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Old 06-21-2004, 03:16 PM   #2
shihonage
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 890
United_States
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Re: Different Perspectives and Aikido

MPAA advisory: this material is biased, not well researched, and may be offensive to some viewers. Discretion is advised.

Some Russian girl (surprise!) invited me to some sort of church gathering, promising cake.
I dropped by right after Aikido, because it was not far from my path.

It was a smallish church. There were a lot of men and women, dressed more for restaurant than church. I think I repressed most of the experience, but here's some pieces of what I do remember.

At some point in the beginning an obese man with a tiny voice squeaked "Thank you God for our physical health" and everybody repeated the above after him, as well as a couple of similar statements I can't bother to recall. Two pretty girls sang some supposedly church-related song. At some point everyone dropped to their knees. There was something about seeing attractive women with all their makeup on and fancy stockings drop on the dirty wooden floor. Something incredibly gimmicky and irritating.

At the same time I was talking to the girl who invited me. At one point it got to "what do you like to do" so I conveniently showed her the gi that was in my bag, briefly mentioned Aikido, blah blah.
I must admit that at the point where everyone dropped on their knees I could barely suppress a chuckle. It was pretty arrogant of me to come into someone else's ceremony and act like this, but I tried my best not to.
I just felt like I was being suffocated by all these people. And I couldnt just get up and leave in the middle. It was very obvious that they were not kneeling because of respect for a higher power, they were kneeling because they wanted to "feel" humble. I kept my comments to a minimum, but I guess the girl sensed my attitude.

Somewhere closer to the end, this girl I was talking to, looked at me with this pity, and said that she now understands how outsiders are different.
I didn't really know what I could say to that, so I said nothing.
After some tasteless cake, some Russian parents nudged their pretty, young daughter toward me, probably because from distance I looked like an ethnically acceptable specimen for marriage.
We exchanged introductions and then I quickly backed away, only to be sandwiched between two other girls who were consuming cake at an alarming rate.

At that point, I very rudely, in the mid-sentence, grabbed my bag and ran out of the building. I ran until I turned the corner, and I felt like I could breathe again.

Mind you, this is not my only experience with religious girls, but it just stands out.
I think there's an unwritten rule - if you see a young girl who almost immediately lets you know that she "dedicates her life to [insert religious figure here]", you should run far, far away.

Last edited by shihonage : 06-21-2004 at 03:21 PM.
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