Youth Take Part in "Spiritual Swap," Experiencing Another Religion for a Day

November 17, 2005

Source: Vuvuzela Online

On November 17, 2005 Vuvuzela Online reported, "South Africa has often been referred to as the rainbow nation because of the diverse cultures, religions and people that it houses. However, this diversity is not always easy to accommodate. Wits University 's exams' clash with religious holidays testifies to the complexity that diversity has brought. But as Head of Exams, Joyce Smith, discovered, religious tolerance does not always translate into religious freedom. Nor does it ensure an understanding of the diverse religious practices of South Africans. To truly respect these religions, one needs to have an understanding of their practices and beliefs... Vuvuzela online embarked on a project to help do just that. Students were asked to volunteer to partake in a 'spiritual swop'. Volunteers experienced an alternative faith for one day to gain an understanding of the religion and its customs, from an outsider's point of view. The volunteers were not necessarily interested in the religion, but simply chose to explore the alternate religion for a day. Each volunteer was asked to keep a little diary or to jot down their thoughts during or after the religious celebration that they attended."