions” by Dr. Yashwant Pathak and, “Introduction to Ayurveda” by Shri Harvilas Das. The event saw an attendance of around 60 people which included people from different cultures. The general response was good and everybody learnt a lot of new things from the two talks.