It is usually said that productive and constructive dialogue between two parties is the one that leads to friendly and fruitful outcomes for both sides. The dialogue is based on mutual understanding, by offering equal opportunities for both parties, and of course, the engagement in conversation should be geared towards understanding something new and highlighting the common points of interest. Through the dialogue, we are able to grasp new ideas, reach for new horizons and better perceive each other. This is what happened in the Intercultural talk, jointly organized by the CUHK Student Activity Section and PI (Formerly known as ACDC).
In this talk, our volunteers and the CUHK students, Yusupov Ruslan and Mustafa Isler presented the story of Prophet Abraham, which is the reason behind the celebration of the Muslim Festival of Eid-ul Adha, to the audience. Presentation was followed by a short video which was then followed by the explanation of the practices involved in Eid-ul Adha, sometimes translated as The Sacrifice Feast, celebrated by Muslims all over the world dated according to the Muslim calendar. It involves communal prayer, family gathering and sacrifice of the animal with subsequent distribution of the meat to the relatives, the poor and the needy.
The holiday is, however, associated with the Prophet Abraham who, as a test by God, was ordered to sacrifice his son. Apart from a rich religious symbolism, the fact that this holiday was taken by the Muslims as well as Jews show how religion can provide the ground for different groups of people to have common points and interfaith dialogue which leads to peaceful coexistence.
By organizing the presentation, Ruslan and Mustafa went further to make this tradition play the role of a platform of interfaith dialog between different people and cultures in CUHK. It provided a humble and cozy environment to enjoy the sacrifice meat and talk about religious issues. Students at the CUHK showed a great interest in this festival and in Islamic religious traditions in general. If the presentation lasted for 15 minutes, the question and answer session probably lasted for about 45 minutes. Students enhanced their understanding of such a rich religious tradition and were able to experience the practicality of messages laid by Islam more than 14 centuries ago.
The dialogue did not end with the talk. Many students then decided to search on Islam and the Muslims in Hong Kong to further deepen their encounter with its traditions and its messages. The dialogue still continues, inspiring more and more students see how religion can be meaningful for not only understanding contemporary problems, but also for seeking ways to solve them.
We, PI, are looking forward to organize more platforms of interfaith dialogue to share our thoughts and ideas and promote tolerance and peaceful coexistence.
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