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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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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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