Being so near the equator in a corner of the planet where no one knows what a turkey is…is interesting. I almost forgot about the holiday because there isn’t a constant media blitzkreig telling me to go buy stuff. It really is the sweetest relief I’ve ever felt, not being assaulted by holiday advertising.
There are giant pagodas here, enormous temples of worship, places bigger than I’ve ever imagined. But inside of many houses and businesses there are small, knee-high altars where people place fruit, food, and other offerings inside, light some incense and then say a prayer. Everyday. They give thanks for being alive and having health and enough fortune to be able to sacrifice food and praying for all those who have died, wishing them well and thanking god they’re in a safe place. Everyday.
I will soon post pictures of these little altars, I’ve never shot any of them because I’ve always thought it disrespectful to shoot holy things, but I’ve just decided I’m going to do it so people can see what I’m talking about. Many times I notice the same rituals and beliefs that Americans have are also found in the Vietnamese, just executed in a little different way. And from so far away.
p.s. Happy Thanksgiving, everybody. Eat well and then go buy some stuff.