When visiting a temple for Diwali celebrations... (i know, it's early :P) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 08-23-2012, 06:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My family is lucky enough to live near an amazing Hindu temple in Lilburn Georgia. We visited there last year for one of his college courses and attended one of their worship ceremonies (we aren't Hindu so it was cool to see what they do). They have a beautiful celebration for Diwali with light shows, fireworks, music, etc and we have time to go this year.

 

So I'm wondering, what's the proper sort of etiquette for going to a Diwali celebration at a temple? I already know to dress conservatively but what's the appropriate western clothing to wear to this sort of thing? Should my husband wear jeans with a collared shirt or something a little nicer? Is it better for me to wear a long skirt or pants? Do we bring some cash for offerings?

 

It may sound silly but I don't want to be rude, we will already sort of stick out of the crowd a bit :P I'm a henna artist and I'm hoping to see some beautiful hands while I'm there, do you think women would mind if I asked if I could photograph their hands?

 

I just really do not want to be rude by accident, the people at this temple are so friendly and welcoming :) Thanks!

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#2 of 6 Old 08-25-2012, 05:56 PM
 
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aurora skys, I am grateful for the opportunities I've had to attend different religious and spiritual ceremonies. I've not attended a Diwali celebration (but I hope to sometime), so I don't know the answer to your question, but I am bumping up your post and I hope one of the posters in this forum can help with your question.


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#3 of 6 Old 09-01-2012, 04:50 PM
 
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There is a Hindu temple in my town, and while I have not yet gone there, their website has a nice guidelines page. http://www.srilakshmi.org/Contents/frmRulesAndRegulations.aspx  I can also ask a friend of mine, who's been doing henna a long time, to see if she has any suggestions. My guess would be to ask outside of the temple for photos, though.


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#4 of 6 Old 09-01-2012, 07:21 PM
 
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I often go to the local Hare Krishna temple here. They are similar to Hindus. Usually the men wear dhotis that really do look kind of like bed sheets. I wouldn't go too formal in the attire, but like you said, conservative. Be prepared to take off your shoes. I wouldn't wear a skirt that is too short to sit on the floor in. As far as an offering, a gallon of milk, fresh fruit or honey is popular with where I go. Diwali is the festival of light, celebrating the return of Lord Ramachandra from an exile in the forest, the triumph of good over darkness. People usually light candles to symbolize His return to ruling the kingdom. I also like to donate lighters or matches because they use them on a daily basis at the temple. I hope this helps and have a great time. Oh, and not all Hindus are vegetarian, but it would be better to stay away from any animal products.


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#5 of 6 Old 09-01-2012, 07:24 PM
 
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Oh, touching someone with your feet or stepping over their body can be considered rude.


~Manjari~ crafty lady, momma to DS Prahlad (3/07) and DD Daisy (7/10). Happily married to my Boo.
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#6 of 6 Old 09-17-2012, 08:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aurora_skys View Post

My family is lucky enough to live near an amazing Hindu temple in Lilburn Georgia. We visited there last year for one of his college courses and attended one of their worship ceremonies (we aren't Hindu so it was cool to see what they do). They have a beautiful celebration for Diwali with light shows, fireworks, music, etc and we have time to go this year.

 

So I'm wondering, what's the proper sort of etiquette for going to a Diwali celebration at a temple? I already know to dress conservatively but what's the appropriate western clothing to wear to this sort of thing? Should my husband wear jeans with a collared shirt or something a little nicer? Is it better for me to wear a long skirt or pants? Do we bring some cash for offerings?

 

It may sound silly but I don't want to be rude, we will already sort of stick out of the crowd a bit :P I'm a henna artist and I'm hoping to see some beautiful hands while I'm there, do you think women would mind if I asked if I could photograph their hands?

 

I just really do not want to be rude by accident, the people at this temple are so friendly and welcoming :) Thanks!

I would wear pants not a skirt. You will have to sit on a carpeted floor. Since Diwali is the Hindu New Year people are a dressed up for the occasion (it's not as much here as it is in India.) If you want to as well, you could, or not. I think pants rather than jeans would be nicer for your dh. You must take off your shoes before entering the temple. You don't have to offer cash. They might come around with an oil lamp on a big steel plate in which some people offer cash. It is not at all mandatory though. I wouldn't ask to photograph hands in a temple as people probably want to focus on praying. You could probably request that outside probaly in the shoe area, when people are leaving rather than arriving. Some Indians chat in the temple but I personally find it disturbing and so I think it would be nicer to talk about henna, photograhing outside.


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