TSEA Interview Assignment
My mother is a Buddhist but some of her beliefs and rituals are similar to Animist’s.
She does not believe that spirits exist in everything but rather everywhere. Animism states
that spirits exist in rice fields and buildings and these spirits determine the health of an
individual or the family. My mother does not rely on these spirits or view them as important
at all. Just like animist belief, she owns many amulets which she believes are there to protect
her and her family as well as a reminder for her to do good deeds. In general, her belief is
similar to Animist’s to an extent but since she does not rely on whether or agriculture, she
does not blame spirits for any misfortune.
My mother occasionally talks to me about Buddhist teachings so this interview was
not a surprise to me. I also meditate once in a while but not because I want to free those
suffering spirits, in my opinion I do not believe we are capable of helping them, but rather
just to focus and free my mind. In each day, we would always have something to think about
or problems to solve but if we could give up 5 minutes just to meditate, we will feel a slight
peaceful happiness where we would not have to worry about anything. I do believe that there
are souls or spirits existing all around us and that they are unable to harm us. I choose to
believe some stories that my mom has told me but I also have my own belief on Buddhist
Since I know the interviewee personally and language was not an issue, the interview
went smoothly. However, our time was limited so we could only get to 8 questions but her
answers were thorough and detailed. Next time I would plan the interview more carefully so
that there would be enough time for both of us. Overall the whole process was fun and
educational; my mom has taught me some Buddhist teachings but I did not know how she
practices her beliefs.