An interview with RDJ volunteer Navya Paingol

20161122_130619Abbott Middle School eight grader Navya Paingol was a participant in Religious Diversity Journeys in 2015 and has returned this year as a volunteer.

Q: What made you want to come back this year?

A: I thought it was really interesting and wanted to do it again. It was an awesome experience and I wanted to try to make it even better for others.

Q: Did you have a favorite journey from last year?

A: My favorite journey was to the Sikh gurdwara because I really liked the food, but I liked the synagogue too because the rabbis were funny and gave good presentations.

Q: Thinking back to last year’s trip to the synagogue, did you learn anything new today?

A: I learned today that the Torah is written completely from memory!

Navya talked about her background as an American of South Indian heritage and about how the journeys last year changed how she saw her own tradition. She said that she has always been proud to be a Hindu, but the journey to the temple her family normally attends gave her the chance to hear from and talk to the priests in a way that she normally wouldn’t. It helped her to understand things that she had never thought to ask about before and made her feel even better and more confident about being a Hindu.