From 27–29 March, OCHS Director Shaunaka Rishi Das visited Belgium, speaking at the Hindu Forum of Europe on the future of Hindu education in the continent.
The two-day program was hosted by the Hindu Forum of Europe, an organisation founded in 2006 as the voice of Hindus in Europe. There were delegations from Belgium, England, France, Portugal, Holland, Hungary and Austria. The first day saw a meeting of the delegations while the second day featured a series of presentations at the European Parliament and was attended by a distinguished guest list.
Among the many important issues raised, one of the key matters addressed by Shaunaka was the development of Hindu education in Europe and the role of the OCHS in this development.
"The advancement of awareness, education and research in Hinduism is still an emerging field. The responsibility of providing such support lies not only with government, but also with private followers, academics and institutions related to Hinduism, " says Shaunaka. "The focus on Hindu education in Europe and especially Oxford is critical. The academic tradition here can bring a uniquely dispassionate and evaluative approach to the subject. The study of Hinduism in Europe can offer fascinating insights into the way Hindu civilization has spread and adapted around the world. Britain, France, Germany, Holland and Denmark are rich in resources and research material. Understanding the national and local identities developed by Hindus will all feed into better models for integration."
The meeting also benefited from contributions from Sir Graham Watson, MEP for Somerset and North Devon and Prof Nathu Ram Puri, founder and CEO of Purico Group Limited.