Recently, 24 IACT students along with their lecturer, Mr. Irwan Malius and other academic faculty members went on a field trip to three places of worship (Sri Mahamariamman Temple, St Mary’s Cathedral and The Federal Territory Mosque) located in Kuala Lumpur as part of their Study of Religions module.
The half-day excursion which took place on the 9th of March, 2020 was an eye-opening experience for many students as they visited different places of worship for the first time. More importantly, it was a fun and engaging way to gain a better understanding of different religions co-existing in our culturally diverse nation.
According to Mr Irwan, educational field trips is a great learning experience outside the classroom environment which incorporates both theoretical and practical aspects. This way, students are able to see the connection between life and the subjects they study.
At the Sri Mahamariamman Temple situated in Jalan Tun HS Lee, students were briefed on the history of the temple and its architectural features such as the gopuram (tower) and murtis (deities). Students were captivated by the symbolism representing ideas and beliefs of Hinduism discussed in class.
Mr. Jerome and Mr. Kevin, volunteer guides with St. Mary’s Cathedral hosted the team with a welcome briefing on the origins and history of the church.
He then proceeded to take the students on a guided tour of the Anglican Church, one of the oldest Anglican churches in the country. Mr Jerome shed light on the basic tenets of Christianity and explained the differences between Catholic and Anglican churches. It was definitely interesting to watch inquisitive students interacting with Mr Jerome and posing questions to gain more knowledge on the Christian faith.
Next, the students headed to the Federal Territory Mosque (commonly known as the Wilayah Mosque). Puan Azliza and her 4-member team of volunteers were present to receive the students and brief them on the architectural features of a mosque, namely, the dome, minarets, minbar (pulpit) and the mihrab (the niche area) and its religious significance.
The students were fortunate to observe noon prayers (Zohor prayer) as explained by Puan Azliza and her team. Many students took the opportunity to take photographs around the mosque and notes for their assignments. The guided tour ended with a luncheon courtesy of the management team of the mosque.
The field trip which was made possible with the help of representatives from each religious institution received positive feedback from both students and volunteers. “It was a great pleasure to have you and your students come to St Mary’s yesterday. I hope that they enjoyed their time and learned much. I hope that we will be able to do more cathedral tours for your students in the future”, said Mr. Jerome, Volunteer Guide, St. Mary’s Cathedral.