October: A Month of Hindu Heritage & Appreciation

Since its inception in 2013, the Hindu American Foundation has led efforts in California and elsewhere to recognize October as Hindu American Awareness and Appreciation Month (HAAAM), part of the global Hindu Heritage Month (HHM) campaign. October is significant because it is the birth month of Mahatma Gandhi and is often when major Hindu holidays such as Navaratri and Diwali are celebrated.

Hindu Heritage Month (HHM) is a global movement highlighting Hinduism as a tradition and contributions Hinduism has made to human society. As a partner organization that supports the global HHM movement, HAAAM seeks to highlight the Hindu-American experience, emphasizing the community’s contributions and challenges to life in the United States, both historically and currently.

Hindu American Awareness and Appreciation Month (HAAAM) resolutions seek to bring local awareness, recognition and acknowledgment of the significant contributions made by Hindu Americans across the US. Join us in bringing this national initiative to your local community by asking your elected officials to pass a resolution honoring our Hindu heritage so that we can build awareness and appreciation about our community.

Thanks to the advocacy of Mr. Rajesh Gooty and Virginia Delegate Suhas Subramanyam, the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) helped enable Virginia to became the first state in the US to recognize October as Hindu Heritage Month in perpetuity.

How to Submit A HAAAM Resolution To Your Local Government

  1. Visit your city or county government website. If you don’t know it, a quick google search should pull it up
  2. On the website, find the email addresses of the mayor/county leader and city/county council members
  3. Copy and paste from our email request template and fill in the city/county-specific details. Attach a copy of the resolution, and email it to the mayor/county leader and city/county council email addresses.
  4. Follow up after a week if they don’t hear back.


Ramya Ramakrishnan
Community Outreach Director

Resolution Resources

Hindu American Awareness and Appreciation Month's (HAAAM) California Origins

In 2013, the Hindu American Foundation approached California State Assemblymember Ash Kalra about drafting a bill to formally recognize appreciation for Hindu Americans and their contributions.  Following the protocols of the California State Legislature, Assemblymember Ash Kalra and the Hindu American Foundation introduced Hindu American Awareness and Appreciation Month (HAAAM), the first state-wide resolution recognizing the contributions of our community. The resolution has been reintroduced nearly annually in California ever since.

The basis for this bill being first passed in California recognizes that this is the state with the largest Hindu American population in the United States. Hindus are primarily an immigrant community and first started immigrating to California and the United States in the early 1900s, and came in increasing numbers after the lifting of the Asian Exclusion Act of 1924 in 1943 and the abolishment of quotas for immigrants based on national origin in 1965. Additionally, the first Hindu temple in the United States was built in San Francisco and at the dedication of the temple on January 7, 1906 it was proclaimed to be the “First Hindu Temple in the Whole Western World.” There are now over 120 Hindu temples, religious centers, and cultural centers throughout California, and the greater Bay Area is home to over 40 of those temples and centers.

Statements of support from elected officials

HAF press statements about Hindu American Appreciation and Awareness Month