Religion & community

Sometimes it seems like there is such a sense of community in religion, particularly at university, and this year I got to experience a little bit of it myself. (Author: Yasmine)

I have always been a little bit curious about different religions from an anthropological perspective, mostly because I was never surrounded by any growing up. None of my siblings nor myself were ever baptised and we never had any extended family who were particularly religious either.

On campus, there is such a diversity of cultures and religions evidenced by the variety of societies based around them. I always wondered when wandering past their stalls in the hub whether they are open memberships or whether you have to prescribe to the faith.

But this year, one of my best friends who is a member of the Islamic Society invited me to an event and I really enjoyed it. It is a little bit daunting at first because it feels like you don’t fit but everyone was incredibly welcoming and thoughtful. I got to learn some really cool things about Islam that I never could have imagined! I explored food, clothing and gender roles in Islam and found some of my own preconceptions delightfully challenged.

I enjoyed that these experiences so directly challenged the portrayals of religion in media and by the West. Even if religion isn’t really your thing or you find it a little bit of a foreign concept as I did, I think it is important to learn about and explore others beliefs as they have much to offer.

Tagged in what messes with your head, religion