During the summer break, the Kishores and Kishoris gathered in regional shibirs themed: Hinduism – Discover and Live. Over the 6 regional shibirs, there were more than 1,800 participants. Building off on the previous year’s shibir on Satshastras, the attendees explored what defines Hinduism, how it has been perceived throughout history and what it means to be a Hindu. They discovered some of the core beliefs of Hinduism and discussed where to fit these concepts into their lives and in what manner.
Each presentation was followed by a discussion session, where groups of 10-15 youths further explored these topics. They analyzed the presentations through activities and open discussions and deliberated on ways to apply Hindu concepts to their lives to become actively practicing Hindus with an appreciation for its rites and rituals.
The day’s sessions gradually tapered down to some educating entertainment. Humorous, yet witty evening programs journeyed through ancient Indian and Hindu history and explored common misperceptions about the nation and the religion. An inter-center basketball tournament held for the kishores and a talent-showcasing dance competition, Sangam, held for the kishoris, added an exhilarating extra dimension of healthy competition and enjoyment to the retreat.
The annual retreat was a successful event which aroused a certain curiosity in the youth about their cultural heritage and religious foundation, and mobilized them toward becoming educated Hindus.