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Hindus Around The World Celebrate World Bindi Day

Press Release

Hindus around the world celebrate World Bindi Day

Hindu organizations around the world celebrated World Bindi Day during the start of Navratri on October 7, 2021. This year, World Bindi Day was celebrated as a part of Hindu Heritage Month, an officially recognized month during which Hindus celebrate and share their culture with their community.

World Bindi Day was started in 2020 by Mission Bindi, an organization that spreads awareness of the bindi and Hindu heritage, and was conceived by Massachusetts high school senior, Archita Nemalikanti. World Bindi Day is an opportunity to understand the glory of the Hindu tradition, embrace the deeper meaning of the bindi, and bring the bindi back into the mainstream. Mission Bindi, in collaboration with Hindu Students Council (HSC), and the Coalitions of Hindus of North America (CoHNA), hosted a livestream during World Bindi Day to recognize Nemalikanti’s movement globally. 

The event was celebrated throughout the day in twenty locations in major US university campuses/cities which include Chicago, New Jersey, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Arkon, Los Angeles, etc. This year, international locations in other countries like Australia, New Zealand, UK, India and Trinidad & Tobago, also celebrated World Bindi Day with a lot of enthusiasm. Students set up information booths, handed out bindis, created social media posts, and hosted virtual online sessions to teach about the science, history, spirituality, and beauty of the bindi - and, by extension, Hindu culture - to their friends and community.

This day ended with a final virtual event (World Bindi Day 2021, a Hindu Heritage Month Event) hosted by several prominent chief guests: author Sahana Singh, activist Sushil Pandit, and New York Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar. 

Archita Nemalikanti, founder Mission Bindi, gave the welcome address. “This event is a huge success because I see, at least in a few Hindus, a strong thirst to assert themselves”. Nemalikanti also shared the challenge that World Bindi Day addresses, explaining that most Hindu youth prioritize “what they see in today’s mainstream society - to fit in with the popular kids, to get into a good college, and the list goes on. Somehow, there is a narrative mixed in that the bindi or tilak is not cool, which is why youth are reluctant to assert their culture…the bindi is fading right in front of our eyes.” She stressed that community leaders should address Hindu youth issues and so they can assert their Hindu identity, as “by embracing your transition and asserting your identity, half the battle is already won against opposing narratives”. 

Sushil Pandit, a renowned Kashmiri Activist, indicated that although Bindi/Tilak are physical manifestations of our identity, they still have a higher significance. Pandit explained that, in Hindu dharma, humans have a higher consciousness and added that "the frontal lobe of our mind...is where functional memory resides.” Pandit emphasized how we Hindus are “the people of consciousness, the people of contemplation, the people of seeking answers”, which is what makes Hindus different. “With a Tilak, with a Bindi, we wear that difference with pride, with honor, with recognition, and with what our ancestors have bequeathed us as a timeless tradition,” he powerfully remarked. 

Sahana Singh, Author and Member of IHAR, said that the Aagya Chakra is located between the brows, on the forehead, and Bindi is said to enhance the power of that chakra. Our two eyes look outward, but our third eye is where the Agya Chakra is said to look inwards for intuition and self-awareness.

"Typically most Hindu practices have some deeper meaning which we come to know when we ask questions,” and only then we will know how profound these practices are. They all connect to the essence of Hinduism, as Singh remarked that "Hinduism seamlessness links routine to profound.”

Jenifer Rajkumar, the first Hindu-American New York State Assemblywoman, gave insight on how the Bindi and general Hindu culture has influenced her life serving America. She remarks that on World Bindi Day, "we must remember to always put our best foot forward and answer naysayers who don't understand our culture, with love," and that we should "always show America what Hinduism is - a faith that embraces tolerance."

The event was anchored by MC Sohini Sircar and concluded with showcasing various local event photos across the world, including endorsements from Mayor of Plano, Mayor John B. Muns and endorsement pictures from Consulate General of India - Atlanta Dr. Swati Vijay Kulkarni.

World Bindi Day is a joint initiative of Mission Bindi, Hindu Students Council (HSC) and the Coalition of Hindus of North America (CoHNA). Partner organizations include Hindu on Campus, British Hindus, Bhuveer, Hindu Parents Network (HPN), Hindu Students & Youth Network (HSYN), Hindu Students Council Trinidad & Tobago (HSCTT), Hindu Youth New Zealand (HYNZ), and New Zealand Hindu Students Forum (NZHSF).

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