A Western Buddhist's Travels

Sightseeing & detours on the path of enlightenment

Archive for the tag “Ukraine”

Daily Prompt: Burning Down the House

Your home is on fire. Grab five items (assume all people and animals are safe). What did you grab?

Hmm, five things, well lets see what I don’t have to worry about. My passport, is in the bank safe deposit box. Computer files are all backed up to the cloud with the exception of media file on the home server. So what would i take.

1. The bible in Latin that has been handed down to the oldest child from my mothers side of the family since 1827. It has a large majority of my family tree written in it, and gives me a tie to the Ukraine.

2. My camera, even though I’m not the world’s greatest photographer, I still would want it, and it doesn’t weigh much.

3. The removable hard drives from my home server, as they have almost 2 terabytes of pictures, documents, and memories stored. I keep meaning to make dvd back ups nd store them off site, but still haven’t gotten around to it.

4. Laptop, because I use it daily, and even more than my cell phone, is something I need.

5. 1 bankers box, full of family photos, most of which have been copied to a digital format, however the pictures my grandparents passed down, have a sentimental value beyond the images themselves.

Yes I coud live without any of these, and the loss of any one or all would not be a life ending catastrophe. My clothes, can be replaced, and just think I could actually be totally up to date style wise, without having to wait for some of my items to come back into style. 😛


Daily Prompt: Burning Down the House

Celebrating 2 Christmases & 3 New Years

Growing up as a first generation Canadian had its advantages. I still was exposed to the cultural and religious beliefs from my parent’s cultures. I had all the modern conveniences which I would not have had, had I been born in China or the Ukraine. My parents encouraged me to explore my world. To look beyond what we see with our eyes. I was given a chemistry set, a microscope, an electronics kit, even a basic computer kit, which didn’t do more than light bulbs, but it was intriguing. I also had pets growing up, which helped teach me responsibility for other sentient beings, from tropical fish, to a hamster, to a German Sheppard who was happiest when we were out exploring the neighbourhood. My mother and father ensured I learned to read, and developed a passion for it while young, with my own well used library card. I was the envy of most of my friends, with 2 Christmases, and 3 New Years, every year. The Christmases were different. The December 25th was one we traveled for family get-togethers, as it was a legal holiday. The Ukrainian Christmas was a traditional meatless dinner and, when I was able to open most of my presents. December 31st I was able to stay up to see the New Year arrive. Ukrainian New Year’s Eve was a reflection on the past year, and a time to plan for the upcoming one. Chinese New Year’s Eve was a night that started, with going to the Lychee Gardens for supper with some of my Chinese cousins, aunts and uncles. Then it was off to one of our houses where us kids played, while the adults talked. I mention all this because, I was talking with a friend, and we were talking about families with 2 or more cultural backgrounds, and which ones to follow. My parents raised me to respect not only my family’s cultural values, but those of our neighbours as well. There was never judgement in their attitude as to which was best or correct. My dad used to repeat the old saying “When in Rome, do as the Romans”. Yet my parents still lived according to their values, within the external world. I know realize that they allowed me to experience all of them, and decide which ones to follow.

A life lived in the middle

I was thinking about, the middle way, and it struck me, that also describe my life. My father was Chinese and my mother was Ukrainian, yes my last name is Ukrainian. I am neither Chinese nor Ukrainian in attitudes, having been born and raised in Canada. My parents both learnt about each other’s cultures, then worked out a middle path, that worked for both of them. In raising me they taught me the majority of both cultures and allowed me to choose what I felt was important. Also I am not you typical western Canadian born and raised male of my age group. In the past when I dated a lady, I attempted to understand any cultural differences, so as to be comfortable in all situations. Also if we were to become a couple, it would allow us to work out a middle path. I am proud of my heritage, and wouldn’t trade it for anyone else’s, however I believe in a relationship, knowing the other persons cultural traditions is important. It is not a matter of assimilation, rather acclimation, or adaptation. If we are to take the best of both cultures and make a new path, then I have lived that, you might even say I have been blended. In a cross cultural marriage, its important for both partners to retain their core values, my parents gave me a living example of making this work.

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