Local Hindu Community Celebrates Raksha Bandhan (Universal Oneness Day)


(With the First Responders)

(with The Arcadia Mayor Tay)

Every year, millions of Hindus around the world celebrate Raksha Bandhan to signify the special bond of love and protection between siblings, especially brothers and sisters. According to Hindu calendar, Raksha Bandhan falls on the full moon day of the month of Shraavana – which corresponds to August 22nd this year, as per the Gregorian Calendar. Traditionally, Raksha Bandhan, which means “bond of protection”, is celebrated between brothers and sisters, where the sister ties a colorful and decorative wrist band, called Rakhi, to her brother, praying for his well-being. In return, the brother extends a token of love and affection towards the sister. Similar to many festivals, the occasioninvolves family gatherings, an exchange of gifts, sweets and of course, a feast with delicacies. Over the years, given the pluralistic nature of Hindu philosophy, Raksha Bandhan evolved as a cross-cultural festival to extend the celebration beyond families and into societies at large. In USA, Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS), a non-profit, socio-cultural, volunteer-based organization which believes in the Hindu principle ‘the whole world is one family’, has been playing a vital role in commemorating Raksha Bandhan as “Universal Oneness Day.” On this day, HSS volunteers renew their commitment to serve the society and emphasize the need for all Americans, irrespective of their racial and religious backgrounds, to come together as one big family to protect each other. They also reach out to frontline workers and public officials, who take an oath to serve and protect their fellow citizens, and tie Rakhis (wrist bands) to them as a gesture of recognizing their hard work. HSS extends sincere appreciation to many City Halls, Sheriff and Fire Departments, Governors’ Offices and Congressional members, for their continued collaboration and recognition of Universal Oneness Day’s positive message to bring the entire society together. The occasion garners even more significance this year as we mark the 20th anniversary of 9/11, and remember the brave souls who lost their lives. Pluralism and multiculturalism are the core foundations of our great nation, and we are fortunate to live in a City that showcases such a vibrant multicultural society. Hence, it is

essential for all of us to make an effort to learn from each other, extend mutual respect and celebrate happy occasions and face challenging times with a sense of bondage among members of society from various ethnic, racial and religious backgrounds. Raksha Bandhan (Universal Oneness Day) offers a great platform to not only practice such values, but more importantly, pass them onto our future generations. To know more about the organization, please visit - www.hssus.org To contact or get involved with local HSS chapter, please email to - hss.templecity@gmail.com For updates and future events please visit their Facebook page at - https://www.facebook.com/HSSDurgaShakha/