Lunch series focuses on different cultures
By Venessa Santos-Garza Caller-Times
Sometimes being a good neighbor involves more than just saying hello - knowing how to say it is just as important. For Hindus, the proper greeting is to place the hands together, as if in prayer, and say "namaste."
"It means, 'the divine in me bows to the divine in you,'" said Dr. Mulukutla Ramakrishna, chief of staff at Driscoll Children's Hospital and member of the local Hindu temple B.A.P.S. Swami Narayan Sanstha.
Ramakrishna was the first of six guest speakers who will participate in "Breaking Bread to Break Barriers: An Understanding of World Cultures," an education series for community leaders. The six-month luncheon series is hosted by the National Conference of Community and Justice in cooperation with the Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce.
Business and community leaders are invited to learn more about the many different cultures and religions in the Coastal Bend and about those who helped to found Corpus Christi, including Jews, Mormons, Catholics, Muslims and Bahai.
"We need to be prepared to be good hosts and hostesses to be good neighbors," said Christine Kutnick, executive director of the NCCJ. "What should we offer a person of a different culture to eat? These are all things we should try and be familiar with."
Kutnick said as Corpus Christi grows in population and diversity, the community needs to expand with it, becoming more familiar with the many different cultures present in South Texas.
Lillian Riojas, spokeswoman for the Port of Corpus Christi, said she often encounters professionals of different backgrounds in her line of work, and she likes to travel regularly.
"I think we here in South Texas are so used to dealing with the Latin Americans and have reached a certain level of comfort with that, but we really need to start looking at other cultures as their representation in business and local communities grows," she said.
Contact Venessa Santos-Garza at 886-3752 or email@example.com
Breaking Bread to Break Barriers schedule
Dec. 18: Understanding the Jewish faith
Jan. 15: Understanding the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Feb. 19: Understanding the Roman Catholic Church
March 19: Understanding Islam
April 16: Understanding Bahai
To attend, members of the business community can contact the local office of the National Conference for Community and Justice at 814-1329.
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