“Food made by good people for good reasons”: Curry Friday’s at the CSL

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Chaplain Sami Aziz, director of the Center for Spiritual Life at DePauw, has been conducting a weekly event called Curry Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m aiming to show and spread love among the community. 

When asked about why he created the Curry Friday, Aziz said, “Food made by good people for good reasons is sacred and transfers love and spirituality. Thus, healing the soul might be as simple as eating good food, drinking delicious chai (tea), and having conversations with lovely people at Curry Friday.”  

To Aziz, feeding people is a form of love. He also shared an exerp from the book 74 of Sahih Bukhari, a collection of sayings by the Prophet Muhammad, saying, “A man asked the Prophet Muhammad [Peace be upon him], ‘What Islamic traits are the best?’ The Prophet said, ‘Feed the people, and greet those whom you know and those whom you do not know.’”

Every Friday, the DePauw community gathers at the Bartlett House Center for Spiritual Life to sit, eat, and socialize. Senior Gavin Lancaster said, “The vibes are very communal here, the CSL has probably the most comforting atmosphere on campus.” 

To Aziz, cooking from scratch is a spiritual experience that could heal the soul and bring people’s hearts together. Aziz and volunteers use ancient recipes and spices that spread an aroma around the Bartlett house, grabbing the attention of people walking by and drawing more attendants to the event. “I love Curry Friday because I can smell the wonderful food as Chaplain Sami and others prepare it,” Beth Watson, a chaplain at DePauw, said.

Lancaster also said, “I come to Curry Friday because I get to have food that reminds me of what I ate and drank growing up in a Caribbean household. Coming here feels like home to me.”

According to Aziz, Curry Friday welcomes everyone regardless of their colors, ethnicities, and cultural and religious backgrounds.