“Diversity is not a reason to put up walls but rather to open windows. It is not a burden, it is a blessing.” - Mawlana Hazar Imam
The Global village program (GV), an initiative of the National Task force for Jamati programs and activities, was conceptualised with a view to bring the Jamat together through role plays designed to encourage self-reflection about our own prejudices and biases and to showcase the cultural diversity within the Jamat through a traditional costume display, films and dance performances particularly of the Jamats residing in Syria, Afghanistan etc.
The aim was to help the Jamat engage with the other and to walk the path towards being pluralistic. The Global Village (GV) program opened a giant window and then built a bridge for the India Jamat to understand themselves and the other better and explore the different cultural contexts within which the Global Jamat lives. Jamati members across diverse ages (seniors youth and children) were actively encouraged to participate in the program.
The main essence of the GV was to start a dialogue (the language of pluralism) ie. both speaking and listening, give and take, criticism and self-criticism, learning, understanding and reflecting thereby revealing that common understandings and real differences both exist within the societies /communities/ Jamat, in India and across borders. This multicultural richness was experienced by the Jamat in corners of Gujarat, the beaches of Goa and the cities of Maharashtra and Telangana. Not only did a vast majority of the members feel comfortable with the complex concept of pluralism but found themselves questioning their biases.
A journey towards removing our ignorance of one another, re-looking and questioning our stereotypes, the half-truths and the fears that underlie old patterns of division within the Jamat and society at large, has inshallah started for many of us.
The evening was one of unique celebration, one of listening, reflecting, questioning, learning and acceptance, all in the spirit of pluralism!