Saturday, 1 September 2012

a lovely day

after my post of yesterday at the hand mirror, we've now had the last of the islam awareness week events.  and what a great day it was.  we had the mosque open day in the morning, and while it would have been nice to see more people there, i was still happy to meet and greet our visitors.

in the afternoon we went to the interfaith tree planting at Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park.  it's an amazing project of reclamation and restoration by the hamilton city council, and we would have had at least 100 people turn up to plant 500 trees.  there were people of all faiths: jewish, hindu, christian & muslim all working together to get the trees planted in the space of an hour or so.

i'm definitely not a gardener, and planting 2 trees was about as much as i could cope with.  they were pretty crooked, and i really hope they survive!  one was a kahikatea & i don't know what the other one was.  but it was an incredible event to be part of, and it just showed us what a wonderful place this planet could be if people worked on projects like this together instead of wasting time hating on each other.

in the evening i was invited to a wedding, where one half of the couple was of lebanese heritage and the other was of european heritage, born in nz.  the guests were a lovely mix of arab, african, south asian and european.  it was a segregated event, which meant the women took off their headscarves and abayas, & shone in their beautiful clothes.  the room was alive with colour, music, dance, laughter, and a freedom that comes from escaping the male gaze.  the men were no doubt having fun in their own part of the building, but we weren't interested, and for any one of them to enter at that time would indeed have been a violation.

the men did come in later, after we'd been giving enough warning to put our headscarves back on.  and then in lebanese tradition, they danced for the women.  and it struck me how nice it was for the women to get to be the gazers and the men to be the entertainers for once.  but it was sweetly done, and some of the wives later joined in with their husbands.  it was a much different experience from an indian muslim wedding, and a lovely end to a wonderful day.

1 comment:

Aliya said...

Agree it was a great day and a lovely way to end the evening.

Thanks for the company and the fun.
May we have the opportunity to "dance" at more leaders' Walimas soon.