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Mon, Mar. 30th, 2009 06:41 am
What's on the menu?

27CommentReplyFlag

imomus
imomus
imomus
Mon, Mar. 30th, 2009 08:49 am (UTC)

It's interesting that the y-axis on the Inglehart values map is Traditional v. Secular rather than, say, Intolerant v. Tolerant. He avoids the conundrum of whether you tolerate intolerance that way, but he does rather imply that you can't be modern and religious, or traditional and non-religious.


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(no subject) - (Anonymous)

(Anonymous)
Mon, Mar. 30th, 2009 12:50 pm (UTC)

Atheists in the west may not go to church on sundays, but (at least here in Norway - staying on topic!) they often get married in churches, baptise their children and sing christmas songs.

Even Militant Atheist™ Dawkins enjoys singing christmas carols!


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(no subject) - (Anonymous)

(Anonymous)
Mon, Mar. 30th, 2009 02:44 pm (UTC)
Re: Western Individualist vs. Japanese Collectivist

Atheists getting married in church might be less common in the UK than in Norway. In my experience it's relatively common here. In any case, I agree with your overall point, there's definitely a big difference between how rituals (and probably not only religious ones) are understood in Japan vs the west.


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mcgazz
mcgazz
McGazz
Tue, Mar. 31st, 2009 07:24 am (UTC)

Dawkins is quite open about being a Christian who doesn't believe in God. But when he says he wants to keep the UK's "Christian heritage", does he just mean the ceremonial aspect, or the laws/morality as well?


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lazy_leoboiko
lazy_leoboiko
Mon, Mar. 30th, 2009 01:42 pm (UTC)

I'm atheist and a tea ceremony guy, and that is what I love about ceremony —it's ritual without religion.


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(no subject) - (Anonymous)

(Anonymous)
Mon, Mar. 30th, 2009 02:33 pm (UTC)

I agree, Halloween in its current form may be a new occasion for friends to get together but it does nothing for communities.

How about Midsummer? Still alive in Britain? Some of the Midsummer traditions are still alive in Norway, but I think the communal aspects are disappearing and it's turning into more of a family celebration...


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butterflyrobert
RND
Mon, Mar. 30th, 2009 05:43 pm (UTC)

Christmas and Easter both started as pagan holidays and most of what is embraced by the secular masses are leftovers from the old pagan incarnations (a shaman in red, flying reindeer, a tree, trickster bunny, baby bird, egg hunts, etc). I don't think that has progressed in a line, but in a circle.

On a related note, a lot of what's happening in psychology is starting to resemble and/or reinforce forms of paganism. I've never been one of those neo-pagan types, but I am starting to wonder if that's where we're heading in the west as the psychological need for ritual and collective value reinforcement is approaching crisis levels. In any case, exposure to the east has certainly been a pleasant influence.


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farblust
farblust
Mon, Mar. 30th, 2009 04:49 pm (UTC)

I guess because Shinto is conceptually very different from Abrahamic religions: you don't have to oblige to the Ten Commandments and you don't have paranoia that maybe Jesus is coming back the second time 3 minutes later. So when a usual Japanese pray, they pray for money, romantic love, health or sth like that. They don't pray and say "I am a sinner.."

Matsuri is pretty opportunistic, because if there is not Kami, it's no harm and so much fun to dress in yukata and watch firework with friends and family. If there is kami, then it's even better...
this kind of visiting temple as an entertainment has a long tradition in China. Those girls in the old days could not go out, so visiting temples are excuses for them to meet other people. The most famous festival should be this one
There is a famous poem by a Chinese poet in 12th century about himself walking around the market outside the Temple to find someone important.

30
first full moon festival

Spring wind brings the fireworks
stars fall like rain

carved coaches pass drawn by noble steeds
a trail of perfume, flute music behind

dragons and fish all night at their dance
a crystal lantern hangs on the breeze

and more – jade moths, silver willows, gold threads
the talk and the laughter, the fair folk in crowds

the crowds passing, one face among them I must find
and there – in midnight’s fading lantern

there she is – and I’m found

SO, it is not religious afterall, just a time for people to pause from their humdrum life.


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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
farblust
farblust
Tue, Mar. 31st, 2009 12:28 am (UTC)

This most important one must be the Chinese New Year eve market. There are several markets like this during new year in Hong Kong, the most frequented one is in a park (called Victoria Park, there is a Queen Victoria statue there still). There is also one outside Wong Tai Sin Temple too I think.



Chinese New Year market in 05

The news reporter from the biggest TV station in Hong Kong





About whether people still visit temples, they do. But most of them are 50 sth housewives, but young people go there as well i think, to pray for money and other earthly things! The most popular temple should be the aforementioned Wong Tai Sin Temple.

There is also a revival of popularity of this festival, where people go to this outlying island Cheung Chau(the omnipresent Momus went there during his HK trip) to see children dressing as some myth characters and people climbing a hill made of buns.






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