Norway’s fourth Tamil temple has opened, in Alesund. Three priests, from England, Denmark and Oslo, came to do a “water vessel ceremony” to consecrate the place, which will be repeated every twelve years. “In order for a building to be considered a temple it must be consecrated. If it has not been blessed there won’t be any spiritual power.” says Rasathurai Sathinalingam who is chairman of the board at Alesund Hindu Cultural Center. “Now that we have a permanent meeting place it will be easier to give a religious education to our children,” explains Mrs. Suki Ponnuthurai.
About 350 Hindus live in the surrounding More and Romsdal coastal district. Even though the temple is primarily for Hindus, people of other faiths are welcome. “Yes, everyone can come here,” Sathinalingam exclaims. Among those who came to express congratulations to the Hindu community on this occasion was Oystein Engas, head of the Norwegian Lutheran Mission. Despite the fact that Engas is head of the local missionary work, he says that it is good for Christians to practice tolerance for other religions and he emphasizes that there will be no attempts to try to convert any of the Hindus here.