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Making a "foreign" tradition one's own

Every year, our Thai family goes to the family temple for monks' prayers. I always thought of it as "their" ritual...but I finally begin to think of it as my own chance to remember family members who've passed on. My husband's Thai family annually gathers at their family temple to pay respects to those who have gone before us. The ritual includes visiting the stupa where (some of) the ashes of Husband's grandparents, uncle, great-aunt and great-uncle, and now his mom are interred. I respect this ritual because it's important to my Thai family but always thought of it as " their ritual," " their culture." As a foreigner, I saw the local rituals as interesting but unconnected to myself. I was happy that I was assimilating a bit—to know how to participate—and it made me feel a little less of an expat amidst a foreign culture. But it was only on the surface.  Then last year, it dawned upon me that the prayers whose words I didn't und

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