Friday, May 17, 2013


THE STORY OF PREEYA PRAKASH - Preeya Prakash is difficult to define - even for Preeya Prakash. "I consider myself an American," she said during a recent break in classes at the University of Utah, where she is a 24-year-old graduate student with a BA in neuroscience from the University of Southern California. "And I'm a Utahn. I was born here in Salt Lake City. I have lived here all my life. I've got the accent and everything." She is also Indian. Her parents were both born and raised in India, and her hair, skin and handsome features bear the genetic imprint of a country in which she has never actually lived.
"When people ask me, 'Where are you from?' I always say, 'Well, I was born here,'" she says with characteristic wit and good humor. "And then they look at me and say, 'Well, yeah, but where are you ... you know ... from?' 

Things get a little more complicated for Preeya when you throw her Hindu beliefs and culture into the definitional equation. "Culturally, I am Hindu - and a pretty traditional Hindu, at that," she said while relaxing in one of the Marriott Library lounges. For Preeya, growing up Hindu in Utah has meant being part of a decided minority - racially, culturally and religiously. 
According to the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, Utah's 9,000 Hindus comprise .5 percent of the state's population - a number consistent with the percentage of Hindus throughout the United States.
"I credit my parents for teaching me how to balance our Hindu culture with the culture of Utah," Preeya said. "We were Americans, we were Utahns, we were Indians, we were Hindu. We were all of these things, and we embraced all of them fully and completely."

Preeya Prakash is a student at the University of Utah (USA) and she also attends religious ceremonies at the Sri Ganesha Hindu Temple of Utah in South Jordan. “She credits her parents with helping her figure out how to balance all of those cultures and find peace and happiness in her life,” says Joseph Walker the author of this article. “For me, I kind of look to my faith as a guideline for how I should lead my life. It’s the part of me that keeps me grounded, that tells me who I am and that I am part of something bigger than myself,” she says. Hindus living in foreign countries must be examples of good citizens. Helping and serving others, whatever their religion, is the moral duty of every Hindu.

Hindus are at the threshold of a major transformation. After centuries of subjugation, they are now making bold and mammoth progress in various fields. ... The future decades may be challenging for Hindus in many ways. Synthesizing modern science with traditional religious activities may bring forth golden opportunities previously unimagined. Hindus must not fear or pull away from the new world of technology. Instead, they must use the same to enhance and adorn their spiritual and religious pursuits. ... Hindus in foreign countries must conduct themselves as virtual ambassadors of India. They may serve and love their new country with complete sincerity and honesty without disrupting the roots with the country of their origin.

Dr. Hiro Badlani :
“Hinduism - Path of the Ancient Wisdom”
“Conclusion: A Legacy for Hindu Youth Diaspora”

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"

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