Еxplorations in religion

Еxplorations in religion

The other day we picked up a religion discovery box from the little (most wonderful, bestest in the world, none other like it) multicultural  library we recently finally became members of. Its full of books, maps, stories, traditions from all around the world and is the perfect place to lose yourself.

So we started exploring the box.

It consisted of 5 bags full of items relating to each of the five big religions – Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Judaism. Along with that it had images, cards, booklets and a huuuuuge teacher’s resource folder. Like a little treasure case.

As much as I like to think of myself as a worldly knowledgeable  person, there were a  bunch of things I had no idea of.  So this was an education for me too.

Little B liked the Ganesh deity from Hinduism. Luckily one of the most popular ;)

Miss Fab was fascinated with the Hindu traditions and even days later remembers all of the names we talked about. Me? Not so. Did you know that Hinduism is the only religion that has had its holy text written by women as well as men? And apparently other than the caste system, it is the most woman friendly – if it could be put in such a measurement scale.

Buddhism. Months ago we absolutely savored a visit to a local shrine. Miss Fab has some fond memories of it to this day too. The simplicity of it, the open mindedness and quietness and peace are so good for the soul. Well, ours at least.

Christianity being the religion we have been most exposed to as westerners still had a few things to surprise us. Maybe the timing was wrong or certain familiarity or  something else, but it held our interest the shortest time. I am not sure the girls liked the damnation/hell part. And I had trouble explaining what a sin is and especially why some denominations think babies are born with it. Funny, since to me its quite clear, but I was met with blank stares on the other side.

Islam came with prayer rugs and we tried to find where Mecca was and Miss Fab put on an attire that would be worn by more traditional Muslim women. Discussed the meat issue at some point and some of the prejudices.

Now to where simple interest was sparked a lot – Judaism. You may wonder what, why, how this interest came about. I will tell you – traditions, rituals and beautiful items. There is something to having those pass along generations and being performed by your grandchildren and your grandparents. It gives a sense of connection and belonging. Something special one is part of.

Ok, the Brit Milah didnt go down well, but Mezuzah was remembered and idea enjoyed a lot.

All in all religions have a lot in common. The golden rule is in every one. Most commandments are similar with a few exceptions. The differences come in the details and probably interpretations.

One day when they are ready we will go deeper.

For now Miss Fab is a Buddhist. Interesting, every time I read about a child choosing their religion they all end up there.There must be something to it.