Religion

Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA honors over 2,000 educators nationwide during Teachers’ Appreciation Week


Over 80 chapters of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA (HSS) celebrated “Guru Vandana” during Teachers’ Appreciation Week, honoring over 2,000 educators nationwide.

ROCKAWAY, N.J. — In a heartfelt tribute to educators across the nation, more than 80 chapters of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA (HSS) organized “Guru Vandana” events during Teachers’ Appreciation Week and National Teachers’ Day in the first week of May. These events honored over 2,000 educators and administrators through their Hindu students, who are taught the values of respect and appreciation both at home and in HSS weekend gatherings.

Guru Vandana: A Tradition of Reverence

In Hindu culture, a Guru is revered as the “Supreme Being” who illuminates the light of knowledge and dispels the darkness of ignorance. HSS volunteers, recognizing the profound impact of teachers in shaping lives, hold Guru Vandana events annually in May to express gratitude and respect.

Event Highlights from Across the Nation

  1. California: At Ron Nunn Elementary School, teachers from Brentwood Unified School District were celebrated with musical and dance performances reflecting Hindu culture. Brentwood Mayor Joel Bryant and BUSD Superintendent Dana Eaton, Ed.D., were among the honored guests who expressed their appreciation for this cultural tribute.
  2. Texas: In the Houston area, multiple Guru Vandana events featured traditional recitations, dances, and skits by schoolchildren, emphasizing the importance of teachers. Educators received flowers and aartis, and were gifted tokens of appreciation at events in Katy and Sugarland.
  3. Illinois: Chicago’s HSS chapters honored 80 IPSD Administrators and Faculty Members, including Clayton Mohammad, City of Aurora’s Chief Communication and Equity Officer. Students performed skits and presentations based on Hindu scriptures, ending with interactive dances.
  4. New Jersey: Edison’s celebration included skits on the historical guru-disciple relationship, highlighting Hindu king Shivaji Maharaj’s respect for his guru, Swami Ramdas.
  5. Massachusetts: Westford’s event showcased Yoga, Bharatnatyam and Kathak dances, a flute recital, and speeches on the significance of teachers.
  6. Arizona and New Mexico: Events in Arizona and New Mexico included distinguished guests like Mrs. Chavon Woods from the Arizona Governor’s Office. Over 400 attendees celebrated with performances and gifts for teachers.
  7. Ohio: HSS Cleveland honored educators at the Solon Center for the Arts with gifts of marigold plants nurtured by students. The Licking Heights and Reynoldsburg School District staff were celebrated with traditional dance, singing, and poetry.
  8. Pennsylvania: Fugett Middle School’s weekly newsletter praised the local HSS chapter’s Guru Vandana event for its rich cultural practices and tradition of honoring teachers.
  9. Maryland: Over 40 educators from various counties were honored at an event featuring Judy Jones from Howard County School System and Dr. Richa Agarwala, followed by an Indian delicacy buffet and a cultural exhibition.
  10. Rhode Island: Close to 15 teachers attended the Guru Vandana event for the first time, held in Rhode Island. They were highly impressed by the concept and were very appreciative while experiencing unique ways of appreciation of teachers by their students. This event included special games involving teachers’ participation, cultural programs by students, and food at the end of the event. 

Testimonials and Community Impact

Mayor Peter Cantu of Plainsboro, NJ, lauded the West Windsor Plainsboro HSS chapter’s event as the “perfect culmination of diversity and inclusivity.” In Arizona, Mayor Bridget Peterson of Gilbert and her council members expressed deep appreciation for the reverence shown towards teachers. Indiana’s Avon Community Schools Superintendent Scott Windham highlighted the significance of such events in fostering respect for teachers.

A Message of Gratitude and Respect

A senior HSS volunteer summarized the spirit of Guru Vandana: “Building a culture of respect and positive relationships in schools requires collaboration from parents, teachers, and the wider community. Guru Vandana events symbolize surrender to the knowledge and guidance teachers provide, deeply rooted in Hindu culture.”

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For more information about HSS USA and the Guru Vandana events, please visit www.hssus.org

About Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA
Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh USA (HSS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the cultural and spiritual development of the Hindu community in the United States. Through various programs and activities, HSS aims to promote values of respect, inclusivity, community service, and interfaith dialogue.

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Religion News Service or Religion News Foundation.



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