Press Release for Monday, May 2 program.
On Monday, May 2, 1994 Hindu Students Council at The Ohio State University
hosted "Hindu Culture and Its Relevance Today" with exhibits on Aspects of
Hindu Culture and a talk by Shri Bansi Pandit on Hinduism in the Modern World.
This event was a tremendous success for the OSU chapter and over 70 people
attended the event. Many of those who attended were non-Indians, and many had
never attended an HSC activity before. Those who had attended other HSC events
commented that this was the best event that we had held all year.
The evening began at 6 PM with different exhibit displays and
presentations. The exhibits were each unique, varied, and interesting.
Ushma,Anu, Divyesh, and Mukul created a mandap for their display "Hindu
Deities in a Temple Setting." The mandap was beautiful, and included deities,
a bell, and all the other standards in a puja setting. In a brief five minute
presentation Ushma explained to the audience the significance of the different
parts of the puja setup. The group also set out copies of sacred
Hindu literature for students to look at.
Next, the audience was entertained by a game of Jeopardy between guess
who? Michigan, OSU, and India!! The audience loved this exhibit as it was
very humorous. Michigan and OSU represented by Anand, and Raj respectively
would keep blundering on the answers whereas India represented by Sonal Doctor
- a visiting speech therapist from India - would answer everything correctly!
The contestants were required to answer frequently asked questions about
Hinduism such as why do women wear bindi on forehead, why is cow sacred, what
is puja, etcetera. OSU made a terrible blunder at one part. The host played
by Poonam, described a pooja and OSU held up a poster of a woman!! Of course,
Michigan had its share of blunders too - for example, Michigan had no idea what
the Trinity in Hinduism is and named some strange cartoon characters!. The
game came equipped with real buzzers, scoreboard, etcetera.
Following this exhibit, the audience dispersed and walked through the
Shri Bansi Pandit's talk on "Hinduism in the Modern World" began at 7PM.
Avinash welcomed everyone and talked a little bit about The Office of Asian
American Student Services which was a tremendous help to us in this event, and
which co-sponsored this event with HSC. He next introduced Raj, who spoke
about the vision, goals, and activities of HSC. Finally, Sonal introduced to
us Shri Pandit and Panditji began his talk.
Panditji spoke about the essential doctrines of Hinduism - ahimsa,
tolerance, service, Law of Karma, etcetera. He also spoke about the universal
aspects of Hinduism, and went on to apply Hindu philosophy to modern day
problems such as ethnic cleansing in Bosnia etcetera, and showed how Hindu
doctrines could be applied to solve these problems. The talk was very well
received by the students and was followed by a question/answer session and
reception in which students asked many questions. During the reception drinks
and cookies were served. The talk was concluded when Shilpa presented
Panditji with flowers to show the students' appreciation.
Finally, at 915 PM, after everyone had eaten and talked the exhibit
presentations began again. Jaideep performed the table for the audience for
about fifteen minutes.
Next, we had another Jeopardy session which was as popular as the first.
Following, the Jeopardy session Sonal and Shilpa presented a slide show on
Hindu Architecture and Landmarks. Their slide show consisted of temples from
India, and other areas of the world. In their presentation they discussed when
the temple had been built or any unique aspects of the site.
Next, Jignesh talked about the unique beauty of Rabrindanath Tagore's
writings,and showed the audience some of the books that he had managed to find.
He also introduced the audience to some women writers through the book, Women
Writing in India.
Finally, the presentaions were concluded with a discussion presented by
Mahesh Chohan - a visiting dentist from India who talked about Hindu
contributions to the sciences. The nice aspect of Mahesh's presentation was
that he included many modern day contributions such as Nobel prizewinners, the
Raman Theory, etcetera. The event was wrapped up with a repeat puja
presentation and the entire evening was concluded at 10:15.
Thus, this event was very successful. All the volunteers at OSU worked
very hard to make this event a great success. Congratulations to all of them.
Please send any comments that you may have after reading this.