May 10, 2009

Happy Vesak!

So this post comes a bit late, although today I'm at at Wat Mettavanaram celebrating Vesak. There are a lot of things that Asian Americans do on Buddhist holidays, much of which includes eating, talking, blessings, performances, merit making, sometimes sitting… did I mention eating? I always imagined that going to temple for Buddhist holidays would be a really big deal for non-Asian American Buddhists. When else do you get a free-for-all of "authentic" Southeast Asian cuisine? Of course, at the same time I appreciate these temples not being overrun by clueless DSLR-laden tourists. Looking over my blog feed, I'm reminded again of how one of the largest differences between Buddhist communities in the United States is by the types of holidays celebrated. This is true both within and across "ethnic" divisions. I might not feel more in tune with non-Asian American Buddhists should they observe the same holidays that I hold dear, but the fact they don't celebrate them makes me wonder what's celebrated at all. Regardless, I ought to get back to the festivities…

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