Finding Religious Commonality

In the evening after my duties are done (dinner/kids ready for bed and sleeping) I have a bit of time to relax and watch some TV.  This is one of my ways of disconnecting from the day-to-day work/world and disconnect for a while. I normally watch a pre-recorded TV show because they are short, but this past week I watched a few movies. Movie selection these days seems to be pretty bad. It’s not very often that good original movies come around, so it’s nice to actually watch two good ones that have a purpose other than to entertain.

It just so happened that the last two movies that I rented from Netflix.com had similar themes in relation to religious differences and finding commonality.

The first movie I watched was call "Arranged"

"Two young women – one an Orthodox Jew, the other Muslim – meet and become friends as first-year teachers at a public school in Brooklyn. Over the course of the year they learn they share much in common, not least of which is that they are both going through arranged marriages."

I particularly related to how the women stood strong in their individual religious identity and became friends. It reminded me of how I sometimes feel when out in the world, when you stand out and people notice you. I’m glad that the movie was light and had  "happily-ever-after". Even though this may not be the norm, I do wonder how it is these days. Too often when people think of arrange marriages they think of couples being forced to marry and strong dominant parents/family abusing the child (particularly the women who is to be married).

The second movie I watched was an Indian movie (in Hindi with subtitles) called  "Jodhaa Akhbar"starring who other than the Hrithik Roshan (who visited our little old town in New Mexico this past year) and Aishwarya Rai. It seems like these two are in all the movies :)

Anyways, The almost 4 hour movie centers around the romance between the Muslim Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great and his Hindu wife Jodhabai. It is not your standard bollywood flick. It’s an epic film taking you to another time in Indian history (1400′s.). Normally I can’t watch most Hindi movies because they are just too over-dramatic for me and drip with cheez; but this movie I did enjoy. This is a beautiful film with awesome scenes and beautiful music.

Aside from the production I enjoyed that it had a good message. For most of the movie I wasn’t quite sure what direction it was going to go, then it finally set in. The message was same about religious acceptance, peace, and finding commonality rather than differences.

So much hate, anger and war is the result of religious differences. It’s great to see more films that promote the message of tolerance, acceptance and unity. Too often we get caught up in emotions of the past and spread hate because of someone’s religion. I hope that more and more people can come back to the root and see each other as another human and another being of God rather than an "other".

So the next time you are thinking about watching a movie these are two options which you would probably enjoy!

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