While at the USC summer institute, our group went and visited the Hsi Lai Buddhist Temple. It is the largest Buddhist Temple outside Asia. I had never been to a Buddhist Temple before. The Temple was amazing. Immediately, one gets the feeling of being tansported to another world. Architecturally, the Temple was built exaclty as it would be if it were in China. Inside the Temple, again one feels as if in another country, perhaps even in a different time. I greatly enjoyed meeting the people, seeing the Temple, and gaining that experience. If you teach history or world cultures, and work in the area, I highly recommend taking a small group of students on a tour. It would be a great experience!
The other day, on a Monday, I asked a class if anyone went out of town. Nyssa raised her hand and said, Hacienda Heights. I asked if she had visited the Buddhist Temple and she replied, "we go there all the time." This is a girl of Greek heritage. Until the UCLA class this summer, I had never been to Hacienda Heights nor to a Buddhist Temple in the US. (although I recall seeing one in China in 1976, the Communist tour guides did not give us any time or understanding of it).
It's funny how once you know what a certain product or band or place is: you see it everywhere. A handful of kids are tryng to organize a field trip to Little India in Artesia. I wish we were closer to Hacienda Heights; maybe one of these days.
If you have not been to Hsi Lai, I highly recommend it for the sheer beauty and the warmth of the people there.
During the Summer Asia Institute at UCLA, I was fortunate to walk around the premise. I walked towards the rear of the compound to a temple that not everyone gets to walk in. I guess this is the temple of those who have passed away. People's names are written on plaques - papers, and the small temple is a round shape. I would recommed to walk all the way to the rear of the compound and hope that somebody's there in order to allow you to come in. As I stated this small temple is not part of the tour... I guess I enjoyed this part the most.
xiutleth[Edit by="xsantibanez on Sep 22, 10:28:46 PM"][/Edit]
Talking of temples, I thought I'll mention that there is a Hindu temple located in Calabasa - the building itself reflects South Indian style of architectecture. The central structure was cast in India in peices and shipped over and then 'assembled' together. It is worth a visit just to view the architecture. It is located on Las Virgenes drive, about couple of miles from 101 freeway going towards Malibu. You have to be on the lookout for it on your left because it suddenly comes up around a turn on the road.
If your kids visit Little India in Artesia, I think a visit to a gold jewellery shop is going to 'wow' the visitors. Indians are very much into buying 22 and 24 carat gold jewellry so there is a lot of art that one can view in the jewellry shops there.
(By the way, sorry about the photos of the Chinese Friendship Garden, Sydney, not downloading - I'll try to fix it and repost it)
I was lucky enough to have taken a class on asian culture and was taken to visit the Hsi Lai Temple in Rowland Heights. The only thing I can say is that to be there is an experience within itself. Looking down onto the city provided me with a bird's eye view but being able to walk around made me feel as if I were in the middle of the Himalayan mountains filled with nothing but peace and serenity. It was there that I felt serene and at peace with myself for the first time in a long time.
Taking the class also exposed me to the Chinese American Museum in the middle of Olvera street. We also were able to meet a member of the royal court when we visited the Korean Cultural Center in Koreatown. Funny thing is that he wanted us to take a picture with him just as much as we did.
Taking these classes and visiting these amazing places in L.A. provides us with an insight look at our students and their culture and allows us the opportunity to validate them for who they are and their contributions to U.S. society.