Saturday, August 18, 2012

Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

We lived in Salt Lake City, Utah, for 6 years. My company transferred me there.  How did I end up there?   One day my boss called me in his office and said:

“You have been in a ‘staff assignment’ for too long. I want you to go for a ‘line assignment’. I am going to transfer you as of next Monday. Do you want to work in Los Angeles or Salt Lake City?”  I asked him to give me 24 hours time. I discussed with my wife and kids and decided to go to Salt Lake City rather than Los Angeles.

I made the right decision.  Salt Lake City is a famous holy city in the USA.

Like Vatican for Roman Catholics, like Varanasi for Hindus, Salt Lake City is for Mormons. They consider themselves Christians. Their church is called The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints, commonly known as the Mormon Church. It is also known as the LDS Temple. However, the Catholics and Protestants do not consider them as Christians.

Their living style is slightly different from others. Let me write about some of their religious lifestyle choices:

After the 18th birthday, everyone should serve the Temple for 2 years on a mission. The church will send them all over the world to represent their religion. They are called missionaries. This is mainly for the males. Females are encouraged to marry young, if not then go on a mission.

10% of their earnings (via income or otherwise) must go to the Temple every month as a donation. It is called tithing.

In the early days of the Mormon Church (1830 AD), the elders (Church leaders) encouraged polygamy. Even though it is not practiced now, some people secretly still practice this. However, most Mormon families have lots of kids. 6 children in a family is very common in this day and age.

They do not drink alcohol, coffee, tea, or soda.

They have to volunteer their services to the Church – just a few hours every week. Mormons must spend time with their family every Monday evening. This is called Family Night.

Many highly educated Mormons want to live and die in Salt Lake City. Therefore, they are even prepared to accept lower salaries to stay in SLC as opposed to leaving for bright lights of New York, Los Angeles, or San Francisco.

Quite a few of the Americans consider Mormons as “weird”. However we had a great time in Salt Lake City. We enjoyed our stay, made a lot of friends and it’s a great place to raise kids.

FYI: In the forth coming US Presidential Election, the Republican Party candidate who is going to oppose President Obama is Mr. Mitt Romney. He is a Mormon. Mr. Romney is the first Mormon ever to be nominated as a Presidential candidate by either party. Will majority of the Americans vote for him? According to Gallup poll, 22% of the Americans are hesitant to support a Mormon in 2012.  Will he win?  I will let you know on the night of November 6, 2012.

27 comments:

  1. Interesting...I have heard of Mormons but didn't realize their Salt Lake city connection and its overall importance. Good to hear you are having a great time there. Any pics we can see on this blog soon? :))

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  2. Loved the write up on Mormons. I have read a lot about them too:-)

    Salt lake City, must be pretty nice place. I wanted to see the State Utah, while on our visits, but could not make it. A regret.

    One of the regular blogger from Salt Lake city published such lovely photographs of the area in all seasons.http://seekraz.wordpress.com/

    That adds to my regret:-)

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  3. Wow! This is some insight for Me.. I love the way our belief in the Super Power binds us all together irrespective of our geographical locations / caste/ creed!

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  4. Loved the information..I never heard of Mormons and now I know a lot..:)..thanks for sharing..

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  5. Thanks for your comments Sanand. Mormons want to live and die in Salt Lake City. They love that city that much. Pictures will be here soon.

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  6. Thanks for your comments Pattu. On your time visit here, please do visit SLC. I reviewed that blog. Awesome pictures.

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  7. Thanks for your comments Me. You are absolutely right.

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  8. Thanks for your comments Ranita. Come this November, we may even elect a Mormon President. Then, this religion will become more popular.

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  9. That was engaging, sg...Didn't know that Mr. Mitt Romney is a Mormon! Have read about their community, but going through your blog was indeed riveting...:)
    Thank you!

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  10. Good information SG. I think only Hindus compromise on lot of customs .
    Hope living in the city has helped in sowing good values in your children.

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  11. Thanks for your comments Panchali. I am glad you liked this post.

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  12. Thanks for your comments Chitra. There is a difference between Hinduism and other religions. I think Hinduism is the only religion that was not started by an individual. Hinduism just evolved. Therefore, there was no one to establish any custom (rules) and enforce it. Am I correct?

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  13. Good post...Did not know much about this namesake from Kolkata.

    Sounds interesting. Normally I do not read much of such city tales but your made for a fluid, logical narration flow after each sentence. Something new to learn from.

    What do you work as? :)

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  14. Very interesting read SG. I have only been in SLC airport via transit recently. I just loved the mountains and the view from above :)

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  15. Thanks for your comments Ashok. And, welcome to my blog.

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  16. Thanks for your comments Ekta. And, thanks for your complements also. One thing is sure. I cannot write as good as you.

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  17. Thanks for your comments lostworld. Salt Lake City is very beautifl especially during snow season.

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  18. Religious practices are unique to a region, isnt it?

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  19. beautiful post
    nice write up

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  20. Thanks for your comments Anupama. A decade ago, it was very strict and now they are easing a little bit.

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  21. Thanks for your comments sm. And, thank you for your complements also.

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  22. Hi SG, new reader here from San Diego.You have been right to choose Salt Lake City than LA since it is definitely cheaper. As to the culture there, I have no idea. It works for them obviously; to me, it seems pretty regressive!

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  23. Thanks for your comment Mom. And, welcome to my blog. Yes, some people think their customs are regressive.

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  24. You forgot to mention that Mormons believe in Magic Underwear.
    Won’t matter on election day though because every religion is just plain silly (sacred cows/animals, praying to men who supposedly lived thousands of years ago, speaking in riddles, holy water, holy food, killing in the name of religion, etc)
    On election day Mitt Romney will easily defeat Barack NObama.

    Buck Ofama!

    Regards,
    Atheist Nation

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  25. Thanks for your comment Atheist. Romney will beat Obama? Dream on boy. Mitt Romney is John McCain Lite. No true conservative, including you, will vote for Romney.

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  26. I think I heard about Mormons, but did not who they were etc. Thanks for the info SG. Must visit salt lake city someday.

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