STORY AND PHOTOS BY GEORGE TSANGARIS
The Salt Lake and the City How do you pronounce a word like Utah? Above: Church History Museum.
downtown the magazine
was 11 years old when I first saw the word “Utah” for the first time and mispronounced it “ah-tah.” It was at a school project on where we went for our summer vacation. Since I was living in Cyprus, most people did their projects on the Greek islands or London. A Kiwi classmate did hers on her trip to the United States and specifically to an exotic-sounding (and unpronounceable) place called Utah, visiting for religious reasons. Utah was a land – if we were to judge from the cut-outs glued on her project – of towering mountains, vast open valleys and a sparkling church. The best projects were pinned on the classroom wall and needless to say hers made the centre of the classroom wall.
“Is that in America?” someone asked. “Duh! It’s Utah,” said my Kiwi classmate. So that’s how you pronounce it. “Yoo-ta.” Since then I was interested with the Mars-like landscape of Utah as well as being intrigued by the culture of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints (LDS). Through my research I learnt that Latter-day Saints, being a persecuted people, went out west looking for a home for their new faith. Their pilgrimage to a new land culminated with the creation of a city at the edge of a lake, spring / summer 2019