February 13, 2014

Value of Eid or Education

In a city which is called the "capital of the world", it should be thought that most major religions should be represented, and not just a single one. According to PEW Research (2007), there are .6% Muslims and .4% Hindus. In New York City, there are 424 Hindus for every 100,000 people. With such a close proximity in the population overall, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio couldn't confirm for Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.

If these two holidays, and the Chinese New Year is confirmed in NYC, it will be the first city in the US to have religious holidays that strays away from other kinds of holidays. Rosh Hashanah being the other holiday that reflects religious affiliation has also been called the first holiday for kindergarteners to transition into school life. The other holidays are seasonal and even though religious holidays fall in them, it doesn't confine itself to just religion.

Now the two Eids, the Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha does not follow any strict rule and depends on seeing the moon. This poses a very peculiar problem for the administration if they are to implement it. Another problem is that this goes against the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

Why are the Chinese pushing for the Chinese New Year to become a holiday? Well, that is because according to Capital New York, there are 11.4% Chinese (as of 2013), which is significantly over .6% Muslims.

Why else would Muslims want to create a school holiday? Wall Street Journal published an article in 2012 which showed why Hindus in USA are thriving. Hindus are higher up in the socioeconomic ladder and give a higher value of education. This is because 58% of American Hindus have a post-graduate degree, and among other Americans, it is at 12%. Also, 51% of the Hindus in US make over $100,000, which is above other religious sects.

These numbers do not surprise the fact that the number of Hindus retained from generation to generation is higher than any other. Maybe, it is the socioeconomic status that these Hindus value, or maybe it is the way the world has learned about Hindu culture and adapted them to their lives (yoga). Or maybe it is because other religions fail to see that knowledge and education is the light for the future generation, and Hindus understanding this, wants to pass the lantern of knowledge to the next generation.

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