Hindus Celebrate Cultural Center

July 29, 2009

Author: María Villaseñor

Source: The Salt Lake Tribune


The Sri Ganesha Hindu Temple hosts dozens of festivals each year in honor of different deities -- the multiple forms of a single God.

During those festivals, the temple's priest Satish Kumar said "first we do our worship to the gods, then we have our celebrations."

But the subsequent dancing, music, socializing and feasting isn't allowed in the temple's sacred space.

On warm summer nights, the lack of a nearby performance building is not much of an inconvenience since the temple has an outdoor pavilion, said Divya Narayanan. She teaches traditional Indian dances, and noted the lack of available rehearsal space means dancers often practice in her basement.

When the weather isn't so accommodating, "it's a problem," Narayanan said, leaving festivalgoers to either find a local Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints chapel or a spot at the University of Utah.

The solution, though, is beginning to take shape in the form of the planned India Cultural ECenter.