At the Sri Siva Vishnu temple in Lanham, Md., 11 Hindu priests recite mantras before intricately chiseled altars to deities carved by expert temple stonemasons. They offer the idols lentils and rice prepared in a small kitchen by Haridas Padithaya, 38, who looks like a line cook in his stained T-shirt but who was trained from childhood to cook for the deities by his father, who learned from his father before him.
A Catholic nun in Italy, A Hebrew teacher in Israel, and a Hindu stonemason in India:
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