Home of Two Faiths.
I was reading an old magazine while cleaning the stock room and I saw an issue of Smart Parenting where the cover was Ruffa Gutierez-Bektas. Beneath this celebrity mom’s skin, actress, beauty titlist, savi shopper, high-profile wife…to daughters Lorin and Venice, though, she’s nowhere near superstar status ‘til she’s memorized the barney song!
After reading her story, I never knew that there’s one in a million people who shares the same passion for “different, but happy” like I do. Falling in love and keeping the love and getting the “happily-ever-after” with a guy of exactly the opposite of me to define everything different from head to toe, from beliefs to cultural backgrounds, was like impossible! Well, I thought it was not until I met “The One” who made me believe that with love, everything is possible.
The question about faith inevitably pops up and Ruffa takes it in stride. She and Yilmaz bring 2 beliefs- Christianity and Islam- to the household. It is only today that I knew Yilmaz was a Muslim because Ruffa had such a grand wedding, a Christian like wedding. So I guess, my dream wedding is possible after all.
Like Ruffa, I was an embodiment of multicultural upbringing, having grown up in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (a country well known for cultural diversity). I have friends from Muslims, Hindhoos, Buddhists to Christians alike. Each and everyone lived in harmony, in a non-bias way, in peace and have high respect for one another. The best part in Malaysia, everybody celebrates everybody’s celebration! I had Muslim friends celebrating the moon cake festival with me along with my Buddhist friends! When Depavali would arrive, we would help my Hindhoo friends create beautiful arts on the floor with colored rice. And when Hari Raya Aidil Fitri comes, we would help my Muslim friends make those rice cakes in woven banana leaves! While I, as a Filipino blooded, non-citizen of the Philippines thou, was able to teach them how to make puto for Christmas! Haha. It was amazing. I had the privilege to complete my primary education in a Muslim school! I know I’m not Muslim but I was a scholar, got accelerated for a year and I graduated as 3rd honorable mention.
One of the greatest accomplishments in primary school, I was able to finish reading the Quran (Well, I wouldn’t be 3rd honorable mention if I didn’t know anything about Islam when I’m studying in a Muslim school, huh?). It was fascinating and it starts from the back like reading backwards.
I’ve also read the book of Pali Canon. I guess I was inspired by my Buddhist ex to embrace and appreciate someone you love wholly is through learning more of what they believe. While the only book I’ve read about Hindhooism was the Kama Sutra (*giggle*). And ofcourse, my classic favorite, the Bible. So I think, the more knowledge you have for something is better. What’s important is your personal relationship with God and how you apply His teachings through your actions.
“I don’t think it’s gonna be a problem,” Ruffa says, “because, in all honesty, there’s only one God.” “The fact that the girls are growing up in a household of 2 faiths is I think more of an advantage because they’ll grow up exposed to more cultures,” she adds.
True to this dual-faith life style, is one in a million and it takes all the guts, a lot of courage, respect, trust and love to build something beautifully impossible to make it a dream come true.
With Love, Clara Hart.
P.S. I wrote this last year, 2011