A Global Movement To Revive Hindu Tradition Is Driven by A Humble High School Girl
October 12, 2021 – This year’s World Bindi Day was celebrated by many organizations and universities at numerous national and international locations. Hindu youth around the world celebrated “World Bindi Day” during the start of Navratri, on October 7, 2021.
World Bindi Day was conceived by Massachusetts high school senior, Archita Nemalikanti. “This day is an opportunity to understand the glory of the Hindu tradition, embrace the deeper meaning of the bindi, and bring the bindi back into the mainstream” remarked Nemalikanti. Many Organizations joined to execute this World Bindi Day to recognize Nemalikanti’s movement globally.
The event was celebrated throughout the day in twenty locations in major US university campuses/cities and also many international locations with a lot of enthusiasm. Students set up information booths, handed out bindis, created social media posts to teach about the science, history, spirituality, and beauty of the bindi – and, by extension, Hindu culture – to their friends and community.
At the final virtual event (World Bindi Day 2021, a Hindu Heritage Month Event) attended by several prominent chief guests: author Sahana Singh, activist Sushil Pandit, and New York Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar.
Archita Nemalikanti, founder Mission Bindi, gave the welcome address. “This event is a huge success because I see, at least in a few Hindus, a strong thirst to assert themselves”. Nemalikanti also shared the challenge that World Bindi Day addresses, explaining that most Hindu youth prioritize “what they see in today’s mainstream society – to fit in with the popular kids, to get into a good college, etc. Somehow, there is a narrative mixed in that the bindi or tilak is not cool, which is why youth are reluctant to assert their culture” She stressed Hindu youth should assert their Hindu identity, as “by embracing your tradition and asserting your identity, half the battle is already won against opposing narratives”.
Sushil Pandit, a renowned Kashmiri Activist, indicated that although Bindi/Tilak are physical manifestations of our identity, they still have a higher significance.
Pandit emphasized how Hindus are “the people of consciousness, the people of contemplation, and the people of seeking answers”, which is what makes Hindus different. “With a Tilak/Bindi we wear that difference with pride, with honor, with recognition, and with what our ancestors have bequeathed us as a timeless tradition,” he remarked.
Sahana Singh, Author and Member of IHAR, said that our two eyes look outward, but our third eye is where the Agya Chakra is and it looks inwards for intuition and self-awareness.
Jenifer Rajkumar, the first Hindu-American New York State Assemblywoman, gave insight on how the Bindi and general Hindu culture has influenced her life serving America. She remarks that “we must remember to always put our best foot forward and answer naysayers who don’t understand our culture, with love,” and that we should “always show America what Hinduism is – a faith that embraces tolerance.”
The event concluded with showcasing various regional event photos across the world, including endorsements from Mayor of Plano, Mayor John B. Muns and endorsement pictures from Consulate General of India – Atlanta Dr. Swati Vijay Kulkarni.
About World Bindi Day
World Bindi Day is a joint initiative of Mission Bindi, HSC and CoHNA. Partner organizations include Hindu on Campus, British Hindus, Bhuveer, Hindu Parents Network (HPN), Hindu Students & Youth Network (HSYN), Hindu Students Council Trinidad & Tobago (HSCTT), Hindu Youth New Zealand (HYNZ), and New Zealand Hindu Students Forum (NZHSF).
The event can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/DAaWq_BTEp4
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