For most of my life I was an atheist.
I was born and raised in Poland, which basically means that catholic religion was, is and will be the huge part of my cultural background, they are mostly blended together. My Mom is an atheist, my Father is pretty indifferent, I was baptized in the age of 4 just because my Grandparents forced my Parents to do it, promised to pay for everything, but ‘This child must be baptized’. Majority of my family is catholic or atheist, most of my friends are agnostic, I also know many Muslim and Hindu. Everyone agrees that people are nowadays getting less and less religious.
I used to attend religion classes (in Poland of course CATHOLIC religion, to option for world religions or ethics) until the age of 10, when we got a new nun teaching us and immediately disliked her.
I’ve done the sacrament of the first communion, though, but it was more for the family party and many gifts, and because all the other kids in school were going to do it. Not much religious value.
As I quitted religion classes at 4th grade, I haven’t done the third sacrament – confirmation, which means that I cannot marry in the church and I cannot become a Godmother.
I was already asked twice to do this sacrament, as both of my closest cousins have little kids, but I definitely refused. Being a GODmother is the last thing I should be. This person is supposed to help to raise the kid in the catholic religion, I am not able to do that. I can be an amazing auntie, though, buying them alcohol behind the back of their parents, doing the safe-sex-lectures and being there for them if they need to talk to an adult.
That is what I currently have with my 18yo cousin Marta, and I feel great with it. Well, I catch such situations like a magnet… I talk both to Marta and her Mom on equal level, not exchanging the information between them, of course. Here in India I also have such a Mom-Son couple – he confides in me (most of my Indian friends here are around 18-19 so I am able to advice them from the older sister perspective), his Mom whom I met in Mumbai and later in Manipal, told me things she has never told anyone before. And I am fine with it, I am there for all those people.
I was an atheist since I was aware of my religious consciousness. Parent of my childhood friends wanted to help, offered me to go to the church on Sundays with their families. I am always open, though. I tried to explore buddhism at some point of my life. I was in a one-year strong and solid, serious relationship with a Muslim guy and I dare to claim that I know Quran more than Bible. I never wanted to convert but he would prefer me being Christian than atheist. Anyway, we broke up more because of character than culture difference. He is still love of my life and the most noble person I know.
With the knowledge and experience I have now, I can openly say that I am not against any religion itself. They all – in more or less similar ways – aim at being a good person. Christianity and Islam are so similar in many aspects! I do not understand the huge conflict between them, neither the hate which started in Poland (maybe Europe?) after 2015 refugees crisis. I hope it has more economical than religious background!
I came to India with an open mind, didn’t really know what to expect. And now I do know. On my meditation classes I believed in something. After talking to people and visiting great temples, I can admit that I feel that Hinduism is made for me. That I wanna be a Hindu, finally have a path to follow. For now I will explore and learn as much as I can, when I come back to Poland I will become a Hindu on paper.
I am planning to co-write a huge text about Hinduism with my great Indian friend, and amazing blogger from M.A.D. – Manas (Ananas) Dresswalla (Swallalala!). Stay tuned!