Portable Stone

Joanne Punzo Waghorne

in Diaspora of the Gods

Published in print September 2004 | ISBN: 9780195156638
Published online January 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199785292 | DOI:
 Portable Stone

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In Chennai, stone replicas of the six major shrines to Murugan in Tamilnadu occupy a single site: a new temple complex to this quintessential Tamil God. The chief donor lives in New York City where he built the first authentic Hindu temple in America. In London and Washington D.C., Tamil people have repeated this seeming contradiction: the globalization of locally important deities. In London, middle-class Tamils (mostly Sri Lankan) consecrate temples to Ammans inside old churches or even warehouses, but also rally to the Murugan. His temples rise in multi-ethnic Highgate Hill and now in South Asian-dominated East Ham. In suburban Washington D.C., the Tamil community consecrated a new temple to Murugan a mile from the eclectic Sri Siva-Vishnu Temple. In the context of the diaspora, this turn to Murugan and local goddesses signals a new phase in the growth of transnational Hindu temples: the emergence of globalized localisms.

Keywords: Chennai; Murugan; Tamils; globalized localisms; Ammans

Chapter.  24765 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Hinduism

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