Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Barfi And Samosas

Fiction and life interact. Today, Lancaster Muslims, celebrating the end of Ramadan, shared food with their Christian, Buddhist, Wiccan or secularist neighbors. Some years, it is plates of curry; this time, a box of barfi.

In SM Stirling's The Peshawar Lancers (New York, 2003), the diplomat, Henri, enjoys "...the spicy deep-fried vegetables..." (p. 220) of a samosa while really wanting what he, a Frenchman (not an Englishman!), regards as a real breakfast.

Samosas have become the staple diet at multi-faith meetings. At one such gathering in County Hall, a large plate at the end of a long table held a tall pile of samosas but a longer queue stretched around the table so I did not get one. On a more spiritual level, our local Cathedral hosted a ceremony at which we heard readings from the Veda, the Torah, the Fourth Gospel and the Koran.

I hope that we in this generation can approach the pluralism to be found in SM Stirling's Angrezi Raj and in Poul Anderson's Terran Empire.

Addendum: For references to local places of worship, see post and comments here.

6 comments:

  1. Kaor, Paul!

    By "local Cathedral" do you mean Lancaster has an Anglican cathedral? I don't think it's the seat of a Catholic diocese.

    As for your last sentence, I'm not optimistic because we unfortunately live in an age where Muslim jihadism is resurging. I see little hope of seeing Muslims outside Western nations being tolerant and easy going. Or even within them! I don't know if you heard, but a Muslim fanatic shot up two US Navy offices in the state of Tennessee and murdered four Marines and a sailor. The Islamic State has been recruiting or urging Muslims to perpetrate acts of lone wolf terrorism.

    I'm reminded of how the pre downloaded Anson Guthrie said in HARVEST OF STARS that all of Islam was going on the war path in his life time. And that book was published in 1993!

    Sean

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  2. Sean,
    Lancaster has a Catholic Cathedral so we are in the Catholic Diocese of Lancaster and the Anglican Diocese of Blackburn.
    Our Muslim neighbors are friendly enough.
    Paul.

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    1. Kaor, Paul!

      I'm just a bit surprised Lancaster has its own Catholic bishop! And I think I've heard of the Anglican diocese of Blackburn.

      I'm glad your Muslim neighbors are nice!

      Sean

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  3. http://lancastercathedral.org.uk/

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  4. Sean,
    See the new addendum to this post.
    Paul.

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    1. Kaor, Paul!

      I saw, and read it. I will be looking up the Catholic diocese of Lancaster.

      I think Poul Anderson mentions cathedrals twice in the Technic History. One in A KNIGHT OF GHOSTS AND SHADOWS and again in "Outpost of Empire."

      Sean

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