In collaboration with the Goulburn Valley Regional Library, Shepparton Interfaith Network conducted Cultural Diversity and Harmony in our Spiritual Traditions during Harmony Week celebrations.
On Wednesday, 28 March, during the Know Your Community session held at Shepparton Branch Library, the Shepparton Interfaith Network presented on Cultural Diversity and Harmony in our Spiritual Traditions. Speakers from Islamic, Sikh, Christian and Hindu spiritual traditions addressed the meeting.
The meeting opened with a general overview of the different faiths in the Goulburn Valley and a brief background of each spritual tradition. As the day was Khordad Sal, birthday of Prophet Zarasthrusta, of the Zoroastrian Religion, a short document detailing the life and teachings of Prophet Zarathushtra was distributed to those present.
The Christian Speaker, Dr Frank Purcell, the patterns of settlement and the building blocks of social cohesion, often on the lines of religious affiliation. You may read more of Dr Frank Purcell's presentation here.
The Sikh Speaker, Melly Pandher Singh told of Sikh settlement in the Goulburn Valley and integration by Sikhs into the industries of the Goulburn Valley, particularly primary industry, farming and orchards. Mr Singh told of the strength and determination of young and old, men and women, meeting their challenges and ekeing a living from farming and orchards, which lead to permanent settlement in the area.
The Muslim Speaker, Fatima Al-Qarachy, spoke of settlement issues, particularly those faced by women, in the area of family, children, schooling, and employment. This betokened a strong commitment to the area, and a strong sense of self and personal rights. Islam is not about depriving women of any of their rights, but rather, a religion which bestows unique rights and freedoms upon women. It is principally up to women to determine how they will be Muslim and women and be co-creators of cultural harmony in the community. Islam as a religion does not deny these responsibilities to women.
There was a significant appreciation of these talks by participants in the meeting. Many thanks to Goulburn Valley Regional Library Corporation, to the Shepparton Branch staff and Kiran Soni.
Download the Overview of Different Religions