Here is a sample of what is being taught about Hinduism in Bay Area schools
- Bindis symbolize the caste system
- Godess Parvati is the chief of all elves that roam the earth
- During religious festivals Indians play with colors made with urine and cow dung
San Jose Mercury News has a profile of Mona Vijaykar, an Indian mom who is fighting all this
Vijaykar has tried tackling the problem in a grass-roots way: by contacting teachers and asking to speak to their classes about India and Hinduism, explaining the significance of ancient Indian languages or the origin of religious customs.
Vijaykar said many of the teachers she’s spoken with complain about the lack of resources on world religions and are hungry for information. She recalls a teacher at her son’s former school, Redwood Middle School in Saratoga, who invited Vijaykar to class several years ago to add to her lesson on India and world religions. Vijaykar remembers being outraged by a handout on various forms of the Hindu god.
The handout — produced by Teacher Created Materials, an education publishing company in Westminster — listed Parvati as a goddess who is “chief of all of the elves” that roam the Earth. Company officials didn’t return requests for interviews.
“They might as well be talking about fairies in a fairy tale,” Vijaykar said. “It makes the religion sound silly and stupid. And it’s plain wrong.”
Diana Eck, professor of comparative religion and Indian studies at Harvard University, had a similar reaction: “Elves? That’s just false. That’s ridiculous.”[COUNTERING STEREOTYPES]
The Bay Area has a large number of Hindus and if you are one of them, it is time you looked at what your child is learning about your religion in school.