Updates!

Welcome to VSNA Next Generation!

We are a group of VSNA members that are passionate about ensuring that VSNA will continue to exist and be a community that people want to be a part of far into the future, even as the general demographic of the group evolves over time.

Something that makes our team special is that there is no leadership hierarchy - rather each meeting is a space for any NextGen member (anyone high school age and up that has roots in North America) to voice their thoughts and take charge in shaping this community into what they want for their future.

Since our first meetings in February, VSNA Next Generation has grown from a few people with little more than a desire to create a VSNA that we want to feel at home into a functioning, continental, multifaceted team.

As an organization:

  • We have held consistent bi-weekly meetings since February that are open to any Next Generation members. These meetings are where we discuss visions for what we can do as NextGen, collaborate on projects, and work together to create programming that we and other NextGen members are interested in.
  • We have ratified our first charter, which outlines our mission, vision, and values for VSNA NextGen, along with a plan to revisit the charter on a regular basis to ensure that it is an evolving document.
  • We have created online tools to facilitate community building and collaboration, specifically:
    • Notion to keep track of our calendar, meeting agendas and minutes, and project progress
    • and Slack to coordinate meetings, bounce ideas off one another, share resources, and socialize.

In addition to building community and tools for our community to gather around, we have started many projects that are member-approved and -led. These projects are the heart of VSNA NextGen.

  • Anubhava Mantapa
    • This is a space to discuss social justice issues from the unique perspective we have as Veerashaivas in North America. We also want to take the passion and drive from these conversations and combine it with the power of collective action to create concrete actions that we can do to help.
    • We held our first Anubhava Goshti recently, the topic being “COVID in India: How did we get here?”. We established ground rules that ensured that there was a safe, private space for members to share their emotions, knowledge, and questions around the topic. The conversation was beautiful, with members adding their own personal experiences, posing theories without fear of judgement, and presenting the unique context of what it’s like to be a member of the diaspora during this difficult time for India.
    • The next Anubhava Goshti will be regarding the State of VSNA NextGen and discussing progress and hopes for the future as it is near convention time.
  • Career Spotlights
    • This project is a beginning to creating a professional network within VSNA NextGen, starting with video interviews with various members to learn about their careers, how they got there, and what advice they would give to other NextGen members.
    • We have our first Career Spotlights interview scheduled, with questions outlined and an interviewer set up! Stay tuned for the interview!
  • The Vachana Project
    • The Vachana Project was put together to learn vachanas and discuss them in today’s NextGen context. We have a database on Notion with vachanas, meanings, and discussion questions sourced by members, that is an ongoing database. In addition, we have planned to do a 30-min Vachana Study periodically, where one vachana is presented and discussed.
    • Last time, we discussed the following Vachana:
    • ಇವನಾರವ ಇವನಾರವ ಇವನಾರವ ಎಂದೆನಿಸದಿರಯ್ಯಾ

      ಇವ ನಮ್ಮವ, ಇವ ನಮ್ಮವ, ಇವ ನಮ್ಮವನೆಂದೆನಿಸಯ್ಯಾ.

      ಕೂಡಲಸಂಗಮದೇವಾ ನಿಮ್ಮ ಮನೆಯ ಮಗನೆಂದೆನಿಸಯ್ಯಾ.

      ivanArava ivanArava ivanArava eMdenisadirayyA

      iva nammava, iva nammava, iva nammavaneMdenisayyA,

      KUdalasaMgamadEvA nimma maneya maganeMdenisayyA

      Oh Lord, please do not say 'whose is he, whose is he, whose is he?'

      Please say 'he is ours, he is ours, he is ours!'

      Oh Lord Kudalasangama, consider me a son of your own house!

      We had a great conversation surrounding what Basavanna might have meant in this vachana, and as our discussion was held around the first reports of the recent COVID wave in India, talked about what community means and how that differs in India, North America, and for us as we have one foot in both.

    • Our next Vachana Study will be scheduled soon!
  • NextGen Kickbacks
    • This project was conceived to nurture the social aspect of VSNA NextGen that we all love.
    • A plan for a virtual social hour with an art-based activity where we can do a project together over zoom is ready!
    • To start planning for in-person meetups (when we can!), lists of which NextGen members are in which locations are being compiled.

We are dedicated to building a robust and sustainable organization, with a priority placed on mutual respect, collaboration, and community. If you are a Veerashaiva in high school or older and have roots in some way in North America or consider yourself to be a good fit for the Next Generation, we want you to join us! Please email vsnanextgen@gmail.com or visit us at vsnanextgen.org if you want to join our Slack community. The VSNA NextGen experience can be exactly what you want it to be, so you can be as involved as you want to be! We are happy to get to know you in any way!

Best,

VSNA Next Gen

Update as of June 9, 2021