Bear Facts

Not one in 173 million

These students bring new religions to LZ

The+students+of+LZ+embrace+their+culture%2C+especially+through+practicing+their+religion.+These+women+are+photographed+in+traditional+Muslim+attire.+
The students of LZ embrace their culture, especially through practicing their religion. These women are photographed in traditional Muslim attire.

The students of LZ embrace their culture, especially through practicing their religion. These women are photographed in traditional Muslim attire.

Photo used with permission of Ameena Beg

Photo used with permission of Ameena Beg

The students of LZ embrace their culture, especially through practicing their religion. These women are photographed in traditional Muslim attire.

Sreelikhi Vangavolu, Staff Writer

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With over 173 million Christians residing in the United States, it stands as a predominantly Christian country, according to Pewresearch. However, in LZ it is a different story.

Two students share their experiences of growing up in non-Christian households, and how it has impacted their daily lives.

“Being a Hindu is very eye-opening. I think a positive thing about [Hindusim] is that woman get so much respect. For example, there are many goddesses that people pray to [who possess so much power],” Nithila Kannan, sophomore said. “I just want people to know that Hinduism is such a wonderful religion due to the fluidness to it. Although there may be some strict rules, the overarching idea is to let a person be who they want to be, while making ethical and practical choices throughout their lives.”

Although Hinduism isn’t a very rigid religion, there are still some restrictions that one must follow, according to Kannan.

“It impacts my daily lifestyle due to some religious rules; we do not eat certain foods such as red meat, and we can’t eat non-vegetarian foods on some days, depending on our family god,” Kannan said. “I don’t mind it though, because it reminds me of my roots.”

Kannan says despite her not being super religious, she tries to be in touch with Hinduism, and the cultural aspect of it.

“I don’t always do things on a day to day basis, however almost 3 to 4 times a week I take time to pray, and once or twice a month we visit the temple,” Kannan said. “Some major holidays we celebrate include: Diwali [the Festival of Lights], Sankranti [the celebration of a successful harvest, similar to Thanksgiving], and New Year depending on where you are from in India,” Kannan said.

On the other hand, another student practices a completely different religion whilst living in LZ.

“Being a Muslim for me is more than just a religion, but a privilege. There is more to being Muslim than just the restrictions, so many more which can hold us back from certain activities.” Rose Alam, Sophomore. “However, no one really mentions the bright sides to it. How these restrictions help us grow ourselves into better people, or how fasting everyday for a whole month can lead up to a beautiful holiday we call Eid.”

Alam finds that being Muslim really helps her through life’s struggles and thinking about Allah [the Muslim God] helps her through her toughest challenges. Additionally, she feels being a Muslim is integrated into her lifestyle.

“Being Muslim really affects me in the way that I’ve been following certain rules to the point its become a habit. Praying some prayers, eating anything but pig and etc,” Alam said.

It’s not always easy being a minority, and it often comes with some negative stigma, according to Alam.

“Sometimes being a Muslim, I feel attacked by the majority of social media and the news,” Alam said. “Harsh comments that are said around, and by people that see us in a bad light. Though I know to look over it.” 

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “Not one in 173 million”

  1. Su Bharadwaj on August 27th, 2018 6:28 pm

    Very impressive writing, Sreelikhi! I have always enjoyed reading your stories/articles, your choice of words amaze me!!! Keep going!! Looking forward to more from you!! Good luck and rock high school!!

  2. Kama on August 28th, 2018 9:13 pm

    Wow what an amazing writing. I like the way you expressed in simple English. Keep it up Likhi.

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