Site visit: Karl Magalaman

Coming from a Christian background and having used to always attend church on Sundays as a child, it was nice to view a religion other than my own. On Sunday September 6th, I attended a Hindu temple on Griffin road. Although I was hesitant to go because of my non hindu physical appearance, I still got up that Sunday morning and went to this South Floridian Hindu temple not knowing what to expect.

I parked my car and buttoned my polo shirt as I looked in my car mirror one last time. I looked out my window to see many indian appearing families walking toward a beautiful looking piece of architecture which was the temple. I saw many familiar clothing, however they were clothes that I would have never worn myself. I saw many vibrant colors of orange on females and a majority of the females had head wear that must have been part of the Hindu Tradition. If it wasn’t for the few people I saw wearing casual button up shirts and slacks, then I don’t think I would have gone through with walking up to the temple as I would have felt left out.

I was greeted by a nice lady who knew I obviously did not know what I was doing, and once I told her I was just curious about the Hindu religion, she directed me to follow a flock of people who were heading toward the main room, and said that this specific temple is a “House of Worship.”

So I headed to the big room and as I observed in the corner by myself, I witnessed never before seen rituals taking place with candles and shirtless males, however some of their rituals seemed familiar. For example, there was a brief moment in time where multiple shirtless old males were handing out what seemed to be the Hindu version of the body of christ.

When the rituals were nearing an end, I started to smell Indian food and I went to go inquire about the price of the food. Another nice lady who seemed like a director saw me stumbling around and said “Namaste” to me as she struck a weird pose. “Namaste?” I said back. That is when she told me that Namaste is the Hindu way of greeting one another. I understood; I then struck the same praying mantis like pose back and said “Namaste.”

The lady politely offered for me to try the food and said there was no price. I was excited because I didn’t eat that whole morning! I ate roti, subjees, kasari, and rice. Although the food had a different tasting style to it, it still tasted really good and I plan on learning about the Hindu religion so I can go back to that temple for more. I felt as if I had a sense of belonging there because of the kind interactions I had with the few people who helped me.

Being a Christian, I was oblivious to this whole other culture of people and how they practice their rituals. I think this site visit allowed me to open my eyes and appreciate the variety of religions because all religions have a detailed story behind them and are beautiful and unique in their own way.

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