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How Religion Affects Social Life - Religion and Culture

Updated on September 2, 2012

Religion and culture expectation

The pressures of socialization and culture expectation held me to stay in a religion which I never understand. But in the end, I finally realized that if I don’t do anything, the cycle can never be stopped.

I grew up in a Catholic country. My family is Catholic, all from my grandparents down to my brother and sisters. We were Catholic ever since we were born. It is already marked in our head. Ever since we were just conceived my parents are already planning my baptism. We are usually baptized at the age of two months so that we will become a true Catholic. Now, is it fair to people that you changed their lives upon being born and mold them like you are bending an iron? Every Sunday we go to church without fail, my family will always go together, even if I am sick or one of us is sick, it doesn’t matter we just need to go, just like the other family and friends of us, we just need to go there, at the chapel to hear the service which I cannot understand because half of it is Latin and the other half portion of it is English.

It is our obligation to attend mass, my mother will always say that. And she is attributing my bad attitude due to my failure to concentrate on the church. I always get pinched when I am there. I always anticipate going to church only just because after church my mother will buy me a popcorn and balloon. There are many people selling stuff outside the church, and it is a big business, as you might see.

But when I reached the age of seven, I don’t like to go there anymore because I am bored, I cant even understand what the priest is saying, I memorized the response but nobody will explain it to me. I know all the songs, how can I not know my sister and brother sings in the choir, and my brother would play the guitar. My mother list my name in the choir but I don’t like to go, I will run away and go to my cousins house every time there is a practice. My mother will be busy attending to our store and she doesn’t know what I am doing anyway, she will just know it when she goes to talk to the priest on Saturday afternoon, and I know she will scold me again. We usually kiss the priests hand after the mass, so if the priest doesn’t see me he will report that to my mother. My mother and the priest are friends, they play mah-jong (Asian poker) together on Saturday afternoon in the house. Of course my mother also gives a lot of money to the church too as contribution.

Until I was nine years old, my mother will always drop by the church, not every Saturday but every other day this time. She will bring flowers, pray the rosary for an hour and then talked to the priest always. She said she needed to pray more because we need the money to go to private school and for my father who is always out of the house and drinking coconut wine. She said she was sure my father was seeing another woman in another village. I wasn’t listening to her because I cant believe what she is saying, sometimes she becomes paranoid. I am more close to my father than my mother because she always nags my father and sometimes I don’t like her nagging me and telling me things I cant do and she is always checking on me. At a young age I became rebellious already. I kept on asking myself maybe the reason why my father is always out and drinking is because she is always praying and going to the church. I know that my mother always pushes things and spend so much time in the church and not helping me with my studies that is why I resent her. My father will read to us and spend his time with us, but my mother is always outside organizing small prayer session and busy praying the rosary.

I was thirteen when I was forced to go to private school run by nuns. My mother will not listen anyway so I just needed to attend there. Since I graduated on top of my class in my elementary years, I am free of tuition fee in high school. My sister is also studying there so we go home together but we need to stay a little bit further one hour later because we need to attend to church activities. Our priest is an Irish man (exchange priest from other country) and I cant barely understand him, so what’s the use of hearing the mass. So at times I just play volleyball with other students and wait for my sister after the mass, she also sings in the church in high school. When we go home I always tell her not to tell my mother that I didn’t attend the church again. My mother later found out I am not attending chapel service again because my notebook with attendance is blank. And one time during Parents-Teachers meeting my mother found out that I am not really attending one of my class, Religion. I cant even memorize the Rosary. I have lots of questions unanswered and I cant do my homework anymore, I gotta flunk the subject anyway because I am not attending church service too. In short, I was kicked out of the Catholic school and I was back to public schooling. I have a sigh of relief because now I can wear mini skirt. I slowly became the family’s black sheep, because I always question things and I don’t want to join them in any rituals they are doing, I am just tired of attending church service so my mother cant do anything. And they think that I am possessed of the demons.

So when I was in college, I am happy because finally I will be free of church activities, I went to the city and study. My mother will always write me a letter and ask me if I still go to church. I just say yes so that she will not worry anymore. I became more heretic when I study in the university. At times, my aunties and some relatives will check on me at the University and they just let me be on my own, because they cant do anything. I have since become a heretic to them and the outcast of the family.

Not until when I got married and my parents chose the man I am going to marry, and we got married in Catholic church, what can I do, I will be forever outcast if I don’t listen to them. That’s my regret I could have done something, not when they believe that I am pregnant and I am not virgin anymore, I will fail my father too. My parents and in-laws paid for the wedding. My children became Catholic just after they were born too. I cant do anything, they will become outcast if I don’t baptize them to be Catholics. And I was thinking, the cycle begins again. The social pressures I cant take anymore and I didn’t have a good marriage. What can I expect? My ex-husband is womanizing just like any other man I see (except my father, or so I know). After seven years of being like in a prison, I finally got annulment of marriage, my mother wouldn’t talk to me anymore. She said why cant I just tolerate what my husband is doing, at least he still goes home to the house. My children are forever outcast without a full family, and in my society it is the fault of the woman if the family is not intact. It is again my fault, and this time I think I finally did the right thing. That was eight years ago and I know I did the right thing then.


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    • Astra Nomik profile image

      Cathy Nerujen 

      8 years ago from Edge of Reality and Known Space

      Hi Maita, I am so amazed reading this. I had little idea that you have struggled with faith and family over beliefs. It reminds me of the King being told to drink from the fountain who eventually does and goes mad. (Told by my mother to scare me into keeping to my beliefs. Ha.) The scare tactic just does not work any more. You can't "force" someone to believe in a thing, the more force used, the less you trust the person applying the force and the less you believe all of the "good" in it. Sad story but very inspiring, I am glad I found this great hub. Thank you.

