Driving on campus at night…who does that?

March 20, 2012 / by / 1 Comment

Hey guys,

I thought I’d share with you what I wrote for my HKUdos blog entry. Enjoy. :)

University life is not the same when you drive yourself through the dark corridors on a Friday night, not for educational purposes, but social purposes. It was World Religion day last Friday—a day that was interesting, and, different. I got to see representatives from different faiths introduce their way of life—from Taoism, Confucianism, Buddhism, Hinduism (specifically Krishna-ism), Baha’ism, Christianity and Islam.

There was most certainly a different vibe by sharing a room with people from different backgrounds and creeds. People dressed differently, and held instruments that I previously did not set my eyes upon. It was strange, but the good kind of strange. It was beautiful to be sitting with people trying to respect and understand different modes of living, but ultimately having some similarities. It was as if the different religions came from the same sea, but flowed its separate rivers.

The ceremony started off with a Taoist ritual—it was something I previously never experienced. I did not know what to feel at first, but the smell of incense added a different feel to the already vibrant room. We were later blessed to hear the chants from the Buddhist monks—the lights were dimmed down, with candles lit, further increasing the strange sensation in the room. The feeling was exhilarating, but, the realization that this was taking place at university confused me—I wasn’t so sure how to feel, compared to the events that take place in the day. The night continued, where the representatives talked about their views of the practicality of their religion. Some approached this with logic, when others with passion. Each representative had a unique stance, but all seemed to compliment the other. I do not think the word limit of my entry would give justice to each of the representatives, but to sum it up, I would say that this event was something worth attending. Drops of wisdom were poured by people from different walks of life, in a language understood by all in the room: English.  This was definitively an event in attempt to shun the borders cast by our leaders throughout time, in order to unite for the betterment of humanity.

Prior to the ending, we were presented with a Hindu (Krishna, branch of Hinduism) chant—but what was interesting was that the Hindu was an Israeli and an American convert.  Previously I associated Hindus with Indians alone, but this event shattered my misconception. I was aware that there were Muslims, Buddhists, and Christians from different backgrounds, but I did not know that there were Hindus who were not Indians. This most certainly was enlightening. We were asked to sing a long, where some joined, whereas others enjoyed watching. The reminder that this was set at the university increased my confusion on what to feel, but, nevertheless, despite the confusion, I felt a sense of awe to see the unity of people from different religions and lack of religions alike.

The event ended with an American Ba’hai playing the guitar, singing a song about people uniting for the betterment of humanity. Others joined thereafter. The finale “sing-along” summed up the overall event perfectly, as most certainly the individuals there came with the purpose of trying to understand each other, and to unite in order for the ultimate betterment of humanity.

This was a day at Sa’diyya’s life. I guess I am not someone you meet everyday. I give a unique insight of life, including university life, as an international, Hong Kong-based, Muslim, disabled as well as abled student. I walk and drive at university…with a headscarf and  a mixture of an American and British accent—is there anyone else like that?