Monday, May 15, 2006

Bharatiya Temple of Lansing
955 Haslett Rd., Haslett, MI 48840 Tel. (517) 339-6337
 Posted by Picasa
The deities were installed in their present configuration at the time of their Prana Pratishtha (consecration) in June 1998, but have been at the temple for longer than that. The deity of Shri Ganesha (the elephant avatar) was a gift to the Hindu community of Lansing in 1982 by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami of Hawaii. Shri Ganesha remained in the home of community members Sudhakar and Usha Kulkarni for ten years, before moving to the newly constructed temple in April 1992. All the other deities were received from India in the summer of 1994 and, along with Shri Ganesha, were installed in a temporary sanctum on October 2, 1994. During the Prana Pratishtha ceremony of June 10-14, 1998, they were permanently installed in the present sanctum, consisting of seven small sanctums (mandaps) designed by acclaimed architect Muthiah Sthapathi of Chennai and built under his direction by a crew of skilled workers.
exerpt from the Bharatiya Temple Website.
 Posted by Picasa
We took our shoes off in the shoe room. In many cultures, it is appropriate to take one's shoes off or even wash one's feet at the door in order not to bring dirt into the dwelling. Especially when one must sit on the floor to pray, eat, sleep, etc.  Posted by Picasa
Getting Started
Before we began the academic portion of the field trip. Mrs. Carvi and Pria Carvi (a sophmore at Okemos High School) gave us a pre test to see how much we knew about Hinduism. We then sat through two 45 minute lectures that included some very interesting new and less understoon facts about the religion. Immediately, students started asking questions which instantly turned up the interest volume. Wow, like where were these questions coming from? "Is Moksha the ultimate goal of Hindus?", "Can Hindu reincarnate as a Christian or a Muslim?, If so, can his/her Atman return after death or do they just go to heaven/paradise?", "How does a fly accomplish Dharma?"
It sure made me look good. I just smirked at a very impressed Mrs Carvi and I took all the credit! Thanx guyzzz.
 Posted by Picasa
After the trip Roman said "I wish Americans were more ethnic and more interesting"...Well Roman, all this is part of America. It all sits right in your back yard ready for you to take notice, join in, take what you like and make it your own.
PS: Roman, there is nothing uninteresting about you! Posted by Picasa
The Real Thing
"It is one thing to hear about Hinduism in a powerpoint presentation. It is way better to see the real thing" this was a quote from a student after the trip. One of the most amazing things about this trip is how vividly different things are. It always glows me away how one can be in Grand Legde one day, doing the Grand Ledge thing. But then one can drive just 20 minutes and end up in a very diferent reality. Posted by Picasa
The Jain Temple was breath takingly surreal. Many of the students did not know much about this branch of Hinduism. We were especially impressed with the sense of calm that room encompassed.
This sanctum was built in 1999, again under the direction of Muthiah Sthapathi. He designed it in the second half of 1998, incorporating motifs taken from the Jain temple in Mount Abu in Rajasthan, and his team of assistants completed it in early 1999. Posted by Picasa
Mrs. Carvi was an increadible speaker. She made it very easy for us to follow. She answered our hard questions and made us see Hinduism in a completly different light. Later, many students commented that they will never see Hindus in the same way again. Bravo Mrs. Carvi Posted by Picasa
Here is our obligatory field trip group picture. Front and center are our hosts Mrs. Carvi and Pria. Every one looks so prrretty... Posted by Picasa
Lunch Time!!!
Wait, are we eating lunch or doing school work? Answer: BOTH
Many students had an opportunity to collect Cultural Experience Project points by eating at ethnic restaurants on Grand River. Some of us met at India Palace (picture below) to enjoy the yummy buffet and watch Bollywood movies on the big screen. Everyone enjoyed the naan bread the best. Posted by Picasa
Enjoying the tastes of India Posted by Picasa

Friday, May 12, 2006

Admiring the price of fine art
Jennifer, Jennie and Cary enjoyed themselves at the art exhibit. Carey liked all the pictures. Jennie and Jennifer were blown away by the $5,000-$50,000 price tag some of Picasso's art work commands. Posted by Picasa
Alex taking a break at the Picasso Exhibit. There was so much to see. Here she is appreciating one of Pablo Picasso's pottery pieces. Posted by Picasa
Playing with my camera Posted by Picasa
Hitting the pavement with Luke, Evan, Blake and Joey Posted by Picasa
Mmmmmh Omi Sushi! Amanda and Sarah eating eel. Posted by Picasa
Whachu gonna do when dey come for you
These outlaws set off the store alarm and got hassled by store security.
 Posted by Picasa
Andrew, Christy and John having a blast Posted by Picasa
Angela and Jennifer browsing Posted by Picasa