One of the guiding principles in the Hindu culture is that a teacher is a person of honor. On Sunday, June 12, a group of Hindu students and their families from Wilton, Norwalk, Stamford and Milford held a celebration called a Guru Vandana to pay tribute and thank their teachers.
The event was held at Comstock Community Center. It was sponsored by a non-profit social and cultural organization called Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) USA, whose mission is to organize the Hindu community to preserve, practice and promote Hindu ideals and values.
HSS has conducted an annual Guru Vandana Program to honor the teaching community in our region. “For us, this is an opportunity to express our gratitude and heartfelt thanks to teachers for their contributions to the community by imparting knowledge to and inculcating moral values in the next generation,” explained Sarvesh Damle, the HSS Connecticut Chapter Lead.
Damle said that Hindus have long emphasized the importance of teachers and recognized their contributions “at every opportunity.” Guru, in Sanskrit, means “teacher, spiritual master, and mentor.” Vandana means “salutations to the teacher.”
“It is an expression of love, gratitude, and reverence towards the teacher,” Damle added.
Teachers and other community members from the four towns attended the event in Wilton. The students explained the Hindu concept of Guru to their teachers and performed a “Pooja,” which means ceremonial offering. The event featured cultural programs presented by the students.
The teachers appreciated the children’s gestures. Damle said one attendee told him, “Thank you for inviting me to the Teacher Appreciation celebration. I was both really moved to see our teachers affirmed in that way and very impressed with how effectively the students did it!”
The event culminated with kids taking pictures with their teachers and enjoying delicious Indian snacks.