Hindu Community in Huntington Beach, California

November 20, 1999

Source: Los Angeles Times

On November 20, 1999, the Los Angeles Times published an article on the Hindu community in Huntington Beach, CA. More than 15 families have gathered together once every other week for the past 15 years in private homes. The main purpose of the group, officially titled United India Bal Vihar, is to teach their children about the traditions and history of Hinduism, which they don't get in school. At the gatherings, there are opening prayers and chanting, followed by a speech about ethics from an elder, and then a presentation by a young person on Hinduism. The group is then split up into senior, intermediate, and junior groups to study Sanskrit and hear stories from Hindu texts. Arpita Banaji, a 6-year-old from Hacienda Heights, CA, stated: "In my school, they don't tell us about Hindus." Dr. Lalith Ananth, a physician who hosted the most recent gathering, stated: "The children have a sense of belonging here...Learning about the Hindu culture makes you think about God. It makes you less selfish." Rishi Goel, a computer science student at USC, has been a part of the group since he was 5 years old: "It helps me live my life...Hinduism is a way of life. It helps me make moral decisions."