Observations on the Parliament 2015

collageBy Maneck Bhujwala, NAIN Board of Directors

  • Over 20 Zoroastrians (known as Parsis, meaning Persians, in India and Pakistan) from USA, Canada, and Singapore, attended the 2015 Parliament of World Religions in Salt Lake City, Utah. Several of them made presentations on panels for Stewardship of the Environment (from a Zoroastrian Perspective), Relationship with the Divine,  The Interfaith Model – does it need tweaking?, Petition for a Religious Arm of the United Nations, Effective Ways to Spread Interfaith Education in Our Communities, and a brief demo of A Zoroastrian Jashan (thanksgiving) Ceremony.
  • There were some NAIN members I saw at the Parliament, including our Dr. Butalia, who was a co-panelist with me, on one of the panel discussions.
  • We were all very impressed with the Sikh community that served a free lunch (Langar) to thousands of attendees in a very efficient manner, with volunteers from many countries serving.
  • On a personal level, people had great interaction with followers of different religions, but on plenary sessions, there was no interaction with the audience, and some talks were too long.
  • The LDS Church provided a free concert of their orchestra on one day, and hosted a free program with interfaith participants on the last day, at their Temple Square in Salt Lake City.
  • The attendees from the Greater Huntington Beach Interfaith Council, had a dinner together at a restaurant, organized by Charlie Niederman, who also took us to his daughter’s home in Salt Lake City.
  • The Salt Lake City provides affordable transportation on their electric trolley system (free in downtown area), that we took advantage of, for going to/from our hotels to the Convention Center

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