Washington: A group of Indian American youths including students and young professionals are marking the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda by visiting places in US that is associated with the spiritual leader.
According to a statement by the Hindu Swyamsevak Sangh (HSS) of US that is facilitating the trips under a project named "Vivekananda Express", will take the group of nearly 100 youths to the First Unitarian Church of Oakland where Swami Vivekananda delivered a speech in the year 1900.
The speech is known to have brought many residents of Berkeley in contact with his message and later led to the establishment of the Vedanta Society at Berkeley.
The group also plans to visit other places associated with Swami Vivekananda in San Francisco, Oakland and Alameda.
"Swami Vivekananda was indeed one of the foremost cultural ambassadors of Hinduism and India to America and his message naturally connects with the youth," said Sairam Tyagarajan who works at Cisco and is one of the volunteers who organised the event.
"This is what makes him an icon to the Indian American youngsters," he added.
In the Church, the participants were shown the wooden chair where Swami Vivekananda sat as he waited for his turn to speak and the podium through which he delivered his speeches.
"Of late, we have been reading quite a bit about Swami Vivekananda, but it is indeed a special feeling to have visited the place where he spoke, he sat and moved about," said Sowmya Bhatia, a high school student from Cupertino.
"It was as if I were experiencing the moment when Swamiji stood up to speak" he said.