One question that I had never been asked when I was in Japan, “What is your religion?” I’m often heard this question after leaving Japan. Most of people in Japan are Buddhist but we cannot be thought so religious. In fact, we will go to shrine for pray on new year, celebrate Christmas like Christian, some young couple prefer western style wedding to Japanese and go to church. We take funeral in temple.
In India, there are many kind of religion. Hindu, Islam, Christian, Buddhist,Sikh…my friend was Buddhist and he pray for god when he saw alter on the street for a moment. It impressed me because I’m also Buddhist but I have never done like him. It does’t depend on generation. They were same generation with me. Also saw same situation in Christian countries. They took off their hat when go inside of church or crossed their heart. Religious behaves were in their life as a usual thing.
One night, I was talking with some Brazilian girls about religion at hostel. I had thought most of people in Brazil are Christian and they don’t have any religious issue like Ireland. But they told me they have many types of religion that are derived from Christianity and some people try to explain their own religion is better than another each other. “I have a best friend who has been with me since we were born. But if we start to talk about religion, she always try to make me understand her religion is better than mine and change my mind. I hate to talk like this. Every religions must be respected and if we can find good part in another religion, just try to learn from them. We don’t need to fight because of differences” One of them told me it could become very difficult to talk about religion so she never talk about her religion unless someone ask her about it.
And she was also interested in Buddhism. “I like a thought that if you do something good for someone without any profit, the good thing will return to yourself someday. It is like Buddhism” I heard one of my friends from Nepal who is Buddhist also said to me same with her before. I’m not sure it is from religious thought but I suppose many parents teach about this to their children as a one education in Japan.
After seeing or hearing about religion last ten months, I’m interested in my own religion more than before. At least, I have to be able to explain about my religion when I am asked about it. It is different part if you believe your god or not. But it is necessary to know if you are in out of Japan.