Visiting Temples Outside America

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

Visiting Temples Outside America

Postby theravada_guy » Thu Aug 05, 2010 9:34 pm

Greetings all,

If, by chance sometime in the future I ever get the chance to do pilgrimage to the Four Sacred Shrines or go to any temple in a Theravadin land, will I ever get looked at strangely because I'm a Westerner? I know when I was a Hindu, sometimes I would get weird looks and I know some of their temples won't let Westerners inside the premises. I don't figure this would happen in Buddhism, at least not the no-admittance thing. But I just want to be sure. Thanks.
With metta,

Justin
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Re: Visiting Temples Outside America

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Aug 05, 2010 10:15 pm

Hmm, yes, I remember having to sign something at a temple in India to the effect that I respected their god...

I've never noticed strange looks at Buddhist temples in Thailand or China (or New Zealand for that matter, which is also outside America :tongue:).

Mike
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Visiting Temples Outside America

Postby GrahamR » Sat Aug 07, 2010 9:08 am

theravada_guy wrote:Greetings all,

If, by chance sometime in the future I ever get the chance to do pilgrimage to the Four Sacred Shrines or go to any temple in a Theravadin land, will I ever get looked at strangely because I'm a Westerner? I know when I was a Hindu, sometimes I would get weird looks and I know some of their temples won't let Westerners inside the premises. I don't figure this would happen in Buddhism, at least not the no-admittance thing. But I just want to be sure. Thanks.


Hi
I visited many temples in India, Hindu, Sikh and Jain as well as Buddhist and almost all, especially in the villages were very welcoming. Only on one or two occasions in big towns did I get a strange look.

Certainly in Thailand I have always been welcomed, some temples charge foreigners to visit, though if you try and explain you are a Buddhist they will waive the charge!
With metta :bow:
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Re: Visiting Temples Outside America

Postby pilgrim » Sun Aug 08, 2010 5:10 am

My experience is that temples don't really care so much about the colour of your skin, but what you wear...shorts, revealing tops, etc. Just so happens that western tourists in Asian climates tend to dress like that. :stirthepot:
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Re: Visiting Temples Outside America

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Aug 08, 2010 5:30 am

pilgrim wrote:My experience is that temples don't really care so much about the colour of your skin, but what you wear...shorts, revealing tops, etc. Just so happens that western tourists in Asian climates tend to dress like that. :stirthepot:

Yes, good point, though in Thailand, outside the famous places, knee-length shorts seem perfectly acceptable. That's what the locals are often wearing in the hot season. No foreigners in this picture at Wat Muang...

Mike

IMGP8742.JPG
IMGP8742.JPG (59.49 KiB) Viewed 163 times


PS. Walking barefoot on that concrete in the mid-day April heat was an interesting experience...
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