Mr. Sockalingam (Sam) Kannappan was born in Nattarasankottai in southern Tamil Nadu, India. He grew up in a small community and. learned to follow what the elderly say, among other Indian traditions he was raised with. He immigrated to the University of Texas at Austin to get a degree in mechanical engineering. He got involved in starting the Sri Meenakshi Temple and started to raise funds for the temple in 1977. Amidst the Hare Krishna movement, the surrounding community misunderstood the temple and thought its purpose was to convert their children. However, the then Pearland mayor, Thomas Reid, assisted in helping the surrounding community accept and understand the temple. The temple has grown in providing services (youth center and library) to the community not only in Houston, but in Texas and beyond. Mr. Kannappan has served on the board and the advisory council of the Sri Meenakshi Temple. In this interview, he details the beginnings of the temple and the challenges it has faced along the way.
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