On February 1, 2017, BAPS hosted a celebration of Indian American Culture at the historic Texas State Capitol in Austin, Texas in conjunction with Texas State Representative Matt Rinaldi (Irving District 115). Over fifty Texas State Representatives and Senators, along with their respective staff, were visited throughout the day by members from BAPS to share background on the Hindu faith and the Indian American community’s history and growth in the great State of Texas.
The evening’s event highlighted the various contributions that BAPS and the Indian American community has made to the economic and cultural fabric of Texas. “I know firsthand from my work and relationship with BAPS about what a great job it does and how it impacts thousands of lives across the state. We are proud to call BAPS a friend,” remarked Mr. Chris Wallace, President of the Texas Association of Business.
The program also touched on the unique role of BAPS mandirs, which provide a prominent platform for India’s rich culture and heritage. “Inspired by His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj, places of worship, such as the beautiful, hand-carved stone mandir in Stafford, Texas, reflect the diverse culture of our State and demonstrate that the contributions of the Indian American diaspora go beyond simply the economic realm,” said Ketan Inamdar of Missouri City, TX. His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj, the current spiritual leader of BAPS has always inspired the Indian American community to celebrate our shared culture and develop a sense of identity and pride in our heritage.
Throughout the evening, speakers also shared their thoughts on the humanitarian efforts and state officials were introduced to BAPS’ commitment to community service in the state of Texas and across the nation. “We value what BAPS has done for our community, from its Walkathon to its Health Fair. BAPS works tirelessly to make Irving Texas and our District a better place,” remarked Representative Rinaldi.
Dr. Vishal Patel, who visited with several State Representatives and Senators around the Dallas area, said, “Visiting with our state government leaders is a great opportunity to share our culture, faith, and traditions with our elected officials in fostering a deeper understanding between cultural communities.”
In the end, both government officials and those attending from the community left the event with a stronger connection and understanding of each other’s role, contributions, and core values.