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First Hindu in Congress to take oath on Bhagavad-Gita

WASHINGTON (AP) — The first Hindu member of Congress will be sworn in tomorrow on a Bhagavad Gita (BAH'-gah-vahd GEE'-tah) instead of a Bible.

Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, a 31-year-old Democrat, succeeds Congresswoman Mazie Hirono, who will become the Senate's first Buddhist.

Gabbard was born in American Samoa to a Hindu mother and a Catholic father. Her family moved to Hawaii when she was two-years-old and home-schooled her through high school except for two years in a missionary school in the Philippines. Tulsi, who is named after a plant sacred in Hinduism, embraced that religion as a teenager. She also is a military veteran, having served in Iraq and Kuwait.

Hirono, a Democrat elected to succeed the retiring Senator Daniel Akaka, has described herself as a non-practicing Buddhist.

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%@AP Links

196-v-31-(Steve Coleman, AP religion editor)--The first Hindu member of Congress will be sworn in Thursday on a Bhagavad Gita instead of a Bible. AP Religion Editor Steve Coleman reports. (2 Jan 2013)

<<CUT *196 (01/02/13)>> 00:31

197-a-08-(Rishi Bhutada, board member, Hindu American Foundation, in AP interview)-"means a lot"-Rishi Bhutada, a board member of the Hindu American Foundation, says the swearing-in of Congresswoman-elect Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii is a momentous occasion for the Hindu-American community. (2 Jan 2013)

<<CUT *197 (01/02/13)>> 00:08 "means a lot"

198-a-04-(Rishi Bhutada, board member, Hindu American Foundation, in AP interview)-"American being elected"-Rishi Bhutada, a board member of the Hindu American Foundation, says Hindu Americans are proud of Hawaii's Congresswoman-elect Tulsi Gabbard. (2 Jan 2013)

<<CUT *198 (01/02/13)>> 00:04 "American being elected"

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