I was at my friend Ravindra's yesterday and we got on the subject of religion. He asked, "So you're Christian right?" To which I responded "No" and told him the story about Michael, Ingrid and I. For those that you don't know, I am very proud to tell you the decision my parents made. When each of us was born my parents, probably against the voices of angry relatives, decided not to baptize any of us. My Dad was raised Protestant and my Mother Roman Catholic. Everyone is raised Christian, or Catholic or something... why not us?
My parents, very smartly decided that when the time comes, we'll decide on our own.
I told this to Ravindra, and he quizzically looked at his wife Chinmayie, looked back at me and then simply said, "So, you're a Hindu..."
(you're supposed to be laughing)
They then explained how they were born Hindu, but have they ever been to a temple? Rarely. Hinduism is one of those religions that you really don't have to do anything to be one. It seems its a matter of birth and that's it. You can't divorce yourself from it, no matter what you believe... you just are a Hindu. Now I wasn't raised Hindu, so I won't say that I am, but this is not the first time that I have heard Hinduism being described as such a "loose" Religion that some are not even sure what the real Holy Book of Hinduism is. Anyways, opinions, anyone knowledgeable enough on Hinduism to elaborate on this?
The other thing - I wrote this in an e-mail to a friend, so I will just copy and paste for you guys. I was talking to Ravindra's brother, someone who has traveled extensively to the U.S., Europe etc, and works as a manager for an IT company.
Actually, something interesting I heard yesterday had to do with poverty. Yes India has a lot of poor. And according to governments, the government looks poor too... why? Mostly, because no one has credit. Everything is dealt with on the spot, in cash mostly. No one goes to buy things on credit, or puts anything on credit... which is strange cause in the U.S. many of us live off our credit cards. So in fact, the 1.2 billion people in this country have a lot, in fact a ton of money. It's just not on credit. Which means it's not with the government. Which means the government appears poor....
In fact, I've never seen anyone pull out a check book once. Side note: (Just like the U.S. though, its a smaller percentage that has most of the wealth)
And for all of you who know a lot more about the international economic sphere, please elaborate on this, send me an e-mail and I will post it in a new blog. This could be an interesting discussion....