Sunday, October 24, 2004

reticence

Today marks the first week I am fasting. I can’t really help but to fast, partially because it acts well as a crash diet and partially because there just isn’t any food to eat. It’s not like back home in Malaysia where restaurant business still goes on as usual but you won’t see a Muslim in sight. Over here, there are local Muslims who don’t fast but yet all the eateries are shut. Very bizarre. Also in a sense, I am fasting for my Buddhist society friend. She has recently been diagnosed with cerebral infarction… that’s a stroke for you non-health personnels. I am deeply saddened by this because she’s only 21. 21 year-olds should be out partying and having the best times of their lives with their newfound freedom, not sitting put in a hospital with aphasia (inability to speak).

Miss Yaya and especially all my 2001 Buddhist society batch mates have been very generous to me especially when I first arrived in Jatinangor. They made me feel welcomed and guided me through many awkward moments. They are lovely, simple people with such faiths that move. I know I was moved. They did not ridicule me for not memorizing my ‘Namakaragatha’ though they did find it weird that I don’t regularly go to the temple. My family isn’t very religious. I didn’t even know the temple protocol 'till I came to Indon. So in a sense, they quite enlightened me. Since religion was a formal subject worth 2 credits of lectures, I now have a good basic knowledge of Buddha and his teachings. As much as I found religion to be such a new subject in my life, they too found me as nouveau. Maybe because of the bizarre things I say and do as well as the bizarre way I dress. I brought cheerleading and Britney Spears dance moves into the society and they brought meditation and prayers into me. So Miss Yaya, this year’s “puasa” is for you. I wish you speedy recovery:

"Araham Sammasambuddho Bhagava Buddham Bhagavantam Abhivademi

Svakatto Bhagavata Dhammo Dhammam Namassami

Supatipanno Bhagavato Savakasangho Sangham Namami"

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