Tuesday, December 08, 2009

an interfaith exhibition

from w
Yesterday I took the train up to Melbourne to visit the Parliament of the World Religions exhibition in Melbourne. Though the seminars were very expensive, one exhibition was free for locals (though this seemed to be a last minute decision by the organisers). It was interesting to talk with people at the display booths - mostly 'New Age' enthusiasts. I was happy to meet with the Sikhs who had an outstanding display of curved walls and great photos and information and of course handsome men in white. One hundred Sikhs from England had come to Melbourne for the conference. I met some Zoroastrians (Parsi) who have an accent on fire. I had heard about them through reading a novel 'Family Matters' by Mistry. There were many people dressed in fabulous costumes and many Buddhist monks.

It was a mix and match exhibition though - more on advertising, identity, generalisations, human rights, meditation. Not many Christian topics on display - though the Salvation Army were there. Notably absent were the Penticostal Christians and the conservative Muslims. I really wanted to meet the Sufis and see their dancing but they were elsewhere it seems and I couldn't afford the $190 daily fee for the lectures and seminars.

There were plenty of hand-outs, CDs, bangles, badges. I did notice some interaction between different groups conversing and smiling and that's where it should be. Of course some of the topics were no laughing matter - climate change, slavery, poverty. Narana wasn't there but an Aboriginal business from nearby Anakie was, and the playing of the didgeridoo made this display one of the most popular.

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Blogger Penny said...

What a wonderful thing to visit but what a huge price for daily more in depth lectures, seems to me that it all should be free, but governments dont want to know about religion it seems to me, and our PM's religious sense doesnt seem quite right to me. This coming from an agnostic!
I must be getting old, I am grumpy and not believing in things that I have seen turn around before. I know the climate is changing but to have the United States say that CO2 is a bad bad thing is crazy, dont they know we need it for life and the levels have in the past been much higher. Guess they will call me a denier, I am a scientists daughter and he would have a fit at what is being said today.
I thought if I didnt get the decorations up they would never get done, having lots of problems with the aching body at the moment but enjoying the fact that it it is cool and damp.
The Indian wedding sounds interesting, take photos.

11:34 PM  
Blogger Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Hello Penny,
Yes, it was interesting but there were too many off-the-planet kind of beliefs. I liked the Sikhs best because they had cared enough to produce an excellent display and a lovely booklet to hand out specific to the conference, not just selling trinkets. Their messages were inclusive, not just about themselves.
Bah humbug about decorating the house though, but as a little seven year old will be with us for Christmas, I'd better colour our world a bit. Thank goodness she doesn't have the Santa Claus tradition though.

1:59 AM  
Blogger Alison said...

Yes, what a shame you couldn't participate fully.

2:37 AM  
Blogger Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Hello Alison,
I can't sit at long lectures but I really wanted to see the creative aspects of the conference - such as the Sufi dancers, the gospel singers, poets, story-tellers, artists. The 'experience' of religion or spirituality, not the complex theologies and book talk. I saw a few minutes of Compass last night about the conference and switched off as it seemed boring.

7:33 PM  

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