During Cultural Diversity Week 2015, the City of Greater Dandenong Interfaith Network hosted an Open House to places of worship from Sunday 14 March to Sunday 22 March, 2015.

I had the good fortune to make use of this opportunity to visit two places of worship that opened their doors to welcome visitors.

On 16 March, I visited the Gurudwara Sri Guru Granth Sahib in Keysborough. With its golden domes, this Sikh place of worship is a sight to behold. The architecture is traditional and provides worshippers an opportunity to visit any time of the day on any day of the week. There is a communal kitchen which is in operation on most days for free meals. The main hall has a focal point where lays the sacred Granth Sahib, the Holy Scripture for the Sikhs around the globe. The recitation from the Granth Sahib is also accompanied with traditional music. The hosts were very hospitable and warmly welcomed any visitors.

 On 18 March, I visited the Turkish Mosque in Keysborough, a place of worship for Muslims.

With its traditional architecture, the Mosque stands out as you enter the main gates. The interior design is also traditional. Visitors must take their shoes off, and wear socks, and wear modest clothes. The walls are decorated with calligraphy of Quranic verses and Turkish designs, and the main hall features a chandelier hanging low from the ceiling. The main hall also has other wooden features which assist with congregational worship. There is an upper hall for women attendees. The hostess was happy to answer any questions and show the visitors around.

I hope that next year I will be able to visit more places of worship. This is a wonderful initiative by the Dandenong Interfaith Network to display the diversity of places of worship in their city. This diversity reflects the diversity present throughout the state of Victoria, where people from different faith and cultures practice their traditions and are happy to share them with others.

Article by Naureen Choudhry
Secretary Casey Multifaith Network