Friday, October 1, 2010

Sri Sithi Vinayagar Temple, Kuantan

The Sri Sithi Vinayagar Temple in the heart of Kuantan draws people in for its colours and numberless statues on its roofs. Situated near the fire station a stone's throw from the Darulmakmur Stadium, it is a sight to behold.

Every major religion under the Sun can be found in Malaysia. While we must admit that there are gently simmering hostilities between the religions, it is relatively peaceful and harmonious when compared with other plural society countries. It is not uncommon to find mosques, hindu temples, chinese temples and churches on the same street in Malaysia, and sometimes even lined up beside each other.

My visit to the Sri Sithi Vinayagar Temple was a different experience to my previous visits to the PAHANG STATE MOSQUE AND PAHANG BUDDHIST ASSOCIATION and to the SIKH TEMPLE. The Pahang State Mosque is intricately designed with beautiful symmetrical patterns and graceful Arabic calligraphy adorning the walls. The Pahang Buddhist Association combines a temple containing a huge statue of Buddha with beautiful gardens and a lake. The Sikh temple was stunningly simple in design, with lovely carved wooden doors and glittering chandeliers. However, the one thing all these places had in common was reverent silence.

Here is the Sri Sithi Vinayagar Temple in Kuantan. Here there were bright colours in abundance. I even engaged in a conversation with an Indian woman who was there to clean the temple. We spoke at length about how I came to be in Kuantan and I was able to share with her my appreciation of the lovely temple we were in, my beliefs about God, a living prophet, and other Christian doctrines, which she received with humility. It was easy to share these things with her. Since we were in a hindu temple I related to her about our Christian temples and a little about the work that goes on there. From the Book of Mormon we read of former Christian missionaries: "and we have also entered into their temples and their synagogues and taught them."

These curious little black stone statues were the most intriguing part of my visit to the Sri Sithi Vinayagar Temple. Unfortunately I didn't get the opportunity to ask a few questions I had in mind to the Indian lady there.

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