Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Buddhists eat matzo too!

A few weeks ago I enjoyed a lovely Sunday morning with my friend C.K., her boyfriend J., and her adorable grandmother at a Buddhist temple in Chinatown. Every Sunday her grandmother goes to this temple to pray and have lunch with her fellow congregants.

We arrived around the end of the morning service and joined her for a vegetarian lunch served in the basement of the temple. All around us you could hear the slurping of noodles and clicking of chopsticks as people of all ages chattered away in several dialects of Chinese.

After our meal, C.K.'s grandmother escorted us around the main hall of the temple pointing out pictures of Buddhist masters as well as the sutra scripture books she reads during the service. On our way out, I noticed (what I thought were) offerings of treats such as fortune cookies and candies placed next to the Buddhist statue by the front door. Hmmm...why was a box of matzo amongst the offerings to Buddha?

As it turns out, the matzo is actually food for congregants to nibble on if they are hungry during the Buddhist services, which can be quite long. But it was funny to see it placed next to a Buddhist statue.


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