Observing the tradition of Noah’s Pudding which commemorates the day when Noah’s ark landed on the mountain Ararat, Pacifica Institute members enjoyed the priceless taste of both artistically served treat and friendship with various communities. The month of Ashura (Noah’s Pudding ) was marked with two visits on December 2 and 5, to a church and the retired housing members respectively.
First experience of the series was with the church St. Paul the Apostle community on December 2, which coincided with the first Sunday mass of Advent. On such a special occasion, our volunteers joined their Christian fellows’ mass led by Father John Ardis in their excitement and prayers that went out to the humanity.
Following the mass, everyone was invited to the community hall where they had the chance to go further for friendship over a cup of coffee accompanied with Noah’s pudding. Upon hearing the story behind the sweet treat, it’s no wonder to hear remarks such as, “Isn’t it amazing to see a single serving of a dessert bringing people of faith together and contributing to dialogue.” Or as Fr. Joe, the associate pastor who was impressed to see the cups topped with the pomegranate seeds, expressed: “ What a meaningful interfaith treat that has survived years and brought us together today.”
The next even sweeter gathering was at Culver Rotary Plaza where Pacifica Institute volunteers were graciously hosted by the seniors who wholeheartedly expressed their happiness to have the team among them. The Outreach Coordinator Ilker Yildiz briefly stated the unifying function of the dessert and the institute’s enthusiasm for reaching out new faces to extend its message of sharing, friendship and diversity.
The dessert originated from a story as sweet as itself and survived to date as one of the mostly cherished traditions among Turkish people who care about the next door neighbors regardless of their faith and nationality. At the second dawn of civilization, everyone in Noah’s ark feasted on the meal of leftover grains, dried fruits, nuts, and everything they could find to survive, they also feasted on the spirit of sharing which is a symbol of unity among God’s creatures. The very same spirit filled Pacifica Institute volunteers and the dear host communities as they shared Noah’s pudding.