For Educators

On Being Hindu … and American – Background

Overview

There are about two million Hindus of Indian origin living in the United States. Many have been here for a long time. They are members of an established contingent of Hindu Americans who have successfully adapted their traditions and practices to the American way of life and whose values have been embedded into aspects of American culture. There are accomplishments in this “acculturation” and some challenges too, particularly as younger generations of Hindu Americans become more Americanized and removed from their ethnic and religious origins. In this lesson, students explore how Indian Hindus have adjusted to the United States and the impact of this accommodation.

Grade Level:

Grades 6-9

This lesson is intended for middle school grades, but can be adapted for high school students.

Time Allotment:

Time frames accompany each activity.

Subject Matter:

Social Studies (Religion, Global Education, United States and World History, Geography)

Learning Objectives

As a result of completing the lesson, the students will:

  • Illustrate how people from one country adapt to a new country.
  • Give examples of the challenges and successes Hindus have had as they have “settled” into American culture.
  • Describe how Hindu Americans have adapted their religious and cultural practices to life in the United States.
  • Determine the factors that influence Hindu American youth.
  • Predict the future status of Hinduism in the United States.
  • Plan and produce an activity or project that showcases aspects of Hindu Americans’ lifestyles in the United States.

Standards

Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning
4th Edition Standards & Benchmarks
http://www.mcrel.org/
Level III (Grades 6-8)

Behavioral Studies

    Standard 1: Understands that group and cultural influences contribute to human development, identity, and behavior
    Standard 2: Understands various meanings of social group, general implications of group membership, and different ways that groups function
    Standard 4: Understands conflict, cooperation, and interdependence among individuals, groups, and institutions

Geography

    Standard 6: Understands that culture and experience influence people’s perceptions of places and regions

United States History

    Standard 31: Understands economic, social, and cultural developments in the contemporary United States

World History

    Standard 44: Understands the search for community, stability, and peace in an interdependent world

This lesson was prepared by: Michele Israel