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UTEP’s new Bhutanese temple won’t be used as such

centennial plaza – after nearly two years of construction. and the main attraction: a beautiful hand- crafted bhutanese temple. but is it a religious shrine at a state university? welcome back everyone. let’s get the answer from abc-seven’s maria garcia. she is live in the studio with the story. when we walked into the temple today – we were really blown away. it was meticulously crafted by bhutanese artisans. and even though it’s technically a temple, utep officials say it won’t play that role on campus. 00:04 i think it goes well with the school and the buildings, it’s aesthetically pleasing. this is a lhakhang – which translates to house of god. found in bhutanese villages – as a place for prayer – it was all handcrafted – with no nails or modern machinery! utep vice president gary edens says it helps show students a different part of the world: 07:54 and realize there’s a huge global world out there and one of the ways to get best prepared for that world is to understand differences of people, beliefs, cultures all those kinds of things students can see the ornate walls that depict the story of buddha. and even though a lhakhang has a spiritual purpose in bhutan – not the case at utep: 06:29 so this is really a bhutanese cultural center. We’re not going to have religious ceremonies in there. We’re not going to have a resident religious person from Bhutan who’s going to share thoughts about a specific religion so no organized religious activity is allowed. and students we spoke with say no need to question the lhakang’s place on the campus: 00:23 i think they need to relax 00:51 it’s completely a cultural thing it’s not a religious thing what so ever the lhakhang was on display at the 2008 smithsonian folk life festival in washington dc. as a gift to the u-s – with the stipulation it be displayed at utep after. the mascot for the las cruces water utiliites hosted the

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