Religious Experience Essay

Tarin Chiaravanond Anthropology 100 10am 7-23-2009 Cultural Report Religious Experience For my cultural report, I chose to go to a Filipino Christianity church. I was born and raised as a Buddhist and I don’t really have a clue about the religion of Christianity. I also didn’t have many Christian friends growing up, so I decided to pick the Christianity church because I was always wondered about the services at church. I had a lot of expectation attending the church service and I thought that everything were going to be like how they do it in the movies but I was very wrong.

The morning started of around 7:30am. As I drag myself out of bed, I remembered from the TV and the movies that I have to dress nice to attend church. So I got a nice dress shirt and slacks and got ready. I arrived at church around 8:30am and I was early for the service. I took a few minutes to look around and the church wasn’t big and nice as I thought it would. The inside was very stuffy and didn’t have those fancy windows with pictures in them. I took my first step inside church, a man handed me a sign in paper for guests.

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I assumed that they have their own little community going on and they know all the members that attend the church. It was about nine when everybody arrived and the service began. Many of the people that attended the service just wore regular street clothes. They all had jeans and a regular t-shirt on while I was sitting there all hot in my long sleeve and slacks. I always thought that the pastor always got to wear that black dress thing with the collar but this one just wore a Hawaiian shirt with slacks. Unlike the men, the ladies at the service all wore pretty dresses.

Attending a Filipino church I did not expect a lot of diversity from there. As I observed everyone that was there, there was about 50% Filipinos and the rest were Blacks and Hispanics and like one white lady. All the elderly that attended were all seated in the front rows while younger people sat in the back. Families with kids also sat in the back too. Most of the people there participated in the things the pastor told them to do. Only the teens and the kids in the back were doing their own thing. The whole time the pastor was preaching, the teens just talked and laughed and the kids were running in the back aimlessly.

I thought that the parents of the child would stop him but they just ignored him and listen to the pastor. Some of the kids were even drawing on the bible and some just fell asleep. A group of teens also participated in the church band. I was hoping to see a church choir like in the movies but it was only just the teens. They played at two songs and they got off the stage except one which was the piano man. He just sat there for the rest of the service playing song as the pastor is preaching the words of god.

I thought only the younger people would be the ones not paying attention at church but I was wrong. There were a handful of adults who were texting, reading magazines, and even falling asleep. The service was coming to an end and a black lady gave random shout of hallelujah and amen till it ended. Before the service ended, the pastor put me on blast in front of everyone asking me about my race and what faith I believe in. When the service was over I went around asking people about there backgrounds and why they attend church.

Most people had the same respond that they just want to keep a strong bond with god. Through this experience, I learned many things about the Christian people. They are very friendly and helpful. I always thought that if I went to church they are going to make me convert into their religion. Half of the people there seems to be very passionate about the religion and they seem to put all there faith into it. While the other half didn’t seem to care about anything that’s going on inside the church. This experience was fun and all but I don’t think I am going to go back anytime soon.


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