Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Perur Temple

Perur Temple
Going into a Hindu temple for the first time can be a bit overwhelming. You can feel sensory overload as you try to process all that is going on around you! Images of different deities cover every inch of the walls, the ceilings, and the marble pillars. The clanging sound of bells being rung to awake the gods mixes with the chants of believers. The feel of the hot cement under bare feet and the smudge of holy ash on the forehead can be uncomfortable. The sight of hundreds of devoted followers- toddlers and old alike laying prostrate at the feet of a god, lighting gee candles, or offering gifts of coconuts, bananas and flowers to the images. Meanwhile, the scent of incense pervades through it all.

In one of the courtyards of the temple
On Tuesday afternoon our students went to visit Perur temple- a 2000 year old Hindu temple on the edge of town. We were able to not only observe Hindus worshipping, but also learn from a Hindu professor from BACAS how and why she worships at the temple. It was definitely an interesting experience that students will continue to process. For some, it puts them out of their comfort zone and pushes them to think deeper about their faith. They have been taking a religion class and studying Hinduism these past 2 weeks so it was good to connect their head knowledge with experiential knowledge.

Batch 6 outside of the temple

 We ended our tour by going to a nearby coconut stall and drinking coconut water fresh out of the coconut while the sun set over the temple!
Shaina and Amber enjoy the coconut water

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