Religious tolerance in IndiaMon, 29th Mar '10, 7:25 am::
I came across this article about Hindu pilgrims celebrating a Muslim warrior in Kerela. The article talks about how Hindus visit various temples and also a specific mosque as part of the pilgrimage. Most people outside of India don't know how much Indians truly respect and accept the religions of others in day to day life. Despite the frequent news stories of religious-hate-fueled riots, most Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, and Jains all coexist very peacefully. It doesn't matter if you are a Sikh or not, you get used to saying "Sat Sri Akal" whenever you come across an elderly Sikh person. You say "Eid Mubarak" to Muslims on their holy days. You say "Merry Christmas" (not happy holidays) to a Christian and you learn to say "Jai Jinendra" to Jains.
It is understood that everyone has a religion and you are not only supposed to tolerate it but accept and respect it. Sayings like "Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Isai; Aapas mein hai bhai-bhai" (Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christians are brothers) are taught to children from early age. The truth is, teaching people to respect others' religions reinforces one's belief that their own religion has to be equally respected. On the other hand, atheists get no respect in India. "Nastik" meaning atheist is considered a dirty word. It is ok to be any religion, just not no religion.
Now that the weather is warm and the mornings are back to being beautiful, I started running this week. I take our puppy Jack with me and we walk, jog, and run about 2 miles each morning. I'm running for fun and health, not preparing for a race. Even if I decide to race, I plan on maintaining my 2-miles/day routine. I'm planning on a kayak trip next month with a bunch of other local kayakers. It'll be a weekend-long paddle and camping trip. I'm pretty damned excited and can't wait.
I finally have a few photos of our house now that we have new tiles and fresh paint. We're still in the process of setting up furniture and decorations and will be done in about 2 more weeks. Today was a pretty busy day. We spent most of the day assembling wooden file cabinets for my home-office. While cleaning out my office, Juliet mentioned to me that she had never built a campfire. So we built one in the backyard. We had some marshmallows and destroyed miscellaneous incriminating evidence. Having a backyard rocks.
Trypophobia sucksFri, 12th Mar '10, 8:15 am::
For as long as I can remember, I've been a trypophobe. Trypophobia is the irrational fear of clusters of holes, pods, circles, cracks, cuts, and other asymmetrical shapes especially those found in nature. When I look at these things, I get very uneasy, grossed out, and sometimes even nauseous. Some of the things that have this effect on me include lotus seed pods, pumice, holes in concrete, bug tunnels in wood, enlarged pores of the skin, bone marrow, Wasps' nest, and bubbles in dough.
My phobia extends not only to that but also to some textures and patterns that are irregular and not symmetrical. However, not all irregular patterns gross me out, nor do all clusters of holes make me feel uneasy. I used to think I was the only one till I came across an online discussion about textures and their effects. This blog post by another trypophobe definitely rang true to me.
Juliet is pretty good at identifying what kind of textures might gross me out and warns me beforehand, usually she's correct. I don't think I'll ever get over this fear but then I don't really care enough to. It's just one of those little things that makes me, me.