One of the best ways to gain an understanding of a religion is to immerse yourself into it. Through the interfaith visit, I was able to gain a glimpse of what it is like to immerse myself into another religion. For my interfaith visit, I was able to go to the Hindu Temple and Cultural Center of Kansas City.
Going into this trip, I really had no idea what to expect or what it was going to be like. The first impression I had from the outside of the building is that it was really nice and well designed. I felt the same way when we went into the sanctuary had a chance to look around. I felt really uncomfortable inside the sanctuary because I felt really out of place and had no idea what the statues were of and what they were saying. I really enjoyed getting the chance to ask question and hear things better explained after leaving the sanctuary.
I really respect the fact that the Hindu’s can give that much focus, energy, passion, and attention to worship for that long. I found it interesting to learn that Hinduism had many different denominations. I knew other religions had denominations, but I just always considered Hinduism as one big religion. I thought it was very interesting how they offer fruit’s as sacrifices to their gods. I figure there is some reason to why they choose the fruit they do, but I just am unaware of it. One thing I found really interesting was how much respect they give to their sanctuary. We weren’t allowed to wear shoe into the sanctuary. This was weird for me because in the U.S. it is common to be able to drink and sometimes even eat in Christian sanctuaries.
When it comes to the worship leaders, liturgy, and symbols these were all things that really stuck out to me. The first would be the worship leader. During the service there were two guys who were up front and appeared to be the leaders. The both had on very unique outfits and really stood out from the rest of the crowd. You could definitely tell that they were the ones who were in charge. The liturgy was very unique and interesting. I could not understand what was being said but I was able to see the reactions on people’s faces. It was very interesting to see the reactions because for the most part there weren’t any. It was really interesting how intent on hearing what was said and connecting they were. They did not let emotion get in the way and did not show any reaction or response that would prevent them from learning. They also did not seem to notice anyone around them because they were so focused on what was going on up front.
The symbols were the part of the experience that was the most interesting, yet the most confusing to me. When you enter the room, the first things you see are all of the statues. The statues all had different meanings and symbolism. It was really interesting that people would get up and go to all of the statues and would touch and pray at each one. There was a hallway of them that wrapped all the way around the...