To build awareness and understanding of South Asia's diverse cultural traditions and practices, the learning center will offer classes, host programs and events, and engage in educational outreach. A library dedicated to the study of South Asia will support these educational initiatives and will be open to the public.
Language Classes: The learning center plans to offer classes in South Asian languages, such as Hindi, Gujarati, Tamil, and Sanskrit. These courses will be open to the general public and will provide an opportunity for second-generation South Asians to study their ancestral languages.
Classes on Culture and History: The study of culture is key to understanding any region of the world. The learning center plans to design classes for different age groups and educational backgrounds. Topics may include particular aspects of religion, philosophy, history, literature, and art. All instructors will be trained experts in their respective fields.
Programs and Events: To bring South Asia to Dallas, the center plans to host dance performances, music recitals, film screenings, readings, lectures, symposia, and conferences. Some of these programs will celebrate festivals and events marked by various South Asian cultural and religious calendars.
Outreach : The learning center will also engage in outreach to area schools and provide teacher training and workshops. A cultural education kit is being developed that will contain artifacts to use as visual aids for students. Our team of experts will also develop age-appropriate lesson plans for teachers to use with their classes.
The Shraman Foundation is developing a comprehensive library for South Asian studies. Currently, the holdings contain more than 1,100 texts in English, Hindi, Sanskrit, Prakrit, Pali, Kannada, Tamil, French, and Italian. The Shraman Foundation is actively acquiring materials from scholars, libraries, and collectors of rare books and manuscripts. The most significant acquisition to date is Dr. P. S. Jaini's personal library of books, academic journals, and papers. Dr. Jaini is currently Professor Emeritus of Buddhist and Jain Studies in the Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and a member of the Shraman Foundation advisory board.