Thursday, April 22, 2004

# Cultures!

I saw a potpourri of different cultures in London, blended together with such harmony and beauty. Walking in the street of London let me observe the vast varieties of people on the street, coming from all over the world. With its vast varieties in art, fashion and music culture, London is a melting pot for cultures from all over the world.

One weekend I went to a Buddhist Temple for Kathina Ceremony, the next I will be joining my friend for a mass in a church, while a friend has recently invited me to visit the mosque in Whitechapel. Suddenly I felt so much at home, the tolerance and freedom of religions are so much like Malaysia, where we have freedom to different types of religions and traditions. We have a chance to learn about religions of others as they are willing to explain to us about their religions. And through activities like open discussions and interfaith forums, we see different viewpoints of different religions on various issues, but the similarity of upholding human goodness in all.

Celebration of culture nights are very common and it has been fun to have the chance to go to Japanese culture night, Korean culture night, Vietnamese culture night, African culture night, etc even within university campus! These always provide great opportunities to get to know new people, not to mention the scrumptious cuisines they offer! Similarly, various celebration of ‘Big Days’ are held in the city, and I was pleasantly surprised to find a huge celebration of Chinese New Year in China Town and Trafalgar Square – this certainly quench my homesickness during the festival seasons! And certainly, the celebration of Christmas is always pleasant; I can really feel the Christmas atmosphere everywhere! The warmth, the coziness, the smiling faces, the dazzling lights… and not to forget the midnight mass!

One of the interesting things that I discovered, however, is that the dates of the Mother’s Day and Father’s Day celebration are different from the rest of the world. And also our celebration of CNY here is arranged during weekends (instead of the first day of lunar month) because more people will be off from work during weekends.

There are so much more to discover! And here I come, London!

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