Thursday, March 22, 2007

Who teaches you faith and religion?

I was having a discussion with my friend Arun who believes that faith and religion is something that the society teaches you. I kinda disagree with it. I believe that though the society has an influence over your life, faith and religion is something that your parents teach you. I feel like the faith that has been instilled in me about God, is something that my mom is responsible for. Oh, those countless temple trips that we had to make as kids. I never knew that those would be what makes me feel at peace in a temple now.

Wonder if I would feel the same had my family not been that religious?

Do the kids that grow up here feel a little indifferent towards temples and what they signify? Is it a place of worship, feeling One with God or is it just a place to go on a weekend being dragged by parents? I don't know how the kids in India feel either..

Is it a good thing to drag your kids to the temple? Do parents feel like its their job to do so? I don't know what I will do when I have kids..

Speaking of kids, Deepa and Premal are expecting a little one in July!! Yea!! She is the first one of *the girls* to have a baby.. Wonder how this is going to change her? Of course she might not have time for those crazy parties that she is used to ;-)


Deepa said...

Good topic. I believe this question has a different answer in different countries. In India, you are usually surrounded by people who follow the same faith as you. So you learn from society, parents...everyone. But, in the US, since there are so many different religions you can't really learn from society. Here, the parents have to take an active role in teaching their children their faith.
I wish it was as easy as leaving it to the society. Now, that we are expecting I have thought about how will I teach my kid faith. It feels like one more responsibility for us. Luckily, the grandparents are close by :)

premal said...

Check this out... Atheist/ Agnostic Statitics... notice how you can hardly find any country in there thats a majority muslim or hindu population?

hinduism and islam are religions (or faiths) with very strong principles... people who are brought up in either of those faiths hardly tend to end up agnostics.

like deepa said, the influence of family and society largely depends on the country of birth... but also, the way you were brought up at home, school, and elsewhere when the basics of faith were drilled into your head.

Tanvi said...

I guess in countries with a majority of Hindus or Muslims, regligion is a part of a person's identity to an extent. So, if you were to ask a random person if they are religious, they might just say *yes*.. They might not like the practices, but, would believe in the *faith*.. So, is Arun right?

Arun said...

Its both family and society; whats weighs more depends on your upbringing and which religion/philosophy you subscribe too. I believe religion was developed to maintain harmony/order/peace in society AND to personify "hope".

In my mind Hinduism is more a philosophy than a religion!

premal said...

i believe with most of what arun says, although i cant really classify any religion for that matter as a philosophy... i think that depends on how much of the religion's salient features u have belief in.

i also think that the extent of one's belief in his/her religion changes at every stage in his/her lifetime... when we are kids, we are made to believe in what our parents do... but as you grow up, you find the liberty to choose from what the society has to offer and after a point your choices have formed your faith/philosophy... and by this time, you yourself are a parent and the cycle repeats!