Social Studies Term One Trip Experience

This post is about the trip I went on during Tuesday, the 11th of April. I went along with 10E, my Social Studies teacher Mrs. Scott (she's also the Year 10 Dean) and her other class, Level One World Culture Studies. For 10E, the excursion was related to our main topic for Social Studies: Religions in Asia. So, for the first part, we bused to a Hindu temple in Papatoetoe. We took our shoes off when we got in, and I sighed in relief that I picked socks that didn't have holes in them.

What a relief. But hey, it would technically count as holy, right?

In the temple, this man talked a little bit about Hinduism and the gods that we were looking at, directing at one god after the next, and then we were able to move around a bit to look at the statues of the gods and we were also offered fruit! I got a banana and I was thinking to myself: Wow, I might as well eat it now! And so I ate it...

And halfway through eating I looked around at everyone else who had a banana and clearly saw that they didn't eat theirs straight away. Cue the dramatic dolly zoom. I remembered that I wasn't supposed to eat in the temple. Oh, boy, I was embarrassed. Really embarrassed. I felt as though I was disrespecting - but I didn't even know it!

Moving on, we moved on to the next destination - an Islam mosque in Otahuhu. It was a very interesting place, quite different to the Hindu temple. There was quite a lot of space...quite a lot. There were no chairs (except for a couple of chairs on the side but that was for the elderly who couldn't pray on the floor), and Mr. Milton (he's the Head of the Social Studies Department, and also a Muslim) talked about Islam and some clarifications about woman in Islam and this terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible group who are interpreted as being part of Islam but are quite the contrary.

After the talk and explanation, everyone quietly went around the mosque to see its features. The biggest one (kinda literally) was this dome ceiling, with a bright and beautiful chandelier hanging from it. Mr. Milton said the chandelier, despite its big appearance had no religious meaning and was just decoration. Either way, it was beautiful. What was even more beautiful was that I could hear echoes from the dome as I sat down. It was amazing, reader. Hearing distant quiet voices so clearly, the only way I described it was that...well...you know how you wear headphones and listen to something in stereo audio? Yeah, it was that clear. If not, even more clearer than that.

We went off to our third and final destination - a Buddhist temple in Manukau. We waited for a bit to wait for out guide and while waiting, I was cracking pun after pun, and false accusation after false accusation (don't worry, it's part of an inside joke). Skip the waiting, and the whole tour began! It started with this lady talking about this process of some sort: making a vow, putting it into action, something I forgot and being compassionate to others. We then moved outside to the courtyard, and it was wonderful. We were allowed to go around the area to the different parts of beauty, and it was peaceful. There was some background music, and there was not much talk going around. I went to the bathroom first before basking in the middle of the courtyard for a few minutes before we were told to go back for another talk. And hey, for once, I've got a picture of this moment! It was taken by Pritesh, a friend of mine, who previously took another picture that I haven't revealed just yet...mostly because I never began writing about the event surrounding the picture, but that's for another post.

We moved on quickly to this little gallery filled with pieces of calligraphy and these...uhh...I forgot what they were called...well, one of them had the objective to bathe with Buddha, and there was this area with "pillows" (I don't want to say pillows because it kinda takes off the effect of the act), and I was one of the two people who got to walk around and claim that I was superior. Not in a literal sense, of course, but, well, I felt a little better about myself for a second there...

I've got to say, it was a peaceful end to the trip. Very quiet, very tranquil.

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