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Journal #16 - When I asked why Isaiah felt it was alright...

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Krissy Bentley Journal #16 A Clash of Culture: Buddhism in America For this journal entry, I thought It might be cool to relate an experience I had recently with my newly adopted Buddhist brother. Isaiah, my new 3 year old brother (soon to be 4) was raised a Buddhist before entering our home, which still remains a problem that we are striving to adjust to as well as fix. He was raised with many beliefs that are contrary to the beliefs of our family, Mormons through and through. One belief we understood right off the bat was that of the importance of women. Isaiah is only 3 years old, so he doesn’t quite understand why women are disrespected in his culture, but he does understand it is appropriate to consider women less than the stature of a man. His grandmother (not of the Buddhist religion- she is on the other side of the family) was constantly slandered even though she was not only sixty years older than him, but also the only figure of authority he still had.
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Unformatted text preview: When I asked why Isaiah felt it was alright to treat his grandmother as such, she explained that, while living with his other grandparents (Buddhist), the grandfather regularly beat the wives for small wrongs committed and declared openly his intention to bestow his entire livelihood upon Isaiah, the only male born to the family. From this, I understood that early in his life, Isaiah was taught that he was better than the women, regardless of seniority. I was amazed that, even in America, a sort of caste system and sexual inferiority within the family still existed! It was definitely an eye opener. Now the question is, how do we allow Isaiah to retain some of his cultural inheritance while still helping him adjust to a Mormon household? Is it entirely right to force him out of most of his cultural activities, or are we simply deeming our culture as better than his? Interesting to think about. Are we ETHNOCENTRIC?...
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