Saturday, December 20, 2008

hanukkah in memphis (or how about kwanzaa?)

Over the last few weeks, I've watched the Christmas decorations go up at the campus where I serve as President. Clearly these are traditions that have been in place long before my arrival. But after everything was in place, I asked someone, "Where is the Hanukkah stuff?" I was greeted with a blank stare. "How about the Kwanzaa stuff?" Another blank look.

I decided that I was probably being unfair, so I decided to go purchase some "stuff" and just inject it into the decorations. I went to Wal-Mart. I went to Hallmark. I went to Lowe's. I went to Garden Ridge. I even went to Cracker Barrel. (Hey! Sometimes they have good stuff in there! I found an Elvis Christmas tree ornament to send to friends in Phoenix!)

Anyway, I didn't find anything. Today at work, I asked a Jewish co-worker where I could find Hanukkah "stuff". She replied, "Walgreen's". No kidding. So I suppose I will go look for a Walgreen's.

I hope I am not making a mistake. I do not want anyone to feel uncomfortable, but I want all students, staff and visitors to feel that they are welcome and celebrated in our building. And I want us to all feel that we are the kind of people who welcome all people - regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, socio-economic background, gender, sexual orientation, etc. To me, this is the main message that Jesus taught - all are welcome.


ramonagalen said...

You might be interested in Abbas Milani's Authors@Google talk:

OyaSophia said...

Thanks - I've read Tales of Two Cities: A Persian Memoir. It was interesting and sad. Perhaps I did not listen long enough to grasp the connection to my topic?

Lenore Jean said...

Sister, thanks for doing this. I'm always uncomfortable when only Christmas stuff is up, but I find generic holiday stuff bland and uninspiring. I like having the winter stuff, and the Christmas stuff, and Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Yule (don't forget the Wiccan holiday - be sure to use plenty of evergreen!).

Prancingdawg said...

What about the Druids? We are a vanishing breed and we haven't lobbied for it, but we're here too.

Druid is more politically correct here in the South than Pagan, dontcha think?

OyaSophia said...

I'm not sure Druid or Pagan would be considered politically correct in the South!!! Anything non-Christian just scares people!