Don’t have a cow!<br />How do we portray Hinduism to the university community?<br />Shankar Vasudevan & Devshree Joshi<br />
What is Vishwaas?<br /><ul><li>UNSW Hindu Society
Formed in 2006
Over 150 current members
Objectives:
To create an environment where like minded people can interact and discuss Hinduism
To increase awareness and understanding of Hinduism, and inspire fellow youth
To provide a platform for individuals of any religion or background to explore Hinduism in a fun, interactive and non-thre...
Vishwaas Productions<br />Performing arts branch of Vishwaas<br />Runs outside the uni-society itself <br />Combines stude...
Challenges we face<br />Attracting new members<br />Sustaining the society<br />Promoting Hindu ideals & beliefs<br />Bala...
Challenges we face<br />Attracting new members<br />Sustaining the society<br />Promoting Hindu ideals & beliefs<br />Bala...
Attracting new members<br />Stereotypical perceptions of who we are:<br />“Cult”,  “Exclusive”,  “Hypocritical”, “Secular”...
Challenges we face<br />Attracting new members<br />Sustaining the society<br />Promoting Hindu ideals & beliefs<br />Bala...
Sustaining the society<br />Encouraging new members to get involved<br />Coming to events<br />Taking an active role in th...
Sustaining the society (cont.)<br />How we deal with it?<br />Different avenues of promotion (email, website, FB, word-of-...
Challenges we face<br />Attracting new members<br />Sustaining the society<br />Promoting Hindu ideals & beliefs<br />Bala...
Promoting Hindu ideals & beliefs<br />How do we educate others, when we ourselves are not completely knowledgeable?<br />D...
Promoting Hindu ideals & beliefs(cont.)<br />How we deal with it?<br />More of a discussion than a class<br />Utilise the ...
Challenges we face<br />Attracting new members<br />Sustaining the society<br />Promoting Hindu ideals & beliefs<br />Bala...
Balancing religious & non-religious activities<br />Digressing from our core aim as a society – Hinduism!<br />Catering to...
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Dont Have A Cow

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Presented by Devshree Joshi and Shankar Vasudevan, Vishwaas (UNSW Hindu Society)

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  • D: So as a lot of you may have experienced, being a “Hindu” society, we often get stereotyped into all kinds of things. From our experience, we’ve been called a “cult”, “exclusive”, “secular”, “spiritual” all kinds of things. We also get questions such as... From first years.Any experiences to share?SO how do we deal with this??I guess the first thing is appreciating this is an ongoing challenge, and nothing we say or do will instantly fix this issue. But what Shankar and I have tried to do as the execs is just be ourselves and talk to these people. Let them know we are just like them, and probably don’t know much more than most people and this is our way to learn and grow while giving back to others. The key is understanding this is a society like any other and we are part of a much bigger group, but in the end we are just individuals who wish to learn about our culture and have fun along the way.
  • S
  • S
  • D: I guess the essence of our problem lies in the dilemma “How do we educate others on something that we’re not entirely knowledgeable about”? So how do you be a teacher without first being a student. Different opinions and teaching have been passed down families for each member and no one can be branded as right or wrong. We don’t have a text that tells us what to do or how to run the society.And everyone has their own set of interests, so while some are keen on learning about things others might not be, so in the end we have to make a call about what goes ahead, to the best of our capabilities.
  • D: &lt;speak from the slide&gt;+ keep discussions very much open and a place for new ideas and hear what members wantWE DO OUR RESEARCH. Shankar and I are keen on reading up about things like the Ramayana, Mahabharat and we’re looking forward to having some interactive sessions and through our research we eventually aim to educate our members. But once again, Vishwaas isn’t about coming and learning from a teacher (as we by no means are teachers) but more about learning sort of facts and understanding them through discussion.WE WANT TO SEND OUT NEWSLETTERS with upcoming festivals, etc and discussion them.GUEST SPEAKERS are important to us, and we would love to work with HYA to organise more of these sessions.And we are open to suggestions from you guys? Anyone have any ideas?
  • S
  • D: So I guess that is OUR challenge, HOW do we apply Hinduism in our everyday lives?&lt;speak from the slide&gt;
  • D: Having looked at the issues we face and what we’re doing to overcome them, we will now take a holistic approach toward Hinduism. As you can see, it is more that just the worship of a cow!So if someone came up to us today and asked what Hinduism meant, this is what we would say...S: Paths to realisation in detail
  • Dont Have A Cow

