Way back in December 2007 we celebrated Xmas at the women centre. One of our resident at the women shelter was Christian and she told us about the cakes her mom made and we ordered many for the party. Sophie one of our volunteers wanted a full scale celebration so there was a Xmas tree and all other decorations as well as pictures of Santa and gifts of course.
The children however were not Christians but mostly Muslims with a scattering of Hindus and it was left to me to make the link that would make sense to the kids. The kids got it as they always do: treats! Ladoos on Hindu days, vermicelli pudding on Muslim day and cakes at Xmas. As simple as that.
Festivals are about food.
Recently I was shown another side of the religious food story courtesy a wonderful volunteer of Indian origin who has always lived away from this land but whose family has followed traditions by simply adapting them. In their community you eat seven vegetables on Diwali. The hitch is that no one really likes a vegetable curry. What do you do? You take your kids’ favourite food and adapt it: enter the seven vegetable pizza, the family’s answer to traditions.
To me it was more than a ‘story’ that brings a huge smile to one’s face. This pizza held the true essence of the Hinduism I was brought up in and which embraces all and adapts to any situation.
Maybe we will have a seven vegetable pizza for Diwali this year!
Thank you Viren!