This is a personal post. Please respect any of my point of view and I’m not asking for anyone’s advise or critics. It’s just one of my personal writing when I wanted to talk and not listen back.
Today is a good Friday, known as the most important day for Catholics. (Yep, not, Christmas, but Easter day.) I have spent 18 years of my life studying Catholics, got myself mostly A for the Catholic subjects on my Catholic school. I grew up with my Catholic dad, knowing that I was born Buddhist but never even once did he try to push me to become Catholic.
I grew up in a mixed religion belief society. My neighbor came from Padang, she’s a moslem and my mom used to ask for her help to look out for me whenever I was alone at home. Sometimes I went to her house and ate the best rendang I had ever tasted in my life. It was the first time in my life seeing someone did Shalat. My sister is a Christian and my mom has a very strong (a little extreme) Buddhist belief. I think I was pretty open with religion and decided not to choose any of them first.
However I got more and more comfortable with the religion I was born with. I grew up to be a logical person and found that my religion made sense so since I was in high school, I started to chant and until now, I’m pretty set for my faith.
I always belief that faith doesn’t have to do anything with religion, but since I’m Indonesian, religion took a very important part of everyone’s life. (Hey, ini ada di sila pertama pancasila kita, how obvious is that?) I wanted my future kids to have religion too, but even though they don’t want to choose any of them, I’ll try to be okay. Then I met Bandi and he was born Buddhist too but he, too, got his freedom to choose and he converted to Catholic when he was in junior high school. He told me that nobody came on his baptism day (and I almost shed a tear writing this). It’s not that his family didn’t support him at all. His mom began to understand and eventually supported him to choose any religion he believed in.
We knew we had different religion when we started going out and not that it didn’t matter at all, it was just not a very important thing for us on that time. We thought that different religions won’t cause any bad things. (we still do, FYI).
So on his Chrismation day, I had a very important (international related) UN meetings (because I studied international politics) so I was really sure I couldn’t make it to the church. He had been taking a Chrismation course for that to finally happen and I didn’t want him to be alone again, like in his baptism day. I blew off the last minutes of the assembly and went straight to the church (still wearing suits and heels!), seeing him being chrismated. And I gave him a handmade Rosario with his name and my name on it. =)
He then admitted to me that he had always wanted a catholic girlfriend, and of course future catholic wife with catholic kids. But having a Buddhist girlfriend who would made him a Rosario was kinda cool too, so he settled for that.
Since then, I told him I would go with him to the church every Christmas day and Easter day. And he went to my Buddhist discussion meeting once in a while to get to know what my belief is about. One of my colleague raised eyebrows hearing this but I told her it’s working, well at least for Bandi and me. It’s been seven years and it’s been going pretty well and I don’t plan to do any changes anytime soon.
So yesterday morning on the Holy Thursday, I was texting with my bestfriend, Strawberry (I talked about her quite a lot) and she told me she was going to the chruch that night with someone else, not her boyfriend. I told her I could read the sadness. Her position is the same as me. She’s a Catholic with a Buddhist boyfriend. Then it hit me, since when we tried to label people, whether my boyfriend is Catholic, and your boyfriend is not or my other bestfriend’s boyfriend is Moslem and blah blah blah.
Why do we make a big deal about this? We used to never label people!
“Because on this age, we’re planning a family,” she said. “That is why Avocado is converting her religion.”
(Avocado is my other best friend. We used to alwaaayyys hang out together. Here is a pic of us for a refreshment. LOL)
Of course I thought about having a family and how religion must be one of the important part of it, but I don’t know it would be this serious. I used to think Indonesian made too big a deal about religion, such as PACARAN BEDA AGAMA and the fact that you can’t marry unless you two have the same religion. I do still think it’s not right too, but… I love how Indonesian people have faith.
Since living here, I realize something missing from this country, and from Malaysians as well, which is a religion. They don’t have religion. I’m not against Atheist people, but it’s always nice to have one last place to run to, and that is your god, no matter how you call it. Whether you call it Jesus, Nabi Muhammad, Buddha, or Khrisna, it’s nice to have ‘someone’ to talk to. The kind of relationship that’s only understood by the two of you and no one, NO ONE can interfere. So if you really need to be cut off from religion, please at least be agnostic. Having a faith is kinda awesome.
I probably had a little disappointment when Avocado converted her religion ‘just’ because she was getting married. I always argued with her about it but in the end, she was still converting. However now, I can’t see it plainly black or white anymore. Converting religion is just another choices that people must take and again, it’s not us to judge. If they think it’s right, then it probably is for them.
So, do I want to have a one religion family? Well I don’t know. I know it would easier of course but don’t you think meeting a very strong minded Catholic guy has a reason? So that my kids would see a beauty of differences and having different opinion or perception are not wrong. So that my kids could adopt the logical Buddhist value and also receive gifts at Christmas? Would I confuse my kids, like almost everyone said to me when I told them about my vision? No. Because my kid will be one hell of a smart kid! If a kid couldn’t handle the differences between his/her mom and dad, don’t you dare expect him/her to be a president.
Well, I’m glad I talked to Strawberry the other morning. She got me thinking that it is perfectly right for me to have a Catholic boyfriend and future Catholic husband. I remember my mom insisted that Bandi should convert back to Buddhist and I told her that’s not gonna happen and she said, look how me and your Dad turned out to be.
Well I’m not gonna be like you and Dad.
And I personally think even if my dad was a Buddhist, it will never work either. And I will NEVER throw away what I have with Bandi now just because he doesn’t believe in the same god as me. I met him for a reason and I know we can do this. We’re gonna turn this differences to be a beauty that even my mom couldn’t see, hopefully would be understood by my future kids.
I told Strawberry I know how going to church together and pray together with a spouse is very important in a marriage life, but I’m going to risk it. Just like what I did all of my life, I always took chances. This is a chance I’m willing to take. I will do whatever it takes to make it work. I’m going to the church on Christmas and Easter and he will accompany me praying on Vesak Day and he would strengthen my faith for acquiring the scroll by reminding me to chant every single day. If Bandi and me believe in it, then I don’t see why this is not going to work.
I hope my Strawberry finds her answer very soon and I really hope that she could find the differences as beautiful as I see it. If god created us with such a creativity, I don’t understand why differences would harm us. As long as we love each other and we don’t hurt anyone else, I’m gonna keep it my way.
But however, it’s just me doing my way. It doesn’t mean other people doing their ways aren’t right. There are always million way of perceiving things and it’s time for your own conscience to make the decision.
Believe nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, not even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.
For those who celebrate it, Happy Good Friday! =)
May, without gimmick.