Reflections on Convention 06

By Mrinal Shukla

            I arrived at the World Brahman Federation (WBF) Convention with no expectations and I leave today with much to reflect upon as my Brahman identity grows. This convention is a scholarly gathering in which a youth can get lost in the abstract ideas, however, each individual at this convention appealed to my generation because we shall carry our faith and tradition into the future. This is a difficult responsibility and we must all work together to make improvements and strides towards this passing of the torch. I encourage the World Brahman Federationís organizers to include more workshops, such as Mrs. Vanita Shastriís workshop on daily puja, in order to create an interactive activity that will enhance the participantsí understanding and escape the collegiate lecture-environment.

            For every one hour of lecturing in college, a student must then study two hours at home and this is the key to youth appeal for the World Brahman Federation. A language barrier is outlined in the scholarly seminars thus workshops will be used to dissect the topic and define terminology and concepts. Each individual in this convention has three tiers to his identity: Indian, Hindu, and Brahman. The Indian and Hindu identity has become a way of life, therefore, one must concentrate on heightening his Brahman identity. The WBF convention serves as a networking opportunity and, more importantly, as a means of sparking interest on Brahman topics, as it becomes a forum of debate and presentation. Many of my elders at this convention have expressed that they sense a lack of interest in their children as they enter and become engrossed in their college careers. I want to clarify that this is not disinterest but independence. When children live at home, they take for granted many of the rituals performed by their parents or grandparents. I, personally, have woken up to the sounds of bells from my motherís morning rituals or have simply watched my grandfather perform certain pujas, however, in college, I learned the true meaning and reasoning for these actions. In order to practice these rituals, my generation requires reasoning and this is attained in the some of our courses. College serves to make us more independent in our religious duties by guiding us through these rituals instead of stating them and the World Brahman Federation can enhance youth participation by creating more workshops.