Christmas with Buddha

 

On the morning of December 25th, I woke up and found a wrapped present. The kindergarten I attended was on winter vacation, and I was staying at my grandfather’s temple.

“Wonder who’s this from,” I inspected the present.

“Buddha.”

“Buddha?”

Everyone at the temple was busy with usual morning chores, and I did not query any further.

The rest of the week, we cleaned the temple thoroughly and placed the mochi ornaments. Ringing in the New Year, my parents took me to a local Shinto shrine to pray for health and happiness. Once the holidays were over, I went back to my kindergarten, which was run by Sisters, and sang to the statue of Mother Mary.

Growing up in the culture of mixed religion was like living in third-omniscient POV with subplots. I was never condemned, judged, or forced. I was truly blessed.

holidays 2018 framed 1

 

長崎で育ち、幼稚園はカソリックだった。そうして、祖父母の家に行けば、仏壇の前で手を合わせた。近所の神社の行事にも参加した。こういう風に宗教が生活の中で混ざっているのは、日本独特なのだそうだ。無理強いされたり差別された覚えもないし、本当の意味で恵まれていたと思う。

 

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