Interfaith SCHMOOZE and Smoothie:
A Taste of Something New
A Report by Eleanor Cook ('13)
Students filled the undercroft of the Helen Hills Hills Chapel this past Thursday evening for the 3rd Annual Interfaith Schmooze and Smoothie party. An eager crowd gathered around the smoothie-making table, waiting for their turn to create a fruity concoction. With smoothies in hand, others chatted on the couches of the cozy Bodman Lounge.
With the fruit supplies diminished and the peanut butter jars emptied, Hayat Abuza, event organizer and Multifaith Specialist at the Chapel, started the event by welcoming everyone to a “fun evening with an interfaith twist.” We then broke up into groups of three to introduce ourselves, share our personal experience with religion and spirituality, and pose a question about another faith that we had always wondered about but were afraid to ask. First-year roommates from Park house, Pia and Adriana, expressed that these conversations are what drew them to the Schmooze and Smoothie event. They are interested in religions they have not yet had the opportunity to learn about in what Adriana called, “a comfortable environment.” Pia said that for her, “it’s nice to talk about something you care about without being on eggshells.”
We raised our questions moments later to the rest of the group. These questions ranged from, “What is Rosh Hashanah?” to a curiosity about the Baha’i faith. Students responded to questions and clarified confusions for their peers. This process of interrogation and discussion is part of the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life’s theme of the year: Interfaith Curiosity and Community. Through charades, prizes, and group discussions, the idea of “appreciative knowledge” a termed coined by Mr. Eboo Patel, was achieved at the Schmooze and Smoothie event in a dynamic and lively way.
Lisa ’14, a religion and psychology major felt that the event showed “a different side of Smith.” With as many representatives of different faiths as smoothie fillings in an environment unlike what we experience in our daily lives, we all came away feeling like we got a taste of something new.