Who we are
Hindu Parents Network (HPN) is an initiative of CoHNA to bring together parents on a platform that allows for exchange of ideas and resources to:
As Hindu parents and caretakers living in a multi-identity world, we often face various challenges as we strive to give our children the best that life has to offer. From the best extracurricular activities to the best educational opportunities, we want to ensure that our kids grow up ready to face and embrace with all that life has to offer. Yet, a key missing ingredient in the recipe is an exposure to various aspects of their Hindu identity beyond the Poojas and the cultural programs. We are often unable to show how a Hindu identity is essential in today’s world and how Hindu Dharma has the tools and teachings to help everyone live a life of joy and satisfaction.
On top of that, curricula and pedagogical discources in schools and colleges portray Hindu Dharma and India via the lens of “caste, cows and curry,” while dismissing millennia of great contributions and philosophical treasures of our tradition. Hindu Dharma is shown as inherently “problematic” and backward. In contrast, other religious traditions are accorded proper treatment and representation. This uneven dynamic results in feelings of shame, disgust and Hinduphobia among Hindu and non-Hindu kids and puts Hindu kids on the defensive. Many shy away from their Hindu identity or shun any discussions about “uncomfortable” issues from fear of being alienated, bullied or ostracized from their peer groups and circles.
At the same, many parents are unaware of these undercurrents or lack a platform and the means to answer critical social justice and human rights topics within the context of a Hindu framework. Thus, when faced with questions around today’s societal challenges or the portrayal of Hindu Dharma, many parents avoid such discussions or provide irrational perspectives. This creates friction in the family and further alienates Hindu kids from the tradition.
HPN is an effort to address some of the above concerns and to empower parents to be the ambassadors of change in this discourse.