New Zealand 2005

Journal 1

1.17.05

Gallery 2 Gallery 2When I got home from the University of the South Pacific today, my host family was making buris for dinner. A buri is made using the same dough as roti (a tortilla-like food), but it is then fried in oil. I helped as best I could, but my buris were never as round as my host mom's. When we finished frying, I took a shower and my family got ready to go to the Hindu temple. My host mom dressed me up in her bright red sari with yellow and gold trim, a bindi, and gold bracelets. I almost didn't recognize myself. The temple was huge. We were greeted with a rom rom and prayer with clasped hands. After a brief walk around, we went inside for the 6:30 service. I left my shoes outside and quietly entered. We paid respect to a statue of a god, then stood quietly through a series of songs and chants in Hindi to two statues of gods while a woman waved fans, bells, and scarves in front. Later I learned this was all to pay respect. My host dad also explained a traditional story about the gods to me.

While I found that most of this experience was strange, I did note similarities with my own church experience. I respect Hinduism much more now that I have experienced it firsthand. I will remember this day forever.

~Leanne Wheatley

Other current program:
Latin America
Spain