About 75 young people from different religious groups around Suva, attended the last gathering for this year of the YIRD (Youth Interreligious Dialogue) at the Sacred Heart Cathedral on Saturday evening 3rd December 2022.
Ms. Vintika, a member of the SYIRD was the M.C. for the night.
Fr Frank Hoare introduced the evening with a brief sharing on the importance of religious festivals.
Each group told us through song, dance, and quotations from their sacred books how their religions and faiths celebrated their important festivals each year. This included their beliefs and practices that they adhered to and followed by their lifestyles.
The Arya Samaj group explained the meaning of the Festival of Diwali.
The Bahai group talked about The Festival of the Covenant which occurs on November 26th and celebrates Abdul Baha’s birthday.
Vintika, on behalf of TISI Sangam, explained the South Indian Fire Walking ceremony.
Katherine Powell and her companions, representing the Catholic Church, explained some of the symbols of Christmas.
Mr Singh, a Sikh priest from Nasinu, explained Guru Nanak’s birthday.
The Dhoom Damakha group did a modern style Christmas dance.
Katherine Powell gave the vote of thanks and led the singing of the National Anthem.
Eshita Chand from the Sanathan Dharm said the prayer before meals. All enjoyed the food that was brought and provided. These Interfaith youth group meetings throughout the last few years have helped the youth of Suva appreciate the religious practices and faiths of other religions which hopefully will lead to greater community harmony, understanding and peace. It is amazing that all the above religious groups can be found and indeed are flourishing here in Fiji side by side.
Congratulations to Priscilla Magdalin (Columban IRD Coordinator) and to Fr Frank Hoare for their untiring efforts to promote IRD (Interreligious Dialogue among the various youth denominations in Suva and Fiji. And thanks to all those who attended and actively participated in these meetings throughout the last few years fostering friendships outside of their own religious groupings.
Different Religion joining the Sikh Prayer presentation.
Attendees at the Event
Sanatan group performing dance on Diwali to Shiva/Ganesh.
Sanatan group dance presentation on Culture and tradition
Nivriti performing dance on Diwali.
Cultural dance from TISI Sangam