    1. 1. Don’t have a cow!<br />How do we portray Hinduism to the university community?<br />Shankar Vasudevan & Devshree Joshi<br />
    2. 2. What is Vishwaas?<br /><ul><li>UNSW Hindu Society
    3. 3. Formed in 2006
    4. 4. Over 150 current members
    5. 5. Objectives:
    6. 6. To create an environment where like minded people can interact and discuss Hinduism
    7. 7. To increase awareness and understanding of Hinduism, and inspire fellow youth
    8. 8. To provide a platform for individuals of any religion or background to explore Hinduism in a fun, interactive and non-threatening manner</li></li></ul><li>What we do<br />Activities include:<br />Weekly discussion groups<br />Celebration of religious festivals such as Holi, Diwali & Navaratri<br />Temple trips & Bushwalks<br />Cultural events & performances<br />CHYK Garba & Bhangra Night<br />Cultural Night<br />Vegetarian BBQs<br />O-week & International night market food stalls<br />Sporting events such as inter-uni cricket & soccer tournaments<br />
    9. 9. Vishwaas Productions<br />Performing arts branch of Vishwaas<br />Runs outside the uni-society itself <br />Combines students & alumni from various universities<br />www.youtube.com/vishwaasproductions<br />Gandhi: The Power of One (August 1st, 2009)<br />Raised $8500 for the Medical Student Aid Project (MSAP) of UNSW<br />The Legend of Asoka (coming July 31st, 2010) <br />
    10. 10. Challenges we face<br />Attracting new members<br />Sustaining the society<br />Promoting Hindu ideals & beliefs<br />Balancing religious & non-religious activities<br />Putting Hindu values & concepts into action<br />
    11. 11. Challenges we face<br />Attracting new members<br />Sustaining the society<br />Promoting Hindu ideals & beliefs<br />Balancing religious & non-religious activities<br />Putting Hindu values & concepts into action<br />
    12. 12. Attracting new members<br />Stereotypical perceptions of who we are:<br />“Cult”, “Exclusive”, “Hypocritical”, “Secular”<br />“I’m not really religious. Will I fit in?”<br />“Why should I join? What’s in it for me?”<br />How we deal with it?<br />Ongoing challenge<br />Talk to them & explain what we do<br />Any experiences to share?<br />
    13. 13. Challenges we face<br />Attracting new members<br />Sustaining the society<br />Promoting Hindu ideals & beliefs<br />Balancing religious & non-religious activities<br />Putting Hindu values & concepts into action<br />
    14. 14. Sustaining the society<br />Encouraging new members to get involved<br />Coming to events<br />Taking an active role in the society<br />Motivating existing members to continually participate in our events<br />Sustaining the society financially (Uni students don’t always like to spend!)<br />
    15. 15. Sustaining the society (cont.)<br />How we deal with it?<br />Different avenues of promotion (email, website, FB, word-of-mouth)<br />Building a network of friends <br />“I’ll come to this event because my friends are coming”<br />Limit costs incurred for members<br />Discussion groups are free!!!<br />Discounted prices for members<br />
    16. 16. Challenges we face<br />Attracting new members<br />Sustaining the society<br />Promoting Hindu ideals & beliefs<br />Balancing religious & non-religious activities<br />Putting Hindu values & concepts into action<br />
    17. 17. Promoting Hindu ideals & beliefs<br />How do we educate others, when we ourselves are not completely knowledgeable?<br />Different opinions & teachings that have been passed down<br />No set text or curriculum that we follows<br />Different levels of knowledge & interest<br />How do we cater to everyone<br />
    18. 18. Promoting Hindu ideals & beliefs(cont.)<br />How we deal with it?<br />More of a discussion than a class<br />Utilise the collective knowledge of a group rather than 1 individual<br />Less intimidating for a new member<br />Everyone gets a chance to lead discussion<br />Guest presenters (e.g. Br Gopalji from CHYK)<br />We do our research, learn and pass on knowledge<br />Variety of discussion topics<br />Hindu concepts (Karma, Dharma), mythology (Ramayana, Mahabharata), meditation, festivals, rituals, prayers, idol worship, etc.<br />Any experiences to share?<br />
    19. 19. Challenges we face<br />Attracting new members<br />Sustaining the society<br />Promoting Hindu ideals & beliefs<br />Balancing religious & non-religious activities<br />Putting Hindu values & concepts into action<br />
    20. 20. Balancing religious & non-religious activities<br />Digressing from our core aim as a society – Hinduism!<br />Catering to all types of people and views<br />Incorporating *Hinduism* into our events<br />How we deal with it?<br />Discussion groups are on-going since start of society<br />Address *Hinduism* throughout our events (Diwali) & discussion groups (Holi)<br />
    21. 21. Challenges we face<br />Attracting new members<br />Sustaining the society<br />Promoting Hindu ideals & beliefs<br />Balancing religious & non-religious activities<br />Putting Hindu values & concepts into action<br />
    22. 22. Putting Hindu values & concepts into action<br />Finding ways of applying Hinduism in today’s world<br />How we deal with it?<br />Widespread issue (beyond Vishwaas alone)<br />Find effective ways to incorporate rituals into our events<br />Volunteer work – help everywhere we can (Help at the Temple, soup kitchens)<br />Charity work – give back to the community (Vishwaas Productions and Vishwaas Foundation)<br />Dealing with people and situations<br />Any experiences to share?<br />
    23. 23. Hinduism: Taking a holistic approach<br />As Hindu youths today:<br />Set of values and beliefs<br />A rich & vibrant culture<br />A way of life<br />A set of principle guiding us in how we live and behave<br />Path of realisation:<br />
    24. 24. Looking ahead<br />Continue the growth of Vishwaas every year<br />Keep the core of our activities focused on Hinduism and Hindu culture<br />Learn, share, educate and grow<br />Help our in every way we can: as students, alumni and members of the community<br />With HYA: Organise interactive sessions & forums with other uni Hindu societies <br />With HYA: Help us teach the others – day where we learn about Indian mythologies & the meaning of our festivals. <br />
    25. 25. Questions & comments<br />Thank you! <br />
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