Celebrations on both sides of Australia
One of the biggest celebrations on the Baha’i calendar is the Birthday of Baha’u’llah, the founder of the Faith, who was born on November 12, 1817.
This year in my home town about 400 people attended a musical presentation on the life of Baha’u’llah, whereas on the other side of the country 20 members of my daughter’s Baha’i community and their friends gathered in a home and had a different kind of celebration.
The latter started with a potluck dinner followed by prayers. Then they formed two teams for a game consisting of a Baha’i “Wheel of Fortune”, charades and a quiz.
The words for Wheel of Fortune were the titles of books by Baha'u'llah and bonus points were added with a bonus question after each book had been guessed — the questions related to the book.
Charades were based on movies or TV shows with a Baha’i link. So, for example, there was the movie “Titanic”. The Baha’i connection was that ‘Abdul-Baha, the eldest son of Baha’u’llah, had originally intended travelling on the ill-fated ship to America but decided upon another vessel. Other charades included American TV comedy “The Office” (starring Baha’i actor Rainn Wilson) and “Gone with the Wind” (star Clark Gable was married to Baha’i actress Carole Lombard).
The quiz consisted of pop culture questions with a Baha'i twist such as what was the name of the “numerical” musical starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Penelope Cruz? The answer was “Nine”, a significant number in the Baha’i Faith, with all our governing bodies composed of nine members. Another question had a sort of Baha’i connection: Which singing group had a hit with the song, “Who Let the Dogs Out?” The answer was the Baha Men. Well, it’s almost Baha’i!
The winning team was presented with an inscription of this quote by Baha'u'llah: “Humility exalteth man to the heaven of glory and power, whilst pride abaseth him to the depths of wretchedness and degradation.” It helped dampen down any sense of triumphalism among the victors!
There was no losing team. The “non-winners” were presented with another Baha'u'llah quotation: “O My servants! Sorrow not if, in these days and on this earthly plane, things contrary to your wishes have been ordained and manifested by God, for days of blissful joy, of heavenly delight, are assuredly in store for you. Worlds, holy and spiritually glorious, will be unveiled to your eyes. You are destined by Him, in this world and hereafter, to partake of their benefits, to share in their joys, and to obtain a portion of their sustaining grace. To each and every one of them you will, no doubt, attain.”