Old Faith Innovates In a New Land

August 27, 2009

Author: Jonathan Allen

Source: The New York Times


With less than an hour to go before the newly formed Hindu temple choir would make its debut, there was time for only a few final run-throughs of the hymn that had been prepared.

“Don’t rush!” implored the conductor, Michael Sample, as the singers surged ahead of the accompanying keyboard’s programmed beat.

About 50 singers had gathered on Sunday morning in the senior center across the street from the Ganesha Temple, operated by the Hindu Temple Society of North America, in Flushing, Queens. They would be performing on the busiest day of the temple calendar — the first day of the festival dedicated to Ganesha, the elephant-headed god.