I've been told it's proper for a Hellene to pay some kind of small tribute to the gods of other lands when they are in those places, so would it be expected of me to perhaps place a coin on the Buddha statue when I go to a Chinese establishment like a restaurant or something?
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AgathonZante wrote:I've been told it's proper for a Hellene to pay some kind of small tribute to the gods of other lands when they are in those places, so would it be expected of me to perhaps place a coin on the Buddha statue when I go to a Chinese establishment like a restaurant or something?
Just a note, having grown up a Buddhist myself, I feel the need to clarify: the statues of a bald, fat man with distended ears found often in East Asian establishments (restaurants, salons etc.) is not Buddha. Buddha is never depicted as fat and 'rubbing his belly' for luck or leaving coins as offerings would never be done, and the first act would be considered rather disrespectful.
The 'fat Buddha' of Western minds is Budai (Chinese) or Hotei (Japanese), conflated with Buddha probably through phonetic similarity.
Budai is a Chinese folk deity of wealth and prosperity.
It would not be expected that you go out of your way to pay respects to a local, minor deity. But should the cause or need arise, there shouldn't be any reason for you to object to doing so.
I would not do so impromptu, however, as you need to consider what the customs are of the people there to avoid unintentionally doing something improper and offending the people.
Consider also that many of those statues are there for pure decoration and cultural custom, not out of any actual religious belief. As such, a westerner venerating an image that the owners themselves don't even venerate would probably provoke quite a few amused and perplexed stares
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