‘Diversity Across the Ages: Exploring culture, language and faith’
On Sunday 28 September 2014, the Boroondara Interfaith Network in partnership with the Local Spiritual Assembly of Baha’is of Boroondara held an intergenerational gathering at Our Holy Redeemer Parish Hall in Surrey Hills.
This event was especially exciting for the Network given that this year, with the guidance of the Baha’i Assembly’s members, their young generation of volunteers took on the challenge of developing and delivering this interfaith event. The group worked hard over the past three months to develop a program of interactive and engaging activities to explore the community’s insight into cultural, religious and linguistic diversity. In particular, the gathering was an opportunity to reflect on the diverse perspectives and experiences across the City’s different generations.
Attendees were greeted by the friendly volunteers at the registration table, with each attendee being assigned to one of two groups. The two groups reflected a variety of age groups to cater for the intergenerational component of the activities. Participants took part in role plays where they were asked to act out news broadcasts from the 1900s through to a news item from the present day. In one of the sessions, the older attendees chose a broadcast from the Vietnam War and the younger group acted out a live report from the AFL Grand Final 2014, after which participants reflected on the changes in our current affairs throughout the decades. Other activities included word associations and reflections on the teachings of academic, philosophical and religious leaders. Participants even tried their hand at a craft session where they were shown how to make roses out of paper serviettes. The quotes and teachings from the discussion session were then tied to each rose for each person to take home.
To provide everyone with a break in between the two group sessions, we were then treated to a beautiful performance by a young man playing the flamenco guitar. It was a wonderful way to enjoy some music before breaking for a shared afternoon tea. With the help of the Baha’i Assembly, the tasty array of food was presented beautifully across white tables decorated with flowers and candles – an ambiance that was appreciated by all. After the final round of group activities, Manush, our event MC led a group discussion to reflect on the different learnings and observations throughout the day. People shared their appreciation for our City’s diversity and the wonderful teachings that we can learn from different faiths and worlds of thought. To conclude the day’s proceedings, participants enjoyed a rhythmic Iranian drum performance by a female artist, that had everyone tapping their toes and clapping along.
The event was enjoyed by all, with a number of attendees sharing kind and encouraging comments about their experience throughout the day. This was indeed a product of the hard work and enthusiasm of the Baha’i Assembly and their young volunteers, supported by Council’s Boroondara Interfaith Program. A very heartfelt thank you to all who were involved and all the community members who attended on the day.