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Saturday, 16 March 2013

Masjid Bandar Kuching

Masjid Bandar Kuching or formerly known as Masjid India is already 179 years old. It is the oldest mosque in Kuching built in 1834. Hidden in between the two streets with shops selling spices and clothing, this mosque has been saved several times from being torn down by some 'smart' politicians who wanted to 'rebuild' the mosque.

Today, I have the honour to accompany a photojournalist from Taiwan who works for the Rhythms Monthly (經典雜誌) to go around Kuching looking for materials to include in the upcoming issues, and we spent some time at Masjid Bandar Kuching to look for photo-making opportunities.

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We met with a group of Muslims from Pontianak and Singkawang of Indonesia and we started chit-chatting. One of them shared his view on his religion and the most important message is quite universal to all religions, that is, the cleansing of the soul. It is not about richness of material world, it is all about richness of the soul and preparing ourselves for eternal life.

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As I was wearing shorts, I couldn't enter the prayer hall. So, I stayed outside of the mosque perimeter and shot through the shutter windows.

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One of them noticed the eagerness in my eyes to enter the hall for closer-range shooting and he offered me a sarong. I finally got my legs covered and I could enter the hall! This was the first time I got inside the prayer hall of this mosque and I treasure the hospitality of the Muslims very much.

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