“Interfaith” attendees honor many beliefs, share one meal

Last Saturday, the University of Tulsa had its first ever Interfaith Dinner, hosted in the upper floor of ACAC. The event, as the name suggests, was meant to be an opportunity for members of different faiths to not just enjoy a meal together, but discuss the similarities and differences in their beliefs. Participants registered at a desk with their name, email and, though it wasn’t required, their faith. The event’s organizers used this information to create some variety at the tables, unafraid to split up groups of friends if they all belonged to the same religion or denomination. At my table, religions included Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism and Islam. From Christianity, there was one Catholic and another Lutheran, with two more of us having been raised in the Christian faith but now subscribing to agnosticism. At first, discussion had little to do with religion at all, and more to do with our homes, majors and jobs. After prayers representing each — or at least, most — of the religions in the room, we were finally allowed to eat. Throughout the meal, songs, rites and other acts were performed on stage by different associations. Among them, the Malaysian Student Association sang a song in honor of their mothers, the Jewish man from my table performed a spoken-word piece on his yamaka and his Jewish identity, and a video was shown of a recently deceased Muskogee man speaking on his faith. Once the performances were done, the event led into some scheduled discussion, which for the most part was light and interesting. There were a few pre-written prompts, but for the most part dinner guests improvised in conversation. Despite a somewhat underwhelming turnout, the discussion was informative, the air comfortable and friendly, and the event was a success.

Post Author: tucollegian

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