Friday, February 23, 2007

Chinese New Year

Well, it has been a Piggish CNY for me so far. Ahhh...the blessed life of a pig! aside from being a pig at home over the past two weeks, I have been spring cleaning the house. Man, I didn't realise that the things which I have moved back from the condominium in Cheras have been lying in the exact place where I left them since 9 months ago! Since those things are mine, it is only natural that no one dared to move them for fear that I would blame them when I cannot find my things. Hehehe... So, after ploghing through the piles of old notes and magazines for 3 days, I had a valid excuse to rest for the rest of my holidays and to do my assignment slowly. ^O^
This year, for the first time in the 20 over years of my life, my grandmother did not spend the Chinese New Year with us. Well, as to why she didn't spend the New Year's with us: it is a long story involving hunger, depression, cold-war and Oscars. Hehehe..I think I can actually write great playscript with what I observe happening around me! :P All those ingredients can surely make an award-winning piece, don't you think? Hehehe...
So anyway, we had a quiet but happy CNY. Sure, it feels funny not to have Grandma and the family, cousins, second cousins and third cousins coming to visit, but it was rather pleasant. I still remember how I had to find a place to rest after greeting the nth vistor, only to find my room invaded by my aunts and cousins who wanted to rest too. This year however, my family and I had the chance to rest and only start greeting visitors (my uncles and aunts) in the late morning.
True, you may think that this is not the way to celebrate CNY but when you think about it again, what is there to celebrate REALLY? There's no spring in Malaysia and we can no longer scare off the "evil monster which comes every spring" with fire crackers anymore. The whole point of celebrating CNY(that is to welcome spring and to ward off evil for a better year) seem to be no longer "celebrate-able"/applicable here in Malaysia. The only things that mean "CNY is here!" these days are the mandarin oranges, new clothes and for those who are unmarried, the ang paus.
Of course, I am not saying that I do not enjoy receiving ang paus, having the occasional new clothes and eating the mandarin oranges by crates! It's just that, CNY no longer feel like CNY anymore as I grow older. Even gathering with friends no longer sound as attractive as before (but I think this year's gathering was great. Will blog about it later)...I think I am growing OLD. Oh noooooo....
Ok, I'd better go tie two pony tails, wear new clothes and try to enjoy CNY like before!! Haha...yes, I'm still very young! :P

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Am I a Pantheist (not Panties!)? ;P

Today's Ethics class has made me think...hard. I have just realised today that many people who claim that they are of a certain religion, actually do not know the basis of the religion or do not question some practices in the religion. I mean, like if you were born into a family of Catholic or Muslim, you would have been trained since young to perform certain rituals, to memorize stories or words from the holy book. But in reality, how many of you would truly know why you perform those rituals and why some of the "questionable rules" are there (which in this case, I was going to talk about using contraceptives for family planning purposes)? Not many, is my guess.

Prior to the discussion in class today, I was actually feeling lost because I do not have a religion. It is not that I am an atheist, I just don't have a religion. I do believe in the existence of a God, mind you. It is just that I have been brought up in such an environment that gave me the opportunity to view religion differently than most of you: My family practises Taoism but goes to Buddhist temples. I used to go to church and attend Sunday school when I was in kindergarten. I tried to read the Quran when I was in secondary school. I tried to read more about Sikhism when I was in college. I show my respect to the Gods in the Hindu temples near where I live everytime I pass by. So, what does that make me? Definitely not an atheist.

The thing is, it is my choice to not want to follow any one religion. Some of my friends say that it is good because it makes me think and not just follow blindly as some of my friends are obviously doing. But most people, I think, would not look at me kindly when Itell them that I do not have a religion. I suppose these people think that it is a sin to not have a religion. Or maybe they think that I am deprived because I do not know what religion to believe in. However, if you think about it, I am not deprived of anything. In fact, my needs in life have been fulfilled to the point that I am now able to think of religion and looking for self-actualization (for those of you who don't know what I am talking about, research Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs).

Well, probably one of the reasons I do not profess any religion is that I think I know enough of the major religions in Malaysia to decide that they all advocate good behaviour and practices. Since they are all equally good, there is no need to commit myself to one religion, right? Besides, I believe that it is human nature to be biased and think that all that is mine is better than what others have. So, it is my belief that if I commit myself to one religion, I would inadvertently be one of those people who insist that my religion is the most superior and the best in the whole wide world (stupidity at its "stupidest" moment). Anyway, if God truly exists, and He/She/It knows that I believe in Him/Her/It, would He/She/It punish me because I do not profess a specific religion?

Back to my classmates, when asked to define and explain more about some practices and beliefs in their religion, it was obvious that some could not do it clearly. I am not criticizing them (who am I to do so since I cannot explain any religious practices at all!), but it makes me wonder if these people truly BELIEVE in what they are practising. I mean, don't you have to strongly believe in something before you make it a part of your life?

Well, I suppose it has been a way of life for too long: parents pass down their religion and beliefs to their children, people profess a certain religion because of peer pressure and brainwashers (this is what I think of those people who try to convert others). It has happened since forever that no one questions anything anymore. Questioning what is written in the holy book is seen as blasphemous.But if you don't question, how are you to understand and believe? And God did not write those holy books. It was humans (men, specifically). It was their interpretation. How can we be sure that that was what God wanted from us?

Hahaha...I have a feeling that not many people would read this whole post because they might be offended or confused by what I am trying to say. Anyway, think about this: no major religion in the world teaches us to do things that are not good, no religion is superior to the other. So what's the need to fight over religion, right? If you want to be a Hindu, great! If you want to be a Muslim, yay! If you want to be a Christian, whoo-ee! If you want to be a Buddhist, yippee! etc. etc. As long as someone believes in doing good and believes that there is a superior power hovering around us, isn't that enough?

Oh, and I know some religions advocate that the followers enlighten those who have not found the path, my say on it is that: make sure you enlighten people who have truly not found the path, and not because the person is not on the same path as you.

Have I found my path? Well, can't you see that I am trying to create my own path by spreading my Jiawenism? Haha...
Have a blessed day, everyone!