ICA programing is focused on the needs of our community. We believe that our community can be brought together around Indian culture, it's vibrancy, diversity, food and above all, its loving and peaceful outlook.
The Indian American community is the largest immigrant community in Howard County. True to the tenets of Indian culture, ICA works to enhance diversity and a community which is inclusive and equitable. ICA works toward a world free of racism, discrimination and works to serve the weakest among us without consideration of class or income. At the core of Indian culture is Seva (selfless service to others).
ICA promotes diversity and works to end racism, and discrimination based on religion, ethnicity, color or country of origin.
India is identified as the birthplace of Hinduism and Buddhism, the third and fourth largest religions of the world. About 84 percent of the population identifies as Hindu, according to the "Handbook of Research on Development and Religion," edited by Matthew Clarke (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2013).
About 13 percent of Indians are Muslim, making it one of the largest Islamic nations in the world. Christians and Sikhs make up a small percentage of the population (together about 2%), and there are even fewer Buddhists and Jains, according to the "Handbook."
Namaste is a commons greeting (hello) among Indians. It is also used when we say goodbye. Namaste is also an expression of gratitude or a way of saying thank you. This simple gesture is accompanied with a bow by both (all) doing namaste. The meaning is profound and goes to the core of the Indian belief system. Namaste recognizes the divine in all. It means that I bow to the divine in you, the divine in all creatures, in one another, and in all things. The mandate is to live life in peace with one another.
India is ancient land. India is one of the oldest contiguous cultures of the world. It is multicultural and is the largest democracy in the world. More than 50% of Indians are vegetarian. All life is valued. India is known for its spices, yoga, and meditation. India is one of the youngest countries in the world. The average age of Indians is approximately 25 giving it a large labor force.
India is the 7th largest country in world and the 5th largest economy in the world.