KOLKATA: Indialogue Kolkata Office organized Interfaith, Intercultural get together program on Saturday 21th November 2015. The occasion of the event was Noah’s Pudding evening, a ceremony which symbolizes unity and essential relationship of humans with one another. All the religious representatives, French and US diplomats along with principals of schools and colleges got united in Turkish Cultural center.
Imran Zaki, advisor of the event, welcomed all the honorable guests and pleased to join him in a moment of silence of memory of the victims of the Paris attacks.
The program continued with a brief introduction about the Indialogue Foundation, M.Fethullah Gulen and Hizmet movement and screening the short video about Noah’s pudding (Ashura) and its uniqueness. After the respected and honorable guests, such as Stephane Amalir, director of Alliance Francaise, US Consulate General’s management officer Cory Wilcox and his wife Jennifer Heemstra, representatives of religions delivered their speeches and shared idea’s about Importance of Interfaith, Intercultural Dialogue in a society.
Director of Indialogue Kolkata Office delivered a vote of thanks and invited everyone to join dinner. Noah’s pudding were shared among all the guests
Times of India: #PrayForParis – The hashtag that has been trending on social media since the latest attacks in the City of Lights became the mantra for Kolkata’s Turkish community on Saturday, when they chanted it along with all religious representatives, and French and US diplomats in the city. The event dished out by Turkish organization, Indialogue Foundation, was christened “Noah’s Pudding Evening”, a ritual which symbolizes unity and essential relationship of humans to one another in Mediterranean cultures. The unique tradition continues still in Turkey today.
Noah’s pudding of Ashure is a meal prepared by Noah for the people of his ark.
“We want everyone to know that we are Muslims, but we’re not terrorists,” said Sukhrob Salikhov, director, Kolkata office, Indialogue Foundation. Sitting inside the Turkish Cultural Centre amid people like Alliance Francaise director Stephane Amalir, US Consulate General’s management officer Cory Wilcox and his wife Jennifer Heemstra, he quoted world thinker Fethullah Gulen who has been the inspiration behind setting up Indialogue Foundation, saying, “No terrorist is a Muslim and no Muslim is a terrorist.” He was speaking after a minute of silence was observed in honour of the 129 victims of the gun and suicide attacks that rocked Paris last week.
Sinan Karadas, regional director, Turkish Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, explained the context of Noah’s Pudding behind the endevour to spread plurality and peace in a world of diverse cultures and religions. “We’re sharing Noah’s Pudding among ourselves to show how easy it is to maintain unity in diversity, to prove that cultural diversity will be there, but we must be united in spirituality, based on the love of humanity.”
Although the making of Ashure is a common practice among Muslim and Christians in the middle-east, a similar ritual can be traced among Hindus, about a dish called Manuvas being prepared by King Many after a devastating flood 15,000 years ago. Christians in the middle-east prepare a similar sweet wheat dish called hedik, amah or gamhiyyi. The gesture by Indialogue Foundation, an interfaith platform for promoting peace among sects founded by a group of Turkish and Indians in New Delhi in 2005, send out a strong message from the international Turkish community, which faced a lot of flak on the social websites after chants of “Allahu Akbar” were reportedly heard in Istanbul during a pre-football match minute’s silence for the victims of Paris attacks.
The incident last week was condemned by the Turks themselves, especially by those in France. A large majority of 500,000 Turkish immigrants in France are Muslims, most of them living near Paris.
“To better understand Islam’s stance on terrorism, one must refer to its original sources, the Quran and the teaching of Prophet Muhammad, which are clear in their prohibition of any form of justice including that of hateful violence which seeks to instill fear, injury or death to civilians. The Holy Quran turns our attention to the high value of human life, whether it is Muslim or non-Muslim,” said Imran Zaki, advisor, Indialogue Foundation.
Turkish advisor, Indialogue Savas Tuylu, specified that the holy food of Prophet Noah contains many different dry fruits and oats. “Like the Noah’s Pudding, we came together from many different communities and gave the same taste, sweetness and harmony. We might be different fingers of a hand, but we are the fingers of the same hand.”
Among those present was Shehenshah Mirza, great, great grandson of India’s last nawab Wajed Ali Shah, who said, “The nawab had foreseen the crisis in his days and would say that Hindus and Muslims are his two eyes.”
Former hockey player Gurbaksh Singh said, “There is only one God, and no two human beings are different in believing this.” Echoing him, Akhtar Ali, yesteryear tennis champion, said, “I strongly condemn the terrorist attacks across Paris on November 13. Every such activity, no matter where they occur are attacks not only against the people of France but against universal human values and human solidarity.”
Jasjit Singh, the other advisor of Indialogue’s Kolkata chapter, reiterated, “No terrorist activity can ever be condoned on any grounds. I pray that God leads all humanity a world of peace and tranquility.”
Source: Times of India