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Etiquette Question: Religious Diversity

Filed under Entertaining, Etiquette

Dear Charles,

I am not a very religious person, but I celebrate Christian holidays, like Christmas and Easter. I’m also a very social person and I love to entertain and cook for my friends. I have friends who are Jewish, Buddhist, Christian, and atheist. What I’m wondering is what is the proper etiquette concerning whom I should invite to Easter brunch at my house? I’d love to invite all my friends, but I don’t want my non-Christian friends to be offended.

What are your thoughts? Should I invite all my friends to brunch, or just those who celebrate Easter?

Sincerely,

Charlotte

Hi Charlotte,

This is a great question and there are a couple different answers. First, I’d like to say that some of my favorite and most memorable experiences are those that are out of my cultural norm. For example, I once attended a Sikh religious service and the meal served after (known as langar). It was a wonderful experience; I met some amazing people, ate some delicious food, and I’ll forever remember it.

Here’s what I’d suggest: feel free to invite your friends from all religious traditions. If you feel more comfortable, you can let them know that there won’t be any religious activities, that it’s just an excuse to enjoy each other’s company. Make sure that you know your guests’ dietary restrictions. Do they eat ham? Are some vegetarian? Do they require kosher food?

I believe that people really appreciate being invited into each other’s traditions, as long as they don’t feel pressured into adopting a certain belief system. I have Christian friends who love attending Passover Seder every year. And I personally have always wanted to go to a Hindu Diwali celebration!

Enjoy your Sunday meal. And happy Easter!

Sincerely,

Charles

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