A Lovely Sporting Day - Hola Mohalla

Nov 2015
Greetings, friends! Today was a very interesting day indeed.
I'm part of a small group, the "Menders", a group of Baha'i's who study the religions of the world, seeking to find the unity present with the Faith, and actively life the lifestyle laid out in the writings. One thing I had done upon request of the group, was convert various holidays into the Badi Calendar - A fun undertaking, considering I adore writing lists and timelines. Today was when the Sikh holiday, Hola Mohalla, fell in the Baha'i Calendar. So our group decided to meet and celebrate it, and honestly it turned out to be a blast!

It is a day dedicated to mock battles and sparring matches, to show one's "miri" - physical power, in unison with their "piri", spiritual power. If one can cultivate one, they will benefit the other even if they don't realize it. A healthy spirit inspires a healthy body as it's mirror.

So the day was planned. It was slightly cold out, about -10 celsius. We headed out to a snowy park, and drilled some moves with our plastic shortswords, and then the tournament began. A series of duels happened, some with swords and shields, others with just swords, others using unusual techniques, and LOTS of laughter and fun. Our group had never interacted in that way before. To meet each other in battle, yet as friends looking to hone each other's skill instead of as foes. I had taken the swords and decorated each one myself including painting the sword top to bottom, and whoever came out on top of the tournament got to keep the nicest of the swords as a memento to this day - not something we originally intended, but actually something we decided after it was over, to keep the cheer going! We also had a big brawl between the lot of us which was fun, though I was the first one out (hah).

In the end I only won a single duel, but it was beautiful to watch the others and to partake in the events. Afterward, we went home, and waited for the sun to set - The youngest of us, 11, who isn't fasting, got to try some of the host's homemade pistachio cookies which she thoroughly enjoyed. She had actually won more duels than me! For such a fine defender of justice, a worthy snack I hope, teehee.

Soon we began to reflect on what we had done today, and it dawned on us all the spiritual significance - We had just bonded together in a new way. Found a way for our souls and bodies to work in unison. We learned some valuable fellowship that day and it was very rewarding. We all felt close, like family after! And so we decided to meditate together.

Once that was done, the festivities continued, with writings of poetry dedicated to the day, and lots of art by the host and aforementioned youngest of us. Once the sun had set, a lovely vegetarian dinner was served (The majority of us don't eat meat) and we talked lots of spiritual topics over our meal. Talk of ways to serve the community, the ever closer approaching Naw-Ruz, chakras, meditation, and general bonding with each other.

We all decided we wanted to train our skills to have an even greater time next year, perhaps having the occasional sparring group sessions. And as the snow began to fall, I went home, with a stomach filled with delicious eats, and a humble grin upon my face for the day I was given.