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US college to start Hinduism classes

world Updated: Sep 11, 2007 12:38 IST

A prominent college in Nevada is all set to offer classes on Hinduism from next year with an increasing number of Indian Americans showing a growing interest in the ancient religion.

Rajan Zed, director of public affairs of a Hindu temple of northern Nevada and a Hindu priest, will teach students of Truckee Meadows Community College about different aspects of Hinduism.

The college also plans to offer classes on the Bhagavad Gita, one of the holiest Hindu scriptures, 'The Life, Experiments and Philosophy of Gandhi' and 'History and philosophy of Yoga', according to a press statement.

Hinduism is considered to be one of the oldest religions in the world. It is the third largest religion, with approximately one billion followers.

In an interesting trend, more and more Indian American parents are sending their children to summer camps and weekend schools to learn about ancient Indian religious traditions.

In California alone, over 10,000 children attend some sort of Hindu or Indian instructions on the weekend, especially during summers. Americans too are showing keen interest in Hindu spirituality and yoga.

There are around 1.5 million Hindus in the US and 800 Hindu religious centres, mainly concentrated in California, New York, Texas, Georgia, Florida, Illinois, and New Jersey.

A few months back, Zed had opened the US Senate and the California state senate's sessions with the chanting of the Gayatri Mantra, a Hindu religious hymn.