Photo: Roy Naicker
People from all walks of life share Meal of Reconciliation
There are few places in the world where an American diplomat, a blind Muslim activist, a homeless person and a Catholic nun can be seen sharing a meal together. But that’s the whole purpose of the Denis Hurley Centre’s annual Meal of Reconciliation!
All religions use a shared meal as a symbol of unity and solidarity. This triggered the concept of the Meal of Reconciliation, which this year brought together 400 people from different religions, different classes, different nationalities, different colours, different ages and different abilities to share a meal.
The DHC provides meals for homeless people throughout the year; a total of 105 000 meals were served in 2018! But for the Meal of Reconciliation, homeless people are invited into the main halls, which have been decorated for the occasion. And non-homeless people join them not just to serve the meal but to share it: sitting at the same tables, eating the same food, pulling crackers together and making cards for each other.
The main food served was the traditional Durban breyani, with large pots provided by a Christian group, a Muslim group and a Hindu group. Those who came brought cool drinks and cakes to share, and a generous donor enabled us to serve ice cream to all present. The Hurley Voices – a home-grown choir of homeless people and their supporters – entertained the crowds.
The SABC2 programme ‘Hosanna’ featured the DHC Meal of Reconciliation as a model for the whole country. (The programme can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/303971312 using the password Hosanna).