HSS Yogathon sees a million Surya Namaskars across US
The Yogathon at the Town Square Plaza in Sugarland, Texas
The Health for Humanity Yogathon ended January 29 with 11,538 people participants crossing the 15-day nationally coordinated yoga program’s goal of a total
of a million Surya Namaskars, a series of yoga exercises. A
total of 1,003,250 Surya Namaskars were performed,
according to Vikas Deshpande, one of the organizers.
Surya Namaskar Yajna, the national campaign by the
Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, aims to create awareness
about yoga and its advantages. Since its inception in 2006,
yoga centers, community organizations, schools and colleges, regardless of individual faiths and beliefs, have participated across the United States.
“This year we had (events in) 204 cities, from Berkeley,
California, to New York City,” said Deshpande. Mayors of 21
cities and towns and Colorado Governor John
Hickenlooper encouraged their constituents to participate
in the health-awareness program, Deshpande said. Let’s
Move Faith and Communities, launched by First Lady
Michelle Obama and dedicated to addressing childhood
obesity, also partnered with the program.
A 25-year love for Indian films
ARTHUR J PAIS
From left, Mona Sethi, Darshan Sethi, Narinder Sethi, Raju Sethi, Suhana Sethi, Hansita Sethi, Armaan Sethi and Neelam
It was bad enough if you were the only Indian immigrant kid in a school in a small New Jersey town in the late
1970s. It was worse if you were a Sikh and
went to class with a patka.
“In addition to being bullied and made
fun of worshipping cows, I had to bear a
lot of insults because of the big bun on my
head,” remembers Raju Sethi, founder
and chief executive officer, AVS TV which
reaches, he claims, over a million
Bollywood-fixated viewers across the
United States every Saturday. “I had a lot
of hair and my patka was quite big. To
make things worse, I had a luxuriant
beard at 14.”
So one day, like many young Sikhs who
undergo similar experiences at school, he
asked his father Narinder Sethi and
mother Darshan Kaur if he (Raju, whose
given name is Gurmeet) could shave his
beard and cut his hair.