Akshardham Temples in the US
This chapter uses examples from the temples in the US to synthesize ‘transcendental materialisms’, which signify the new globalizing realities that transcend older ones. Examples of transcendental materialism include: ‘Localism–globalism’, ‘Dollar divinity’, ‘Nation in global circulation’, and ‘Racial disjunctures’. ‘Localism–globalism’ indicates how temples are perceived as local safe havens, and also large and ‘global’. ‘Dollar divinity’ indicates how maintaining ‘culture’ is a cultural and economic process of negotiating visas, keeping books, managing food courts and gift shops. ‘The nation in global circulation’ demonstrates how the temples transcend their location in US cities by grounding the immigrant Indian’s patriotism for India. ‘Racial disjunctures’ indicate how temples must embrace the ‘racial others’ like Whites, Hispanics, and African Americans. The ‘other’ is desirable and yet perceived as culturally bankrupt and profane. Globalization, therefore, is constituted by the many contradictory materialism that exist in tandem.
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