Friday, April 29, 2011

Debussy: the tower of Babel of religions

Located a few miles from Disneyland Paris, it would, a priori, its main claim. His name does not attract attention. His visit, either. Bussy Saint Georges is, at first glance, a bedroom over the suburbs of Paris. Appearances aside, this small city is much more: it is a rare pearl, a housing experiment unique in Europe.

An example of coexistence for France and for the world. In Bussy is going to raise the tower of Babel of religions. In this city of reconciliation Jews and Christians, Buddhists and Muslims live together in peace and harmony. Soon they will also recite, but to different gods within the same space.

Throughout this year will be built in Bussy a mosque, a synagogue, a pagoda and an Armenian cultural center. These places of worship will join the existing ones: the two Christian churches and Buddhist pagoda for. These spaces will be up next door, in the development named ZAC and that will be released in 2012.

This is a unique project in Europe. "The city wants to raise awareness of the richness and diversity of cultures present in our territory. Share, start, understand ... these are the key words in this development," say the City Council. The hitherto quiet city will be turned upside down to lead by example.

While French leaders walk engaged in the law that prohibits the use of the burka in the street and in debates on secularism of the state and immigration in the belief Bussy live a much more pragmatic. "This is a small miracle. This is a source of pride for the city," says the mayor, Hugues Rondeau, who do not fit together in joy.

With just 500 inhabitants in the late 80's, this city has seen its population increase dramatically. Of five hundred residents moved to accommodate 19,000 in 2007 and now has almost 24,000 inhabitants. A third are Asian, but in this little universe multicultural lives also a significant number of Jews, Muslims.

"We understand the unique social structure that has Bussy. It is fortunate because this mixture is a source of knowledge and cultural mix," said the mayor. This diversity will be reflected on the walls of this ambitious project of religious architecture. The size of each of the buildings will be proportional to the number of faithful.

The synagogue will house about 150 families, while the pagoda, which will be the largest in Europe, will have 6,500 m2 of surface. In addition, to accommodate all the devotees going to build a parking lot. Hall says that this space is sufficient because the religious calendars do not match.

A real lesson in tolerance.

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