    • prettydarkhorse profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from US

      Thanks Dave and I agree with what you said, I appreciate the culture I came form but I am freed, good to be freed, still at times I am confused. Maita

    • Paraglider profile image

      Dave McClure 

      8 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

      Hi PDH - Tonight I wanted to read something of yours because you had visited so many of mine. This was the title that most interested me, as I am not so much attracted to the more commercial stuff. I think you've painted a very frank and honest picture of a culture that is not so unlike what prevailed in Ireland and West Scotland until about 1960. So much of it comes down to instilling obedience in the young, and then taking that to the next level, by bullying the young, for fear that they might break free.

      I think you have broken free, yet you retain a respect for the culture that raised you and made you who you are. That is the best level of rebellion - enough to move on, without losing the roots.

      I hope I'm making sense ;) It has been a pleasure to meet you on these boards,

    • prettydarkhorse profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from US

      Yes I beleive you so MFB, the people around us are not good, but GOI is always good and Jesus of course, thank you MFB, your words are encouraging to me, Bless, Maita

    • MFB III profile image

      MFB III 

      8 years ago from United States

      Some churches must indoctrinate the youth from the moment they begin awareness, this sustains membership in the faith,

      and creates a long lineage of cash donations to the fold. Sadly it also created a long lineage of innocence to the priests who were not so godly. We must remember that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, Not some fancy buildings created off the backs of the working man.

      The Bible says

      "There is only one mediator between God and man, and that is Christ Jesus."

      When one thinks about that verse, then one begins to wonder about all the other people they have prayed and confessed to over the years, and were their prayers truly answered?

      I am glad you found your own faith, make sure you stay close to God, he is not at fault here.

      People do tend to make religion their God, instead of making God their Religion.~~~

      A truly heartfelt ans difficult write....~~~MFB III

    • prettydarkhorse profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from US

      Yes Truth, thanks for your concern, I appreciate it very much, things are ok now and I alearned a lot from lessons in life, they make us strong also,

      I am just happy with what I am now, and for meeting people like you here at HP, Good day always T, Maita

    • Truth From Truth profile image

      Truth From Truth 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks Maita, I hope things are well now. I can not imagine having my wife chosen for me. I'm happy for you and your decision. I'm sorry I did not read this before. Hopefully you sharing your experiences will help others that may read this article.

    • prettydarkhorse profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from US

      hi nextstopjupiter, thanks for dropping by and reading this one, It feels good top share what happened to me! You have a good day!Maita

    • nextstopjupiter profile image


      9 years ago from here, there and everywhere

      Not everybody has the courage to share his or her live experiences - you have! Thank you!

    • prettydarkhorse profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from US

      hi James, thanks for reading this hub, it is one story of my life which I wouldnt like to share before but then, I have found courage to share it.

      thanks as always and have a good day, Maita

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      This is a very interesting Hub. I enjoyed reading it very much. Thank you for sharing your life.

    • hubby7 profile image


      9 years ago from Chicago

      Failing to conform to the norm always has its consequences--being ostracized, and in many cases, killed. Yet, that is the price that often must be paid if we are to be free and live the kind of life that we ourselves choose to live. Isalute you for standing up to and apart from the crowd. "To thine own self, be true". You are indeed a strong woman!

    • prettydarkhorse profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from US

      Thanks Cheeky Chick for dropping by and reading this hub, yes at some point I need to fight for what is right, it is for my childrens sake and for the next generation. If I dont make my stand it will just be an unending cycle. I did rebel and find what is right for me, but I had to face the consequences until now,

      thank you very much for your kind understanding and take of this article,

      always, maita

    • Cheeky Chick profile image

      Cheeky Chick 

      9 years ago

      Prettydarkhorse, you have good reason to resent church and religion! Any time church becomes a higher priority than family, I believe it becomes unhealthy. Many kids in that situation rebel.

      It is so sad to me that your family doesn't accept your choices. I had a bad experience as a kid with a church youth group a friend invited me to. Luckily, my parents allowed me to make choices and to question. Although I am spiritual, I do not attend church. I strongly believe that everyone in this country has a right to their own beliefs, and shouldn't judge others who don't share in their ideology.

      Great Hub! Thanks for having the courage to write it.



    • prettydarkhorse profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from US

      DRG Da Real Grinc, hi, how are you? thanks for dropping by and reading this hub, you are right about what you said about othe rpeople forcing religion to children and its time they look up and should wait for the right time so that people can decide on their own!Maita

    • prettydarkhorse profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from US

      hi Dohn yes youre definitely correct about it, I always thought that what the heart is trying to tell you is the correct thing, and we should always listen to it! I just hope that one day people and the society in general will be more acceptable and permissive!

      Thanks and have a good day! Maita

    • DRG Da Real Grinc profile image

      Felix J Hernandez 

      9 years ago from All over the USA

      Totally agreeable. Religion is pushed upon kids and they don't even fully understand until they've reached teenage or adult years. Personally I believe in science and not an invisible icon. Religion has been a forefront to politics for ages and the trend is too trendy to look back now. I'm mused by conscious, ty for the insight.

    • dohn121 profile image


      9 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      If your heart tells you that you did the right thing, then there is no doubting it. Your heart is the most honest organ in your body. Fear and doubt will always lead you away from the path of happiness and bliss. I know many people that attend service that are, in their own hearts, without "faith" or "belief" and yet I also know those that do not attend, but are very spiritual and have a natural giving spirit. The intent of your heart is always correct--that much I do know. Thsnks, Maita! BTW, I now know why you chose the profile name you did!


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