A second grader stepped up to the lectern at Chapel to share the story of the Jain religion and the ways he and his family practice their faith at home, in school, and when visiting India.
“I feel special to be a Jain at St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s,” he said to his friends, speaking in both the lower division and upper division Chapels. “I like to teach people the ways of my religion, and to learn about their religions. I’m lucky to have the friends that I have at school, because they help me practice Jainism by letting everyone know that I’m vegetarian.”
Being vegetarian is one way that Jains practice one of the religion’s most important tenets: non-violence—or “Ahimsa,” in Hindi or Sanskrit.
“Lots of people have borrowed ideas from Jainism, including Gandhi-ji and Martin Luther King Jr.,” he said.
Our second grader shared photos from his family’s visit to Palitana, a 900-year-old temple in India, this December.
“You have to climb 3,750 steps to get to the temple,” he said. “I climbed to the top all by myself! My sisters could not climb the whole thing, so they were carried much of the way in a dolly.”
He concluded by asking students and faculty to practice Ahimsa. “Be nice to one another and to nature.”