S. ABINGTON TWP. — Hindu families from the Abingtons and Scranton area honored 21 educators at a teacher’s appreciation week event Friday evening, May 10 at the Ramada. Among those honored were the superintendent of Abington Heights School District (AHSD), vice principal of Abington Heights Middle School and principal of Waverly and Clarks Summit elementary schools.
One of the guiding principles of Hindu culture is that a teacher is a person of reverence. The Hindu children attending various Abington Heights School District schools and area pre-schools, took printed invitations to their teachers, inviting them for “Guru Vandana” which translates, “reverence for the teacher.”
The event started with a poster exhibition on the ancient and rich Indian culture, followed by a light homemade Indian dinner.
The ceremony began with lighting of the lamp, which signifies ushering in the auspiciousness. The Sanskrit word “Guru” means “one who removes ignorance and shines the light of knowledge inside others.”
Rudra Upadhyaya explained that in the Hindu culture, parents give birth and teach values and behavior, but the teacher gives life to a child. He also remarked that the entire human race can move forward because of the teacher-student system also known as Guru-shishya in Sanskrit.
A short cultural presentation gave a glimpse of classical Indian vocal music, yoga, Indian folk dance and the diverse culture. About 35 students then paid respect in a Hindu way by standing in front of the teachers applying tilak (red powder on forehead), bowing on their feet and offering gifts.
The AHSD superintendent, Michael Mahon presented a speech, in which he remarked that the success of an education system is incomplete without great teachers and support of parents. He was happy to witness the important role the Hindu parents play in supporting the learning process of their children.
All the teachers thanked the Hindu community and students for not only sharing a part of the culture but also for always being respectful and displaying eagerness to learn.
The event was organized by the non-profit socio-cultural organization, Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, USA.