Every time on the threshold of the temple (Church, Church, synagogue, mosque) I am tormented by the question: to Go or not to go? This article is not about religion, but that the interest in culture-architecture should not offend the religious feelings of local residents. There are explicit and implicit rules that allows to avoid the prying eyes of believers and making tourists welcome. Most of them are obvious, I’ll just give the whole list with my comments and examples. Getting in is always better than staying out.
- Read the signs at the entrance, if not, then look for pictures. They will tell you what not to do. If nothing is found – it does not mean that everything is possible, just trust you.
- Clothes. Do not fit shorts, short skirts, cleavage, open t-shirts. In some places (most often monasteries) visitors are offered shawls, robes, pants, but it can not be 100% count, and not everyone will wear. In the cold season of problems with the “forbidden” clothes do not arise, but in the summer on vacation all go in shorts. I have this case there is always a scarf-a pair of opaque cotton, which can result from head to toe.
- Men should remove their headgear.
- Phone. When entering, turn off the sound and do not talk.
- Photo and video. There is a strict ban on any photographing and shooting, or only a restriction on the use of the flash.
- No noise.
- Inside is not allowed with dogs, ice cream…
In popular tourist places visiting temples does not cause any difficulties and is very similar to a visit to the Museum. There are opening hours, at the box office sell tickets for the entrance, photography, concerts. The farther away from the tourist flow is the Church, the more likely it is that it will be open only during the service.
I always intuitively decide whether you can go or not, it is best if the inner door is transparent, and if not, you should first listen. I think very few people like the presence of tourists during the service, so if we are gone, it is not necessary to climb “to the ground” or even worse to pretend that “all his” not welcome photographing believers and the clergy. It so happens that the Church is open, and you are the only visitor, then some have an irresistible desire to poke his nose where it should not touch the objects of worship, photographed with a flash, etc. Keep it together, you know WHO sees it.
A year ago I was faced with the fact that in our progressive time there are people who consciously do not want to get acquainted with the “foreign” religion. Several members of our Turkish group refused to visit the Blue Mosque, Istanbul’s world – famous landmark. At first I thought they were already here, but then I realized what it was and I was sad. Does the contemplation of beauty contradict someone’s religious beliefs?
I have been on excursions to synagogues, mosques, churches, monasteries and many churches and no one has ever tried to convert me. Seeing my interest, people of different countries and religions were sincerely happy to show and tell about their culture and history, because in fact it is the same museums, monuments, art galleries, observation decks, music and exhibition halls.