A multicultural Burns night was celebrated with over 300 people in attendance, including local dignitaries, on Saturday 26 January at the Church’s Aberdeen stake centre.
The Aberdeen Lord Provost Barney Crockett (who had previously met Elder Dale G. Renlund at the Aberdeen stake conference) was present, as well as Lewis McDonald (member of the Scottish Parliament) and his wife, Sandra, a local councillor, who had both previously attended a Himalayan Nepalese evening also held in the Aberdeen stake centre a couple of months earlier.
Pastor Njabulo Ndlovu from the Seventh-day Adventist church and his family asked for a tour of the stake centre. The pastor was presented with a Book of Mormon and agreed to meet with the missionaries to answer any questions he or his family may have concerning the Church.
Poems by Robert Burns and other ethnic poems were rendered, along with songs and ceilidh dancing. The food was slightly different from that of a normal Burns Night: while the haggis was piped into the cultural hall as tradition requires, the meal consisted of haggis pakora and biryani, not the normal Scottish bill of fare for a Burns Night.
This event was one of a number arising from the Church’s relationship with the Aberdeen interfaith group. The opportunities to work together while respecting each other’s cultures and beliefs were wonderful. Opening the stake centre to others provided a great opportunity for members to express their beliefs in the Saviour and the importance of family and family history.