Loyola University Chicago

Center for Student Engagement (CSE)

Division of Student Development

Hindu Students' Organization

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The Hindu Students' Organization (HSO) brings passion for spreading awareness of the Hindu religion and culture throughout the Loyola community. This year's president, Nileema Patel, took some time to answer a few questions about the organization.

Our organization exists to spread awareness of the Hindu religion and culture to our community. Through seva (selfless service), and popular student-run events, the Hindu Students’ Organization contributes to the celebration of diversity on our campus. Like Loyola’s own mission, HSO seeks God in all things and aims to build a community through religious and cultural events such as Navratri Garba, Diwali Dinner, HSO Retreat, Hindu Awareness Week, and Holi. We welcome everyone to join us in our events and daily prayers.

Attend Loyola Garba! Every year, HSO and its members host a Navratri Garba honoring Goddess Durga in celebration of the triumph of good over evil. This festival symbolizes one’s internal battles and the necessity to destroy ego and vices in order to advance spiritually. At Loyola, students celebrate Navratri through garba, a devotional dance, and raas, a traditional dance with dandiya, wooden sticks. Last year we had the wonderful opportunity to hold Garba at Loyola’s very own Gentile Arena! The morning of the event, students transform Gentile into an unrecognizable place according to a specific cultural theme. We then dance the night away with family and friends from all around the Chicagoland area. Together, we create an unforgettable night! Loyola Garba is a must-attend event since it embraces and exemplifies the unity and diversity of our community.

You do not have to be Hindu to join HSO! Regardless of faith-affiliation or lack thereof, we welcome everyone to daily prayers, events, and social gatherings. Although we are a religious organization, we do not force our beliefs on others. To induce self-growth and expand knowledge, we believe that it is important and necessary to be aware and accepting of diversity. One of the most beautiful aspects of being a religious organization on a Jesuit campus is getting exposure to different cultural and faith-based perspectives. We not only welcome and appreciate the varying interpretations, but believe them to be one of the strongest and most valuable elements of HSO.

You should join our organization if you are curious about the Hindu culture and/or want to share your experiences with Hinduism. HSO runs on inquisition, knowledge, and the endless support from our wonderful community. For those who want to learn more about the Hindu religion and culture, attending our daily prayer, socials, discussions, and religious events is the best way to start exploring. For those who are knowledgeable about Hinduism, sharing your experiences during discussions will not only benefit the organization and its members, but will also allow you to open yourself up to the realms of community and introspection. If you enjoy the companionship of others and like to express yourself creatively, HSO is right for you! Since all of our events are student-run, community is an integral factor of our organization. We rely on our trusted members to help make our events successful, and we continually appreciate feedback on how to improve our events and better cater to our members. HSO would not be what it is today without people like you!

Anyone looking to get involved should add HSO on Instagram (ID: hsoloyola) or ‘like’ us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/hsoloyola) for regular updates. For more information, find us on LUCentral or visit our website (http://luc.orgsync.com/org/hso/).