Former WSC professor hosts presentation

Ashley Ternus, Staff Writer

Wayne State College Professor Emeritus Meenakshi Nath Dalal described how human migration, trade and conquest affected the development of religion throughout the world in her presentation on Sept. 10.

Dalal taught economics for 22 years at WSC before retiring two years ago. After retirement, she spent a lot of time traveling to places such as Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. She used her experience and research to enhance her presentation.

“I actually did this research last year,” Dalal said. “I presented an abbreviated version of this at a conference; my good friend wanted me to present something here and I told them because I travel a lot I would do something here.”

Sponsored by the Multicultural and International Programs, Dalal presented a slideshow filled with pictures from Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the Borobudur temple in Indonesia, the Cave of the Thousand Buddhas in Laos, temples in Vietnam, Nanban trade ships and more.

One of her examples included the spread of Islam. Muhammed, the founder of Islam, was born in Mecca, which was a popular resting point between two ancient trade routes. From here, his message spread through the trade routes and alongside his followers. By 632 most of the Arab Peninsula had converted to Islam.

Dalal also discussed how culture could be spread by conquest. She said Arab presence in present day Pakistan allowed for development of music, medicine and Arabic numerals, which were eventually disseminated to the rest of Europe.

Dalal also covered Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and other topics in depth during the presentation.

Karen Granberg attended the presentation, and said she met Dalal while working at WSC and became good friends with her.

“She loves learning and sharing about her travels,” Granberg said. “She is a worldwide traveler. She gains firsthand knowledge as well as researches the history of the areas.”

The WSC multicultural and international programs are also sponsoring another presentation by Leigh Scruggs Tuesday, Oct. 1, at 3:30 p.m. It is titled “Off the Beaten Path: My Journey in Eastern Europe – 2019,” and will be held in Gardner Hall 108.