Happy Ramadan!

Published 10:30 am Monday, June 6, 2016

Sunday marks beginning the Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, in which Muslims worldwide fast to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to the prophet Muhammad.

While we are not suggesting that everyone don the cross and crescent while breaking out the prayer mats to pray while facing toward Mecca five times a day, we should all take this opportunity to remind ourselves of the wonders of living in a multicultural society. Living in a rural area that generally consists of white, Protestant Christians it can be easy to forget that America as a whole is a mosaic culture, growing and changing due to the interactions of different societal groups over time.

In America we have the privilege of living alongside human beings of differing ethnicities, religious identities and cultural backgrounds. Our rich tradition of welcoming immigrants and offering them opportunities not available in the rest of the world has ensured that this great nation will remain a melting pot were we can step out of our comfort zone and explore and experience other lifestyles and ways of life.

So in the coming month, take some time to reap the benefits of multiculturalism. Learn about another person’s culture, whether it be Arabic, Eastern European or African.

Go out and try a new cuisine you’ve never had before (Ethiopian food is a delicious option not many people have tasted), or attend a religious or cultural festival that is not your own. And above all, keep an open mind. Learning about another culture can deepen our appreciation of our own and remind us that there is no one right way to love, think, eat or live.