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New Hindu Temple In Novi Reflects Region's Growing Asian-Indian Population
on 2013/6/2 16:28:17 ( 847 reads )

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MICHIGAN, U.S., May 31, 2013 (Free Press): Gazing at a new Hindu temple in Novi, Anand Gangadharan reflected Thursday on what the all-granite building means to him. "It feels emotionally right," said Gangadharan, the temple's vice chair. "It's extremely gratifying for our community. It makes America our home in a rock-solid fashion."

That feeling is echoed by thousands of other of Hindus across metro Detroit this week as they celebrate the grand opening of a $10-million temple with six days of religious ceremonies that end Sunday. The Sri Venkateswara Temple and Cultural Center is the first one in Michigan named after a popular deity in southern India.

It's one of several new Hindu temples being built in metro Detroit that reflects the growth and success of the Asian Indian-American community in Michigan. A Hindu temple in Troy opened a new $11-million center last year and other new Hindu centers have opened in recent years in Detroit, Hamtramck, Ada, Canton, Pontiac, Sterling Heights and Livonia.

On Thursday, 24 priests from across the U.S. and India chanted in Sanskrit outside the 25,000-square-foot temple. About 8,000 people are expected to attend the ceremonies over the six days.

The temple in Novi was created largely by the members of the Telugu-speaking community, many of whom come from Andhra Pradesh, a state of about 85 million people in India. Serving about 3,000 people, the temple has had a temporary center in Novi for five years.

There are about 85,000 Asian Indian Americans in Michigan. The community has a median income of $86,400 compared to $48,700 overall in Michigan, according to the U.S. Census. About 76% of Asian Indian-American adults in the state have bachelor's degrees or higher compared to 27% among all Michigan adults.

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