Tuesday, October 14, 2008
So Queens Teens did wonderful presentation talking about what each religion is and about learning from their children's drawing and conversation. In the end, they were satisfied with this performance and very tired. Great Job you all!
Thank you so much for your support to all of the staff as well as each religious organization's parents.
Thank you Laura!
Today is October 14th. The day before leaving for New Orleans again for installing "Social Dress New Orleans" for Prospect .1 Exhibiiton. It's been while since we had opening, "Performance Day" for this project at Queens Museum. (May 18th, 2008) I looked through images and realized last time just before the opening, I also had to visit New Orleans. Pretty busy schedule past year.
Anyhow, I wanted to upload more photos especially at the opening. I have many things I like to describe as the record, but for now, I would like to upload images as many as possible so that you could see how the final phase of this project, "Performance Day" worked out.
So, Teens, please let me know if there are any issues on these pictures!
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Thursday afternoon, I arrived LaGuardia Airport from New Orleans for my business trip.
Today was officially final last last day of building 5 religious booths.
We focused on Jewish temple, Hindu Temple and Muslim mosque.
I was so glad so many Teens came to work. 10 students worked on three booths,
and we finished 96%.
Saturday, Tessa, one of Teens will come finish 6% left of Hindu temple.
Also, Lily will come with me to meet Hindu Temple children at 2:30pm.
Although I have been totally exhausted, kept telling this to educator
Laura (laugh), Teens energy and great creativity embraced a lot.
Oh, Eric and I sat down worked on writing of what we learned from Jewish Temple visit the other weekend. I was curious what he learned from such crazy screaming kids never ever being quiet while some of children excitingly pointing out and explaining many things session.
As he was quiet and listened to them, he learned a lot.
I like to talk about this more later by separated blog.
Friday, May 9, 2008
Sunday, May 4, 2008
Eric, one of Teens from the Queens Museum after School program, came to Temple Gates this evening. Unfortunately, he misunderstood when I said to meet at 7 o'clock and came at 7 AM instead of 7PM. So he went to the museum quite early this morning. Then, this evening, he went to the wrong synagogue! I was terribly sorry about that. Quite honestly, I was like him when I was young, so, I totally understand that. However, it did pose a problem as he was having to run to the temple and we were told we had only 15 minutes to do the session! Oops! But actually it went super well, and ended up being more like a 30-minute session.
The Jewish temple's youth program, made up of kids around 10-12 years old, is absolutely active. Boys and girls are all together playing dodge ball and other games in a small concrete underground space. Screaming, screaming and screaming to me. I have a bit of a hearing problem, and my ear was totally malfunctioning.
Eric was just quiet.
We started the session, and I just gave him the floor and started videotaping them.
Half of boys just played around, joking so loudly. Two girls and one or two boys were very excitingly answering all of what they knew about their religion by pointing out the drawings. It is interesting. Some of the drawings seem like pretty secret symbols to me. But, other children were able to point out and comprehended what they were even though that was by their friends.
At the Muslim center, the educator explained how much each age group of children understands their own religion. Similarly to what she told me about the Muslim children, I guess Jewish children do not know so many alters, artifacts, or parts of objects. Since Eric was not interested in such things or else did not have the chance to ask them what each of them means, they did not discuss such artifacts so much. I was almost wanted to ask why and what it means for each of them out of my own curiosity. However, this time, I had set up this system so that I am not doing the questioning or answering, but am simply observing what is happening.
These are just my thoughts, however, I remembered that when I was little, I wrote out Buddhist Sutras without understanding them. I felt "cool" about it. Japanese Kanji characters were pretty difficult, therefore I felt cool and very adult-like. Anyhow, I think in most cases, we learn one religion in that way, without doubting or thinking about what's behind it until we are much older. Then maybe we make a conscious decision about it. My grandma sometimes told me later that you did not have to understand the sutras fully, but that you should just chant them. That was all you needed to go to heaven.
Probably that would be fine, and certainly much easier. But, then, we live in contemporary society where there is always a drive to figure out why we do what we do. In that case, unquestioned belief is difficult. In a good way, I think that is the beginning of the really interesting or insightful religious thought and philosophy. The Muslim center educator said that is probably around the beginning of Junior High when kids reach that level of thought about religion, but it is still tough.
Without knowing everything about it, we probably usually belong to some group - that much is not just unique to religion.