Religion and Ethnic Diversity
Buddhism was first found in India about 2,500 years ago. Buddhism is an increasing popular religion that continues to be the leading religion in the Far East. Buddhism has advanced over to a large amount of countries that have embraced a vast variety of customs, rituals, beliefs, and practices. Buddhist’s do not believe that a God created Earth. Buddha is the only Master, Buddhist’s believe in. Buddhist’s acknowledge that the ultimate purpose of life is to establish consideration for all living beings without inequity and to perform for their piece, good, and happiness. Buddhist’s have incorporated the Four Noble Truths in their lives, which are Dukkha, Samudāya, Nirodha, and Magga. According to “The Four Noble Truths” (2013), ” 1.The truth of suffering (Dukkha). 2. The truth of the origin of suffering (Samudāya). 3. The truth of the cessation of suffering (Nirodha). 4.The truth of the path to the cessation of suffering (Magga),” (The Four Noble Truths). Buddhism does not share common characteristics with other religion groups. Buddhism is, however, receptive to other religions and beliefs. This religious group acknowledges the way other religions teach those involved. These individuals do not believe in a God. It is a belief system like all other religious groups.
There are individuals who do not accept Buddhist and believe that those who do are not going to heaven. Others who refuse to understand Buddhism and how it works dismiss it completely because it is not what they believe in. Even though Buddhism is not America’s most practiced religion, its beliefs and ideas have been passed into American culture. It has helped blend American culture. Today there is a large amount of Buddhist’s who contribute to promoting peace amongst one another, reaching out to those who are in prison and who are homeless, and some even do advocacy for the environment. Buddhist’s experience hate just like other people in other religions. In 2003, Chung Tai Buddhist Group applied to construct a meditation and worship center in the city of Walnut, California, but the application was later denied. Not only did the City Planning Commission deny the application, but also residents were against building the center. Residents disputed against the plan because they believed there
would be an increase in traffic and noise. A few years later the City Planning Commission approved an application to build on some of the area Chung Tai had prepared to use. In 2010, the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit stating the city of Walnut; California treated the group unreasonably while dealing with the permit to build the worship and meditation center for Chung Tai Buddhist Group. The Department of Justice came to the conclusion that it was religious discrimination. After learning what Buddhism is and where it originated from allows me to understand it more. I now know that it is not only about humming and repeating a few words in another language, but also learning how to live a happier, more pure life even with the struggles and unfortunate events that can occur. Not only that, but respecting every living thing as it is. The Chinese are quite different from other racial/ethnic groups. The two most common languages used in China are Mandarin or Cantonese. Mandarin is the government, education, and media’s main language that is used in China. Known as the ‘common language,’ mandarin is the first language that is spoken.
The Chinese are a combined society with the urge to associate themselves in groups, whether it is to their work group, family, country, or associates. The Chinese depend on non-verbal communication like tone of voice and facial expression, to reveal what other maybe thinking or feeling. The Chinese believe in an ethical system known as Confucianism. Confucianism is a set up of ethics and behaviors that signify responsibilities of people towards one another based on their relationship. The Chinese have and continue to contribute to American culture in many ways. Many Americans embrace Chinese religions. Converting to Buddhism and so many other Asian religions. In the 1800’s Chinese immigrants helped working with the gold miners. These men helped construct the intercontinental railway. The Chinese have brought their recipes to American cultures that have been passed down from generation to generation. The Chinese brought their customs, language, and social organization into American culture. On May 6, 1882 the Chinese Exclusion Act was signed into law. It was brought about in reply to economic concerns in the West Coast, where Americans imputed unemployment and withheld wages to Chinese workers. Americans at the time viewed the Chinese as racially indifferent. Even though the act was repealed during World War II it only allowed 105 Chinese immigrants per year into the United States, which still showed prejudice against the Chinese.
I believe the source of prejudice against the Chinese was economic benefit. A large amount of Chinese immigrants came to the states to seek employment opportunities, but were denied at times because of the direct need for employment. I do believe what I have learned about the Chinese helped me understand this group. I learned what a big contribution to our culture they provided. I also learned that because of their great impact on American culture some individuals take those same customs and values and incorporate them into their own lives. The Chinese and Buddhist experienced similar situations dealing with discrimination because they were both persecuted for being who they are as individuals. Neither one of these groups tried to be something they were not, so they were prejudged and treated unfairly. These groups experienced different situations dealing with discrimination because the Chinese were discriminated against based on real and observed racial dissimilarities. Buddhist’s were discriminated against based on who or what they believed in. Buddhist’s were also discriminated against because of their feeling towards their religion and those belonging to other religious groups. Discrimination towards these two groups and the many others is wrong. It has restricted these groups from opportunities that should have always been available to not only one group, but also all groups of individuals regardless of their appearance or their beliefs.
1. The Four Noble Truths. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/buddhism/beliefs/fournobletruths_1.shtml 2.