Saturday, January 10, 2009

Only For Hindus

Get lost, injee
Jan Bahal, Kathmandu

Today at the Seto Matysendranath Buddhist temple (S. M. is a Nepali version of Avalokiteshwara, the 1000-armed god of compassion) I was told that I couldn't stand in front of the deity because it was "only for Hindus."

"What?" I retorted. "This is a Buddhist temple, this is Lokiteshwara!" (his nickname)

Someone appeared and explained that it was arati time and in fact, no one could stand in the mandap during arati. Well, now, that's different.

Then I had a good conversation with some Newar locals who spoke English. It seems that "only for Hindus" is just a phrase people have learned that they now use to cover even Buddhist situations!

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