Daily life, family and religion; three shows daily under one roof. Emily and the kids were Buddhist up until a few years ago. After Emily’s father died, she converted. The Christian religion here is probably closest to Baptist. Ain’t that a frightening thought.
Hey, I’m Catholic. Our idea of faith is a quick confession, three Hail Mary’s and call me next Sunday. Churches here all seem to be of the charismatic variety. Which means, of course, that you’ve got your shouters, your shakers, your dancers, your prancers, your enthusiastic wavers and your quiet and composed prayers.
I’m the sole practitioner of a splinter religion. I’m the quiet, uncomfortable one.
Secular kind of guy that I am, I still want some traditions in my life. One is the Christmas dinner.
The kids have had traditional Christmas dinners. Emily had her first turkey dinner on our honeymoon in Singapore. She also saw her first Lion dance when visited a cultural exposition. We celebrate Chinese New Year. We celebrate Christmas. This year we’ll have teachers and staff over to our house for Christmas dinner.
I’ve made some changes in my life. I’ve actually attended church a few times. Emily and the kids go every Sunday. I’m trying to adjust, but I have to be honest; traditional Christianity still confuses me. I’ve also been able to witness the Buddhism that’s practiced here. We’ve attended a few weddings, and a few too many funerals.
I don’t mean to imply that people are dying left and right,just that I don’t care for funerals.
Emily’s Mom, who lives with us, is Buddhist. The adjustment to such a close-knit family has been rewarding, irritating, incredible, frustrating, and ultimately highly recommended. Emily’s two sisters and her brother are also Buddhist.
Indonesia’s Buddhism is probably as fetish oriented as Korean Buddhism, with its chants, incense and rituals, but it’s somehow encouraging to see any culture survive under such adverse conditions. A full blown Buddhist funeral is quite interesting. From the chanting, to the pacing of the maidens(no I’m not kidding), to the burning of the house, money, major appliances, cars and servants. These flammable offering are, thankfully, all paper representations.
Although I’m interested in knowing more about everything, unlike other tourists in Bali I had no wish to intrude on such a personal time. I can only imagine how these gomers would feel if a crowd showed up at ol’ Aunt Tilly’s sendoff.
“Don’t mind us folks, we’re just here to soak up the culture.” “Could you lift up Aunt Tilly’s chin a bit more. Now put this wine glass …”