Melburnians Turn to ‘Soul Food’ for Nourishment

September 28, 2008

Author: Staff Writer

Source: Bahá’í World News Service

Melbourne stands out as a multicultural metropolis – Malaysian restaurants, Japanese paper shops, music venues with bands from Senegal to Indonesia, all within strolling distance of one another. Not surprising, then, that Melburnians have adopted a Baha’i devotional meeting with a difference.

Called “Soul Food,” the gathering – held once a month in a theater at the imposing State Library of Victoria – combines readings from the world’s great faiths with reflections from leading philosophers, interspersed with live and recorded music by some of Melbourne’s most noted performers.

The program, which this year marks its third anniversary, at one point was listed at No.10 among “20 things to do in Melbourne,” published by the city’s main newspaper.

The readings and music are augmented by photographs and videos that illustrate particular themes – generosity, the equality of men and women, purity of heart, unconditional love – all set against a candle-lit background.

"It has been a great success, with participants coming from all backgrounds and walks of life, some even traveling from outside Melbourne to attend,” says Monib Mahdavi, who with his friend Nima Ferdowsi established the event, based on a similar one in Adelaide in South Australia.