One of my friends is a Religious Studies major who is currently taking the Introduction to Hinduism invited some friends and I to go visit the Hindu temple in Oklahoma City earlier in the semester. While I’ve learned about the basics of Hinduism through the various history classes I’ve taken through high school, I’ve never first-hand experienced it. The temple was definitely located in an obscure location, but the exterior architecture was gorgeous. The details of the carvings were so intricate; it seemed like the building was telling a story. Before anyone could go inside the temple, everyone had to take their shoes off at the doorway. Unlike a typical Hindu temple where it would be dedicated to only one god, this temple had areas for people to worship all three of the major gods: Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma as well as some other famous gods. After a quick tour of the temple, we all sat around the Hindu priest who gave us a lecture about the history of Hinduism and the basic theory and principles of Hinduism. I never knew there was so much philosophy involved in Hinduism, which makes sense since it the oldest living religion. One interesting fact that I learned during his talk is that the word “Hindu” is actually originated from the Persians mispronouncing the Sanskrit word “Sindhu”. The priest also told us about himself and what he does on a daily basis at the temple. While the talk was very interesting, it was really hard to understand him due to his unique accent (he was educated in Britain so he had a combination of an Indian and a British accent) and he didn’t have a linear lecture plan. So he would talk about one topic, go on a small tangent, talk about another topic and then jump back to the first topic which made me really confused. Thankfully, my friend explained most of it to us in the car on the way back.
Afterwards, we went to an authentic Indian buffet called Taj Cuisine of India for lunch. Despite being a buffet, the place had a warm cozy feeling, almost making it seem like a restaurant. The food there was fantastic and I would definitely go again. A food that I tried for the first time was the chicken masala and it was amazing. It has definitely become one of my favorite Indian food. This trip made what would have been another boring Sunday pretty remarkable. Not only did I get to learn about another religion, hang out with some great friends, experience a tiny bit of another culture, but also I got to eat some amazing Indian food that definitely would not be attainable on campus.