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Discussion in 'The Courtyard Café' started by chaomonkey, Aug 15, 2008.

  1. chaomonkey

    chaomonkey Alfrescian Old Timer

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    Buddhist mum worries about funeral rites

    FIVE years ago, when Madam Tan, a devout Buddhist, first heard that her eldest daughter Cindy Ng, then 23, was planning to be baptised, she had one concern - that the young woman would not be able to perform the funeral rites at her death.
    The 53-year-old, who declined to reveal her full name, said: 'I don't like the idea that they cannot hold joss sticks or kneel when I'm dead. I gave them life. It's a form of respect. It is why I asked them not to be baptised until I die.'

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    A book last year by sociologist Tong Chee Kiong on religious conversion here notes that many traditional Chinese equate baptism with becoming the foster child of the Christian God. It is like losing that child to another culture, as it were.

    It is why a high percentage of Christians here are not baptised, he wrote.

    Unfortunately for Madam Tan, who is self-employed, Cindy went ahead with her plans, followed not long after by her sister.

    As baptised Christians, they see taking part in Buddhist funeral rites as going against their beliefs.

    Madam Tan stressed that her daughters' conversions to another religion did not upset her as much as their refusal to go through certain rites, like those at their grandmother's funeral.

    She said, distressed: 'They did not kneel. I asked why they didn't pay their respects to their grandmother, and they said their religion does not allow them to do so. But I think whatever it is, they should show respect.'

    Her point is that parents and ancestors are accorded pole position in Chinese religions; though she herself was born into Taoism and later became a Buddhist, it has not stopped her from practising other Chinese rites and customs.

    'In my religion, parents are the biggest. In their religion, Jesus is biggest. To me, there is nothing wrong with kneeling before them.'

    She sees it as a form of betrayal that two of her three girls do not share the same spiritual beliefs, especially after accompanying her to visit temples during their childhood. It is also hard trying to get them to accept concepts she holds close to her heart, like karma - that everything comes full circle - or reincarnation.

    'I tell them about it, but they don't believe me,' she said.

    She has come to accept that she has little control over her grown-up children's decisions, and has given way to them when they refuse to include Chinese rites during events such as weddings.

    'I just let them do whatever they want to do... You can't change their minds. I just want them to be happy.'

    She is holding out hope that her youngest daughter, now 21, will not convert as well: 'I tell her, if she can, to remain Buddhist. Of course, I would like a traditional Buddhist funeral when I go, and she will pay me those last respects.'


    ARTI MULCHAND

    http://www.straitstimes.com/Prime+News/Story/STIStory_265925.html
     
  2. chaomonkey

    chaomonkey Alfrescian Old Timer

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    Not a religious thread, just not sure why are such religious issues being brought up in ST? It almost like telling people how good Christ is and how all should follow suit and be like them, to uphold their Christian believes and forgo all their traditional ones?

    Cannot even Kneel to their elders who passed away is too much.
     
  3. silverspoon

    silverspoon Alfrescian Old Timer

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    different believes....

    but i do encounter christian that DO pay respect during funerals...
     
  4. Kenshinng

    Kenshinng Alfrescian Old Timer

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    actually as long as there are no religious undertones(kneeling to ancestors or relatives is a form of respect culturally) , i don't see why they would totally refuse.
     
  5. NoOnEsAwMe

    NoOnEsAwMe Alfrescian Old Timer

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    i think these are the "hard-core" christian type.
    to them, kneeling to deceased kin/ altar = acknowledgement of non-christian beliefs, etc.
    i avoid these kind of people like the plague.

    people who are so blinded by their religion are the worst ones in the heart.
    i am a free-thinker, but still, i lit joss sticks for my ancestors' altar whenever i visit my grandma.
    respect should transcend religion.
    after death, we will go to whomever we believe in.
     
  6. Frankiestine

    Frankiestine Alfrescian Old Timer

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    many people are confused with what is considered cultural practices as against religious practices....
     
  7. marbles

    marbles Alfrescian Old Timer

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    paying respects to the dead precedes religious practices.(lee fuck yew,familee and their cronies not applicable.)

    I find kneeling and offering joss sticks as a form of paying respect to the dead is acceptable.especially if it is someone who gave you life.

    people who refuse and staunchly adhere to their so call religious Do's and Don't are people who have failed as humans.

    If any god says kneeling and paying respects to those who have passed on(be it kin or loved ones) before me is wrong,THEN TO HELL WITH GOD AND THEIR BELIEVERS.
     
  8. SneeringTree

    SneeringTree Alfrescian Old Timer

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    Agree 100%
     
  9. TeeKee

    TeeKee Alfrescian Old Timer

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    aiyah you dun have to forgo all your traditional ones...who told you so? Lol..

    believing in God will bring you democracy...proof..

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy_Index
     
  10. TeeKee

    TeeKee Alfrescian Old Timer

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    wah you wanna incur God's wrath!

    dun play play u noe..
     

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