Saturday, November 9, 2013

My Family Culture

Senario: "A major catastrophe has almost completely devastated the infrastructure of your country. The emergency government has decided that the surviving citizens will be best served if they are evacuated to other countries willing to take refugees. You and your immediate family are among the survivors of this catastrophic event. However, you have absolutely no input into the final destination or in any other evacuation details. You are told that your host country’s culture is completely different from your own, and that you might have to stay there permanently. You are further told that, in addition to one change of clothes, you can only take 3 small items with you. You decide to take three items that you hold dear and that represent your family culture."
Three items that I would take are:

1. Status of very old Buddha. It is ritual in our family to worship Buddha and other fellow of Buddhism everyday early in the morning by serving seven bowls of water, a lamp and incense. It is so important to perform this ritual as to prepare us for the day with clean positive thoughts and feeling blessed for our lives. This status is very important as it cannot be replaced with anything but we can find alternative for the lamp and the incense. 

2. Ketan (Traditional hand woven of my fore grandma). My mother has never worn a pant or even a skirt in her life. She is a very traditional woman, who stills follow the old customs and wear only traditional clothes. I feel its equally important for her to have this multicolored wooly hand loomed material that her mom, which is my grandmother gave her on her marriage. 

3. family passed on jewelry:  Jewelry in our family is not only of wealth value but it also has immeasurable value that is important in our family. It is a symbol of luck, prosperity, longevity and happiness in life. It also represent our culture. 

Upon reaching the foreign country, if I were to keep only one item, it would the statue of the buddha. Majority of our family members have strong faith in Buddhist religion and they have strong bond with the statue of the buddha, especially my grandfather, who is the oldest in the family. Since he is the oldest and most respected in the family, I am sure his choice would be the same too. 
I have gained the insightful that we often tends to mix culture and religion together, which creates lots of misunderstanding. But at the same time, in my family, our lives, beliefs, values, and characters are highly influenced by both. It is more of spiritual base religion practice that we follow. For us all the religions and cultures are equally important and we respect all of them. This is the teaching of my family, which we would like to pass on to our future generation too. 

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