ABSTRACT: This article asserts that, for Hindus living in the United States, temple spaces serve not only as places to replicate imported cultural patterns, but also as arenas in which resistance and assimilation to the new host culture may be both measured and moderated. Furthermore, Hindu religious identities formed in diasporic temples balance resistance and assimilation, not only to the culture of the larger society, but also to competing Hindu cultural expectations expressed within temple practices. In other words, while certain practices mark resistance to American ideological demands, other practices serve to delineate and reinforce differences between particular religious identities. Drawing on research at the Shiva Vishnu Temple in Livermore, California, the article examines two prominent signifiers by which American Hindu identity is constructed and negotiated: "our children's futures" and "geography matters."
- ©© 2006 by The Regents of the University of California