Christmas and its Barriers
Christmas has always been associated to Christianity, obviously because it is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, but does someone really have to be Christian to experience one? Christmas episodes is somewhat apparent in anime, but we had always known that majority of Japanese are Buddhist.
Religion is “serious business” for other people, which is why they refrain from the practices of other religions. I don’t think this is the right thing to do if one is given the chance to encounter someone who doesn’t share their own belief. Just like what Kanata’s father said, “We must learn the importance of accepting different ways. Us too should be more open and willing to accept other cultures.” It doesn’t necessarily mean that a non-Christian isn’t allowed to partake in the celebration of Christmas. This doesn’t only apply to religion and such, but even to trivial things people sometimes argue about. Of course, “openness and willingness” of a person still depends on how he/she views that certain practice.
Episode 31 of Daa! Daa! Daa! portrays the common notion of other people to different culture. Kanata has never celebrated Christmas yet, which is why he has this strong tie to his father’s religion, Buddhism. He has grown to believe that Santa Clause could never enter the temple because of the daily chants and scent of the incense. He has always believed that “There is no Christmas in a Buddhist temple”.
Does Christmas really just equate to a tradition held yearly exclusively for Christians? It has always been a universal event, where in everyone is invited. Of course, there are cynical people who won’t believe just yet, because they want to stick to their own principles and beliefs. No one bears any grudge against them because no one’s forcing them. It’s just that I see them as someone who only thinks what’s inside the box, but never really tries to explore what’s beyond–beyond their own religion. Does that mean religion exist to put limitations and boundaries to people? Limitations and boundaries had existed long before and I don’t think that that is the real motive of why religion came into existence. (Then again, I’m not talking here about morality, because that’s just what the norm dictates.)
Religion has always been that barrier existing between believers and non-believers. No one knows when would that barrier be completely shattered, but as long as non-believers start to believe that Christmas is simply the time to share that “warmth”, I think everyone would slowly realize that the celebration of Christmas doesn’t only heed the devotees but everyone’s attention.