I’ve visited the Hindu Temple and Cultural Center in Shawnee many times since the 1985 bhumi puja (groundbreaking ceremony), but the rite I witnessed Feb. 12 was different. In fact, participants from the Kansas City Bengali Association wondered if the event were unprecedented.
A statue created by an artist with a Christian heritage was venerated in an annual Hindu festival with Hindu priests accepting it and honoring the non-Hindu artist as well. No one knew of any such interfaith collaboration.
The Bengali Association’s Bhaswati Ray said, “I see this event as a bridge to open up our minds and to greet people from other cultures.”