Lankaramaya temple in Dubai breathes life into Sri Lankan community | Sunday Observer

Lankaramaya temple in Dubai breathes life into Sri Lankan community

21 August, 2022

Lankaramaya temple in Al Garhoud, Dubai, was opened in 2015, and that makes the congregation seven years old this year.

“Walking in, you must feel as if you are in Sri Lanka; that is the goal,” said Manager Sunil Chandrakumara. “It should feel like a ‘home away from home, he said. Set in a residential neighbourhood, the temple has a true community vibe from the first glance. “The statues and other religious items are imported from Sri Lanka,”  Chandrakumara told the Sunday Observer from the gulf nation of United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“In the heart of multicultural Dubai, we strive to have a place that one gets in a Sri Lankan temple atmosphere. We conduct the same activities that are traditionally done back home such as Poson and Vesak. Many Sri Lankan Buddhists and non-Buddhists come to our location, all are welcome,” he said. “Some 300,000 Sri Lankans live in the UAE and work in all kinds of professions. We do not have statistics for how many are Buddhist, but let us presume that it is around 70 percent reflecting the same proportion as in Sri Lanka.

Many of them include families with children. These youth are a segment of society that should be nurtured and fostered because they will carry the legacy forward one day, whether they live here, go back home or move elsewhere. Some parents feel they would like to give them a ‘Sri Lankan foundation’ to keep them close to their roots wherever they live. This is very important for some families and we are here to help,” Chandrakumara said.

The Middle East’s Buddhist community is mostly in the gulf, comprising foreign workers hailing from Sri Lanka, Nepal, Korea, Thailand, Burma and other nations.