Hindu temple in Kingsport (Tennessee, USA) had three-day elaborate celebrations to mark its tenth anniversary.
Celebrations at Regional Indian-American Community Center (RIACC) (which includes a Hall of Worship and Community Center), which ended on May 13, reportedly included fireworks, garba-raas, havan, archana, traditional dance, etc.
Meanwhile, distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, applauded efforts of RIACC leaders and other volunteers towards meeting the spiritual and social needs of the community.
Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that it was important to pass on Hindu spirituality, concepts and traditions to coming generations amidst so many distractions in the consumerist society and hoped that this temple complex would focus in this direction. Zed stressed that instead of running after materialism; we should focus on inner search and realization of Self and work towards achieving moksh (liberation), which was the goal of Hinduism.
Non-profit RIACC serves the Indo-American community in the Tri-Cities and surrounding areas of Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina. RIACC, besides worship services and community gatherings, also offers classes in Hindi and Bharat-Natyam; instruction to children about bhakti (devotion), morals, etc.; and a Youth Program to engage the teens in various activities. In May and June, it is organizing Vishnu Sahastranam, Hinduism Lecture Series, Satyanarayan Katha, etc. Although RIACC was reportedly formed in 1989, but Hall of Worship (HOW) was purchased in 2002. Darshan Shah and Puneet Goenka are Chairman and Vice Chairman respectively of RIACC Board of Trustees; Poorvi Tiku and Sunny Bhat are President and Vice President respectively of its Executive Committee; while Ashok Gala is Chairman of HOW Committee.
Besides RIACC, Tennessee also has Sri Ganesha Temple in Nashville, Indian Cultural Center and Temple in Eads, and Hindu Community Center of Knoxville in Lenoir City. RIACC also helps new immigrants from India to assimilate in the American society.
Nicknamed “The Model City”, Kingsport was settled in 1771. Dennis Phillips is the Mayor and notable people associated with it include historian Edward L. Ayers, musician Barry Bales, footballer Gerald Sensabaugh, actor Steven Williams and poet Charles Wright.