The aim of World Religion Day is to promote interfaith understanding and harmony. A common theme in all religions is a sense of community, treating others with respect and finding a purpose – which is so necessary in today’s climate.
Barriers exist which stop people having a good understanding of various faiths alive in the world today. The lack of understanding and the misinterpretation of beliefs in any religion are the biggest barriers to progress and leads to individualism.
Faith and religion are very important in my life as my father was an Indian Hindu and my mother was an English Catholic. Both believed in a supreme being and taught me honesty, respect and kindness. Both religions preached that we will be judged on our actions. I strongly believe in doing good karma so my actions benefit myself and those around me. We celebrate festivals from both religions in our home which include the food culture and traditions which came with them. Some of my happiest memories are centred around cooking traditional meals for religious festivals.
I feel more could be done globally to raise awareness of the similarities that exist in different religions and faiths. As a student of sociology and history, at A level, we had to study the emergence of all religions, their preachings and practices. And their effects on the development of society.
All religions preach similar things including;
- Working for those less fortunate than us
- Focus on the present
- Aim for achievements not money
- Interact with the community
- Take responsibility for your actions and know yourself.
Wendy Bartlett (our founder) says understanding is the best way forward. bartlett mitchell signing up to the Race At Work charter, having a D&I steering group, celebrating all festivals from other religions and World Religion Day raises awareness and is a step in the right direction.
I love diversity day, celebrating food, culture and religions of other countries. It’s great that it includes teaching to primary school children, as they are the future. Organisations including bartlett mitchell and our clients celebrate religious festivals and religious occasions and mark them with menus specifically designed to reflect their cultures.
There are lots of connections between food and religion and the important role it plays in celebrations, fasting and feasting.
We know about the Muslim celebration of Eid, with its great feast after a month of fasting in Ramadan. It gives us the fragrant dishes of Biryani and Seviyan. Christians celebrate Easter after a month of Lent, starting with Pancake Tuesday, Fish Fridays and it’s why we eat chocolate for Easter. The Jewish Sabbath day is marked with the breaking of bread and the Sabbath meal. The Hindus celebrate Diwali with sweets. All these festivals bring family, friends and the community together to celebrate. They create group cohesion and identity. Ask anyone and their most happy memories of religious celebrations will be linked to food eaten together.
Hospitality Manager and a member of bm’s D&I steering group