Voices | VIEWS FROM THE STREET

Views from Tokyo: What does religion mean to you in your everyday life?

by Kunio Kanamori

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Kenta Nishioka
Student, 18 (Japanese)

Since I don’t have any contact with religion in my everyday life, I don’t have any particular interest in it. Although I don’t believe in a particular religion, I also don’t view people with prejudice based on their religious background. On my father’s side, my family is not religious at all.

Arpapich Boonnithi
Dentist, 25 (Thai)

Yes, I am conscious of religion in my daily life. I always go to a temple when I have problems that are causing me stress. Also, when I was of university age, I used to take a few hours’ domestic flight from where I was living to a temple in the country to offer prayers in the hope of succeeding in my dentistry exam, and to meditate.

Yuta Oe
Student, 22 (Japanese)

As I’m Japanese, religion doesn’t matter in my daily life. On the other hand, my university education is based on Christian values, and I joined the choir. When I went on a tour with them to the U.K., I saw local people praying at churches and realized that religion is fused with people’s daily lives. For me that was unusual, but not for them.

Khairoji
Job seeker, 50 (Indonesian)

Religion is a way of life for me, like a manual when driving a car — what to eat, where to go, how to form human relations, etc. This is where human beings and animals differ, and rules governing our relationship with God and with other people are necessary. I do go to a mosque every day, but I pray five times daily.

Hsiao Wen-Chien
Just graduated, 22 (Taiwanese)

Taoism is especially popular in Taiwan. People like to go to the temple to worship. My father is Taoist and my mother Christian, but I am an atheist like most other young Taiwanese. Every religion has its own characteristics and must be cherished. Religion should not affect everyday life.

Ramdane Meddour
Student, 17 (French)

I’m a Muslim and religion is quite important to me, of course. Though I grew up in a religious family, I wasn’t an avid follower and my parents didn’t force me to behave like a Muslim. But now, actually, I’m training myself how to pray and reading the Quran every day. How long you spend learning depends on your individual motivation.