There were around a 100 get-togethers hosted during the Labour Weekend as the Baha’i community welcomed people into their homes to mark the 200th birth anniversary of prophet Bahá’u’lláh– a Persian nobleman born in Tehran in 1817.
Locally and internationally, Baha’i members are organising a string of events over the next month to invite the public to learn more about their world view of peace, oneness of humanity and worldwide unity.
“It’s heart-warming to see so much diversity in east Auckland,” said Behzad, as he and his wife Tahereh Eghdamian welcomed guests to their home in Flat Bush.
Talking about a faith that accepts and appreciates diversity, he said, “The earth is our country and mankind its citizens. The mission of Baha’u’llah is to unify humankind and bring people from different cultures to live as one family, without prejudice, a family that works together to bring about transformational social change.”
An award-winning PhD student in structural and earthquake engineering, Shahab Ramhormozian added a musical touch to the evening by playing an ancient Iranian bowed-string instrument called the Kamancheh.
He described it as “an ancestor of the violin”.
The musical performance was followed by grand Persian fare.
Further down the road in the semi-rural area of Flat Bush at the home of Jamaliyeh and Steve Drake there was a mix of different cultures and Interfaith leaders of the community sharing a beautiful aromatic meal.
An eclectic mix, also present was a young group of French students of different faiths, on a world tour of 20 countries and five continents to study different interfaith initiatives.
“Our main goal is to make an inventory of the most relevant interfaith initiatives that we find during the tour,” said 21-year-old Bettina Borgel.
Tofik Mamedov, Labour Party candidate for Botany in General Election 2017 with roots in the Republic of Azerbaijan, was spotted at both the gatherings that had a sprinkling of people from Iran, Russia, Turkey, France, UK, India, Sri Lanka and New Zealand celebrating diversity.