The White Hindu has moved

The White Hindu has moved! This blog is no longer updated, but Ambaa is still writing The White Hindu every weekday at

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


America is a very religious country in many ways. It's strange to say because we are also known as the land of overly sexualizing everything, but Americans tend to take religion in their lives very seriously. Atheists are also often very hard core about their beliefs. It is difficult to say any one thing about America because it is a land of so many different people and beliefs and attitudes and backgrounds, but it really does have a serious religious core that is too often based on fear of others.

The country began where I grew up and it was first settled by very staunch, disciplined, religious people. New England maintains some of that Puritan attitude to this day.

All this is to say that, strangely, even being quite a religious nation, a survey just came out showing that Americans know very little about religion, their own and other people's:

Half of Americans don't know that the Dalai Lama is Buddhist and less than four in ten know that Shiva and Vishnu are part of Hinduism.

The article has a link at the top to a quiz, which has a sample of the questions asked. I got a perfect score :) It was only ten questions. I would love to take the whole thing and see how I do!

Religion is the thing that interests me the most and which I study. I'm proud that I also learn about other people's religions. I have read the Christian Bible, I have gone to Jewish services, I have even visited a Mosque on two occasions. I think that learning about others' beliefs makes for a more unified world.

Knowledge is always good. Learning and growing and understanding is good. We share this world with people who believe differently than us and we will be miserable if we can't accept and try to understand the perspectives of those people.

And here is something that someone named Al Haug posted on Facebook that was very moving to me. This is what being American should be:

By the way, for those who in the comments who have mentioned that I take things too seriously and should lighten up, this is something that you have to know about me. I am a really serious person (I have a sense of humor, but it is dry and British and subtle). I am fascinated by the deepest questions in life and I pursue them. This is one reason I have trouble finding a husband :) I do worry too much and I am intense and serious. I'm working on taking life in a lighter way, but I'll never stop digging into the deepest questions of religion and life and how people find meaning. That's something that I love.

A friend found the actual survey, here it is:

It will take me some time to print this out and go through it, I'll get back to you to let you know how I do.


  1. Amba,
    in ref to ignorance, thats about to change. The contemporary school curricula across the nation mandated chapters on hinduism, buddhism etc. Thankfully.
    Your religious seriousness shouldnt keep you away from accepting a reasonably good man as your husband.If someone is a reasonably understanding, which will be known with a short term dating go for him. Besides some change withtime, both ways-good and bad. You cannot get a perect man ever.Sad but true.

  2. That is good news about the curriculum. I hope the information is accurate :/ But yes, I am very happy to hear that there will be some actual study of other religions besides a paragraph in 6th grade.

    What I meant at the end is that there aren't many people who want to date me because I'm not as traditionally "fun." I think too much. Apparently that's a downer for a lot of people. Not for the people I want to be with, of course, but they are hard to find. So it goes, as always. :)

  3. TBH I'd rather people be completely unaware than be presented with the wrong idea. It's hard to give people a flavour of Hinduism's about, especially to those from a monotheistic background. Hindus are like 0.5% of the population and have no cultural presence in the media so you can't really blame Americans either. Thank you for making an effort with this blog to change that.

    Being serious and inquisitive is an asset. You're deep and that's something any intelligent guy would dig. There are far too many shallow frivolous types out there.

  4. Hinduism Today has put out several resources for schools to use to teach about Hinduism and Indian history. I hope schools will use something like that. They will need to be very careful what they choose. People who are Hindus and have children in these classes will be paying careful attention and should raise a ruckus if it isn't right!