“Rumor Has It, They Don’t Grow   Religion in Their Land” by Tini Ngatini

When I first came to the Bồ Đề Pagoda to see this fish release ritual in person, to observe each religious gesture and object involved in it, to listen to the invocation of the divine name, to hear them telling me the story of the ritual and reasons behind it, I already knew what it was. I had studied it back then in graduate school. Yet, I was still taken aback. Not so much by the ritual itself, but more by the fact that it occurred in Viet Nam, a country which I imagine closely followed Marx’s warnings about the … Continue reading “Rumor Has It, They Don’t Grow   Religion in Their Land” by Tini Ngatini

Tet @ the Coffee Shop by Tini Ngatini

Viet Nam has changed my relationship with coffee shops. They used to be a space where I worked and entertained my friends. Then, recently, they became a sort of anthropological space where I encountered a religious event which brought me to another level of appreciation and respect for local culture. That local culture is called Tet. The Coffee shop where I encountered is called ABC. The ABC coffee shop in Ha Noi, Viet Nam is a fusion of Asian and Western atmosphere. It has some Western characteristics like those found in Starbucks and some that might only be found in … Continue reading Tet @ the Coffee Shop by Tini Ngatini