While 2020 brought its share of challenges, we accomplished much and have a clear path forward to 2021.
2020 WEBSITE AND VIRTUAL EVENTS
While we were blessed to present Sanskriti, our annual cultural program, in February, we had to cancel Earth Speaks, a dance, music, spoken word presentation raising awareness on climate change. Forced to pivot to the online platform, we redesigned our website and introduced a new blog. Since we could not meet in person, we organized virtual events, starting with a well-received live format event for Ram Navami in April on Zoom. This success emboldened us to continue with a virtual format. August brought us Janmasthtami and Ganesh Chaturthi, each featuring song, dance, chanting and pujas by our community members through Facebook Live. By Navaratri and Vijaya Dashami, we were able to hold a 10-day virtual program ending in performing arts feature on the Ramayana and Mahishasura Mardhini. Finally and appropriately, we joined hands with NBIAA for a 3-day Diwali event that brought out the best in our joint community.
Branching out was not only a theme of our events but also our ongoing programs. We have continued our Sunday Gita sessions on Zoom and added Chinmaya Mission Bala Vihar to our existing Goputakeeram offering for children. Still, we felt the need to include programs related to wellness and community upliftment.
With the release of our own Dr. Ram Rao’s book on Good Living Practices (GLP), NBHC decided to partner with Dr. Rao to bring GLP sessions to our community in this period of lockdown, so they can benefit from healthy living practices at home.
Our participation in the Marin Interfaith Council (MIC) added specific focus with the Contemplation and Action Group and Racial Justice Group, as well as participation in a post-election prayer meeting. MIC is a Marin-based organization with members from the Hindu, Buddhist, Bahá'í, Jewish, Muslim and Christian faiths that engage in activities that both educate and benefit the community at large.
Finally, increasing content on our website and YouTube page was a specific focus in 2020. Our blog page played a major role with educational content such as “Pitru Paksha: Gratitude to our Ancestors” and community-generated content such as “In Conversation: The Subramanians on Golu.”
For 2021, apart from celebrating the festivals and continuing our Gita Study sessions, we have many exciting new plans which include the following:
GLP 2.0 with Dr. Ram Rao Due to increasing popularity, we are bringing this back and adding Ayurvedic recipes,Yoga and Meditation tips.
Vlogs (video blogs) We will start with a series of stories on Hindu sages and rishis by Sujata Ramdas.
Permanent Home Due to the Covid restrictions, we were unable to continue our quest for a permanent location in 2020. We plan to resume this search in early 2021 and we will be scouting for locations in Petaluma.
To read more about our efforts to pursue a new home, our financial well-being, needs going forward, and fundraising goal for December 2020, click here.