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Author Topic: The ethics of tourism around religious sites  (Read 5293 times)

Vale

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Re: The ethics of tourism around religious sites
« Reply #30 on: July 24, 2014, 08:21:23 am »
Quote from: Redfaery;153777
I totally understand; I think I would have too. I really hate the way religious sites get treated like "attractions" just because the said religion is "exotic." I mean, I don't think a lot of the Buddhist Temples in the US would be particularly noteworthy sites to visit if they were simply museums displaying Buddhist artifacts.

 
Try living in Bath! We have, of course, the famous Roman Baths and the Temple to Sulis. It is a huge tourist attraction and marketed as such. To use for silent meditation is  difficult for those of us who still consider it a sacred site as it's packed solid during the summer season with large tour groups. There are ways however.

Scales

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Re: The ethics of tourism around religious sites
« Reply #31 on: July 24, 2014, 02:11:45 pm »
Quote from: Redfaery;153777
I totally understand; I think I would have too. I really hate the way religious sites get treated like "attractions" just because the said religion is "exotic." I mean, I don't think a lot of the Buddhist Temples in the US would be particularly noteworthy sites to visit if they were simply museums displaying Buddhist artifacts.

They're doing guided tours this summer, but I'm more okay with that because it's guided. They have a big garden around the gold buddha that I feel like without guides would get trampled and they have temples that I wouldn't have just walked in to that people can see now.

I don't think the temple is or gets treated so much like a tourist attraction, but it's right in between two, so yeah. But at least maybe that means they can get donations and stuff.

I was really glad that I didn't see anyone else when I went, other than one man who clearly prayed and/or worked there regularly. At least although I did want to see it, I also had spiritual reasons, though I'm not Buddhist myself. If I still lived there, I think I'd start going to their meditation and classes, but alas it's actually almost 5 hours, including an expensive boat ride, away.

I think that might be part of the difference too- even if it's not your religion, are you going there to learn, would you go there, or are you just there to take some pretty pictures of the shrine? Not that you can't do the second respectfully, but it's less valid and often unlikely.

eta- via google, I just found out there's a buddhist temple, though a different division and sadly less pretty, 15 minutes away. Almost everyone here is christian, muslim, or sikh, so I guess I just never heard of it. So maybe I'll go there sometime.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2014, 02:16:38 pm by Scales »

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