Friday, 19 December 2008

One day, three religions

Today I went with my eldest students on an 'outing', which implies a schooltrip which usually takes the class to a park, a museum or a temple. Today we visited the biggest church in Delhi (the size of a random church in a Dutch village ;) ), a Hindu temple and a Sikh temple. Most impressive was by far the Sikh temple. Followers of this religion are easily recognisable by their turbans, which the male members are obliged to wear at any occasion. Anyone who wants to enter the temple has to cover his or her head with something similar. Most intruiging of the sacred place is that whoever visits the temple gets a meal offered for free. This holds for all the bigger Sikh temples, and in their 'capital', Amritsar, people can even have accomodation for free during the night in the Golden Temple. Upon leaving the main grounds I fould myself suddenly in a shedded area where hundreds of people were sharing lunch. The food was prepared and handed out by volunteers of the temple, and people were placed at random, as soon as a seat came available the next person in line was put there. It was a nice feeling to be sharing a lunch offered by the temple with total strangers. The food was good and the supply unlimited, and many people who had enjoyed the lunch helped out with cleaning dishes afterwards. Too bad I had not taken my camera with me.. But certainly an experience that will stand me by!

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