Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Attending a Funeral Service…

Well, last week, one of our uncles on my wife’s side of the family passed away. He was actually a grand uncle being a brother of my father-in-law’s dad. Wife, kids and I went to the service in a local Napa church where he used to live. From the little time I knew him and things he had said to me, all I can say is that he was really a good man. He was a soldier in World War II and a family man with a successful marriage of 60+ years. I do remember one of the things he had said to me about 13 years ago and which at the time I thought was very nice. The service itself was really nice, with a special honor given by the guard for his service to the country. It was nice to see some of the family members from my wife side after service, since it had been about three or four years since we had attended the annual family picnic. This was also a first time for me to attend a church service with a turban. A lot of the family members had not seen me with a turban and flowing beard and were somewhat surprised. I kept thinking about how short this window of life is and before we know it is over. Uncle Jimmy as we called him, had a great granddaughter which was probably year or so old and she just kept looking at me. I finally got to hold her and she was pretty comfortable. I even jokingly mumbled to her “I may look scary with turban and beard, but I am not” but I don’t she could talk yet, and her Grandfather saying “no!”. Not that it matters, but personally it was a nice feeling to attend a church service and doing my little part in an increasingly interfaith atmosphere. Even though no discussions about Sikhs etc. came up but just having a turban and beard was enough to generate curiosity. At times, I wished that there were more Sikhs attending church, temple, or mosque services like this one, since it encourages understanding and tolerance among faiths. I did not feel any less Sikh or more Christian by attending a church. I thought I should share this with everyone.

2 Comments:

Blogger Sikhi Seeker said...

An interesting experience, I must say. Your thought about attending more interfaith ceremonies is thought provoking. I agree that increased interaction, increases tolerance and in fact spurs curiosity leading to learning that eventually leads to knoweldge and respect. But it aint an easy practise to begin. Yours is a different case, your marriage being interfaith. I think most of the people don't get much opportunity, u know? However, in the extrmely short time of a month when I waw seeing this Italian guy, i noticed what difference it makes, when close interactions occur between people of 2 different cultures. It definitely increases tolerance and to my gladness, respect :)

p.s.// Sorry to hear about Uncle Jimmy. May he rest in peace.

2:57 PM, February 06, 2006  
Blogger SikhsRus said...

you are right about most people don't getting enough opportunity. Here in the west, I think there could be funeral services which I think may be appropriate opportunities for anyone to attend especially if some important community member such as mayor, sheriff, teacher, child, coworker etc. has passed away. It is a hard thing to do but it just shows that somebody took the initiative to attend and care.

8:44 PM, February 09, 2006  

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