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Diwali, the Festival of Lights, is the most popular Hindu holy day
There are 3 million Hindus in the United States and 1 billion worldwide
Sikhs, Jains and some Buddhists also celebrate this festival, Nov. 11 this year.
Flo Johnston | The News & Observer | July 14, 2015:: As the number of Hindu students in both North Carolina public and private schools continues to increase, public schools are being urged to include Diwali, the most popular Hindu holy day, as an official school holiday in the 2015-16 school calendars and beyond.
Rajan Zed, president of Universal Society of Hinduism, says it is unfair to require Hindu students to attend school on this holiday.
“This does not send a good signal to the impressionable minds of school children,” he says. “Holidays of all major religions should be honored and no one should be penalized for practicing their religion. Moreover, it is important to meet the religious and spiritual needs of these students.”
Hindu families celebrate Diwali day together at home, but parents do not want children deprived of any privileges at school because of absences on this day.
Hinduism is rich in religious festivals, sacred to Hindus. Diwali, the festival of lights, aims to dispel darkness and light up lives, symbolizing the victory of good over evil.
In addition to Hindus, Sikhs and Jains and some Buddhists also celebrate this festival, which will fall on Nov. 11 this year.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about 1 billion adherents and “moksh” or liberation is its ultimate goal. There are about 3 million Hindus in the United States.
A sign of the growing presence of Hindus in North Carolina is the recent announcement of a new Hindu temple in Charlotte.
Groundbreaking on a 17.5 acre site for Trimurti Temple Devasthanam was held last month. The 10,000 square-foot temple to be built in the traditional South Indian architectural style will include sanctums to house Hindu deities hand carved from black stone and imported from India.
Besides a sanctuary for worship services, the temple will house a hall, greenhouse and pond. Grand opening is set for March 15, 2016.
Courtesy: The Source.