The beauty of Native American culture here in San Diego

The “Shri Mandir” temple has been in San Diego for 30 years, currently located in an area of ​​Mira Mesa called “Little India”.

SAN DIEGO — For many people of Indian culture, the temple plays a central role in their community. CBS 8 visited the ‘Shri Mandir’ temple in Mira Mesa as Hindu priest Sudarshan Bhattar stood before the altar chanting and praying to one of their avatars.

“Total surrender to God and acceptance of what he gives through water is like a blessing we get in our life,” Priest Bhattar said.

“In Sanskrit, it means: ‘You are the Almighty. We are humble. We are in front of you. We offer this food. Please bless,” said Raj Aggarwal, Chairman of the Shri Mandir Temple Executive Committee. “You know, all the things human beings do when they talk to God.”

The “Shri Mandir” temple has been in San Diego for 30 years, currently located in an area of ​​Mira Mesa called “Little India”. Aggarwal says Hinduism is known for its flexibility.

“No two people are alike in their tendencies, in their thought processes, in their frame, and religion fits that,” Aggarwal said. “So it allows the flexibility to connect directly to God so there’s no one between you and God.”

For many Native Americans living in San Diego, the temple is a place of peace and quiet.

“Good place to be and stay focused,” said Dave Mudid. “Just stay calm and sit down for a few minutes and you’ll come out of this calm.”

“It’s very nice. It’s diverse,” Minal Shah said. do the pooja very, very sincerely.”

The temple sits in a plaza called ‘Little India Center’ on Miramar Road with Indian restaurants, clothing stores and grocery stores close to each other. CBS 8 caught up with Dave Mudid at the Chennai Tiffins restaurant as he enjoyed a delicious lunch with what is called a “South Indian thali.”

“Lentils, all of it is lentils,” Mudid said. “And it’s ‘succi’. It’s kind of like a dessert.

When Mudid wants to cook for himself, he shops at nearby Akshar Cash ‘n Carry for their wide selection of spices.

“Indian spices,” Mudid said. “I like cinnamon, cloves and cardamom.”

Akshar store manager Nitin Pater gave us a tour of their grocery store, pointing out all the many products imported directly from India.

“It’s all pickles,” Pater said. “It’s like the most important part of our food. It gives you extra taste and extra jump in your food. Each one comes from different parts of India, like North India, South India .

He says customers appreciate having a little slice of their home country here in San Diego.

“People love it,” Paters said. “When people see all these products, people get really excited, ‘See, this is what I want from my home country.'”

At a nearby clothing store called “Bombay Fashion”, owner Sukhveer Josan pointed out the many styles of clothing they offer.

“These items are very ornate and feature many different types of embroidery,” Josan said. “It’s full of colors.”

With over 30,000 Native Americans living in San Diego, their population is growing here as the beauty of their culture has become an integral part of the fabric of this city.

“Everyone needs their own culture and then they have to respect each other,” Mudid said. “I love this part.”

“Growing diversity,” said Neal Alagia. “This is America, isn’t it? A crucible. »

Watch related: The story of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (May 2022)

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