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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The meaning of the Hindu temple for the North Indian community in Vancouver Garde, Niranjan Anil


This research study asks how the North Indian community in Vancouver gives meaning to its Hindu temple. It examines how community identity is expressed through the built environment of the temple. In order to understand the meaning attributed to the Hindu temple by the North Indian community, I undertook an ethnographic case study of a Hindu temple in the city of Surrey, Greater Vancouver Region. The study is also a personal journey through which I have come to understand the built environment as an expression of identity. The research study claims that the meaning of the built environment is related to how one perceives it – which depends on one’s values, which in turn, are related to the context. Such a study offers an important contribution to knowledge about how North Indians use their temples in a diasporic context. It also suggests that the study of this kind of architecture is dependent on the community’s perceptions and meanings.

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