|The Scottish Bahá’í, No.37 – Autumn, 2004||letters to the editor|
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SUBJECT: Scottish Bahá’í Gathering, Inverness
In my opinion this year’s Annual Scottish Bahá’í Gathering was the best yet. Sun, comfy seats and the Scottish Bahá’í community, what more could you want?
From 22nd-23rd May, Bahá’ís from all over Scotland made the effort to come to the Ramada Jarvis hotel (the classiest venue yet!), Inverness, for the event. There was an apparent diversity of age, from just two months to (I dare not say!) and possibly all of the Islands were represented at the gathering as well.
The youth turnout was particularly good, despite the event coinciding with the standard grade and higher exams. There was a varied youth programme, from studying the World Order letters to solving problems associated with the core activities using superheros!
Guest speakers, Paddy O’Mara and Rob Weinberg, took inspiring sessions with both the youth and adults. A huge ‘thank you’ should go to the Bahá’í Council For Scotland for organising the gathering and, all in all, everybody had a great time.
SUBJECT: Book Three works!
I’ve just had a wonderful summer and thought it might be helpful to share the experience I had in Ruhi training and at the summer school. In the second week of July I was one of the group doing intensive Book 3 (Children’s Classes) training near Fyvie. For some lucky reason, every time I do a Ruhi book I seem to get an opportunity to put the learning into practice almost straight away and this time was no different. Just a few days before I was to go on the training I got a ‘phone call from the Summer School Committee asking me if I could take a children’s class for one morning. This seemed a perfect chance, so I said yes. I’ve taught children’s classes before but with no great success and my own children were even complaining to me that my lessons were boring! The Book 3 course was excellent and gave me a lot of ideas and insights into how I should approach teaching children. I then started preparing my lesson for the summer school, bearing in mind the fact that ‘Perfect Preparation Prevents Pathetic Performance’. To cut a long story short, the lesson went very well (though you may want to check with the kids to verify that), I enjoyed it more than any other class I’d taught and, to cap it all, half way through the lesson, my 9 year old son Sean said in front of everyone, “Dad – how come this lesson is a lot better than the ones you usually do at home?” I took it as a complement! So the challenge for me now is to keep up the momentum and use my new learning in our local classes. I just hope these opportunities keep coming because I’m doing Book 6 yet – on teaching!
SUBJECT: Christian Aid on Skye
In order to make a contribution to the Christian Aid Scotland’s efforts to solve the problem of AIDS (that dreadful disease so prevalent in Africa) two of the Skye Central community, Pat and I, participated in collecting money. The young Christians had brought a musical group with them and are cycling and giving concerts throughout Scotland; 685 miles in all, describing a loop similar to the shape of the ‘AIDS ribbon’ (right).
By the end of the project they will have made 41 stops to share information about AIDS in Africa, hoping to raise even more money than they did last year.
Poverty increases the spread of HIV and, in turn, the spread of HIV increases poverty. To make this point I put the following words on a white towel using a black permanent marker: “When the rich have consumed the earth, the poor shall inherit the whole of what is living.” This I pinned on my back, and the Christian Aid group asked for permission to photograph it. As I had a pouch fastened onto the handlebars of my bike, into which the collecting tin fitted well, and, being able to speak five European languages (there are lots of foreign tourists on Skye – Ed.), within an hour and a half I had the tin full.
I received much praise from the members of Christian group towards the Bahá’í Faith, about which these youngsters were quite knowledgeable, as I am about the revolutionary teachings of Jesus about the poor and poorly educated. It was also good to see a couple of friends of the Bahá’ís there as well, with their positive views towards us.
Ron Wilson (Skye Central).
SUBJECT: Cultural Involvement
There is a way all the family can be involved in an exciting project, the Dictionary of Scottish Languages.
How do you get involved?
Let’s start with the weans, or as they think of themselves: e.g. ‘kids’, there again mibee they ca themselves ‘youngsters’, ‘bairns’, even ‘quine’. Dae ye get ma drift ken, whit ah`m oan aboot? All the above refer to the child of the family, all are valid language. That is the exciting information this online dictionary is presenting, a spoken language has as much validity as a written one. In fact, write down a language and it`s validity increases. Think how much computer technological language we use every day: cdrom, download, too much information input, email, crash...
Take ‘crash’: to your granddad, crash was something cars did. Your dad or mum might say I`m going to crash, which would not mean you’d have to walk to school till the car was repaired. No, it would simply mean they were tired and going off to bed. Whereas to you, the tec-head, it mean the Web page you’re on has frozen.
Now let`s get closer to home: I say ‘Assembly’; what do I mean? Well if I`m a police officer I might add ‘illegal’; if I`m a teacher I’d possibly add ‘morning’; as a Bahá’í I have two choices: National or Local. Say ‘intercalary days’ to an non-Bahá’í friend and without seeing it written down they’d possibly think you were talking about dieting!!
Did you know Ruhi is a girl`s name? Language keeps changing according to situation. When I became a Bahá’í my vocabulary changed, and still is changing. There is only one Constant in my life, “The Sacred Writings”, which are written in three languages, Arabic, Farsi and English. No, you say, it`s only two, Arabic and Farsi. Wrong, you’ve forgotten the Guardian’s translations which are now The Bahá’í equivalent of the “Rosetta Stone”. In any as yet untranslated material, the vocabulary which will be used will come from ‘the Guardian’s Translation’ and thus ‘The Guardian`s English’ is a sacrosanct part of the Sacred Writings. The Guardian actually said his translations cast illumination upon the Sacred Texts so, if anyone should be interested in language it should be we Bahá’ís. So keep you ears open and if you hear or remember something someone says. If mum or dad says: “We called it something different from you do, Granny in my day it was called...”
The Dictionary of Scottish Languages Online wants to know all three names; the address is email@example.com. Tell them schol49 sent you.
SUBJECT: Bahá’í Literature for sale from Warwick Bookshop
The West Oxfordshire Bahá’í Bookshop has decided to reduce its stocks in Scots Gaelic and wondered if you were interested in some literature at a very competitive price (and delivered post free). I am afraid we have nothing in Auld Scots. We have a lot in Norwegian and Faroese, if any of the Scottish friends are headed that way and would like to take them to the friends there.
Stephen Vickers (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Photographs including images of children under 18
Readers are reminded of the Newsletter’s policy on photographs of children.
For up to five children, photographs where children are readily recognisable must be accompanied by explicit parental/guardian approval(s) for publication in the newsletter, its on-line edition, and in Dayspring. This may be by email from a permanent email address, or letter, direct to the Editor (i.e. not via a third party).
The only exceptions to the above statement are,
To avoid confusion, could anyone sending in an image which includes youth, none of whom are under 18, confirm this in the accompanying letter/email.