This dream was really neat visually. It started with me on a visit to a Hindu "worship center". I refer to it as that because it was more than just a temple. It was a whole complex including a temple and some other community-outreach sort of areas (which I'll get into later).
I was in a small group, and we were there to visit the temple on what amounted to a guided tour. The lady in charge of the tour was one of the founders of the temple, and her thing was outreach to non-Hindus. She wasn't trying to convert outsiders, just to educate them on what Hinduism was all about and create positive impressions.
The temple itself was beautiful, a big open room with elaborate Indian decorations (I think the ceiling was highly decorated, and there may have been an upstairs balcony running along at least one side of the room). There were some people there engaged in some sort of worship, and although we didn't stay long and I didn't really understand what was going on I found it inspiring.
After the main room, we were led into a side room with a low ceiling. It was also highly decorated, and full of rows of raised tables with shallow tanks on top, almost like clear, shallow bathtubs on platforms. They were about half full of water, and all connected by a complicated network of piping. Most of the tubs had someone in them, lying flat, fully clothed, and completely, if barely, submerged by water that was running while staying at the same level (through the network of pipes, I suppose).
The tubs nearest us were occupied by very old Indian women, all motionless and with their eyes closed. They were apparently deep in some kind of advanced meditation in which one didn't have to breathe. There was another section on the other side of the room with somewhat younger Indian men, all bald. I found it very interesting, but then when I turned to the right I saw that there was a section full of deformed, premature babies. They had uneven, buggy eyes, large bulgy heads, and were kind of greenish and purplish. It was extremely, extremely unsettling. Apparently they had been taken in as orphans, but their prognosis couldn't have been too good.
After that I was with my mom, getting ready to go into a grocery store. I had a National Geographic, and I discovered that there was a whole article on knitting (across a spectrum of time and cultures, etc.). I was really fascinated, and so slow getting out of the car that when I finally tore myself away and went in the store my mother was already checking out. I looked in her cart and saw that there were only a couple of bags of vegetables and a few more miscellaneous things--not the whole week's worth of food that we needed. I got really angry and started yelling at her about how I thought that for once she could be responsible and buy the week's groceries because I had been doing it ALL THE TIME, and why should I have to do everything just because she found it easier to let me*. She just shrugged and pointed out that I could have come in earlier and gotten more things instead of staying in the car with the National Geographic.
Another night I had a tidbit that fits in with the multicultural theme. I was in a library somewhere and found a very small softcover, staple-bound book. It had been self-published by an Ethiopian lady, and looked at first like it was a cookbook. I wasn't sure if it was handwritten or if it was just a unique font, but I absolutely loved the writing and was determined to find a place to buy my own copy of it.
On looking more at it, I discovered that it contained not only recipes (I like Ethiopian food in real life), but very cute line drawings and somewhat 1950s tips on how to manage a home while remaining glamorous and interesting. There was one little drawing of the author involving her two small children in cutting up carrots. The caption pointed out that involving small children in household tasks like cooking would keep them entertained and teach them, make them less picky in their eating habits, etc. etc. The whole aura was very idyllic, and the author photograph showed a very beautiful, flawless, serene-looking Ethiopian woman. The book was in English and Amharic, although of course the writing in the dream didn't look anything at all like Amharic does in real life. I was intrigued to see that there were a lot of "x"-like characters, and remarked that some characters showed up a lot in some languages while being rare in others (??). Anyway, I was completely obsessed with the book and its author, and determined to find it to buy and become perfect, well-groomed, immaculate, interesting, glamorous, etc.
*I have this dream every so often where I'm living with my parents (and sometimes sister and/or husband) and filling this Cinderella role where I do ALL the housework. Then I blow up and start yelling at everyone while they look on bemused and unconvinced.