Essay Are You Gone? Mass Today?

2154 Words Oct 23rd, 2016 9 Pages
“Have you gone to Mass today?” Asks my Grandfather in Vietnamese, as he kneels, placing fresh fruit, water, and a whole cooked fish on the altar of a Jade statue of Buddha, lighting incense as a large figurine of Mother Mary looks serenely on. “Vang, Ong.” I reply. Yes, grandfather. “And confession? Are you hungry?” Asks my Grandmother, in English, as she prays over the meal she has prepared for my father and I and the eleven family members currently living at the house. “Yes we did and yes, thank you, Ba.” “Give your thanks.” She says as she finishes her silent prayer with the Sign of the Cross. Once my grandfather is done with the offerings she begins to serve everyone seated. This is not an unusual sight to see at the Nguyen household on any given First Friday. A mixture of cultures, with a free lunar New Year calendar in Vietnamese hung on the wall next to a wall hanging of the American flag. A faded picture of my grandparents, their children, and any other family member they could fit on the boat bound for the Philippines hangs above a shelf that boasts of the American degrees and diplomas my family members have accumulated and their graduation pictures. There is a framed picture of the President and one the Pope, hung side by side. Their religious beliefs, their political stance, and their love for the country that adopted them and the one they had to leave behind is clear throughout the house. My father’s family home is one of many similar households in Orange…

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