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InterFaith Bridge Builders’ Awards

June 22, 2011

For the past seven years the InterFaith Conference has hosted an annual Bridge Builders’ Awards.  This event is dedicated to four individuals in the religious community who have done extraordinary work to promote interreligious dialogue and understanding.  This year, the four honorees were: Mr. Randall Benn (Presbyterian), Father John Crossin (Roman Catholic), Professor Sulayman Nyang (Muslim), and Bhai Gurdarshan Singh (Sikh).

I was lucky enough to be in attendance and had a wonderful time working and enjoying the festivity.  I must admit it is nice to be an intern because you don’t have to pay and you still get to do cool stuff and eat great food ;D

That evening, I was responsible for monitoring the silent auction.  We had some AMAZING artifacts and textiles up for auction.  I had indicated to my boss[es] that I have quite the predilection old religious artifacts (more about that later).  So they allowed a fellow intern and myself into the vault (gasp!) where the religious artifacts were kept (oooh ahhh).  Well.  Let me tell YOU– there are some INCREDIBLE treasures in there!  I immediately gravitated toward the biggest item held in the collection (we called him the Big Buddha).  It turns out my predilection suits me well– 15th century from the Sukhothai Dynasty, folks!!!!

15th Century Sukhothai Dynasty Buddha Statuette

We also offered Uzbeki prayer suzanis (prayer mats), a gilded 19th century Buddha statuette, and Islamic skull caps (also Uzbeki).  Here are some other items:

Prayer Suzani19th Century Gilded BuddhaIslamic Skull Caps

After a long and enjoyable night of work, it was time for the awards dinner to wrap up and the live auction to begin.  I watched excitedly (with envy) to see who would take my Buddha home.  At long last my invisible hand was defeated an a woman won the bid.  Wherever you are lady, I congratulate you.  But I’m jealous.  >:/


A side note:  As I mentioned earlier, I have started my own collection of religious art and sculpture.  I have two Persian paintings, and two small figurines that were owned by my Austrian grandfather (RIP), as well as a ceramic tile with Islamic calligraphy I bought in Turkey last year.  And I also managed to get my hands on a 1552 Hans Holbein bible leaf which I was ecstatic about.

So.  If you would like to send me your priceless religious artifacts, I will take them at no cost to either of us!  You donate it to me and make yourself feel good,  I get my new piece of art and I feel good.  Win win folks, think about it.

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