11th Annual Mahatma Gandhi Day Celebrated in Hawaii

India-West - October 11, 2016
India-West Staff Reporter

HONOLULU, Hawaii — The Gandhi International Institute held its second annual event to celebrate the 147th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi on Oct. 2 outside the Honolulu Zoo.
Dr. Raj Kumar, who founded the GIIP on Sept. 11, 2001, released his new book, “Gandhi’s Wisdom For You,” a compilation of 108 best quotes for self-realization, social change and world peace. Over 300 people, including locals, children, and tourists, attended the event.

The event began with a Hawaiian blessing by Kahu Kamaki Kanahele, Kahu Bruce Keaulani, and Dr. Terry Shintani. Those who attended event learned Sun Salutation Yoga, Transcendental Meditation, and Ho’oponopono.

The event also included Hula dances by Waianuhea, multicultural dances performed by Willow Chang from Bollywood Hawaii, Sai Bhatawadekar, and a group from the East- West Center of Hawaii.
Interfaith dialogues on world peace were given by Bishop Eric Matsumoto from a Buddhist perspective, Sister Joan Chatfield from a Roman Catholic perspective, Veda Das from a Hindu world view, Dr. Jared Yurow through the lens of Judaism and Harendra Panalala from a Jainist understanding.

Keynote speakers included retired Senator Daniel K. Akaka, Senator Mike Gabbard, Representative Ken Ito, councilwoman Kymberly Pine, and Misty Kelai, director of arts and culture from the city and county of Honolulu.

GIIP also received proclamations from Governor David Y. Ige, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, a certificate and recognition from the Senate and the House and a message from Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.

The GIIP requested that the Hawaii Legislature commemorate Gandhi’s birth, and on April 9, 2015, Governor Ige signed Senate Bill 332 into law designating Oct. 2 of each year as “Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi Day.”

On April 28, 2016, the Hawaii Legislature passed resolution SCR 20 to establish a Sister-State relationship between Hawaii and Goa, India. The government of Goa appointed Kumar as a liaison to promote trade, tourism, peace education, cultural exchange programs, spiritual pilgrimages, and international peace conferences between the two states.