Hinduism in America
When you think about Hinduism, what comes to mind? To begin with, hinduism is one of the oldest religions on the planet. They make up 15 percent of the world’s population, with 93 percent of Hindus in India. There are roughly 24 thousand Hindus in present day Brooklyn and about 2.23 million in the United States. Despite this, there are still signs of Indian culture and values in Hindu Americans. These Hindu Americans have strong values of family, religion, money, education, karma and are very content with life. They worship many Gods, which is also called polytheistic. Hindu Americans care about their relatives and support them. They also push their children to do well in school, which leads to more money being earned. Hindus also care a lot about how they treat others and how it will affect them later in their own lives.
Indian culture has something called the caste system, in which, if you do something good, you’ll be reincarnated in a higher caste or even as a God or if you do something bad, you get reincarnated in a lower caste or as an animal. Speaking of animals, Indians worship many animals, such as cows, as God’s used them to travel, elephants, in respect of Lord Ganesha, and even a snake, the King Cobra, as Lord Shiva has a cobra around his neck. Indian values also are a little confusing in the women’s area as the highest goddesses are seen as an obedient daughter, mother or wife. Despite this, in hinduism, females are to be respected and protected, no female should be harmed or mistreated in India. A goddess who is seen as fierce and powerful is Kali Ma, who does not require a man. Additionally, according to hinduism, the shakti, or the energy in the universe, is female.
In Hinduism, there is the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, which are two of the epics included in Hinduism. The Mahabharata is about a war between two princes, the Pandavas and Kauravas, for the leadership of Hastinapura. Ramayana is about how Rama was banished and his wife, Sita, was kidnapped by Ravana, the king of demons, who fell in love with her. Hindus value the importance of morality and they have a strong belief in religion. This can be shown in the poojas and weddings in Hindu culture. Weddings are very different from Christian marriage where an exchange of rings and vows take place. Weddings entail a ceremony which involves dancing, lots of food being served, and where the wife and husband oscillate around an auspicious fire while the priest reads their vows.
In current-day Hinduism, many people still view the past cultures with great respect, while others choose to ignore it. For example, although my parents are somewhat religious, I am agnostic, which implies that God’s presence is unknown. My parents raised me to be a Hindu but my grandmother was actually a Christian and she took me to church a few times. Past cultures were much stricter than present day culture but there are still some similarities’. This attribute is shown in the entertainment category, music and movies were linked and still are, so if you are a movie star, you are seen as a singer since Indian songs intertwine with their movies. Family also holds a very strong impression in Hinduism. A father goes to work to provide for his entire family, be he live with only his wife and kids or his extended family, which would be his wife, kids, parents, sisters, brothers, and etc. Meanwhile, a mother raises her son or daughter to become strong, independent and resourceful. Hindu-Americans bring up their children to work hard in school to have good grades which will lead to a job and then a career. This is the idea that Hindu-Americans follow in the United States, their own American Dream per se.
Hinduism’s value of education and money is very plausible in today’s culture, as Hindus have been known for being the ethnicity with the highest income over other races (Hillburn para 9). According to Hillburn, more than 80% of Hindu-Americans are college graduates and more than 50% of them have post graduate education, which is quintuple that of the national average. Not only do Hindu-Americans excel in education but their education leads them to acquire a career in which they rise up in. These people grow to become CEOs in a multitude of companies, even in Google and Microsoft, which are run by Indian-origin CEOs. Another way Hindu-American’s value of money is shown is by how they normally save their money and are known as very cheap people.