Thousands Gather for Hindu Festival in Cupertino

September 10, 2006

Source: The Mercury News

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/local/15485943.htm

On September 10, 2006 The Mercury News reported, "Ambuj Punn, 14, had one reason for attending a Hindu festival in Cupertino: 'parents.' Once he got there, he said, he realized it wasn't like going to temple. There were puppet shows, magic tricks and 'laughing yoga' -- where people chuckle while doing yoga. Thousands of Indo-Americans and others from across the Bay Area gathered at De Anza Community College on Saturday afternoon for a festival and conference celebrating the culture and philosophy of Hinduism. The event featured skits and puppet shows for children, music and dance performances, panels on topics such as being true to oneself, and workshops on ayurvedic medicine, an Indian holistic alternative medicine. 'Hinduism is not just a religion. It's a way of life,' said event spokeswoman Ashwini Surpur. 'All the different elements of life -- yoga, dance, drama, math, science, art and architecture -- are centered around dharma, or peace and cosmic harmony.' Surpur said that's what organizers -- including the Sunnyvale Hindu Temple, Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh and a coalition of about 40 local Indian and Hindu groups -- hope the event captures. Event spokesman Gaurang Desai said some people have wrongly implied that HSS, based in New Jersey, is related to the Hindu fundamentalist group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in India. 'There is no connection, financial, legal or otherwise,' he said. 'People try to read between the lines, but the bottom line is there is nothing to read. We see this as a chance for our community to come together and share what we have to contribute in medical and other arenas.'"