Students Comment on Diversity at Greenwood

Students Comment on Diversity at Greenwood

By Brittany Brown, Student Life Editor

At Greenwood, we have students of many different cultures. Religions such as Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, and Hinduism effect the lives of these students daily.

To begin with, William Baxter is a junior here at Greenwood and practices the religion of Christianity.

He was brought up into Christianity by his parents and he usually prays before dinner and bed. His family and himself worship on Sundays and William has a small group on Wednesdays.

He celebrates Christmas and Easter. His beliefs on the afterlife would consist of, “I believe that there is heaven after death and I also believe that there is hell after death and I think that it’s very important to try our hardest to find eternal life in heaven rather than suffering in hell.”

Next is Gerardo Alfaro and is a senior. He practices Messianism which is a religion that combines Christianity and Judaism. He said, “I don’t really think of it as a religion, for us it’s more of a worldly type thing. I think of it just as a belief more than anything.”

He prays when he wakes up, whenever he goes to sleep, and when he’s in times of need. He worships only when he’s intended to. He doesn’t celebrate any type of holiday, not even Christmas or their Birthdays.

His religion keeps his from doing many worldly things like, “Listening to pagan music, people asking me about holidays, like when I get back from Winter Break and everyone asks me what I got for Christmas and I have to tell them that I don’t celebrate Christmas. Or when people tell me ‘Happy Birthday!’”

He studies the Bible and the Torah. He also believes in after life. “Personally I believe in it but I can’t prove it, like if someone said that it wasn’t real, I would disagree, but if they would tell me to prove it, I couldn’t be able to. Because I don’t know; nobody really knows what happens after you die. But that’s my take on it.”

Miriam Maali is also a senior and practices Islam. She came to practice it by her parents. Her religion tells her to pray five times a day. “There’s only one type of prayer, you pray five times a day. You’re supposed to wash before you pray and there’s a certain way you have to wash, so you wash your hands, mouth, your nose, and you do it in three’s. You wipe your hair with the extra water that’s in your hands. Then you wash the tip of your finger to you elbow, three times on the right and three times on the left. And then you do do your right foot and left foot, from your toes to your heel. And then you pray and your have to do that five times a day, everyday.”

Islam religion worships on Fridays and Saturdays. And they do have a church here in Bowling Green called The Mosque right next to Walmart on Morgan town Road.

They celebrate Eid, “So we fast for Ramadan, which was this summer, it was in June. So the whole month of June, you don’t eat from sunup, to sun down. So when the sun rises,  you stop eating; no water, no gum, nothing goes in your mouth. And then when the sun goes down that’s when you start eating.

Eid is a celebration that is three days long; Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. The typical thing to do is to kill a sheep and then bless the sheep. One- third goes to the immediate family, the other third goes to uncles, aunts, all your other family; then the last third gets donated to poor people or to anyone who doesn’t have food.Or to the people who can’t afford food.”

“Prayer is really hard to do in my daily-life just because of the time and school because you don’t really have time to wash and pray so that’s really hard and also fasting is hard because of school.” She studies the Quran and says that she definitely believes in an afterlife.

Ella Hagan is a senior at Greenwood and studies the religions of Buddhism and Christianity. “I do believe in God but not necessarily in the traditional sense of the word. And I guess I kind of came across that myself.

My family doesn’t really go to a church, but I went to church with my Grandmother and with a friend and I ended up going to the church that my friend invited me to.”

“I kind of practice Buddhism, in a way.” “I did not grow up in the culture or anything like that. I came across it and I think it’s a beautiful religion; and I fancy myself as a Buddhist”

She engages in a fun way to pray by having a prayer box where she writes down her prayers, and puts them in the box. Sometimes she prays vocally before bed or before a meal or just regular times throughout the day. “I pray to what I envision as God.” In the more Buddhist sense, she meditates quite often, “I meditate to the earth, or to the universe and all that good stuff.”

Her whole family is a different religion, “My sister is Unitarian Universalist, my mother is just strictly spiritual.”

“How it effects me everyday on the more Buddhist side of things is to be kind towards everyone which is so hard. It also says in The Bible that you’re supposed to be kind to everyone so it’s very similar in that sense, but I try to be nice to everybody even though it is hard. “ Because I have the worst road rage!”

Her favorite book in the Old Testament is the story of Moses. “And I love the lessons to be learned from the New Testament!”

On the topic of afterlife she continued on saying, “Ah man you’re in for a wild ride.” Furthermore she said, “I do believe in spirits and souls, and that we’re not just bodies and I feel like we’re more than that, I feel like we all have an energy. After you die, where does that energy go? When I was younger I just thought that if you were good then you go to Heaven but if you’re bad then you go to Hell. But I don’t know if I believe in Hell. I think that if somebody is bad then that person would get consequences. In my opinion there are no punishments.” “I believe in a good place, not necessarily heaven but just a good place after you die. But no I don’t believe in Hell.”

She says that reincarnation has to be a thing because “What about the people that have disabilities. This one life cannot be their only shot.”