Monday, May 22, 2006

Respecting Culture

This is a short, but personal rant about respecting other cultures. For me, the Korean culture is a foreign culture. I have chosen my own culture, but I respect the Korean culture and I am interested in the Korean culture.

Sometimes, we (and I lump myself right in here) forget about respecting culture in our bid to look like we respect culture. We fill our homes with little Asian statues and African masks, but do we know what any of them really mean? In some cases, our decorations are sacred idols and here we are using them to hold papers down on our desks.

I read a book that talked about a man's visit to an Asian country (the name currently escapes me). There, he learned that the Buddha statue should always be above the head. His hosts were having a hard time because he was so much taller than everyone else. They kept moving the statue higher and higher in their home. After awhile, he wrote that he automatically ducked his head whenever he went to a new room (just in case). So, for those of us who buy little Buddha statues and place them in our gardens or on the coffee table, we better learn how to crawl low to the ground.

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