So my Indian friend tells me he got discriminated against by members of his family because he is STILL single!
What is all that about? Is this the Indian arranged marriage situation? – Well not really because they are modern Indians who now live in Goa. He is a Hindu and does seem to observe the major rituals and celebrate the main holidays. Having said that Indian arranged marriages, although now given more freedom of choice, are obviously part of the culture and so a singleton is also often a rare occurrence.
So this got me thinking how habits and ideas prevail throughout all lifestyles and cultures. Of course, as a result, a certain amount of prejudice and discrimination is inevitable unfortunately.
Goa itself is a little time-warpish when it comes to attitudes. Predominantly Catholic (from the Portuguese settlers) the priest is the main man in many people’s lives and his word is gospel in many areas. When it comes to it he knows a lot of secrets possibly and this would also give him a lot of power and control still. In fact, I just discovered that even when the electricity power cuts occur the church is the LAST thing to lose the current.
My landlady is constantly at mass and always mentioning her priest and the things they do for him as if he was Jesus Christ himself! She holds prayers at night many times leading her family with chanting… well I presume it is Hail Mary’s and the Lord’s Prayer although they could be some weird cult performing satanic rites I suppose!
Actually, in their case I know it is not a Satanic Cult but more of a purely obsessive Catholicism because she can’t work me out in respect of I DON’T go to mass or even set foot in church and when her 10 year-old daughter spotted my painted Buddha ornament she pointed to it and said to her mum that it was bad luck!!!! When she informed me that this is a belief they have as Christians – I said well so am I! but I got a weird look which gave me the impression of “I don’t believe you on that point at all thank you very much!” Hahaha
Of course Catholics do not believe in “LIVING in SIN” and will point the finger and gossip about those who are not of the same mind-set. So it is a good thing I have no partner here in my house. Having said that, if I did she would no doubt turn a blind eye as I pay her good rent money!
Most religions are typically hypocritical when it comes to “do unto others as you would be done by” with Catholics it seems to be – OK so go confess your sins so you are absolved and then you can go and commit more of them!
All religions and cults of any nature have their weirdness, foibles, habits, rituals, etc. So we learn to accept and tolerate most of them and their ways. Maybe we think it is strange for others to have a polygamous marriage (Mormons) shun modern contraptions (Quakers), wear the burka and hide your “”beauty” away from others in public (Moslem) – I could go on, but what is it that drives us to comment and discriminate on people for their beliefs really?
Is it simply small-mindedness, a fear of what we do not understand or rather is it jealousy that has sprung from our own discontent with the way we are living?
I can see where my Indian friend is coming from having myself been single all my life, and having had a number of “strange looks” and comments when I have been asked by people on my “family” status.
I always answer that my family consists of my sisters and all my nieces and no I am not divorced, do not have children, was NEVER married and NO before you ask I am not gay either!!! People can’t work me out on that score I find in many cases! Even though I will tell them I just prefer it this way, have never felt the compulsion to get married as I never wanted children and didn’t feel that marriage was necessary without them, some still look at me with pity!
In fact, marriage is not a necessity in life at all anyway, but don’t get me wrong, Marriage can be a fine institution IF marriage is your bag. Some people even marry several times over through their life because they like to be married or maybe feel more secure that way and being single doesn’t suit them.
What is important in life, in my humble opinion, is the way you interact with others, how loving you are with friends, family and people you encounter along the way. Whether you find a companion to share things with you or not has nothing to do with marriage which is a tradition made by man for legal reasons.
Many will share that opinion but others will not agree – so be it. That is the wonder of life, our differences and NOT our similarities only.
Marriage and religion are all a matter of choice in this life and often lack of being able to choose will create the envy in others that cause them to then discriminate in any way that makes them feel better in themselves.
So married or single, religious or not, the right to choose your path, accept and celebrate the differences and set along life’s way, is really the only thing stopping people from moving forward.
Anyway, that is me off my soap box now – even though at times thing go sideways it truly is a wonderful life when we do not allow prejudice, jealousy or fear to control the way we move forward along our individual paths. So let’s celebrate life for the choices it offers us!